Antisocial personality disorder can have a decidedly negative impact on a person’s ability to form healthy relationships and maintain them. If your spouse is suffering from ASPD, you may have experienced difficulties when it comes to maintaining the marriage. However, it’s important to understand that your spouse’s mental illness is not your fault. But if you want to save the marriage, you and your spouse will likely have to work together, and that may involve specialized help from a mental health professional.
What Is ASPD?
Antisocial personality disorder, or ASPD, refers to a pervasive pattern of maladaptive behaviors and views. So, not only does antisocial personality disorder impact the way a person behaves, it can also have a negative impact on the way they view relationships and their environment. Antisocial personality disorder is getting a lot of attention in the media as many outlets discuss sociopaths in detail. While many serial murderers do fit the diagnostic criteria for ASPD, not everyone with ASPD is a violent criminal, or is even dangerous. For many people, ASPD is a mental illness, just like borderline personality disorder and obsessive compulsive personality disorder—not to be confused with obsessive compulsive disorder. Those with ASPD may not struggle to interact with others on a surface level because most people with ASPD are superficially charming. However, when relationships get serious, those with ASPD may struggle to maintain a serious relationship.
Impulsivity and Aggression
Those suffering from ASPD tend to be impulsive and aggressive. While this symptom can manifest itself in instances of drug usage, theft, or other crimes, there are also more mundane examples of impulsivity and aggression. A person with ASPD may drive aggressively and use lots of rude gestures and hand signals when distressed. They may also drive impulsively and take large risks. In some cases, this could lead to speeding tickets, and car accidents. Those who have ASPD may repeatedly get into physical altercations. Depending on the circumstances, a person with ASPD may have a lengthy record of violent altercations that have required police intervention.
Difficulty Relating to Others
People who have ASPD generally have difficulties relating to other people. At the core of this is a deficiency in empathy. Because people with ASPD struggle to feel what others around them are feeling, they tend to feel detached and unable to connect to people—even when they want to feel a connection to others. Some people with ASPD have described feeling as though they don’t belong because they cannot feel the emotions that everyone around them feels. For example, a person with ASPD may feel lonely at a wedding because he does not feel the same happiness that everyone else feels. His inability to feel happiness on behalf of the bride and groom may lead him to feel isolated since he’s at an event where everyone is essentially connecting over their feeling of happiness.
A Misunderstanding of Social Norms
People with antisocial personality disorder are generally pretty charming on a surface level but, once you get to know them, it may become apparent that they’re not as socially apt as you’d initially have thought. People with antisocial personality disorder often hold personal views and attitudes that are largely considered to be socially unacceptable. Those with ASPD may voice beliefs or make jokes that are offensive and fail to understand why they’re offensive. Or they may reason that the person they’re speaking to is just overly sensitive when, in reality, the person with ASPD has said or done something that is widely considered to be socially unacceptable.
Those who are suffering from antisocial personality disorder may compulsively tell lies to make themselves look more interesting. People with ASPD who have narcissistic tendencies may tell stories that make themselves look more like their ideal self. Or a person who has ASPD may tell lies to avoid consequences or further an agenda they have. They may tell lies to persuade someone to do something for them, for financial gain, or social advancement. Sometimes people with ASPD tell lies for no discernable reason—though there frequently is a reason. If you’re married to a person with ASPD, you may struggle to trust them if they’ve lied to you repeatedly, especially about things that don’t have much of an impact on your relationship.
How It Can Damage Your Marriage
Antisocial personality disorder can damage your marriage, especially if both parties are struggling with a mental health concern. While not every person who has ASPD will get a divorce, some will find that their marriage is not able to be saved. In this case, CoilLaw is here for you. If you’ve decided that divorce is your best option, contact CoilLaw today to get started on the initial consultation.