So you’re wondering if you’re with someone who has a character disorder? Maybe a narcissist? Or a sociopath? If you are, you might often be accused of hurting that poor person. Here are three things you might be blamed for, otherwise known as red flags:
1. A person with a character disorder is not responsible for his or her life. You are. And if you don’t step up to the plate with a full wallet, lots of energy, and a constant smile, then you’re going to hear about it. About how mean you are. Uncaring. Unloving. Unwilling. Even if you’ve been stepping up to the plate with all of the above for years and are simply worn out by your partner’s inability to invest alongside you. Even when you’re fixing their problems or building their dreams.
They’re masters at delegation. Manipulation. Inspiring others to invest in them. But they’ll never give what you’re giving. They’re already scheming up their second plan as you’re spending your life savings on the first. And when you tire of their unwillingness to put anything of their own into the problems they want you to fix, they’ll attack you for being “mean.” When you’re exhausted of pouring yourself into their ideas, they’ll demonize you and detach. You aren’t who they thought you were. You’re selfish. You’re mean. They want to be with someone new and unknowing. Someone who will pour everything they have into the new dream—with a full wallet, lots of energy, and a constant smile.
So stop being mean. Let that poor person go.
2. When you’re in a relationship with someone who has a character disorder, you are likely to reach a point when they suddenly can’t trust you anymore. They’ll call you “sneaky” and “deceitful.” They’ll accuse you of cheating. Betraying them. Doing something surreptitious. Be warned. This is a common sign that they are, indeed, involved in some sort of betrayal. If you’ve done a careful analysis and haven’t cheated or lied or done anything along those lines, and if you’re suddenly accused of unfounded deceitfulness, then the person you’re with is likely projecting on you. That means they’re doing something behind your back and are projecting that behavior on you—saying that you’re the one who’s doing it.
If you’re living the same life you lived when this person was madly in love with you and completely wowed by your “solid values,” then consider their accusations of untrustworthiness and betrayal a giant red flag.
So stop being so surreptitious and tell your partner the truth. That it’s time to move on.
3. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has a character disorder, you’re likely to be accused of holding them back. At some point, you’ll come to be viewed as the chain that keeps them from doing everything. From forming the business of their dreams. From living a life of love and happiness. From being “truly connected” to their partner. They’ll say they want it. They’ll do almost nothing to realize it. But they’ll talk about everything they’re doing and have done all the time to anyone who will listen.
They’ll ignore your “let’s make this happen” pep talks. They’ll fantasize about it all day long—that greener grass. And then they’ll put their laser focus on you as being the one and only reason why they can’t get it. If they’re violent, they may want to beat you. If they’re cold, they may withdraw into an icy silence. If they’re sneaky, they may start messing around on the side. If they’re disordered, they’ll do just about any hurtful thing to you that you can think of. To punish you for holding them back. Even when you’re the one to fund the travel. To fund the business. To pay the rent. They’ll never acknowledge your contributions; instead they’ll get people to feel sorry for them because you “never cared” about their plans. Even when you’ve invested all you have in just about anything they ever asked for.
So stop holding them back. Let that person fly away.