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Addictive Personality Disorder
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Addictive Personality Disorder

I briefly dated a guy that I highly suspect has addictive personality disorder. He is now at the point where most of his waking hours are spent taking care of his many compulsions: running, shopping, internet (porn and games) and masturbation.

He said he is bipolar, and "used to" do meth as well. At this point, he has isolated himself in his apt, and the slightest thing that most people would blow off as no big deal (a little bit of noise from road work being done down the street, for example), sends him to the very edge,  pacing and yelling, till he has to leave the apt, and "go for a run".

My first clue about his compulsions was with how much he runs, and the fact that I found out it had absolutely nothing to do with his health, because I know what serious (athletic) runners eat, as compared to the (junk) foods than he eats. Other clues came along later: Nearly every day, he'd call me about another article of clothing he had bought--very similar to the one he bought the previous day--and he also mentioned that he needed to find a bigger place, with spare bedrooms, just for his clothes.

Another clue was when we would IM, or talk on the phone, there would be long, frequent pauses where he would stopped responding. I would ask him what was happening, if everything was OK. After a few times of this, he finally confessed he would frequently stop to masturbate during our IMs and phone calls. It had nothing to do with me--It was also a scheduled ritual throughout the day. Is that normal? I mean, I know masturbation is normal and OK, but scheduled like that? And that frequently?

Another thing was toward the end of our relationship, it seemed all he wanted me to do is play internet games with him--even more than talking. One after another, after another, after another. For HOURS. Whenever I would tell him I seriously need to get some sleep, he would get upset, then quickly find another game partner.

And we won't even get into the porn sites he described. He told me about them so matter-of-factly. Like he thinks its normal. I really think he thinks its normal to talk about porn over morning tea.

I recently suggested he get help for all of his compulsions. He got EXTREMELY upset, yelling at me, asking me what I meant by that. "WHAT are my compulsions!!!" He said.

Anyway, in the end I had to let him go. This was just last week. At 47 yrs old, he's apparently been like this for quite a while and now I'm seeing a man on a downward spiral, set out to destroy himself. I can't watch.

My heart breaks for him, because he confessed to me about some absolutely brutal physical and sexual abuse he suffered as a child, but what can I do? I'm not a therapist.
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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1035252_tn?1371343440
Wow...I don't know what the other people on here are going to say, but from my point of view...I think you did the right thing in getting out of that relationship. I feel sympathy for the fact that he suffered abuse as a child but you are exactly right, you're not his therapist. If you think the relationship is worth it, you can suggest he seek counseling (if nothing is wrong, like he says, then he should have no fear because the counselor would agree with him, right?) and consider re-trying the relationship after he's been treated for awhile...but in my opinion, he'll always be this way and you did the right thing to get out. That's way more than you should have to handle in a partner. We're all allowed our quirks and odd behaviors, but that seems....too much.

I don't know what to say other than..I think you did the right thing.
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684030_tn?1415615923
Maybe, you've done all that you can do. Beyond that, I suppose that you can try to stay connected to him as a friend and an emotional support... if that's something that you're able and willing to do; and, if that's something that he can accept. I was in a one year relationship with a man who has Borderline Personality Disorder and, his mental problems also stemmed from childhood abuse and neglect. So, I know that it's painful to witness the bizarre behavior and meltdown of someone that you love and care for.
My best wishes to both of you.
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1289167_tn?1271959415
Thank you SO much for your advice!

I posted on this site because desperately needed to talk to someone to make sure that I made the right decision.

iam1butterfly: About connecting with him as a friend, I've really been thinking about that quite a lot, and I am very conflicted about it. On one hand, I am yet another person who has rejected him, which makes me feel VERY bad.

But one the other hand, when I was with him, I was being pulled into a world that I didn't want to be in.

I found myself constantly trying to reassure him that people didn't have an attitude towards him, or something was not as big a deal as he was making it to be, or trying to calm him down over, for example, a tiny stain on a counter-top that most people wouldn't even notice (yet another thing that freaked him out: perceived uncleanliness)

So I found myself deep in his world, constantly on the lookout for things as HE would see them or hear them. Exhausting. I finally asked myself if I was happy, and the answer was no.

And when I think about re-starting the relationship as friends. I know I couldn't help but be pulled back into that world again.

I am so sad over this...I really think he needs a friend right now, but if he wont get help--or even acknowledge that he has a problem--I think I'd better stay away :(
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13167_tn?1327197724
Whew.   Even reading your post put me on edge,  I can't imagine being around a guy like that.

I don't think you should attempt a friendship with him,  gotta.    You have to live your life,  and being around that kind of energy will only be upsetting.  In my opinion.  

I know you feel sad,  and empathetic - but that doesn't mean you have to surrender your happiness and emotional well-being.

Best wishes.
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303824_tn?1294875001
This guy doesn't have an addictive personality disorder, he has OCD. I agree, you did the right thing by getting out. You can't be in a relationship with someone because you feel the need to "help" them. That just doesn't work. He needs to get some help on his own and if he doesn't want help, then there is nothing anyone can do for him. RockRose said it all, you can't surrender your own happiness because you feel sorry for him. You have to do what's right for you.
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1289167_tn?1271959415
Thanks to all for your comments :)

It hasn't been long yet, but every day that goes by, I feel a little better, stronger.

And when I think about a couple of my ex's (real nice, easygoing guys), I'm like, "yeah--I deserve better".

I said I would try not to compare a new guy with an ex, but I can't help it, and it definitely has helped me put things back in perspective.
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