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The purpose of this thread is to link any MB materials pertaining to personality disorders.

I was married to someone with a personality disorder and I ended up enabling the insane thinking.

Basically, persons with serious emotional disorders cannot have a MB marriage model.

Here are two quotes from Dr Harley. I will post additional links and quotes as time allows.
I hope this will help others.

"The exception to the Policy of Joint Agreement is when the health or safety of
yourself or members of your family are at risk when following it (doing
nothing until an agreement is reached). In the case of serious emotional
disorders, the healthy spouse must make many decisions unilaterally for the
sake of the family, which puts the marriage at risk."

"But those with emotional disorders usually can't
follow the POJA, and the expect to be catered to when they take a position
on any issue. Ultimately, most of these people end up divorced because they
can't form a mutually caring partnership for very long."

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What exactly was the emotional disorder you are describing? It seems too vague and most waywards fall under this broad category.

What specific emotional disorder is Dr. Harley referencing?

Tough~

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Dr. Harley also cautions against making armchair diagnosis's of waywards. For example, MOST waywards mimic narcissism and even bipolar behavior when they are wayward. It goes hand in hand with adultery or any other addiction. He also believes that those disorders are OVER labeled by professionals in an attempt to apply a syndrome to sin.

The ones who truly have "disorders" are the rare exception. It is more typical of Dr Harley to dismiss such diagnoses.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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In my case, the disorder resulted in this:

Laying on the couch all day, due to mystery illnesses doctors (including specialists) could not diagnose.

Unable to keep a job longer than 2 weeks.

Distrust of medical professionals.

Distrust of school officials.

Multiple moves due to "indoor air quality" (mold), even though insurance investigators denied multiple claims because no mold was found.

Restricted diets due to concerns about illnesses the family doctor said did not exist.

That is part of my experience but everyone is different.
The point is that these people cannot follow the POJA. In fact, Dr Harley told me that he has no doubt that I could follow the POJA. But he didnt think my wife could.

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight

The point is that these people cannot follow the POJA. In fact, Dr Harley told me that he has no doubt that I could follow the POJA. But he didnt think my wife could.


I am glad you were able to get his help because I can see how it would be pointless to try to implement Plan A with her. I just wanted to point out that your experience is the exception, not the rule.

But about this part:

Quote:

Distrust of medical professionals. Distrust of school officials.


Do you think they should be trusted without question? There is so much bad medical advice out there that I question everything. I research everything before I accept any medical advice. I don't view that as a sign of a disorder, but just plain common sense. Are you describing something different?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Well. In my case the medical professionals couldn't be trusted because they wouldn't find what was wrong.
She felt they were trying to trick and manipulate her. She felt she was Ill because of mold and an allergist tested her and said she was not allergic. She said the test must be wrong.

As an example, she opposed child vaccinations because she felt they would poison the kids. She told the children they can't trust doctors and that the vaccinations would make them sick. In my case, it was this specific example Dr Harley referred to as an exception to the POJA and he said I had to take the children to doctors for routine care and vaccinations even though it was a HUGE low buster for her. I couldn't POJA because you can't when someone is so paranoid

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So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


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The lesson I learned and I hope others will benefit from is that I actually enabled the insane behavior for years by ignoring it and making excuses for it.
It's very similar to living with a problem alcoholic. Just as a spouse will actually enable the self destructive behavior of the drinker so will the spouse of someone with a mental disorder.

After reading Dr Harley's statement about personality disorders I visited the borderline personality disorder support group website "love cycle of a BPD" and it matched my marriage to a fine line. Without exception.


As Dr Harley makes statements about personality disorders I will post them here in the hope that it may benefit others.

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a emotional disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.
But when outsiders looked within, they always found her behaviors bizarre. My thinking had actually became insane because I defended and covered up te bizarre behavior. (which actually enables it and did not help her)

According to the BPD organization, most of them aren't diagnosed because they don't think they have a problem and (and probably wouldn't trust any professional that diagnosed them anyways).


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
[

According to the BPD organization, most of them aren't diagnosed because they don't think they have a problem and (and probably wouldn't trust any professional that diagnosed them anyways).



Not saying there are not any BPDs out there, but you do know that Dr. Harley is dubious of most BPD diagnoses? He believes it is a catch all for everything.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a personality disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.

Wasn't it the other way around? I have a memory that you strongly suggested a personality disorder and Dr Harley went along with your suggestion.

Do you have a copy of the email you wrote to him, and of his full reply?


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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a personality disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.

Wasn't it the other way around? I have a memory that you strongly suggested a personality disorder and Dr Harley went along with your suggestion.

Do you have a copy of the email you wrote to him, and of his full reply?


The purpose of this thread is not to discuss my specific case.
I will post excerpts of his statements to help others in similar situations.
I can't discuss the specifics of my case but I was a typical enabling spouse and my thinking was unhealthy.

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I've checked - and it was the other way around.

You choose to discuss your case often on these boards, and sometime you misrepresent what was actually said to you, as in this thread. Now that I ask you to cite both emails, suddenly you can't discuss your case. This is being very selective.

Dr Harley is not a medical doctor and is not in a position to diagnose a personality disorder. Neither would he do so in someone that he has never met, spoken to or even emailed - your wife. He took your description and said "from your description that is what you are dealing with" - from YOUR description, not his.


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Actually clinical psychologists are the BEST professional to diagnose a personality disorder. We are able to give the psychological tests and are well-trained in discerning and diagnosing these. Better than a psychiatrist IMO. However, you are correct that we don't diagnose people we haven't met or evaluated.

And I agree that BPD and many personality disorders are way overdiagnosed, and I also believe that a personality disorder is mostly just labels for really bad behaviors. It is diagnosed on Axis II in the DSM, and the mental illnesses such as schizophrenia etc are on Axis I. They are separate issues.

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Originally Posted By: Wonderingif
Actually clinical psychologists are the BEST professional to diagnose a personality disorder. We are able to give the psychological tests and are well-trained in discerning and diagnosing these. Better than a psychiatrist IMO. However, you are correct that we don't diagnose people we haven't met or evaluated.

I believe that in the UK the diagnosis needs to be made by a psychiatrist - but I can't find a source for this, so I might be wrong.

I found this article interesting. Why are personality disorders controversial diagnoses?

It seems that your point that "a personality disorder is mostly just labels for really bad behaviours" is widely accepted, and that no-one should be labeled as having a PD without a rigorous evaluation - certainly not from a description in an email.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
He has said on the Radio show that there is little hope for people with personality disorders.


I don't get it -- I've heard him say on the radio show he doesn't believe in "personality disorders." I wonder if you equated different types of disorders and that caused you to mishear what he said, or I wonder if his stance is more fluid than I thought.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorders

This article seems to list only 12 currently classified personality disorders. There are other disorders that are not personality disorders, if I understand correctly. One example would be bipolar or manic-depressive disorder. I've heard Dr. Harley talk about manic-depressive disorder and manic-depressive psychoses, and he treats them as very real phenomena, but then I've heard him basically completely dismiss narcisisstic personality disorder, which is on this list.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a personality disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.

Wasn't it the other way around? I have a memory that you strongly suggested a personality disorder and Dr Harley went along with your suggestion.

Do you have a copy of the email you wrote to him, and of his full reply?


The purpose of this thread is not to discuss my specific case.


Inasmuch as the purpose of this thread is to collect Marriage Builders material related to disorders, I'd like to review what you received from Dr. Harley, because that seems pretty relevant.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
In my case, the disorder resulted in this:

Laying on the couch all day, due to mystery illnesses doctors (including specialists) could not diagnose.

Unable to keep a job longer than 2 weeks.

Distrust of medical professionals.

Distrust of school officials.

Multiple moves due to "indoor air quality" (mold), even though insurance investigators denied multiple claims because no mold was found.

Restricted diets due to concerns about illnesses the family doctor said did not exist.

That is part of my experience but everyone is different.
The point is that these people cannot follow the POJA. In fact, Dr Harley told me that he has no doubt that I could follow the POJA. But he didnt think my wife could.

The poster was happy to discuss his wife on this thread here.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Here are two quotes from Dr Harley. I will post additional links and quotes as time allows.
I hope this will help others.

"The exception to the Policy of Joint Agreement is when the health or safety of
yourself or members of your family are at risk when following it (doing
nothing until an agreement is reached). In the case of serious emotional
disorders, the healthy spouse must make many decisions unilaterally for the
sake of the family, which puts the marriage at risk."

"But those with emotional disorders usually can't
follow the POJA, and the expect to be catered to when they take a position
on any issue. Ultimately, most of these people end up divorced because they
can't form a mutually caring partnership for very long."

Where did Dr Harley write these statements?


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I believe he is mostly talking about things like schizophrenia, bipolar dis, clinical depression etc. The Axis I disorders. The Axis II disorders are about personality and generally are not thought of as medical illnesses in the same sense.

I think what Dr. Harley is getting at is that, simply because these PD diagnoses exist and people can be diagnosed with them, that seems to confuse people and make them think they are illnesses, things that can't be helped, just like the Axis I disorders. They aren't. I've seen people who would've been diagnosed as sociopaths turn their lives over to Christ and do a complete 180. They would no longer warrant the diagnosis. A lot of it is just sin that has fallen into a pattern that is somewhat predictable.

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In the quoted section Dr Harley talks about "emotional disorders", not "personality disorders". He never used the term PD in that quote. If, as you say, the term "emotional disorder" refers to the types of illness you cite, isn't it true that clinicians WILL attempt to moderate and alleviate those conditions with various therapies, including drugs? They don't see those as untreatable per se, do they?

Dr Harley did not mention PD in that quote and did not say that this woman had PD in that quote.


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Originally Posted By: Wonderingif
I believe he is mostly talking about things like schizophrenia, bipolar dis, clinical depression etc. The Axis I disorders. The Axis II disorders are about personality and generally are not thought of as medical illnesses in the same sense.

I think what Dr. Harley is getting at is that, simply because these PD diagnoses exist and people can be diagnosed with them, that seems to confuse people and make them think they are illnesses, things that can't be helped, just like the Axis I disorders. They aren't. I've seen people who would've been diagnosed as sociopaths turn their lives over to Christ and do a complete 180. They would no longer warrant the diagnosis. A lot of it is just sin that has fallen into a pattern that is somewhat predictable.


Wonder,

A preacher told me the same thing.
The bible does say that our battle is "not against flesh and blood but against spiritual principalities in high places"
I have wondered often about this.
However, it never helps to enable the disorder and behaviors.

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Posts by forum member Newly whose husband has NPD:
**edit**


I thought for purposes of this thread we were interested in the Marriage Builders approach to such information, so diagnoses by forum members ought to be excluded and we ought to limit ourselves to Dr. Harley's take on the subject, which is not in accordance with all other psychologists, books, etc.

Last edited by Fireproof; 11/26/12 10:16 AM. Reason: removing link

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Originally Posted By: silentlucidity
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE TRAITS
*FEAR OF DEPENDENCY - Unsure of his autonomy & afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs - usually by trying to control you.

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1929664&Searchpage=6&Main=145287&Words=%22disorder%22&Search=true#Post1929664
*FEAR OF INTIMACY - Guarded & often mistrusful, he is reluctant to show his emotional fragility. He's often out of touch with his feelings, reflexively denying feelings he thinks will "trap" or reveal him, like love. He picks fights to create distance.


*FEAR OF COMPETITION - Feeling inadequate, he is unable to compete with other men in work and love. He may operate either as a self-sabotaging wimp with a pattern of failure, or he'll be the tyrant, setting himself up as unassailable and perfect, needing to eliminate any threat to his power.


*OBSTRUCTIONISM - Just tell a p/a man what you want, no matter how small, and he may promise to get it for you. But he won't say when, and he"ll do it deliberately slowly just to frustrate you. Maybe he won't comply at all. He blocks any real progress he sees to your getting your way.


*FOSTERING CHAOS - The p/a man prefers to leave the puzzle incomplete, the job undone.


*FEELING VICTIMIZED - The p/a man protests that others unfairly accuse him rather than owning up to his own misdeeds. To remain above reporach, he sets himself up as the apparently hapless, innocent victim of your excessive demands and tirades.


*MAKING EXCUSES & LYING - The p/a man reaches as far as he can to fabricate excuses for not fulfilling promises. As a way of withholding information, affirmation or love - to have power over you - the p/a man may choose to make up a story rather than give you a straight answer.


*PROCRASTINATION - The p/a man has an odd sense of time - he believes that deadlines don't exist for him.


*CHRONIC LATENESS & FORGETFULNESS - One of the most infuriating & inconsiderate of all p/a traits is his inability to arrive on time. By keeping you waiting, he sets the ground rules of the relationship. And his selective forgetting - used only when he wants to avoid an obligation.


*AMBIGUITY - He is master of mixed messages and sitting on fences. When he tells you something, you may still walk away wondering if he actually said yes or no.


*SULKING - Feeling put upon when he is unable to live up to his promises or obligations, the p/a man retreats from pressures around him and sulks, pouts and withdraws.


A passive-aggressive man won't have every single one of these traits, but he'll have many of them. He may have other traits as well, which are not passive-aggressive.
FROM: Kaplan, H.I. & Saddock, B.J. (1997) SYNOPSIS OF PSYCHIATRY, 8th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins


The following is an excerpt from the above:


PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER


People with PAPD are characterized by covert obstructionism, procrastination, stubbornness, and inefficiency. Such behavior is a manifestation of passively expressed underlying aggression. In the DSM-IV the disorder is also called negativistic PD.


CLINICAL FEATURES


PAPD patients characteristically procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance, find excuses for delays, and find fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to extricate themselves from the dependent relationships. They usually lack assertiveness and are not direct about their own needs and wishes. They fail to ask needed questions about what is expected of them and may become anxious when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.


In interpersonal relationships, these people attempt to manipulate themselves into a position of dependence, but others often experience this passive, self-detrimental behavior as punitive and munipulative. People with this disorder expect others to do their errands and to carry out their routine responsibilities. Friends and clinicians may become enmeshed in trying to assuage the patients' many claims of unjust treatment. The close relationships of people with PAPD, however, are rarely tranquil or happy. Because they are bound to their resentment more closely than to their satisfaction, they may never even formulate goals for finding enjoyment in life. People with this disorder lack self-confidence and are typically pessimistic about the future.


Link to this users posts about PA disorder:

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=userposts&id=46741

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Linking a bunch of people's threads is utterly irrelevant for any serious students of Marriage Builders. Please post Dr. Harley sources: articles, book references, interviews, radio shows, etc. Dr. Harley's approach to a lot of subjects is different from random amateur armchair psychology on the net.

For comparison's sake, the main book I used when I started anger management contained comments from the therapist dismissing a couple of personality disorders and suggesting that you dismiss therapists that use them. "If your therapist tells you your husband has "antisocial personality disorder," that just means they think you need to dump him; and if he comes home from a therapist saying you have "borderline personality disorder," that just means his therapist thinks you need to be dumped." I include this just to show Dr. Harley is not alone in being extremely selective about what disorders and treatments he does and does not accept. I suggest that we should be similarly selective as well.

Please give us the actual sources that you have from Dr. Harley regarding your wife's situation. What specific disorder did he think she might have? Did he actually use the term "personality disorder"? Was this a radio show, or personal correspondence?
**edit**

Last edited by Fireproof; 11/26/12 10:18 AM. Reason: removing links

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Totally irrelevant. Spend some time learning what Dr. Harley says about passive aggression and how it is handled in Marriage Builders.

Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: silentlucidity
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE TRAITS
*FEAR OF DEPENDENCY - Unsure of his autonomy & afraid of being alone, he fights his dependency needs - usually by trying to control you.

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1929664&Searchpage=6&Main=145287&Words=%22disorder%22&Search=true#Post1929664
*FEAR OF INTIMACY - Guarded & often mistrusful, he is reluctant to show his emotional fragility. He's often out of touch with his feelings, reflexively denying feelings he thinks will "trap" or reveal him, like love. He picks fights to create distance.


*FEAR OF COMPETITION - Feeling inadequate, he is unable to compete with other men in work and love. He may operate either as a self-sabotaging wimp with a pattern of failure, or he'll be the tyrant, setting himself up as unassailable and perfect, needing to eliminate any threat to his power.


*OBSTRUCTIONISM - Just tell a p/a man what you want, no matter how small, and he may promise to get it for you. But he won't say when, and he"ll do it deliberately slowly just to frustrate you. Maybe he won't comply at all. He blocks any real progress he sees to your getting your way.


*FOSTERING CHAOS - The p/a man prefers to leave the puzzle incomplete, the job undone.


*FEELING VICTIMIZED - The p/a man protests that others unfairly accuse him rather than owning up to his own misdeeds. To remain above reporach, he sets himself up as the apparently hapless, innocent victim of your excessive demands and tirades.


*MAKING EXCUSES & LYING - The p/a man reaches as far as he can to fabricate excuses for not fulfilling promises. As a way of withholding information, affirmation or love - to have power over you - the p/a man may choose to make up a story rather than give you a straight answer.


*PROCRASTINATION - The p/a man has an odd sense of time - he believes that deadlines don't exist for him.


*CHRONIC LATENESS & FORGETFULNESS - One of the most infuriating & inconsiderate of all p/a traits is his inability to arrive on time. By keeping you waiting, he sets the ground rules of the relationship. And his selective forgetting - used only when he wants to avoid an obligation.


*AMBIGUITY - He is master of mixed messages and sitting on fences. When he tells you something, you may still walk away wondering if he actually said yes or no.


*SULKING - Feeling put upon when he is unable to live up to his promises or obligations, the p/a man retreats from pressures around him and sulks, pouts and withdraws.


A passive-aggressive man won't have every single one of these traits, but he'll have many of them. He may have other traits as well, which are not passive-aggressive.
FROM: Kaplan, H.I. & Saddock, B.J. (1997) SYNOPSIS OF PSYCHIATRY, 8th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins


The following is an excerpt from the above:


PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER


People with PAPD are characterized by covert obstructionism, procrastination, stubbornness, and inefficiency. Such behavior is a manifestation of passively expressed underlying aggression. In the DSM-IV the disorder is also called negativistic PD.


CLINICAL FEATURES


PAPD patients characteristically procrastinate, resist demands for adequate performance, find excuses for delays, and find fault with those on whom they depend; yet they refuse to extricate themselves from the dependent relationships. They usually lack assertiveness and are not direct about their own needs and wishes. They fail to ask needed questions about what is expected of them and may become anxious when forced to succeed or when their usual defense of turning anger against themselves is removed.


In interpersonal relationships, these people attempt to manipulate themselves into a position of dependence, but others often experience this passive, self-detrimental behavior as punitive and munipulative. People with this disorder expect others to do their errands and to carry out their routine responsibilities. Friends and clinicians may become enmeshed in trying to assuage the patients' many claims of unjust treatment. The close relationships of people with PAPD, however, are rarely tranquil or happy. Because they are bound to their resentment more closely than to their satisfaction, they may never even formulate goals for finding enjoyment in life. People with this disorder lack self-confidence and are typically pessimistic about the future.


Link to this users posts about PA disorder:

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=userposts&id=46741


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
[
Link to this users posts about PA disorder:

\

ok, but what does DR HARLEY say about passive aggressive people? He most certainly DOES NOT SAY that "Basically, persons with serious emotional disorders cannot have a MB marriage model." Not at all.

What matters around here is Dr. Harley's opinion on these issues. And I will just inform you that he hears people labeled as "passive aggressive," "borderline", "narcissistic" all the time and he still guides them right through the program. He dismisses those labels and instead helps people work on their marriages.

I know it is politically correct and trendy cute to label every damn thing some disorder, but it really is a distraction. I related to almost EVERY definition you posted about your wife but I am fully capable of using the POJA. [although it was very hard!]

If you post this stuff about passive aggressive and narcissistic "disorders" after you have posted that people with disorders cannot have a MB marriage, people will believe you. One of the greatest dangers in marriage recovery are spouses who "diagnose" their spouse with some syndrome.

In the matter of "passive aggressive" Dr Harley also hears this oft-diagnosed disorder over on the private forum. He doesn't tell them MB won't work, he tells them to follow the program:

Originally Posted By: Dr BIll Harley to wife over on private forum
Read my response that I just wrote to your your husband's question regarding his passive-aggressive behavior. The solution to your marital problems is to create transparency, and to make all of your decisions together with mutual enthusiasm. It's not your husband's personality that is preventing him from achieving those objectives -- it's his habits. If he is willing to practice following the Policy of Radical Honesty and the Policy of Joint Agreement every day of the week, he will become increasingly skilled in living with you in harmony, and you, in turn, will eventually trust him. If you give him another chance to practice following those policies, and he practices them every day, his habits will change.
here

There are very, very few instances of spouses who can't use this program so I would be real careful with threads like this. People are easily influenced and already get carried away with armchair diagnoses of their spouses. It is destructive and dangerous and Dr Harley tells people NOT to do it.


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MB Radio link:

Dr Harley addresses personality disorders and types.
He explains that if persons with a personality disorder chose to follow his program they can do so successfully.
He also cautions some simply can't become more thoughtful.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=0754#

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MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley addresses a case of Electric Fence Personality.
The mother has left her children and husband and Dr Harley says she is limited in her ability to meet husbands emotional needs and unable to care for children.
Dr Harley encourages husband to cater to wife's needs without expectation of having his needs met (plan A for life)

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=1494#

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
MB Radio link:

Dr Harley addresses personality disorders and types.
He explains that if persons with a personality disorder chose to follow his program they can do so successfully.
He also cautions some simply can't become more thoughtful.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=0754#


He says that most people he has worked with throughout his career have "personality disorders." "Just because a person has a personality disorder does not mean they can't work this program."

He has never had a case where the program didn't work when they worked it, regardless of their "disorder." "People can rise above their personality problems and become thoughtful people."

He discusses the personality test he gives us when we sign up for his course. The higher the score, the harder it will be to use the program. I - personally - scored VERY HIGH and even though it has been tough, I have learned to be thoughtful and have learned to use the POJA.

I know someone on this thread who scored HIGHER than me and they are able to use the program too!!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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MB Radio Link:

(second part, near end); Dr Harley addresses a caller whose wife was diagnosed with BPD. she is having an affair and move in with her boyfriend.
Dr Harley said BPD is controversial in the scientific community and states that a primary symptom is self mutilation. He said if the patient is not self
Mutilating he questions the validity of the diagnosis:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=0479#

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MB Radio Link:

A man calls in and is concerned that his girlfriend isn't serious about their relationship. The girlfriend was diagnosed with a narcissistic personality.
Dr Harley explains he is very skeptical of personality type disorders because there is no treatment plan available.

He said narcissistic personalities only care about themselves. He also cautioned that a "person can be attracted to someone who likes them as much as they like themselves"

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=01941#

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MB Radio Link:

A man calls in to the show. His wife has been diagnosed with BPD.
The mans wife has left the home. Dr Harley explains people with BPD don't leave partners. They are left and will self mutilate to get the mate back.
Dr Harley said the wife probably isn't BPD but is instead emotionally reactive.
He explains that marriages with emotionally reactive persons usually don't last very long without professional intervention.

He also said BPD is usually fired from jobs.



http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=02198#

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MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley states that personality disorders can't be "cured" and he considers these disorders to actually be traits.
He said there is a difference between emotional disorders and personality disorders.
This emailer asks If MB concepts work with someone that has a disorder.
Dr Harley said people that are married to chronically depressed people will not have their emotional needs met and it will be an unhappy marriage.
He recommends individual therapy for those with emotional disorders.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=02045#

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MB Radio Link:

A woman calls into the Radio show.
Dr Harley said that her boyfriend has a mental disorder and she helps him function better.
Dr Harley encourages her to carefully consider if she wants to marry "someone who needs her". He cautions against her entering a marriage where she would essentially be a caregiver.
She replied that she would like him to meet her emotional needs but Dr Harley replied that this man is probably incapable of doing so.

She asks about POJA and Dr Harley said that the POJA does not apply in cases of health or safety.

Part 1:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03549


Part 2:
http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03550#


Last edited by Jedi_Knight; 11/26/12 01:14 AM.
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MB Radio Link:

Dr. Harley discusses Explosive Disorder. He says it is angry outbursts and people are actually insane during an angry outburst:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=02658#

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Please stick to Dr. Harley's comments when adding references. Adding old posts from various posters only adds confusion and does not help the reader understand Dr. Harley's views.

Thank you.

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Originally Posted By: Wonderingif
A lot of it is just sin that has fallen into a pattern that is somewhat predictable.


I tend to agree. Our culture has long been trending towards replacing the language of sin, personal responsibility and consequences towards the language of disorder, addition and compassionate therapy. Unrepentant sinners are off the hook. Now they are victims just 12 steps away from a "cure".


That being said, I'm not saying it wasn't relevant to any specific person (Jedi...we got to witness first hand how crazy seeming your wife was as you went through your ordeal) however, I think it's much more rare than it seems to be on infidelity forums for the simply fact that betrayed spouses love to jump at and cling to the notion that their spouse is crazy because it softens the hit to their self-esteem and it frees them from all responsibility for the breakdown in marital relations (they don't have to look at their side of the fence). I few years ago there was even one guy posting here that miraculously had TWO "crazy" "disordered" wayward ex-wives. What are the odds of that? However, if you are reading this thread wondering if your spouse is crazy too, absent a previous diagnosis, I caution you that although waywardism is a characteristic of many disorders and waywards tend to demonstrate other diagnostic characteristics WHILST wayward, waywardism alone is not a mental disorder and MB can and should be still attempted first because it's unlikely your spouse is truly mentally ill. Unfortunately, way too many betrayed spouses spend way too much time trying to psycho-analyze and internet diagnose their wayward spouses...time that could much better be spent fighting the affair, learning the MB program, taking care of themselves, taking care of their families, working at their jobs, etc.

Here's an excerpt from Dr. Harley from the article What Is Sexual Addiction?
Quote:


Why are you having marital problems?

That's a question I ask couples when I try to help create a plan for their marriage. I want to know which emotional needs are being unmet and which Love Busters are running amok. But a response I've heard throughout my career as a marriage counselor is, "my spouse is insane," or something to that effect.

I'll admit that I've seen a few cases of insanity among struggling couples. But it's much rarer than most people think. Those I've treated for serious mental disorders have tended to be single, not married. The process of courting usually eliminates from contention those who are truly insane. So why would a spouse conclude that the root of their marital problems is found in the other spouse's mental disorder? One answer is that it usually deflects attention from their own contribution to the problem. Instead of joining in a mutual effort to solve their marital problems, with each accepting some responsibility, one spouse wants the other to be "fixed." Extensive therapy is usually suggested giving the "healthy" spouse the right to sit on the sidelines waiting to judge the final result.

But over the years, I've witnessed a new class of answers to the question, why are you having marital problems? It's, "my spouse is an addict." I've found this answer to be increasing, while the insanity answer seems to be decreasing.

The reason for that answer, to avoid personal responsibility for the marital problem, might still be the primary motive. But it's a more compelling answer than the insanity answer. Indeed, in our developing culture addiction appears to be on the increase, and it's often a major factor in creating serious marital problems.

In the final analysis, however, everyone's marital problems revolve around spouses failing to meet important emotional needs or failing to avoid Love Busters. So, like the insanity answer, the addiction answer is relevant to the issue only if it can be shown that it contributes to those failures.

So my question, why are you having marital problems, must first be answered in terms of unmet emotional needs and Love Busters. Then, after an effort has been made to meet those needs and avoid Love Busters, and that effort fails, a deeper analysis may find that a mental disorder or an addiction may be standing in the way.

Full Article: What is Sexual Addiction?


Godspeed,

Mr. W

Last edited by MrWondering; 11/26/12 11:08 AM.

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MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley discusses phobias. He says that fear is an inherited trait and standard tests like the MMPI recognize differences in anxiety by gender.
He cautions spouses that dont have anxiety to not readily dismiss fears by their wifes anxiety. He encourages men to reach out and ask how they can help the anxious person calm down.

He said there is drug therapy and behavior therapy succesive approximation to help people overcome this.
He encourages people with phobia to visit a specialist and the treatment is nearly 100% effective. (personal note: in my case I simply enabled the phobias or dismissed them. As an example, my wife had a phobia about vaccinations. So I enabled it by not vaccinating the children. Dr Harley has said in cases where health or safety is affected then the POJA does not apply)

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=00027#

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Originally Posted By: MrWondering
However, if you are reading this thread wondering if your spouse is crazy too, absent a previous diagnosis, I caution you that although waywardism is a characteristic of many disorders and waywards tend to demonstrate other diagnostic characteristics WHILST wayward, waywardism alone is not a mental disorder and MB can and should be still attempted first because it's unlikely your spouse is truly mentally ill. Unfortunately, way too many betrayed spouses spend way too much time trying to psycho-analyze and internet diagnose their wayward spouses...time that could much better be spent fighting the affair, learning the MB program, taking care of themselves, taking care of their families, working at their jobs, etc.


Agree with this. Dr Harley warns against diagnosing your spouse. I have seen so many betrayed spouses show up here with some type of diagnosis they read on the internet. I view this as a form of denial along the lines of "mid life crisis." Like Harley says, almost ALL the couples who show up for help here have some type of personality disorder. It doesn't mean the program won't help them.

I don't understand what you are getting at, JediKnight, unless your goal is to discourage people from saving their marriages by cherry picking any and all radio clips about disorders. Do you understand that BS's latch onto stuff like this as a form of denial?

JediKnight, what is the POINT?


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Melody
I am posting this information because it is very informative
I hope it will help people.
I in no way whatsoever encourage anyone to leave their marriage over an illness or disorder or whatever it's called.
I personally struggle with this issue because marriage is for "in sickness and in health" and obviously as Dr Harley says we have to maintain boundaries in cases of health or safety issues.

Please don't start accusing me of various motives

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MB Radio link:

Dr Harley addresses in second part of this segment, Electric Fence Personality.
He said people are born with this and explains exactly what it is and how it affects relationships.
He explained people with this disorder "have to get their way."
They have a personality that is very hard to live with.
(this description from Dr Harley matches the description of a mental emotional disorder quoted from Dr Harley on Page 1 of this thread)

Men with this disorder often end up in prison and women end up being demanding and angry.

Part 1 (near end of segment):

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=02449#

Part 2:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=02450#

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight


Please don't start accusing me of various motives


If I were a newly betrayed spouse, I would LATCH ONTO this thread as an explanation for my spouse's wayward behavior so I wouldn't have to face the hard truth. Do you know how many BS's show up here believing their spouse has some type of disorder and needs "therapy" when all that is wrong is that they are wayward? Waywards of any kind, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, adultery, mimic narcissism and bipolar behavior.

Another way that is used to the detriment of a marriage, is that a wayward uses these labels as an excuse to run off to "therapy" for a few years to get his head right. [while the marriage dies on the vine] One such case that comes to mind is SusieQ's husband.

Like I told you earlier, I can identify with almost everything you posted about your wife. Yet, I have not been diagnosed with a disorder, other than almost scoring off the chart on Dr Harley's personality test. Yet, I am in a fully recovered, romantic marriage.

Like Dr Harley said in one of his radio clips, almost EVERY PERSON who shows up for help has a personality disorder. It doesn't mean they can't have a great marriage. I am proof of that!!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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I have also heard Dr. Harley say that mental disorder is part of the natural aging process. Old people often are and become progressively more paranoid. "Disorder" is natural....and people live with it successfully everyday without hurting others, robbing banks, committing adultery, become "love addicts", etc.

True disorders, bad habits and compulsions sometimes help explain situations...none of them excuse anything.


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Originally Posted By: MrWondering
I have also heard Dr. Harley say that mental disorder is part of the natural aging process. Old people often are and become progressively more paranoid.


shaddup!! Quit talking about me!! sigh


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley gives another great explanation of Electric Fence personality.
He explains with these types of people, you have to cater to their needs in order to keep them with you.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=01458#

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Wanted to emphasize this quote from MrW's excellent post:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley

I'll admit that I've seen a few cases of insanity among struggling couples. But it's much rarer than most people think. Those I've treated for serious mental disorders have tended to be single, not married. The process of courting usually eliminates from contention those who are truly insane. So why would a spouse conclude that the root of their marital problems is found in the other spouse's mental disorder? One answer is that it usually deflects attention from their own contribution to the problem. Instead of joining in a mutual effort to solve their marital problems, with each accepting some responsibility, one spouse wants the other to be "fixed." Extensive therapy is usually suggested giving the "healthy" spouse the right to sit on the sidelines waiting to judge the final result.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley gives another great explanation of Electric Fence personality.
He explains with these types of people, you have to cater to their needs in order to keep them with you.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=01458#


Been here almost 12 years, never seen one.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
I personally struggle with this issue because marriage is for "in sickness and in health" and obviously as Dr Harley says we have to maintain boundaries in cases of health or safety issues.


This is what troubles me when these issues get over discussed/emphasized on infidelity recovery forums. Betrayed spouses typically come to this board (and other forums) for two reasons:

1. To figure out WHY their spouse is cheating on them
2. To figure out how to get their wayward spouse and family back.

If the answer to number 1 is coming to the conclusion that their spouse is disordered or some kind of sex addict they will either buy into:

1. He/she isn't fixable and your life will be miserable if you stay with such spouse so you've got to divorce [the most common advice on addict and disorder support forums]; or,

2. I vowed "in sickness and health" and it appears my spouse is sick so I have to stay but because he/she is sick MB won't work. Instead I'm gonna let my spouse off the hook, not do any work myself (since it's obviously all them) and let's get my sick spouse into "treatment".


Then there's the problems with "treatment". Most 12 step programs do not include the spouse. In fact, they attempt to get the "sick" person to disassociate themselves individually with anything that triggers their "addictive" outbursts. Often marriages get defined as CO-DEPENDENT (which they are supposed to be unless your spouse is an addict - not the other way around). So the addict now spends an inordinate amount of time going to meetings attended by other addicts, male and female alike, getting love and support from them versus their spouse whom they are to avoid and not talk to about things.

Either way...the betrayed supportive spouse gets crushed.

Point is...it's dangerous to focus to much attention on mental disorder and addictions. They are real and do happen occasionally, but as you work the MB program and stick to your boundaries if your spouse is truly disordered they won't be able to do it and you'll just end up separated in Plan B healing yourself while awaiting a likely divorce down the road (or life-long separation if divorce just isn't your cup of tea). Eventually...while you are in Plan B, their hurtful illness, sickness, addiction will rightfully become THEIR problem to fix/medicate if they want you, the betrayed spouse to even bother considering a further relationship/recovery. This will be YOUR plan, on YOUR terms and with YOUR boundaries versus sending your "sick" spouse off to treatment, focusing on THEIR needs and crossing your fingers that THEY will be "cured". The healthy betrayed spouses matter too (lest they become "crazy" themselves).






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MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley addresses a caller that says his wife will commit suicide if he leaves and mutilates herself. Dr Harley said she would probably be diagnosed as BPD.
He said he thinks its a personality trait and encourages the caller to cater to her needs and to stay married for the sake of the kids.
Dr Harley says she fits the category of Electric Fence personality. He said in cases of personality disorder the spouse needs to be generous and loving

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=00658#

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Mr Wondering,

In the link above Dr Harley encourages a spouse to stay in there if at all possible.
A common theme throughout his radio show is "the children" and he seems to be primarily concerned about what is best for the kids.
He said in several clips that if your spouse has a mental disorder then you should cater to them if at possible, especially if kids are involved

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Mr Wondering,

In the link above Dr Harley encourages a spouse to stay in there if at all possible.
A common theme throughout his radio show is "the children" and he seems to be primarily concerned about what is best for the kids.
He said in several clips that if your spouse has a mental disorder then you should cater to them if at possible, especially if kids are involved


That contradicts what you say he told you, though. That should tell you that you are misinterpreting his message.

In this clip, he is describing someone who is so extremely mentally ill that he considers the spouse disabled [self mutilation, suicide threats] in the same category as a spouse that might have Alzheimers or some type of brain damage.

It is NOT a common theme, though, that he tells spouses to stay in abusive, neglectful marriages.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Mr Wondering,

In the link above Dr Harley encourages a spouse to stay in there if at all possible.
A common theme throughout his radio show is "the children" and he seems to be primarily concerned about what is best for the kids.
He said in several clips that if your spouse has a mental disorder then you should cater to them if at possible, especially if kids are involved


This guys wife wasn't cheating on/abusing him.

He also was describing what he thought other psychologist's would be calling/diagnosing this guys wife with the personality disorder of Borderline Personality Disorder. I think his advice was more along the lines of what the guy should do with a wife with those traits (that some psychologists would call BPD). Stick it out for the kids especially since she's not likely disabled enough to lose the kids in a custody dispute and thus, the kids will suffer under her traits moreso without him there to run interference.

Perhaps Dr. Harley weighed it out in this situation and considered (with limited information) that to actually suggest separation/divorce to the husband of a possible BPD with an attachment disorder (thus the realization of her greatest fear) where kids are involved is likely gonna cause more problems FOR THE KIDS than it will for the spouse.

Had the wife been cheating on him with an affair partner...I think such weighing out would have reached a much different conclusion (the harm to the husband of staying and "catering" to the unrepentant wayward spouse is worse than the harm to the kids).

Your mileage may vary

Last edited by MrWondering; 11/26/12 12:32 PM.

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"agree to disagree" = Used when one wants to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with their own.
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MB Article:


What to Do with an Emotionally2
or Physically Disabled Spouse

Letter #1

Dear Dr. Harley,
We've been together for 20 years, happily married for 17, and have two teenage sons. Since I returned from a 3 day business trip 5 weeks ago (my first in 4 years) my wife has accused me of 1. having an affair, 2. trying to hide assets, 3. threatening her, 4. wanting to hurt the children, 5. tapping her phone, 6. bugging the house, 7. not loving her. 8. planning on leaving her for a younger woman, etc. I haven't done any of these things.

I love my wife with all of my heart. She has now locked me out of the house and gotten a restraining order preventing me from contacting her or my kids. She has always been slightly paranoid, and now she has gone off the deep end (At least with respect to me. She is still fairly rational and normal with everything else). She will not talk to me at all, she throws away my letters and she accuses the counselor we were seeing of lying to her and now she won't go to a counselor either.

What should I do?

B.R.



Dear Mr. B.R.,
Your wife is probably suffering from a paranoid disorder. It is usually a problem that gets worse over time, since in many cases its underlying cause is damage to the brain which, itself, deteriorates over time. Most people who are known to have a degenerative neurological disorder are somewhat paranoid.

Some people are paranoid at an early age, which could reflect an early brain injury. One of my clients that I saw for the first time at the age of 16 had a serious head injury when she was 6. She is now 38 and on rare occasion manifests some paranoid symptoms, but is married with three children and has steadily improved throughout her lifetime. It's a rare but encouraging example.

Some of my clients with serious paranoid disorders have eventually divorced their spouses, with everyone who cares for them, including their loving spouses, trying to stop them. I have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to prove that their paranoid fears are unfounded, but rarely does "proof" have any effect.

Sometimes medication can control paranoid thinking, particularly when the person is experiencing schizophrenic or manic symptoms along with being paranoid. But you describe a pure state of paranoid thinking in your letter, and medication has not been very successful in treating it. Psychotherapy is also somewhat unsuccessful, although there are instances of full recovery.

As you discovered, after taking your 3 day business trip, people that suffer from paranoid thinking don't like their spouses to leave them alone. I believe that your wife may eventually let you back into her world again. If she does, don't ever leave her again overnight. The more time you spend with her, the less chance she has to imagine what you could be doing behind her back. Also, stress clearly increases paranoid thinking, and when you're with her she will be less anxious.

For a while, you may suffer stress from all her accusations, and it may even make you very angry. But I would not argue with her. Simply reassure her that you love her, and promise you will never leave her overnight again. That may settle her down. Also, call her regularly throughout the day. The more of your time you give her, especially when she has your undivided attention, the fewer symptoms you are likely to observe.

People with a paranoid disorder imagine all sorts of plots designed to do them in. Some are dangerous to live with because they are convinced their spouses are planning to kill them. I have counseled paranoid clients that have tried to kill their spouses in what they think is "self defense." Whenever I have a client who threatens to kill their spouse, I advise a separation until there is evidence of remission.

In your case, there does not seem to be any danger, so I would encourage you to make every effort to reunite with her. I think she will probably respond to you efforts within a few weeks, or at the most, a few months.

Make several efforts each day to talk to her, and when you can, tell her that you love her. Tell her the truth, never go along with one of her fantasies just to try to get along with her. If she demands that you confess doing something she imagined, gently tell her that you would never do anything to hurt her. Give her regular reassurance that you care about her and don't let yourself become so frustrated that you end up saying something that would hurt her feelings.

Dr Harley

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Melody,

For clarification Dr Harley did encourage me to be in Plan A indefinitely if there was any possibility of shared parenting.
I assume in my case as in the radio link above, his primary concern is the welfare of the children.
He said if I can obtain sole custody, to enter Plan B.


But you were getting divorced. He did not tell you stay married for the sake of the children. In the radio clip above, he placed that spouse in the same category as one who has a debilitating illness, such as cancer or Alzheimers.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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MB Article:

Depressed Spouse

Dear Dr. Harley,
I have been married to my husband for two and a half years, and we've been together for four years. Throughout almost our entire relationship, my husband has been either mildly or severely depressed. His job creates so much stress for him that it affects his entire life, but I fear it's not his job that makes him miserable. He has a lot of emotional baggage from his past that he denies affects him, including his adoption at birth and the murder of his sister ten years ago, neither of which he has dealt with, and to sum it all up, he feels he has no value as a person.

On the other hand, I have learned, by spending most of last year in therapy, to reclaim my self-worth and value my needs as I once did before I met him. He has grown quite resentful as I have come to these realizations, because when I married my husband, I was in denial about the significant problems that already existed between us. I thought that my love could fix all of his past hurt and make him truly happy at the same time. (It was his challenge to me when we married that since everyone in his life has always left him, I would too someday, and I was determined to break that pattern for him.) Well, my "love" has fixed nothing, obviously, and all I have gotten for my efforts is resentment that I have changed. My change is that I now value my own needs as much or maybe more than I do his, and I only want him to reciprocate for all the attention and love I've given him.

We tried marriage counseling together last year, and he resented our therapist for constantly "blaming him" for our problems. I never interpreted that she did that, but it was what he chose to see, so nothing was accomplished in the effort. We stopped going when we moved away, and never resumed in our new city.

I seem to have a need to stay with this selfish, disturbed man. I do want to make him happy and myself happy, but when I try and explain my needs and what I want, he is defensive and doesn't listen. He demands, "What do you want from me?" and calls me names (moron, stupid, idiot). He is a control freak, and I have just about reached the end of my rope. As I'm sure you realize, he has to learn to love himself before he can be an equal partner to me, and I am going to try one last time to get us into therapy. I don't have much hope, and I just want to know if you perceive that I am doing something wrong. He says that I only pick fights and complain constantly; that my problem is that I just don't understand men. He generalizes that all women are annoying and that men really want to be with other men, with few exceptions. He values his male friends and treats them like gold, but I don't receive the same priority, I feel. He says that I am wrong, but I say actions speak louder than words.

What have I not done? I am tired of being expected to put him first, and he is resentful of how I now ask for my needs to be met rather than automatically meeting his, and have mine eventually fall into place like before. I feel that he has years of self-analysis ahead of him before he can be at the same level of self-love and self-knowledge that I am, and that I am married to a man that feels more like a child to me than a husband. He wants me to "mommy" him frequently, and that has killed my physical reactions to him, about which he is also resentful on the rare occasion that he has a sex drive. So, what do I do? I really have so much doubt that I fear any effort on my part or his part will net no great returns. How do I overcome this doubt, or should I just cut my losses and chalk it up to trying to change someone from the start? Please help, I could really use the guidance.

A.J.



Dear A.J.,
From your description, you married a man who has "used up" the love of many women. I'm sure that others in his past have come to many of the same conclusions as you have. Your husband probably has a serious depressive disorder, and he's probably been that way, off and on, most of his life. It's certainly no fun living with someone who's depressed, and I would imagine that if he doesn't overcome his depression soon, your name will be added to the list of women who've left him. However, there are proven ways to help him out of his depression that may save your marriage.

Apparently, you lived with him before you were married, and you probably had a better relationship then. You may have met him when he was in a more energetic part of his cycle, and since you married him, his cycle has turned to a less energetic form of depression. He may have periods of temporary recovery that last days or even weeks, but the recoveries are less frequent and don't last as long as they used to. His depression doesn't keep him from his job, but it makes his work miserable. When he comes home from work, he may try to relieve his suffering with alcohol.

If I'm right about this man, his problem may be almost entirely biochemical. The juices that flow through his brain make him depressed. Lots of people are that way, and without medication that stops depression, there's not much they can do about it.

Granted, he's probably done plenty to make himself even more depressed. The way he has treated the women in his life has caused them to leave him. That's pretty depressing. He's probably done all sorts of things in a state of depression that has made his life pure hell for himself and anyone around him. After someone's been depressed a while, it's hard to know what causes the depression, biochemistry or the behavior of the depressed person, because his behavior also makes him depressed.

I won't lay all of his problems (or even the majority of his problems) at the feet of his depression, however. He probably has a lot to learn about caring for a woman, but his depression has given him a handicap that makes him socially disabled, at least when it comes to marriage. Regardless of how hard he tries to please you, his depression makes him a miserable man to be with. He simply cannot meet your emotional needs while he's depressed.

Depression is the most common of all emotional disorders. Everyone knows what it's like to be depressed from time to time, but that's not what depression, the emotional disorder, is all about. It is not the sorrow we feel at the time of an important loss, but rather, it is an irrational feeling of hopelessness when there is evidence for hope. The emotional disorder, depression, leaves a person blinded to his opportunities, unaware of his potential. The longer he is depressed, the more opportunities he misses until his life becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy -- he always thought he was worthless, and finally he proves it because he stops doing anything that's productive.

Whenever a spouse I counsel for marital problems suffers from severe depression, my first item of business is to treat the depression, not the marital problems. The treatment, however, is much simpler than most people think. Anti-depressant medication is the ticket. It greatly relieves, if not eliminates entirely, a depressive state so that the spouse I counsel can succeed in meeting the other spouse's emotional needs. As his depression is lifted, he seizes opportunities both in his marriage and at his job, that makes him more successful. In the end, his self-esteem is restored because he finds himself successful in achieving his life's ambitions. I do not believe that counseling to improve self-esteem, apart from showing people how to be successful, ever really improves self-esteem.

The approach that I use to save marriages looks at the present and future for solutions. I encourage you not to worry about your husband's past, his self-esteem or whether or not he loves himself. After he is treated medically for depression, focus your attention on the way you treat each other in the here and now.

Your biggest hurdle will be to follow my Policy of Joint Agreement (Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse). His depression has made it impossible for him to follow that policy, and by failing to follow it, you have both been developing habits that make you increasingly incompatible. You are coming to a point in your relationship where you will be so incompatible that you will not be able to live together anymore, and you will end the relationship. When his depression lifts, he will be in an emotional position to learn new habits, habits that will restore compatibility to your relationship. By following the Policy of Joint Agreement you will eliminate all the things you're doing that grate on each other, and you will substitute behavior and activities that make both of you comfortable.

If either of you feels you cannot follow that Policy, it means that you are willing to gain at the other's expense, and that will eventually ruin your relationship. When you follow the Policy of Joint Agreement you create compatibility by taking each other's feelings into account, especially when you don't feel like it. When you feel the most self-centered, that's when you need it the most. If you cared about each other all the time, you would follow the policy instinctively, but in every relationship, there are times that we care far more about ourselves than we care about our spouses. So by following this rule day in and day out, you keep your relationship healthy when your instincts would tend to ruin it.

You and every other couple can have a terrific relationship regardless of your past. Granted, your spouse's depression must be treated, and, in my judgment, anti-depressant medication should do the trick. But his past has left him with all sorts of unpleasant habits which must change before you can have a happy marriage. If you follow the Policy of Joint Agreement as soon as his depression lifts, you will have that relationship.

If anyone reading this column is suffering from the disabling condition, depression, help is already available to you. Medical science has found an incredible cure that should leave you free to solve your marital problems intelligently and completely. Don't ignore it, take care of it now.

Dr Harley

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MB Article about Electric Fence Personality


Dear Dr Harley,
My husband and I have been married for 5 years. He is a very caring and wonderful person. In most ways, I cannot imagine spending my life with anyone else.

But our sex life has been unfulfilling ever since we got married, and the longer we have been married, the worse it has been for me. Prior to marriage, sex was spontaneous, creative and uninhibited. I actually thought that sex could not get any better. The problem lies with me. I do not find myself attracted to him physically any more. I try to avoid sex with him and I give him lame excuses. His desire for me is still very strong and I find myself very confused and wondered if I do not love him anymore.

I had an affair recently. It ended because my lover left the country. This man and I had an affair a few years ago before my husband and I got married. It was really only to fulfil my sexual needs, the excitement I craved, the touch I longed for from having sex with someone new or different.

Now that the affair is over, I am even more confused. I feel like I am trapped. My husband loves me but I feel choked. I don't really want to have children. I am frightened of the responsibilities and commitment that is associated with having children. I have a dog and I sometimes resent him for taking away my freedom. I feel that marriage is nonsense. I find myself challenging the concept of marriage and children. I am overwhelmed with confusion, not guilt.

I don't know if my problem is a marital one anymore. Deep down, I wonder if I really want to make things better between my husband and I. How can I become interested in him sexually again? I don't understand how that can be achieved.

A.Z.



Dear A.Z.
Your letter reflects two separate problems. The first is about a loss of sexual interest in your husband that has been growing worse since you were married. The second reflects the remnants of withdrawal that you may be experiencing after your lover left you, and that may compound the sexual problems you are having with your husband.

In this letter, I will only address the first issue, your growing loss of sexual desire after marriage. For the infidelity part of your question, I refer you to last week's Q&A column, Four Rules to Guide Marital Recovery After an Affair. But before I get to the first issue, I will comment briefly on infidelity and how it usually effects sexual desire in women.

One of my cardinal rules for married couples is never see or communicate with a former lover. And always let your spouse know who your former lovers are, so that he or she can identify the foxes whenever they are in the chicken coup. The rule is not only thoughtful (who wants to see your spouse with a former lover!), but it is also a safeguard against the affair reigniting. In your case, that's exactly what happened when your husband was out of town, your affair reignited. You had the affair to gratify your sexual need, but it had the effect of making your sexual problem with your husband worse.

When most women have affairs, even when sex with their husbands was great before the affair, it's usually lousy during and after the affair. Women usually have trouble dividing their sexual desire among several men, and an affair usually ruins sex with their husbands. So part of your sexual problem is just getting over the affair, and re-establishing a romantic relationship with your husband. Other things being equal, it usually takes about six months after an affair has ended for sexual desire to return. But in your case, other things are not equal. In your case, sexual desire has been steadily decreasing since you were married. That's the problem I will address in this letter.

Since you have been married, you have lost sexual interest in your husband. And yet, it was there before marriage, and it was there after marriage -- for another man. So there's obviously nothing wrong with you sexually. There's another problem -- it may be your personality. But don't despair. Marital problems can be solved regardless of personality characteristics.

Psychologists are known for their interest in personalities, and I'm no exception. I have even created my own names for the host of personality types I've encountered.

First, I should explain what a personality is. It is a characteristic way of approaching life that makes the choices of an individual somewhat predictable. For example, a people-pleaser personality is one where the person goes to a great deal of trouble to make sure that everyone likes him or her. So whenever a choice is made, the question this person asks is, which alternative will make people like me? That's the one they choose.

Another example is the perfectionist. This person makes choices so that when the decision is made, it is perfect in every way possible. It must always be the very best alternative. Would it surprise you to know that these people are usually very indecisive? They can't make up their minds, because the perfect choice is very elusive. I don't believe that there really are any perfect choices. But then, I'm not a perfectionist.

People usually have several personalities all wrapped up into one person. So a person might have a people-pleasing personality and a perfectionist personality. As you may well imagine, such a person would be a bundle of nerves.

I think you may have what I call the "electric fence" personality. People with such a personality walk down the road of life with an electric fence on each side of the road. And they are faced with a serious disadvantage -- the stroll is at night, the flashlight they use to look ahead is very dim, and the road takes sharp turns. That makes it difficult for them to see the electric fence, and they often stumble into it. As long as these people are on the path, they are usually very happy and optimistic about life. But, when they touch the fence they get a rude shock, and will do anything to get off of it and back onto the path. Once back on the path, they are happy again.

Referring back to my definition of personalities, you can predict the behavior of an electric fence personality when they touch their electric fence -- they do whatever they can to back away from it. If you seem to be pushing them onto the fence, they will fly into a rage in an effort to escape, because it's so painful. They usually don't know where the fence is located because of the path's sharp turns, and their dim flashlight, so they are stumbling onto it quite regularly, and expressing anger whenever it happens.

Once off the fence, however, they usually return to a very happy state, and try to forget the incident. Since the path takes sharp turns, they give up hope of learning from the past experience, because the fence will be somewhere else next time. So they figure it's best to just forget the whole thing.

These people have very little insight into what makes them happy and sad. That's why I use the analogy of the dim flashlight and sharp turns in the path. When I have a client with such a personality, I often seem to understand their likes and dislikes better than they do themselves, because my flashlight seems to be brighter than theirs. I remember what their last electric fence looked like, and the next one looks very similar. Their lack of insight makes them very impulsive and great risk-takers because they don't seem to learn from their past painful experiences. But their lack of memory of failure also makes them very optimistic and cheerful, as long as they are in the middle of their pathway.

Someone with an electric fence personality is often joined by others on his or her path. Those people are not effected by that individual's electric fence. So they can wander off and on the pathway, through the individual's electric fence, and remain unscathed. They will often encourage the person to follow them, but once the electric fence is touched, he or she cannot follow. If they try to force the person to follow, he or she usually flies into a rage because the shock of the electric fence is so painful.

Obviously, the way to get along with someone with an electric fence personality is to follow them on their path, because they cannot usually follow you on yours. These electric fence people may seem very selfish and uncompromising, but you would behave the same way if you had an electric fence to prevent you from going just anywhere on the path of life.

People with electric fence personalities have a terrible time with rules, because rules often lead them into their fences. As children they have trouble with authority for the same reason. At first, they try to follow rules and obey authority, but the pain of the electric fence is so great that they soon learn to be a rule unto themselves, and they ignore what others tell them to do. Abandoning rules, in turn, usually leads them into all kinds of trouble, and many of these people end up in prison.

People with electric fence personalities are also very likely to divorce. Since they have such difficulty adjusting to someone else, they usually marry someone who happens to be on their path for a while. But when that person leaves the path, it's much to painful to follow, so they divorce and move on to a relationship with someone else on their path.

As you might expect, people with electric fence personalities also tend to have affairs after marriage, again, because the ones they marry usually leave their comfortable pathway. They are the ones that originated the saying, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. So when a spouse leaves their pathway, they switch to whomever will walk with them on their pathway next.

If you have the electric fence personality, it would help explain why you feel the way you do about having sex with your husband, and why you have had an affair. While you were dating your husband, he was on your path with you, and you had a great relationship (but then, you'd have a great relationship with almost anyone who walked with you on your path).

But as soon as you married, something tragic happened. I suspect that in your effort to accommodate your new husband, you tried to follow him off of your path right into your electric fence. Panic set in as you suspected that marriage would trap you into a lifetime of electric shocks. The great relationship with your husband turned into a mess when you found him on the other side of the fence much of the time. He was no longer your friend because he was not on your side of the fence anymore.

To make matters worse, making love to him meant you had to endure those electric shocks. Instead of wanting to make love to him, you felt forced to make love to him. And people with electric fence personalities don't want to be forced to do anything. They have learned the hard way that people who make them do something are usually making them endure the electric fence, so they have a natural defense against demands.

Things went from bad to worse regarding your sexual relationship with your husband, because every time he wanted to make love to you, you felt those electric shocks. Besides, he wasn't even your best friend anymore. He was just someone you married.

Granted, he didn't make very many demands on you, and he didn't really want you to suffer. It was easy to give him excuses, and before long you did not make love to him at all. But looking at him through the fence made you realize that you and he had become incompatible.

One day a man who you had known before your marriage joined you on your road, and the passion of your earlier relationship blossomed. You probably would still be having your affair today if he had stayed with you on your path. But about the only thing that could have ended the affair, did end it. He left you alone on your path.

Now, you are again looking at your husband on the other side of the fence. You are wondering how you can get on his side of the fence so that you can have a fulfilling marriage. That's impossible, but maybe he can join you on your side.

People with your type of personality often view marriage as a trap, because they have had so many experiences trying to follow the lead of others only to find themselves shocked by the electric fence. A marital commitment to these people means a life of suffering, trying to be something that makes them very uncomfortable.

What you need a new approach to marriage that gives you the freedom to stay away from your electric fence by having your husband join you on your pathway. As soon as your husband figures out a way to get on your side of the fence, your sexual relationship will be sensational again. But where should you begin?

First and foremost, abandon your habit of being dishonest. People with electric fence personalities learn from early childhood to be dishonest because that helps keep them off the fence. When their parents tell them to do something that will make unhappy, they don't do it. Instead, they lie about it and say they did. Or, when their parents tell them not to do something that would keep them on their path, they do it anyway, and say they didn't. They get into the habit of being dishonest, because honesty gets them into so much trouble.

But you are not a child anymore, and your husband is not your parent. You can tell him the truth without necessarily getting into trouble. In fact, if you were to get into the habit of telling him the truth, you would get into much less trouble. He would discover your fences as soon as you touch them, and with an understanding that you would both back away from them, the experience would be a minor inconvenience. Before long you would be happy again, back in the middle of your path, with your husband by your side.

There's nothing in your personality that prevents you from being honest. In fact, you probably want to be honest. People I counsel with electric fence personalities usually tell me anything I want to know about them because they understand that I won't try to make them do anything. If you could be honest without the risk of being dragged into the electric fence, you would be honest with your husband, too. So I challenge you to try it out with him.

Tell your husband everything you told me. Tell him how you feel about having sex with him, and tell him about your ex-lover. Tell him that you don't want a divorce, and that you want to live with him for the rest of your life. Also tell him that want him to be your favorite lover, but your passion for him has somehow evaporated.

When you were first married, something he did, or you did, got him on the opposite side of the fence. Talk to him about what it could have been. Why was it that marriage ruined your sexual reaction to him? Was it the feeling that you were now required to make love to him -- that he now expected it of you? Was it that he began taking you for granted in bed? Did he stop giving you the time and attention he had given you before you were married? Had he stopped meeting some of your important emotional needs? Or, was the way he made love to you better before than it is now?

Think it through with each other, and don't assume that you will have all the answers right away. It may take quite a bit of searching before you discover a way of helping him over the fence so that he can join you on your path.

One question that may occur to both of you is, what if he has the same personality as I do? What if he also has an electric fence, and if he tries to join me, he gets shocked by his electric fence?

While that is sometimes a problem, the way you describe your husband, I think that it's you who is keeping him off your path, and not his fence. I would encourage you to begin with that assumption. If he expresses discomfort whenever he tries to accommodate your feelings about sex, then maybe his fence is more of a problem than I first assumed. But if you allow each other the right to escape the fence when it shocks you, the worst thing that will happen is that you sit looking at each other through the fence. Keep trying to find a way to join each other without making the other person suffer shocks.

If you can be honest with your husband about the nature of your problem, and have agreed that neither of you should suffer when you try to implement a solution, then you are in a position to solve the problem. These are the steps I suggest you take to help your husband get on your side of the fence.

1. Set ground rules to make negotiations pleasant and safe.

Before you begin to discuss your sexual problems with your husband, agree with each other that you will both follow these rules: (a) be pleasant and cheerful throughout your discussion of the issue, (b) put safety first--do not threaten to cause pain or suffering when you negotiate, even if your spouse makes threatening remarks or if the negotiations fail, and (c) if you reach an impasse, stop for a while and come back to the issue later.

Under no conditions should either of you be disrespectful or judgmental of each other's opinions or desires. Your negotiations should accept and respect your differences. Otherwise, your conversation will not be pleasant and safe.

2. Identify the problem from the perspectives of both you and your spouse.

Be able to state each other's position regarding your sexual issue before you go on to find a solution. What do you want in a sexual relationship and why do you want it? What does he want and why does he want it? Be careful to avoid negative expressions, and try very hard not to match a negative comment with another negative comment. If one of you expresses pessimism, or even anger, don't counter with an equal dose of negativity. Instead, try to sooth the person who is negative and if that doesn't work, take a break from the discussion. Avoid arguing with each other at all costs. If you can't discuss the issue without arguing, take a break and come back to it later. That's the way you will keep your distance from the electric fence.

3. Brainstorm solutions with abandon.

Spend some time thinking of all sorts of ways to handle the problem, and don't correct each other when you hear of a plan that you don't like -- you'll have a chance to do that during the fourth step. Your husband may suggest that the best way for you to renew your sexual desire of him is to just have sex with him whenever he wants. That would nail you to your electric fence for sure. Don't respond to his suggestion in a disrespectful way, just write it down along with other suggestions. If you give your intelligence a chance to flex it's muscle, you will have a long list of possible solutions.

4. Choose the solution that is appealing to both of you.

From your list of solutions, most of the solutions will satisfy only one of you but not both. However, scattered within the list will be solutions that both of you would find attractive. Among those solutions that are mutually satisfactory, select the one that you both like the most. If there are none that meet with your mutual approval, go back to brainstorming again so you can get a longer list of possibilities.

When couples have a serious conflict, I usually suggest a test of solutions before actually implementing any of them. That allows them to consider worthy alternatives even though one spouse may not yet be enthusiastic about it. The suggestions that may sound appealing may, in practice, not turn out to be very successful. On the other hand, there may be a solution that may not seem too useful, but in practice, it solves your problem.

The Policy of Joint Agreement should be your marital guide in life (never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse). If you had followed it at the start of your marriage, you would have not found yourself impaled on your electric fence. Once shocked, you would have jumped back, and started to negotiate with your husband. Such negotiation would have brought him back to your side of the fence, and your aversion to having sex with him would never have materialized.

The Policy of Joint Agreement is your friend. It protects you from pain and guides you right down the middle of your path. Remember, you don't have to do anything unless you are enthusiastic about it, so it will never lead you into your electric fence. But it will lead your spouse past your fence and onto your path where he would become your enthusiastic friend and lover for life.

You now have an opportunity to save your marriage that you may not have had for some time. Your affair has ended, and you are emotionally prepared to build a good relationship with your husband. As you consider ways to improve your desire to make love to your husband, remember how important it is for your lover to be on the same path you are on. He must be your best friend, the man who you share every aspect of your life with. Try honesty and the Policy of Joint Agreement. You and our husband will be lovers again in no time.


Dr Harley

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
MB Radio Link:

Dr Harley gives another great explanation of Electric Fence personality.
He explains with these types of people, you have to cater to their needs in order to keep them with you.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=01458#


Been here almost 12 years, never seen one.



Sad thing is nearly every Betrayed Spouse that shows up here just after D-day with a still active wayward at home will read that article and think it completely explains their situation.

I reckon almost all wayward appear to have an "electric fence personality disorder" when most are just run of the mill waywards.


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Another thought...

What's even worse...when some betrayed spouses read this information and think it's sooooo applicable that they'll print it out and show it to their wayward spouse....

"SEE Honey...Dr. Harley says you have "Electric Fence Personality Disorder".


We all know how much waywards are receptive to being taught...so imagine how receptive they will be to being [internet] diagnosed. They'll get a lot of mileage out of making fun of how crazy YOU are with their affair partner or better yet...use the information in a divorce/custody battle in a claim that YOU are the one that actually has a personality disorder and you're obviously projecting your issues onto them.

Mental Health professionals and court evaluators are more than aware that when one person is pointing the finger claiming another is emotionally or personality disordered that that person has three fingers pointing back at themselves. Bi-Polar and Passive Aggressive types are FAMOUS for this so let THEM be ones pointing the finger at you first and you be the one calmly indicating they are clearly projecting.


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Mr Wondering,

I posted this in other topic forum so it's not in SAA forum.

These emotional disorders seem quickly dismissed by some.
In my case, they were quickly dismissed when I came to this forum. Even on this thread, posters question if my ex wife actually had some type of mental disorder.

As Dr Harley clearly states in the Radio shows above, there are people born with these traits and they do exist.
That's why he uses the term "Electric Fence Disorder" and he says tey go through life with that fence around them.

In my case, what I found was as I catered to the insane thinking I lost my own clarity.

Now for premarriage he did urge a caller to carefully consider if she wants to be essentially a caretaker for her boyfriend who has this personality.

On the flip side, as mentioned on page 2 of the thread, some believe that if a person repents of their sins and follows Christ then they can have fulfilling relationships and participate in the POJA.

One theme is clear: the exception to the POJA is safety and health. These issues should never be trampled upon by someone that is not capable of making healthy decisions.

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Even on this thread, posters question if my ex wife actually had some type of mental disorder.

If you're talking about me, I question whether your wife has a PERSONALITY disorder, not "some type of mental disorder". Please be very clear about that.

Dr H did not diagnose your wife with a personality disorder - he used the terms "mental disorders", "serious emotional disorders' and "emotional disorders" throughout his email to you. He never used the term "personality disorder" even once, and yet you have consisted posted that he diagnosed your wife (whom he has never evaluated) with a "personality disorder".

Personality disorders and emotional disorders are different, and yet you have conflated them in this thread under the title "emotional personality disorders".

At various points in her life health professionals have talked about your ex wife having post-partum depression and even bi-polar disease. At times, she was given medication for depression and had not taken it, so clearly there was a diagnosis involved there. I'm not questioning that she had a mental disorder but I do not see any diagnosis ever given by a mental health professional that said she had a personality disorder. You insists that there was one given by Dr Harley but refuse to provide the evidence.


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I don't know how many times across various forums you have told people that Dr H diagnosed your wife with a personality disorder - dozens of times. You have created this false impression again and again. You don't provide the evidence for that and I can see that he didn't use that term in that email that you cite at the beginning of this thread. Why do you insist on saying that he diagnosed a personality disorder when he didn't?


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Originally Posted By: MrWondering
However, if you are reading this thread wondering if your spouse is crazy too, absent a previous diagnosis, I caution you that although waywardism is a characteristic of many disorders and waywards tend to demonstrate other diagnostic characteristics WHILST wayward, waywardism alone is not a mental disorder and MB can and should be still attempted first because it's unlikely your spouse is truly mentally ill. Unfortunately, way too many betrayed spouses spend way too much time trying to psycho-analyze and internet diagnose their wayward spouses...time that could much better be spent fighting the affair, learning the MB program, taking care of themselves, taking care of their families, working at their jobs, etc.


x 100

There may be some valid disorders out there but there are also plenty of BSs/onlookers who don't want to admit that their WSs simply don't care and are still trying to find that "logical" answer to "How could you?"



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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a emotional disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.
But when outsiders looked within, they always found her behaviors bizarre. My thinking had actually became insane because I defended and covered up te bizarre behavior. (which actually enables it and did not help her)

According to the BPD organization, most of them aren't diagnosed because they don't think they have a problem and (and probably wouldn't trust any professional that diagnosed them anyways).

Your post has been edited to remove the words "personality disorder" which you have consistently used to describe what Dr Harley said about your wife, to now read "emotional disorder" as if you used that phrase all along.

I think you should admit that you have been using the wrong terminology all this time and that Dr H did not say your wife has a personality disorder.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
These emotional disorders seem quickly dismissed by some.
In my case, they were quickly dismissed when I came to this forum. Even on this thread, posters question if my ex wife actually had some type of mental disorder.


That's because a lot of them are bunk. And Dr. Harley says they are bunk. Just because such things as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia exist does not mean that there's really such a thing as "narcissistic personality disorder" or "intermittent explosive disorder."

Quote:
As Dr Harley clearly states in the Radio shows above, there are people born with these traits and they do exist.


Some of them, yes. Not all of them, according to Dr. Harley.

That's why he uses the term "Electric Fence Disorder"

I've never seen him use the term "disorder" with his "electric fence" concept.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight

These emotional disorders seem quickly dismissed by some.


Dr. Harley has said the opposite, though. He has said that people are too quick to chalk traits of infidelity up to mythological "disorders." He has also warned people against diagnosing their spouses. So, the truth is that PDs, mental illnesses, mid life crises and emotional disorders are too quickly embraced by those who are in denial. The embrace of such an "illness" can quickly become an obstacle to success if allowed to persist.

And even if there ARE "disorders," a person can still have a great marriage. Like Harley said in the clip I posted, the vast majority of people who show up for help have a personality disorder. It does not stop him from helping them. [look at me! ]

So, I would caution you against using this thread for the purpose of making armchair diagnoses to betrayed spouses on our board. I sure hope I am wrong because that would create a huge problem between you and I. HUGE.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
MB Radio link:

Dr Harley addresses personality disorders and types.
He explains that if persons with a personality disorder chose to follow his program they can do so successfully.
He also cautions some simply can't become more thoughtful.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=0754#


He says that most people he has worked with throughout his career have "personality disorders." "Just because a person has a personality disorder does not mean they can't work this program."

He has never had a case where the program didn't work when they worked it, regardless of their "disorder." "People can rise above their personality problems and become thoughtful people."

He discusses the personality test he gives us when we sign up for his course. The higher the score, the harder it will be to use the program. I - personally - scored VERY HIGH and even though it has been tough, I have learned to be thoughtful and have learned to use the POJA.

I know someone on this thread who scored HIGHER than me and they are able to use the program too!!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
I know someone on this thread who scored HIGHER than me and they are able to use the program too!!


I believe I scored a 26 or something horrendous. Prisca's was also high. I used to have both of our scores in my signature here as a joke, along with comments to us being dueling dictators, but I took that out when I updated my signature to refer to Prisca as my "trophy wife." smile

My understanding is that this score means it is hard for Dr. Harley and his staff, or anyone else, to motivate me to follow the rules consistently. Over the three years I've done Marriage Builders, I've had to learn the hard way that when I quit following the rules, disaster ensues, and that the rules are very exact (i.e., ELIMINATE love busters, not just "greatly reduce" love busters).

I don't know if Dr. Harley classifies a high score on his test as a "disorder" or not, but I suspect I do probably have something akin to obsessive-compulsion in many respects. smile But that's just me armchair diagnosing myself. The thing about being OCD (or whatever) is that you still have to confront the fact that you can't demand your spouse comply with your obsessive preferences, and expect to have a good marriage.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

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Originally Posted By: markos
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
These emotional disorders seem quickly dismissed by some.
In my case, they were quickly dismissed when I came to this forum. Even on this thread, posters question if my ex wife actually had some type of mental disorder.


That's because a lot of them are bunk. And Dr. Harley says they are bunk. Just because such things as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia exist does not mean that there's really such a thing as "narcissistic personality disorder" or "intermittent explosive disorder."

Quote:
As Dr Harley clearly states in the Radio shows above, there are people born with these traits and they do exist.


Some of them, yes. Not all of them, according to Dr. Harley.

That's why he uses the term "Electric Fence Disorder"

I've never seen him use the term "disorder" with his "electric fence" concept.



It's funny...I drafted and deleted a similar thought earlier on this thread...

When he was on radio talking to the guy about his borderline personality disordered wife he tip-toed around diagnosing the wife himself. He said what OTHER psychologists would likely diagnose her with and how OTHER psychologists would treat her (regressive FOO therapy). I didn't listen to the whole show super carefully and he may have later just said she had/has BPD, but initially he distanced himself from making the diagnosis so maybe he just used the BPD diagnosis to help explain the situation to the listening husband (i.e.- your wife is somewhat disabled and now that you know how and why...you need to stick it out to protect your children..at least until they get older).

It also may be relevant that he didn't recommend the husband put his wife in therapy. Just love her more and it's likely better for everyone if you stick it out.

Perhaps personality disorders are just traits to him...and, mostly irrelevant to implementing the MB methodology going forward (something to be worked out in the poja and bad habit lessons)


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Originally Posted By: markos
[

I don't know if Dr. Harley classifies a high score on his test as a "disorder" or not, but I suspect I do probably have something akin to obsessive-compulsion in many respects. smile But that's just me armchair diagnosing myself. The thing about being OCD (or whatever) is that you still have to confront the fact that you can't demand your spouse comply with your obsessive preferences, and expect to have a good marriage.


Go listen to that radio clip!! He says that most of us that come to see him have personality disorders and he measures it on that test he gives us!! WE FLUNKED!! rotflmao


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MrsW flunked too!! rotflmao


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
MB Radio link:

Dr Harley addresses personality disorders and types.
He explains that if persons with a personality disorder chose to follow his program they can do so successfully.
He also cautions some simply can't become more thoughtful.

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=0754#


He says that most people he has worked with throughout his career have "personality disorders." "Just because a person has a personality disorder does not mean they can't work this program."

He has never had a case where the program didn't work when they worked it, regardless of their "disorder." "People can rise above their personality problems and become thoughtful people."

He discusses the personality test he gives us when we sign up for his course. The higher the score, the harder it will be to use the program. I - personally - scored VERY HIGH and even though it has been tough, I have learned to be thoughtful and have learned to use the POJA.

I know someone on this thread who scored HIGHER than me and they are able to use the program too!!


Yeah I can just imagine how high I would have scored,with all the knowledge I had obtained, through the years of the gaslighting..Not to dismiss my own denial issues, and mental blocks, that I had developed..

The program works for those who are able to buy into it, because it depends on the individual, and their ability to sync with the other individual, to whom they are married to, and there is no in-between.

All the buzzwords and babble get left behind when the proper actions take over, and actions speak louder than words do.

To Rise above, to transcend, is always our choice, and if we want it bad enough, we will.

As the good book says, "We are in need of instruction", and thank God, we are always able to learn

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Wanted to say this was a great thread. Thank you Jedi.

For me it pulled stuff together that I had never seen gathered in one place. I always wondered about postings where people said 'Dr H says my spouse is . . ' It always seemed extraordinarily unprofessional for him to be doing third party diagnoses - now I see that he does no such thing.

And I totally buy into the concept that we all have difficult personalities one way or another. Those apparently perfect loving and gentle people amongst us have trouble with radical honesty and nobody is truly successful unless they have a massive ruthless streak...

In my own case my XH 'diagnosed' me with attachment disorder because I was adopted. He was (presume still is) a world class gaslighter and so I almost bought into the concept. His endless adulteries were 'his way of coping with my inability to trust him'. (yup, he really said that).

I was snapped out of it by our very first POJA done with the help of Dr Chalmers. The POJA is the most magic thing in Dr H's box of magic tricks. God bless him :-)


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Living well, my wife also diagnosed me with various things, from autism to being psychotic.
I understand how you believed him.
It's hard to think clearly when you live in the insane asylum

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane

Dr Harley is not a medical doctor and is not in a position to diagnose a personality disorder.


According to Dr Harley, he is a licensed clinical psychologist and qualified to diagnose and treat all types of mental illnesses

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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
So who diagnosed her with a personality disorder? A medically-qualified doctor?


In my specific case, I am unaware of any diagnosis.
I proceeded under the assumption that she had a emotional disorder after Dr Harley told me she probably had one.
But when outsiders looked within, they always found her behaviors bizarre. My thinking had actually became insane because I defended and covered up te bizarre behavior. (which actually enables it and did not help her)

According to the BPD organization, most of them aren't diagnosed because they don't think they have a problem and (and probably wouldn't trust any professional that diagnosed them anyways).

Your post has been edited to remove the words "personality disorder" which you have consistently used to describe what Dr Harley said about your wife, to now read "emotional disorder" as if you used that phrase all along.

I think you should admit that you have been using the wrong terminology all this time and that Dr H did not say your wife has a personality disorder.

Care to address this, Jedi, rather than cherry-picking posts that contain mistakes that are favourable to you?

I was told by the poster wondringif that clinical psychologists are allowed to do this where you are, and I acknowledged my error in assuming that the UK position was the same as in the USA. Why go back to that post when I've acknowledged my error?

Why not address my claim that you have been saying erroneously that Dr H diagnosed your wife with a personality disorder when he did no such thing?

You have been using the wrong terminology about what Dr Harley told you for months on this site, and it would be decent for you to acknowledge that, and set the record straight.


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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Dr Harley testifies against gay marriage before the Minnesota State Senate.
He said most gay people have mental disorders and encourages changing orientations from homosexual to heterosexual.

His testimony is at the 53:00 minute mark on the YouTube Video.

http://www.prop8trialtracker.com/2010/03/06/the-minnesota-hearings/

Dr Harley also wrote a book Defending Traditional Marriage:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi6027_dtm.html

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Dr. Harley on Midlife Crisis (MLC):

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
barbiecat:

I don't usually put much emphasis on MLC because it tends to be a distraction when trying to solve a marital problem in the most efficient and effective way possible. For example, if a man has an affair, some might argue that it's due to a mid-life crisis which should be treated first. The therapeutic plan would then dictate that he resolve the issue creating the crisis (he's unhappy about the way his life is turning out) and then address the affair itself. Since those having affairs usually want to delay ending them, they like the idea of extended therapy. But the time it takes to complete therapy for midlife crisis usually results in a wife and children long gone.

Granted, when a man has come to my office deeply depressed, wondering if his life's worth living, even I have used the term, mid-life crisis, to help describe what he's going through. Sometimes, in an effort to rise above his depressive state, he uses alcohol and drugs, and very rarely, infidelity, to treat his depression, which invariably makes him even more depressed.

The problem of mid-life crisis, and the resulting deep depression, is almost always due to a man's career. But if he's using drugs, alcohol, or having an affair as a way to treat his depression, my first order of business is to rid him of these self-destructive measures, and then to treat the mid-life crisis. His short-sighted solutions are far more damaging to him than the problem itself.

Why isn't the issue of mid-life crisis mentioned more in my articles? Because it's a very rare cause of infidelity, but a very common excuse to avoid prompt action to end an affair.

Best wishes,
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


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MB Radio link:

Dr Harley says that hoarding is a mental disorder and offers advice for dealing with spouses that have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

(last half of segment): http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=01081#

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In this radio clip he describes "mid life crisis" as a form of denial: here


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MB Radio Link:

Dr. Harley addresses hoarding. He explains that hoarding is an emotional problem and not always an issue of habits. He encourages therapy for the hoarder and spouse and even plan B if the hoarder refuses to stop hoarding:

http://www.marriagebuilders.com/radio_program/play_segment.cfm?sid=03115#

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Dr. Harley addressed a forum thread concerning Ausburgers Syndrome on today's Radio Show.
He stated that Ausburgers is not a mental illness or disorder and that it has been dropped by the medical professionals DSM.

A link to the Radio Program will be posted when available.

The thread I believe Dr Harley was specifically addressing in his show is here: http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2684389#Post2684389

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Dr. Harley addressed a forum thread concerning Ausburgers Syndrome on today's Radio Show.
He stated that Ausburgers is not a mental illness or disorder and that it has been dropped by the medical professionals DSM.

This summary is a bit misleading.

In the latest diagnostic manual, DSM5 which was published within the last week or so, Aspergers has been subsumed under the general classification of autism. It is no longer being regarded as separate from autism by the American Psychiatric Association. Rather, they are classifying autism as being on a spectrum, with sever cases where people do not speak or interact at one end and milder cases, which until now have often been classified as Aspergers, at the other.

That's not quite the same as saying that Aspergers "is not a mental illness or disorder".


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In other words, rather than people being classified as having Aspergers, they will be classified as autistic.


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On today's Radio Show Dr Harley addressed a cheating wife that has depression.
He explained that depressed people cannot receive love bank deposits.
He said that chronically depressed people will often resort to drugs, affairs and other self destructive behaviors to get a quick feel better.

He encouraged the caller, John, to try to stay with her until the children are out of the house. he encouraged the wife to continue seeing a psychiatrist for treatment.

He told John about a similar case where the depressed wife returned and Dr Harley worked extensively with them and they are still married, although Dr Harley noted they are not "happily married."

A link to this show about Depression will be Posted when it is available.

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A very informative statement from Dr Harley about diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental disorders in children:

Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
Dr Harley's Statement:

Testimony to: Senate Early Childhood Policy and Budget Division
Willard F. Harley, Jr, Ph.D Date:
March 9, 2006

Re: Senate File 2841: A bill for an act relating to early childhood education; expanding screening to include socioemotional developmental screening; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 21A.17, subdivision 3.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee:

Willard F. Harley, Jr. I have a Ph.D. degree in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1976 I was licensed by the state of Minnesota as a psychologist to provide diagnosis and treatment of emotional disorders. Over the past 30 years, I have diagnosed and treated tens of thousands of Minnesota residents as clinical director of 32 mental health clinics that were located in 10 Minnesota counties. While I am presently retired, I have had considerable experience with the diagnosis and treatment of emotional disorders in children.

A childs brain is in a constant state of physiological development, which, in turn, significantly affects his or her social and emotional development. A childs brain is in the process of becoming a functioning mind, but as it develops, it often makes the child do some strange things. Since a developing brain commonly produce social and emotional quirks in children, many worried parents came to my office concerned about their childs development.

My experience had proven to me that even children with severe social and emotional symptoms one year could be completely symptom-free the following year with no counseling or drug intervention whatsoever. So in almost every case, when these children were brought to me, I recommended no immediate treatment for them. Instead, I counseled their parents to monitor their behavior, and report back to me every six months or so.

Having tracked many of these children that I assessed, I am now more convinced than ever that my approach was correct. Im reminded of one child in particular who, at the age of four was almost mute, and possessed practically no social skills. Today, without having undergone any therapy for her social or emotional problems, she is completing dental school on a full scholarship at UCLA, and is planning a June wedding. From a social and emotional standpoint she is outstanding, and would be one of the first to object to this legislative proposal.

Because of continuing neurophysiological changes, the social and emotional problems of a four or five-year-old can be completely gone, or completely different, a year later. But even when assessments are given a week apart, they have been shown to be very unreliable. For that reason, false positives, where a normal child is diagnosed to be abnormal, are common.

And then, ask yourselves the question, what will be done with these assessments? The answer, of course, is therapytherapy for those who dont need it because the assessment was incorrect and therapy for those who dont need it because their symptoms will disappear anyway because of normal neurophysiological development.

Therapy is not benign. It is not something that all of us could benefit from sometime during our lifetime. It can hurt people, especially if a person has been misdiagnosed. Its like having surgery when you dont really need it. The advantages must outweigh the disadvantages. As director of what was once Minnesotas largest network of mental health clinics, I constantly reminded the therapists of the risks of what they did. They could help people, but they could also hurt them. Since I was particularly sensitive to the harm that counseling and drug therapy could do, all of our therapists were carefully supervised and therapeutic outcomes were reviewed weekly.

If you take what Ive been saying to heart, ask yourselves this question, would all of you be willing to submit to social and emotional developmental screening? And if the screening were to find you needing therapy, would you submit to that as well? You would know, of course, that it would all be recorded in a permanent legislative file. Thats what happens when children are screened in an educational settingtheir records follow them through school, even when the assessments have been wrong.

Our schools have an important missioneducating our children in the basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics. They also learn about history, science, and art. This mission has proven for generations to be extremely valuable for our children. And theres never quite enough money to do it as well as we should. But when schools start to think they are in the business of providing social and emotional assessment and therapy, significant resources are diverted away from the mission of educating our children. And they are at risk for severe social and emotional damage. Children without problems or with only temporary quirks are labeled and given counseling and drug treatment that is not benign. It can hurt them rather than help them.

I encourage you to avoid making a terrible mistake. In the end, a social and emotional assessment of young children will not only eventually catch many in the trap of unneeded counseling and drug treatment, but will also take limited resources from the true mission of our schoolseducating our children to become skilled and informed citizens.

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Source: http://www.edwatch.org/updates06/031506-Harley.htm

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Really good post Jedi

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On today's Radio Show, Dr Harley addressed personality disorders.
Caller Donnie is married to a woman that probably has an electric fence personality
Dr Harley explained that personalities can't change but people with personality disorders can rise above their emotional responses.

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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
On today's Radio Show, Dr Harley addressed personality disorders.
Caller Donnie is married to a woman that probably has an electric fence personality
Dr Harley explained that personalities can't change but people with personality disorders can rise above their emotional responses.


That is where the buck stops.

Emotional/Behavioral/Mental disorders, unless they are life-threatening or completely maladaptive to any human interaction at all, are; chronic, uncurable, TREATABLE conditions.

The Marriage Builders program sets forth a plan of treatment specific to adressing these conditions within the setting of marriage, as well as interactions that protrude from that center (work, extended family, friendships, etc).


Most of the time, mention of disorders by people who have a distressed marriage are an attempt to explain odd behavior, or a demonstrated lack of care. This is really little more than a distraction.

Put simply, in a distressed marriage, everyone is mentally ill. Buck. Stops. There.

Under any distress, everyone is mentally ill.


In the case of a distressed marriage, the treatment is to fix the marriage. End the distress, end the illness.

There are very few cases ever brought up that any type of disorder prevented the program applied as inteded didn't work. Usually, only under cases of abuse or a spouse with an addiction.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Bump


BW
Married 1989
His PA 2003-2006
2 kids.
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