Relationships with people who suffer from personality disorders are often all about control. There is an underlying struggle for control between the personality disordered individual and the Non-PD.
One of the necessary ingredients for recovery of a personality-disordered individual - and perhaps one of the most difficult, is to relinquish control of the relationship and to give the Non-PD back control over their own life.
Some key areas of control which may need to be yielded include:
- Relationships - who the Non-PD is allowed to interact with, how and when they associate with others and how often.
- Interests - Social groups, churches, hobbies and activities which are attractive to the Non-PD but which may not be a priority or of value to the personality-disordered individual.
- Finances - How the family finances are budgeted, what takes priority and how to resolve conflicts.
- Children - How children are cared for, how they are disciplined, what freedoms they are allowed and how medical and educational decisions are made.
- Roles & Responsibilities - Who does the chores and when, who is responsible for what, what to do when there is an unexpected issue or problem.
- Household Rules - What is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. What boundaries are to be respected so that everybody can feel safe.
- Freedom of Independent Thought - Allowing others to believe what they want, think what they want, like and dislike what they want.
If someone is working on recovering from a personality disorder, yet is not able to yield control over these and similar issues, there is likely to be conflict down the road.