Dad feels intense conflict about telling daughter's boyfriend she's a diagnosed sociopath
Does he have the right to know?
A father with a challenging problem took to social media to anonymously hear other opinions on a bold position he had to take in his family.
“I’m the dad of a 25-year-old young woman who I love very much,” the father wrote on the Reddit AITA forum. “I’ve been able to have a good relationship with my daughter, and I enjoy my time with her, but there’s one thing about her that would give many people pause—she is a diagnosed sociopath."
People who are sociopaths have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). According to WebMD, “Those with ASPD have no regard for others’ rights or feelings, lack empathy and remorse for wrongdoings, and have the need to exploit and manipulate others for personal gain.”
It is challenging for people with ASPD to get help because they often don’t believe their behavior is a problem. However, those who do can learn that their behaviors are harmful and receive tools to improve their relationships.
However, being in a close relationship with someone diagnosed with ASPD can be a very challenging situation.
The father realized his daughter had sociopathic tendencies at a young age and was given therapy and support. “With an enormous amount of therapy & support, her bad behavior was minimized as she grew older. She received an ASPD diagnosis at 18, and I had suspected it for long prior,” he wrote.
A couple on their wedding day.
via Moose Photos
Even though the daughter struggles with her social life, she has had no problem with men.
“She is very, very charming and adept at attracting guys and maintaining their interest,” he continued. “She uses that old dating guide ‘The Rules’ like a Bible. She currently has a boyfriend of about a year and a half who’s crazy about her, and who I have a very strong relationship with (we live in the same area and spend time together regularly). He is a great guy, very kind, funny and intelligent.”
The boyfriend intends to propose soon, and the father fears the worst could happen to him. “While she enjoys being around her boyfriend and is sexually attracted to him, I highly doubt she feels much of anything towards him love-wise,” the father wrote.
Further, the daughter has no intention of telling the boyfriend about her diagnosis for fear that it would scare him away. But the dad doesn’t believe that it’s right for the relationship to continue without telling him the truth.
“I’ve made it clear to her that she needs to tell him the truth before they marry, that he has the right to know and consider it, or I will, to which she always responds, ‘I know you wouldn’t dare,’” the father admits. “I actually would—I really like and respect this young man and would feel awful keeping this 'secret' from him and letting him walk into a marriage without this piece of knowledge.”
So, the father asked the Reddit forum if he was right to tell the boyfriend about his daughter’s diagnosis. “I’m not trying to sabotage my daughter’s future. Maybe her boyfriend’s love of her personality and other aspects is enough that it won’t end the relationship. It’s his decision to make, but he deserves all the facts,” he wrote.
Almost all of the commenters sympathized with the father and agreed that it was best to tell the boyfriend before they were engaged.
A mother and her newborn child.
“If this guy wants kids, it’s really going to suck to find out he is co-parenting with a sociopath. Also, is ASPD genetic? If so, he definitely deserves to know,” Decemberandjuly wrote. “I’d really want to know that info before marrying,” PodcornJelly added. “That, of course, doesn’t mean you’re not at fault for ‘outing’ your daughter, but IMO, it’s for the greater good.”
However, one commenter noted that the father should stay out of it because the relationship is probably very helpful for the daughter. “I say this as someone who is qualified to make these types of diagnoses and provide appropriate treatment. She has a history of problematic behavior, but it sounds like she is well-functioning enough as an adult,” iglooboo wrote. “Maybe she loves in different ways to others, but that doesn’t exclude her from having positive relationships. In fact, it is this sense of safety in a relationship that will help her keep learning these skills.”
Upworthy contacted the father to learn the rest of the story but is still awaiting his response.