‘She doesn’t know what guilt feels like.’ Dad Thinks His Sociopathic Daughter Needs To Tell Her Boyfriend What She’s Really Like
by Trisha Leigh
Whatever Hollywood tells you about mental illness, it can’t prepare you for what it’s like to find out someone close to you is a sociopath/psychopath.
OP’s daughter struggled and was in therapy as a child due to severe behavioral issues. At 18 she was diagnosed with sociopathy, but thanks to a supportive family and good doctors, she’s made great strides.
I’m the dad of a 25 year old young woman who I love very much. 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.
She exhibited odd, disturbing behavior at a young age, and after a serious incident of abuse towards her younger sister, I realized she needed professional help.
Throughout her elementary years she struggled heavily, getting in lots of trouble in school for lying, cruelty and all other types of misbehaviors.
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.
She’s been successful at school, has friends, and even has a long-term boyfriend that OP really likes.
After her aggressive behavior was tamed, her following years were much more fruitful. She’s law-abiding; has a decent job and a good education; and has many good friendships and admirers. Especially male admirers; she is very, very charming and adept at attracting guys and maintaining their interest. 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.
But I doubt she loves him. We’ve had some very honest, in-depth discussions about her mental health since her diagnosis, and she’s been open with me that she doesn’t feel love or empathy towards anyone, even family.
When she acted very sad and broken up over the death of one of her closest friends at the funeral, she confessed to me privately that it was all a put-on, and that she felt “pretty neutral” about the whole thing.
She has also stated she has never once felt guilty about anything she’s ever done, and she doesn’t know what guilt feels like.
While she enjoys being around her boyfriend and is attracted to him, I highly doubt she feels much of anything towards him love-wise.
And therein lies his problem, because he can see that the young man loves his daughter and is likely planning to propose – all without knowing she’s likely incapable of loving him back (at least in a conventional way).
Her boyfriend (who might propose soon) has no idea about her diagnosis, and she’s been very upfront with me that she has no plans to ever tell him, thinking it’ll scare him away.
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.”
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.
OP thinks he should tell the boyfriend the truth before he makes such a big decision, but he knows that his daughter doesn’t want the guy to know and that it might end a happy relationship for her.
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. Someday he’s bound to find out she’s a bit “off”; it can’t be kept a secret forever.
What should he do? This might be the toughest AITA verdict to date.
The top comment says that OP would probably be better off asking a professional.
Others are worried about the fallout of damaging his relationship with his daughter.
The bottom line is that no one on Reddit really understands her diagnosis.
This person, though, is quicker to sympathize with the daughter.
Some wonder whether or not the boyfriend might be willing to stick it out.
This one is definitely above Reddit’s pay grade.
I hope this guy talks to someone with the credentials to help him figure it out.