Personality Changes and Your Marriage: Should You Stay Married when Personality Changes Affect Your Spouse?

by | Jun 12, 2018 | Attorney

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In a perfect world, the person you married would be the person you wake up to every day for the rest of your lives. However, that rarely happens. People change and evolve naturally. Our views change as we accumulate experiences and as we mature. However, not all personality changes are the product of the maturation process. In some instances, these personality changes are created by diseases and disorders. A Chicago Divorce Attorney can help you determine if remaining in the marriage is best for you.

Organic Causes of Personality Changes
While some personality changes take years and are usually due to personal evolution and growth (or regression, as the case may be), some are organic. These are due to a wide range of diseases and conditions, including:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Dementia
• Schizophrenia
• Bipolar disorder
• Severe depression

In these instances, your spouse may exhibit a wide range of personality changes and shifts. They may seem irrationally angry. They could show a lack of emotion and affection. They could seem like they’ve become another person entirely. In some cases, such as with Alzheimer’s disease, they may no longer recognize you, their children, other family members or friends.

The Effect of Personality Disorders on Your Divorce
Personality changes and disorders, including mental health conditions, can make a living with your spouse difficult if not impossible. However, they can also wreak havoc on the divorce process, turning what would otherwise be an amicable divorce into a pitched battle. This is often seen with those suffering from “cluster B” disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

Moving Forward
Is moving forward with divorce the right decision when faced with a spouse suffering from personality changes? It may be the only solution in some instances. Even in cases where the other spouse is suffering from an organic disease, such as Alzheimer’s or early onset dementia, a divorce may be the best option to set up the legal and social restraints necessary to protect the spouse from themselves, as well as from other family members, friends and predators that prey on those who are easily confused and manipulated.

Not sure what your options are? Legal guidance from the Law Offices of Michael C. Craven can help.

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