Personality disorder in marriage and partnership - a narrative review.

BACKGROUND: Partner conflicts are the most common precipitating factors of decompensation of psychiatric disorders, including personality disorders. Personal characteristics play a fundamental role in both the prediction of marital satisfaction of the individual as well as the satisfaction of the couple as a whole. METHOD: Narrative Review of the articles, books and book chapters within the period 1956 - 2016 using PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases with keywords "personality disorder," "partnership," marital problems," "marital conflicts." Additional references were found using reviews of relevant articles. RESULTS: It is evident that patients with personality disorders can have problems with meeting the criteria that contribute to the marital satisfaction and, on the other hand, easily fulfill the criteria that are related to the causes of the relationship breakups. People with personality disorders have substantial problems with starting and continuing a relationship with a partner. They have an unintentional ability to create and maintain problematic relationships. The association between the dysfunctional marriage and personality problems of the partners may have the basis in the insufficient understanding of the behavior of one or both partners. People with personality disorder experience numerous misunderstandings, misinterpretations, communicate poorly, and they are more alert to verbal and physical aggression in the interpersonal relations. They do not recognize that the basis of experienced struggles has a source in their intrapersonal processes and their relationship with the world. Persons with certain personality disorders tend to seek and create a pathologically stable partnership. To understand the dynamics of such relationships, examining personality traits first should be essential. Understanding the maladaptive personality patterns in the context of the relationship should be beneficial for both partners.

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