In each generation, millions of Americans spend years grappling
with the misunderstood inner workings of maladaptive personality
that shape marriage, divorce, social ties and traumatic events.
This tortuous journey is complicated and prolonged because many
well intended individuals have such a poor working knowledge of
what is normal and abnormal in relationships. Throughout history,
great thinkers have interpreted volumes of mythology and resistance
with evolutionary courage.
A similar courage is found among maturing adults in psychotherapy
as they make sense of their lives and relationships. These maturational
curiosities are linked to enhancing one's adaptive potential and
the perceptual accuracy regarding the health of their relationships.
However, asking too many questions can be dangerous since it may
lead to domestic violence or political exile. Adults who actively
or passively act out when their relationships die have no interest
in understanding personality, especially their own.
Divorce is a psychological stress test that exposes recurrent variations
in personality. Degrees of misunderstood resistance, needless aggression
and malignant opportunity are linked to degrees of maladaptive personality.
Individuals have been knowingly and unknowingly abusing the institution
of marriage throughout history. Parallel abuses are found in other
institutions such as parenting, journalism, politics, business,
etc. Adults who manufacture chaotic divorces rarely know why their
marriage has died and their hostile elitism prevents them from understanding
why anyone would ever leave them.
Many younger and older Americans have forgotten that Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. challenged us to improve the validity of our social
judgments. I have often contemplated whether or not he underestimated
the painful resistance adults encounter when they attempt to examine
the character of a fiancé, parent, sibling, friend, leader
or file for divorce.
The informational divide between what clinicians and clients know
regarding personality is far too large. This prolongs questionable
treatment and increases consumer vulnerability. Volumes of questionable
remedies are found in advertising today intended to help Americans
deal with their medical or psychological challenges. Many are appealing
since they skip over the relevant aspects of maladaptive personality
and go straight to treating one's unique symptoms.
Trying to treat symptoms and avoiding the contributions of maladaptive
personality in life are usually related to partial or failed recoveries.
Many naïve adults fail to understand that perceiving and managing
individual and interpersonal psychological health are functions
of personality, not intelligence. By skipping over or not understanding
how personality shapes lives, fewer opportunities emerge that help
individuals improve or recover from complicated relationships.
As we live longer, more time will be spent processing maladaptive
personality that limits liberty and adaptive potential in life.
Just about anyone can fall in love with someone or some ideology
with ulterior motives. This is why pre and postnuptial contracts
are becoming normalized. This adaptive or healthy suspicion was
a basic tenet of President Reagan's foreign policy where trust was
related to verification. Maladaptive relationships are mysterious,
healthy ones are not.
Maladaptive personality has links to misunderstood stress reactions,
chronic marital dissatisfaction, depression, anxiety, unknown anger
and decreased work performance. Most individuals want to give partners
and others blank checks regarding interpersonal health when their
relationships begin. Prolonged recoveries commonly involve accepting
the painful reality that so many years were invested loving someone
you never really knew.
Well intended adults underestimate the maladaptive motives of individuals
who take their interpersonal secrets to their graves. It becomes
easier to accept this dynamic when you consider the motives of decent
Americans who avoid paying attention to their chest pain or blood
In terms of human evolution, we have discarded many myths with
the angst of scientific reasoning and curiosity. Individuals with
maladaptive reasoning are stuck somewhere in medical history when
physicians judged psychological traits by the shape of one's skull.
The point to remember is the premise that adults with maladaptive
personality thrive upon fictional accounts of who they are and why
they need relationships. Most will never evolve in their lifetime.
They are dedicated to repeating the dark sides of opportunistic
history and they reside in every demographic group in our nation.
Young and older adults trying to resolve complicated relationships
and premarital anxiety may find this book useful as a resource to
clarify or validate their adaptive instincts. Adults who are afraid
of talking about difficult subjects with their teenagers may value
information in this book. This book is a starting point for individuals
who want to enhance their own maturational potential or move beyond
the restraints placed upon them by the ulterior motives of others.
Individuals with ulterior motives want life to be overly mysterious
and at times too frightening.
This book is very comprehensive. Each chapter addresses recurrent
individual and relational struggles in life. Basic terms and principles
are discussed which will increase a reader's reasoning skills. Personality
disorders and defense mechanisms are defined in ways that help the
reader understand their unique interpersonal properties. Just as
great thinkers have processed volumes of misinformation, maturing
adults also find themselves separating fact from fiction which is
a normal developmental task in life.
The maladaptive dynamics you find in divorce also challenge the
health of other relationships. These universal tensions are clearly
illustrated in Chapter 8, Types of Divorce-Types of Personality.
In this chapter, I introduce my model of personality that demystifies
interpersonal conflict. It illustrates why adults vary in terms
of what they need in relationships and how they perceive reality.
In subsequent chapters, this model clarifies variations and misconceptions
regarding trust, self esteem, intimacy, dissent, procrastination,
grief and racism.
Many Americans may not know that our founding fathers established
the first model of personality with their tripartite model of government.
They were anxiously preoccupied with the stability of their fledgling
union and the generational emergence of evil.
Maturational tensions and discrepancies between partners may either
improve a relationship or threaten its stability. These maturational
discrepancies have not become part of our day-to-day understanding
regarding marital or other interpersonal well-being.
Most individuals need relationships and it can be difficult accepting
the reality that people dramatically differ in terms of interpersonal
integrity, intimacy and awareness. Maladaptive perceptions regarding
reality fuel the needless chaos, fear, guilt and confusion found
in dying relationships.