How far would you go to warn someone before they married into your family?
Maybe you're all a little loud.
It's possible there's some drama between family members they should know about.
Maybe you think your daughter is a monster.
A father took to Reddit's "Am I the Asshole" board to ask that very question.
As he explains at the start, his daughter is a "diagnosed sociopath."
Now, there is no true diagnosis for 'sociopath' in the DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Instead, psychiatrists can diagnose someone with antisocial personality disorder, which is likely different from how you might define sociopathy.
While many might see sociopaths as monsters, people with ASPD are merely people who think differently. Hollywood has given the image of serial killers and career criminals to the term 'sociopath' so it's very important to distinguish the two.
Based on the father's continued explanation, there is a massive difference.
"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..."
"...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 goes on to explain that she's been very successful as an adult.
She has a good job. Friends. And most importantly, admirers.
One of those last ones has turned into a long time boyfriend, who the father believes is going to propose soon.
Which brings up the question:
Does he tell this young man about his daughter's diagnosis?
The daughter hasn't told him, and has no intention of doing so. But the father feels it's his duty to inform the young man before this goes too far.
Allow us to begin by saying, "Holy Cow!"
"Simply for any future children they may have, I say NTA. If this guy wants kids, it's really going to suck to find out he is coparenting with a sociopath. Also is ASPD genetic? If so he definitely deserves to know."
"NTA - holy crap what an awful situation to be in. I know she's your daughter but this is marriage for this guy and he deserves to know. You already told her you were going to tell if she didn't, so I think you should."
"Goodness this is tough. Put me down for NTA because I'd really want to know that info before marrying. That of course doesn't mean you're not at fault for "outting"your daughter but IMO it's for the greater good." -
"NTA. You should tell him, but he probably won't believe you. He is getting into something really dangerous with someone who doesn't react or respond in the way a normal person would. Almost anyone would want to know this."
The topic sees many in the thread agreeing with the father. They feel he is right to warn the young man, or at least give him all the information before he proposes.
However, there is a sense that they're treating her like a time bomb. They say it's for the greater good, or worry about ASPD being genetic.
Another group is curious for more information behind the situation though.
Your Motivations. I'm unclear on your motivation for telling him. Is she still a danger to him physically? Or is it important he knows she is unable to love him like a "normal" person could (whatever that means)? Or is it because you believe she's lying to him and deserves to know that? Or something else?
Her Feelings Towards Him. She clearly has some attachment to him. From what you've laid out, I'd argue she loves him as much as she's capable of "loving" someone (e.g., her concern with you telling him about the diagnosis is that he'd leave her -- that seems to indicate she doesn't like that outcome). You appear to write off this attachment has purely sexual. Why?"
"Wow. That's the hardest AITA I've read in a long time.
You're ethically compromised either way. It's probably best you stay out of it."
"Wow. I have never read an AITA and not immediately known what was right until this post. I feel for you. I'm going to go with NTA no matter what you do because your heart is obviously in the right place."
"Nta but I feel like your daughter probably had to put in a lot of work to get to this place in life... and you telling him could quite possibly destroy her and send her spiraling? Just a thought."
If we remove the idea that this is warning some unsuspecting young man about marrying a sociopath, this instead becomes informing a future husband about his future wife's diagnosis.
This is still a morally gray area, but it comes much more into perspective when viewed this way.
Does a man have a right to know his wife has diabetes? Is it your responsibility to tell your daughter's fiancé she lives with an attention deficit disorder?
When viewed as a mere psychiatric diagnosis, it can be easier to see it as the daughter's business.
"YTA completely. I say this as someone who is qualified to make these types of diagnoses and provide appropriate treatment. She has a history of problematic behaviour but it sounds like she is well functioning enough as an adult. 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. I get that reddit isn't going to like this, because it believes that 'sociopaths' exist in some distinct bad and untreatable category. But this is not true. significantly, sociopathy isn't even a recognised diagnosis so I'd be very cautious of any care provider who gave your daughter this label. Every single person with any form of history of trauma, early parental relationship difficulties or the 40% of people who don't have a secure attachment style will have difficulty feeling love or being loved in relationships. Nobody runs around warning future partners of these things."
The father hasn't updated his post, nor has he responded to any comments about the matter, so we're unsure how this story has turned out yet.
If he tells and she gets upset, it may ruin his relationship with her.
If he doesn't, the boyfriend may feel betrayed by the family if he ever does learn the truth.
It's a difficult situation with no easy answers. I wish them well.