The Unfaithful Borderline

August 19, 2010

If there is a gene for cheaters, Borderline Personality Disorder comes awfully close. Though infidelity is not an official symptom, psych forums are replete with stories of BPs gone astray.

A woman confesses that she was less likely to act out if a guy treated her poorly:

Abandonment is my trigger. I’ve cheated in my two longest relationships after they made a decision that resulted in more time apart. My college boyfriend transferred to a school 300 miles away (for a stupid reason) and I started seeing someone in one of my classes. I started cheating on my ex-fiance with a coworker after he took a job that required a ton of travel. The weird thing is that I’ve only cheated on the boyfriends that were nice. I was with them longer, but I still find it interesting that I didn’t act out and cheat on the guys that treated me like crap. My shrink thinks I sabotage relationships with men who are nurturing and fatherly because I resented my inappropriately close relationship with my father. Who knows.

A man replies with a similar story:

I dated a bpd for 2 years, that did cheated on me, in addition to not treating me that well at all. Funny thing is: All of her ex bfs treated her very poorly, and she never cheated on them, and actually treated them much better than she treated me. I was too much of a nice guy, funny how that works. I guess it’s just like…’this is too good to be true, so let me just #$%k this up before he does it to me.’ In doing so, she REALLY hurt me.

Another woman chimes in:

I’ve never cheated. If I’ve gotten close to someone, that person is the only one who exists. That is, until I see something that foreshadows them being tired of me, so then I would just get pissy, dump them, and do the fling thing. Then, usually, return back to the first person after realizing that they weren’t tired of me.

there are times when BPD delusions seem so real and everything makes complete sense. Well, at least to me. It’s not like I go nuts and do things without thinking. My drama is well-thought out and perfectly logical . . . in a borderline way.

He responds:

What really kills me about what you guys do is, you usually do awful things just out of fear of being left by us, or not loved by us. In some sick, twisted way, it’s kind of flattering that the thought of not having you love us would drive you to such extreme measures.

She would always mess up whenever she got some idea in her head that I might not care about her, or love her— and it’s hard to be mad at somebody for that reason. Sure, I was furious at her actions, but the reasons just always somehow worked in her favor.

The OP wraps up the discussion with this:

It is hard to explain…..
Like I remember those who gave me extraodinary amounts of attention, but if I sensed (or imagined) that were pulling away at all it would set me into motion imaging all kinds of things and then yes I would do something blatantly stupid…and I knew it!
It’s a vicious cycle …..
The more you want the relationship, the closer you are…the worst it is
The unfaithfulness, is like a testing thing…I guess

I don’t buy the BS that BPs don’t have control over their behavior. Their impulsive nature, their fear of abandonment, and their self-destructive tendencies drive them do stupid/hurtful things for sure. But the choice is always theirs. BPs need to be held accountable for their bad choices like everyone else. If they have that little self-control and that little respect for others, they shouldn’t get seriously involved with people in the first place. BPD is an explanation. Not an excuse.

2 Responses to “The Unfaithful Borderline”

  1. Christine said

    I am ending a relationship with a Male borderline, and the female responses sound very similar to what he tells me. His childhood was a nightmare; so I tried everything in my power to make him feel loved. The contributing factor was his financial situation. I basically supported him for a year waiting…oh so patiently waiting for him to get it together. I started finding text messages from women he owed money (thank god I did not contribute to that). I thought doing the tough love thing would help him get on his feet. Well needless to say; when ever the boundaries were asserted. He would start his online love search!! I can laugh and even smile now. Being a Mom; I had too much compassion for what his mom did to him and over compensated. Oh well, run ladies run as fast as you can if you stumble across one, he will only rip your heart out!! Glad its over!!

  2. OC said

    Yup, going back through all these old posts and checking the boxes. The closer my now-ex and I got, the more she ramped up attention-seeking behavior on social media, posting increasingly risque and sexual things – her porn watching habits, photos of herself in increasing state of undress, masturbation sessions and updates, etc – where she knew everyone, including former lovers, could see it, while dialing down the intimacy with me more and more every day. When I confronted her and told her how much this was hurting me, she’d ignore it. I tried to stay strong until I just couldn’t anymore, and she split me. Said I was weak and projecting my insecurities onto her, just like every other man, and to stay away from her.
    She then reconciled with an emotionally abusive ex (I know him to be abusive because multiple people in our circle of friends have corroborated this with their own stories, he is quite literally a sociopath), got back into drugs after six months clean, started smoking a pack a day again after two years off tobacco, and keeps telling everyone that everything in her life is beautiful and fine and she’s never been happier.
    We had just planned a ten-day getaway for the spring. We had talked cohabitation, kids, everything. It was out of nowhere. Literally overnight.
    If anyone is browsing through this blog in the future and wondering how to handle an untreated Borderline partner: Run. Don’t walk. Run.

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