When Fools Rush In

January 4, 2011

I often wonder why people rush into marriage. It always seems like the ones who are incapable of sustaining a relationship are the ones who are in a hurry to tie the knot. While there are always exceptions to the rule… for the most part, these relationships always seem to end badly. If you truly love someone (and they… you), what’s the rush? Won’t they always be there for you? The fact is some of these troubled people are using marriage as a quick fix. They are avoiding the real change that needs to happen before they can even consider bringing someone else into their life.

My borderline ex was always looking to seal the deal, always pushing for more commitment. I resisted her fast-paced ways and was duly punished. Granted I am probably a little relationship-shy.  But, in retrospect, I had good reason to resist. While I question some of my instincts (getting involved with an abusive personality), I did have the good sense to know something was not right.

I always had the nagging suspicion that she would never change, despite her many promises and my desire to believe her. These were valid suspicions based on her actions, actions that were inconsistent with her words. She would always say how much she loved me, but then she would find a way to push me away or hurt me. With borderline personalities, actions always speak louder than words.

I’m not a huge Dr. Phil fan, but he has some good insights regarding such marriages:

  • In your desperation to get married, are you moving toward something or away from something? For example, some people get married so they can move away from home, not necessarily toward their spouse. A simpler way to ask this question might be: Are you moving toward being married or away from being single?
  • Do you yearn to be married because you believe it will make you feel complete? Understand that marriage doesn’t complete you. If you think you need to be half of a couple to be all of who you are, you’re engaging in “wrong thinking.” You don’t need to be half of a couple to be complete.

Sadly, “wrong thinking” is very much a part of borderline personality disorder. It is a disorder where impulsive instincts and intense emotions override cognitive function. It is wrong thinking to think that marriage is a guarantee of love or to think that marriage will fix what ails you. Some BPs think if they just find The One, every issue they ever had will magically disappear. They think short-term marital bliss will cover up a lifetime’s worth of tragedy. This is why so many BPs end up in loveless, abusive, and co-dependent relationships. Once the honeymoon high fades, so do the feelings of love.

Emotionally-damaged people think (hope) marriage will buy them happiness. It’s a naive notion. One that is indicative of arrested development (another BP trademark). A person who is exposed to trauma at an early age is frozen in time. This stunted emotional growth is what puts borderlines at a serious disadvantage when it comes to relationships.

Borderlines rush into marriage because they are like a small child that is excited about getting a puppy. But once the novelty wears off, they are left with the adult responsibility of taking care of that puppy. That puppy becomes more of a nuisance than a pleasure. A child reacts by walking away and looking for new toys to occupy their interest. The result is a puppy that is neglected or abandoned.

A partner who refuses to plunge into a relationship with a BP is like a parent who refuses to buy a child a puppy. The refuser is subjected to temper tantrums or, worse yet, the cold-shoulder. Expecting untreated borderlines to take their time is like expecting a child to act like an adult. It sounds harsh but it is the sad reality of the situation.

All we have to do is look at a BP’s relationship track record (and perhaps the parent’s relationship as well) to know how it will end. With BPs there is always the hope that THIS time it will be different. This is because they are under the false impression that every failure, to date, has been because of outside factors. But they are denying the fact that the more significant issues lay with them. They are ignoring the fact they were raised in a family where chaotic relationships were the model. Without a commitment to personal change, it is the same story all over again.

In regards to my ex, her decision to get married was not based on finally finding true love. It was based on her desperate fear of being alone, a fear of abandonment. And a marriage based on fear is a marriage that is destined for failure. It is not foolish for a borderline to yearn for true love. It is only human. But it is foolish for them to think that they can achieve it without dealing with their deep emotional scars.

6 Responses to “When Fools Rush In”

  1. Zero said

    I don’t think I missed anything so I am assuming BP is bi-polar. Years ago I asked the same questions you do and avoided all intimacy fearing that it would lead to yet another bad relationship. Unfortunately I eventually quit listening to my instincts and ended up in yet another bad relationship, this one lasting 16 years to date.

    Your insight into the reasons people rush into marriage impressive. This is the first posting of yours I have read and will read more to find out if your just a very observant person, or a trained professional. Until then I think your spot on.

    Good post,


    • savorydish said

      Thanks for the support. BP refers to Borderline Personality. I’m not a trained professional, just one person trying to make sense of the madness in his life. A lot of my info comes from outside sources. I provide links so people can judge the validity of the info for themselves. And then I add my own insights.This is really more of a personal journal, but I’m glad others are gaining insight for their own lives. As far as instincts go… it’s not always easy to know which ones are the right one. But this much I know- healthy people have good instincts, unhealthy people have bad instincts. Most of us have a little of both. Take care of yourself and you are more likely to make good decisions.

      People who suffer from personality disorders/poor self-esteem consistently make bad decisions and will continue to do so until they seek treatment. People who are afraid of being alone tend to rush into relationships. Bad decisions are usually a reaction to fear, whereas good decisions are aided by clarity and self-confidence. But the good news is our decision-making skills get better with experience and learning from our mistakes. Sorry to hear about your bad experiences, but you are not alone.

  2. […] Borderlines often rush into marriage because they fear being alone. But after the excitement of the honeymoon period fades, reality sets in. This is a person who has had identity problems since birth. They get married thinking it will give them an identity. […]

  3. Never Again said

    Wow im am so glad I found this blog. Your ex sounds like my mother. She is getting ready to wed husband number three after 4 weeks of dating. Oh yes they claim they are in love but you cannot love a person until you have truly gotten to know them. She rushed in with every man she has married even at the cost of her relationship with her own children. (Because she chose the men not her kids). And here we are she is doing the same thing over again like a goldfish in a bowl with a 3 second memory.. mabey this time this time this time this this this ok this time mabey it will work out.

    My father has been married five times and my mother now almost three no wonder im cautious. Two of my young friends have been married several times already its not how it was ment to be.

    My ex was a BP he talked about marriage only a few short weeks of being together. I said to him woah cowboy hold your horses. After that he threw a silent tantrum. That is where he do sent express how he is feeling but refuses to even look at me and ignores me. A few months later he pushed me into moving in with him. I initially said no its too soon but stupidly allowed him to emotionally blackmail me promising me the world wooing me etc until I said yes. That was the biggest mistake of my life and I wasted almost 4 years of it with a 2 yr old in a 37 yr old’s body.

    Unlike my mother and my father I actually reflect on myself.I asked myself why did i cave in? Why did i continue to date him after the alarm bells went off. Three years later I am still single but I am secure. I am confident and I know what I want and do not want If i rushed in like my parents i would have made the same mistakes again. I realise and know more than i did in my 20’s that security and confidence comes from within and really knowing yourself not form another person.

    If someone says they love you enough to want to marry you before they have gotten to know you.. RUN as fast as you can. They don’t know you and you don’t know them so it is not true love that will last a lifetime it is lust and that is fleeting.

  4. lareynaegomez said

    I really enjoy reading your semi-article …very interesting…..
    But one thing came to my head, it isn’t exactly why this people with BPD feel rejected? , because they truly are! As you make sure to point it out, they are defective. Why instead of writing a novel about how to avoid them even more, what about writing something that bring enough counciousness so that people welcome them as defective as they are, so they could be healed by feeling accepted and loved…. It is so great to feel psychologically empowered to expose the psychological ilnesses of others, because by exposing them you are exposing your narcissist tendencies as well… I’m happy you didn’t married that girl…because you couldn’t have be of any help for her disability either. That’s exactly what wrong with this planet, the ill seeks to be heal, while the perfect seeks to benefit from them, she simply became your guiney pig for this succulent essay…

    • savorydish said

      The short answer is acceptance and love does not heal BPD trauma. They reject you because they are triggered by intimacy. They fear love like most people fear death. Keep reading my succulent novel and all your questions will be answered.

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