In the previous article, we discussed one primary factor behind the infidelity of some who live with Borderline Personality Disorder.
I say ‘some’, because as I mentioned in the previous article, not every person who has Borderline Personality Disorder cheats on his or her partner. Nevertheless, whether a person with Borderline Personality Disorder ever cheats or not is sort of irrelevant to this discussion, because the reality is that every single person who lives with the disorder is secretly living with the exact same issues that lead those who do cheat, to cheat.
To say it another way: Just because a person with Borderline Personality Disorder may never cheat, he or she is still living with precisely the same fundamental issues that translate into infidelity for some, and those issues are creating great unhappiness for them all - infidelity, or not.
As a review, in the previous article, I explained that it is the complete inability of the person with Borderline Personality Disorder to generate his or her own inner sense of worth that ultimately leads to the desperate craving for external validation. I went on to explain exactly why they are unable to generate their own inner sense of worth, as well as how, in specific terms, this can easily lead to infidelity. If you haven’t read that article yet, I highly recommend it.
This follow-up article is necessary because there are also other contributing factors that are in play, and our objective here is to understand things in their entirety - all of the various parts, and how they feed off each other.
If you’ll remember, in the previous discussion, we started by explaining the two false foundation perspectives that folks with the disorder live with. The two causes at the root of the entirety of Borderline Personality Disorder itself. One of them is this: My feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth.
Aside from naturally making it impossible for people to generate their own inner sense of self worth, what is another result of this distorted perspective?
Very simply, it also causes people with Borderline Personality Disorder to completely reject any and all chances at genuine intimacy, no matter what situation they might be in: Married, dating, it doesn’t matter. Why do they do this? They do it because of the intense feelings of embarrassment and shame they secretly live with toward their feelings, especially toward any feelings which in any way might reveal vulnerability.
What is intimacy? It is the revealing and sharing of your genuine self (which involves the sharing of your deepest, authentic feelings), with another, trusted, person. The very nature of intimacy involves being emotionally vulnerable, honest, and open, with another.
Is intimacy an optional life ingredient in order for humans to enjoy true emotional health and contentment? Is it one of those things that are nice to experience, but that we can do fine without?
No, it is not. Intimacy is not optional when we discuss matters of true emotional health. Rather, intimacy is a human need. It’s a non-negotiable ingredient in order for one to enjoy a healthy, happy, balanced, fulfilling life.
It’s true that some people stay single for their entire lives, or become hermits; but without intimate friendships, or intimate relationships of some sort, the natural consequences of this sort of lifestyle do not result in emotional balance and health. Quite the contrary.
As I’ve explained in the past, any time we are deficient in a need, we suffer negative consequences from that deficiency. But more than this, it forces our subconscious mind to search for ways to relieve that deficiency, with or without us.
In the article Intimacy Oranges and Fish Eyeballs, I told the story of a British couple, lost at sea, who began consuming the eyeballs of fish they would catch. This was strange, because neither one of them had any understanding whatsoever of where this craving was coming from. Fish eyeballs were certainly not anything they had ever craved before.
It wasn’t until after their rescue they discovered that fish eyeballs are naturally high in Vitamin C, which of course they had become deficient in. As you know, Vitamin C is also not an optional ingredient for good health in humans.
Are you as astonished as I am at the power of their subconscious minds to figure out - without them - that fish eyeballs contain Vitamin C? To then create a craving toward a thing that they would never naturally be drawn to, and then effectively control their behaviors, thus working in their interests to relieve the deficiency and provide for their needs?
But just as fish eyeballs are not the ideal method for getting our Vitamin C needs met, folks with Borderline Personality Disorder who - as an unavoidable result of the very nature of the disorder - are deficient in intimacy, seek inferior substitutes to relieve their desperate, subconscious cravings.
As you have probably guessed by now, sex, masturbation, affairs, passionate trysts - these things are powerful, related substitutes for genuine intimacy. Unfortunately, they are inferior related substitutes. They may produce some emotional similarities to what sometimes accompanies certain aspects of genuine intimacy, but they do not, alone by themselves, fulfill the emotional need that only authentic intimacy is able to provide.
So now we see two different effects, tied directly to the root cause of Borderline Personality Disorder, and how they compliment each other, to the ongoing detriment of its victims. One, the individual is unable to generate any sense of worth from within. As a result, his or her only way to feel good about himself or herself is by means of external sources. Experiencing attraction directed at us from other people is a perfect example of external validation.
Simultaneously, this same person - who is already unable to generate his or her own inner self worth - has also been living with an intense intimacy deficiency since he or she was four or five years old! Imagine the power of the desperate, subconscious craving they are walking around with to relieve this need!
Their fear of intimacy is proportionately rivaled only by their craving for it. This is a real-life example of an unstoppable force coming up against an immovable object. Folks with Borderline Personality Disorder, as long as they live with the causes of the disorder, will simply not take advantage of the healthy opportunities for intimacy that they already have available to them in any meaningful way. The only alternative their subconscious mind has therefore, is to search out related, but superficial, inferior, substitutes.
Heightened sexual desires, extreme compulsions related to masturbation, frequent, widespread, compulsive flirting, sexual trysts, the need for regular, ongoing, attention and attraction from multiple sources, and yes, infidelity, are all examples of some of the related, but inferior substitutes that people who are intimacy deficient resort to for relief.
The solution, as I mentioned in the previous article, is exactly the same for both symptoms that each of these articles addresses. One must unravel and correct the distorted, false perceptions that they live with, and become able to generate their own sense of self worth from within, totally independent of any external factors. A natural, related part of being able to do this will be the ability to enjoy genuine intimacy.
In all respects, correcting the two distorted core beliefs that form the foundation of Borderline Personality Disorder is the primary task that must be addressed in order for people living with the disorder to be able to truly escape it, and eventually enjoy genuine emotional health.