Abandonment issues in relationships are far more common than you might think. Some people are consumed by the intense fear that their loved one will leave or cheat on them. At the same time, many others put up walls between them and others and never let truly anyone in.
Living with abandonment issues in relationships is like leading a double life. A part of you yearns so deeply for real intimacy with another person. While the other part of you is convinced that if you let someone too close, it’ll hurt you so bad that you never reveal your true self to them. You’re torn inside – swinging between these two parts that never seem to find balance and a piece of heart.
Abandonment Issues in Our Non-Committal Culture
As with any subconscious pattern, the abandonment issues in relationships are also manifested in two seemingly opposing extremes. One is to cling on your partner and to do whatever you can to keep them satisfied even if you lose yourself in the process.
The second way is to convince everyone, including yourself, that you don’t need anyone. One of the reasons why our culture is terrified of commitments is because deep down – in a safe place locked away their awareness – people feel like they’d die if someone they truly love abandoned them.
Therefore they convince themselves that they don’t need anyone. In their minds, there are only two extremes – being completely dependent on others and thus being deprived of a sense of own self. Or being independent to the point of never forming deeper bonds with others.
Fear of being overly dependent on someone or being completely independent are two sides of the same coin. Both run by our ego.
As a coach, I can tell you that if you meet someone who can’t commit and someone who can’t live without a relationship, they both are consumed by their abandonment issues. One person wants to do everything right, so their partner never has a reason to leave. While the other feels in control only when they convince themselves that they don’t need anyone. The second group of people can meet a love of their life and run the other direction looking for reasons why it wouldn’t work anyway.
How to Deal with Abandonment Issues in Relationships
Most of us come from generations of parents who didn’t know how to show love and encouragement in a healthy way. When we needed a sense of safety, rules we could rely on, attention, support, love, and encouragement to keep outgrowing our comfort zone, most parents couldn’t provide that for one reason or another.
Our society is emotionally and spiritually malnourished. Starving for real intimacy and mutual respect for our uniqueness.
To deal with the abandonment issues in relationships, I’d always recommend to do some inner child healing work and revisit your childhood and your relationship with parents and how they shaped your perception of self and relationships. When this is done – I can also guide you through this process – move on the following two steps.
1. Stop Abandoning Yourself
The greatest irony of the abandonment issues in relationships is that all the time you want to avoid someone hurting or leaving you, YOU are the one abandoning yourself. You’re abandoning your values, the things that light you up, your spontaneity, and all the light and charming things that sparkle brightness in your heart.
The whole time you’ve been searching for someone to love you unconditionally, you’ve been deserting yourself. This is the real reason why you feel abandoned.
If you want to heal your abandonment issues in relationships, you have to stop giving up on yourself and your dreams. Try to remember who you were BEFORE you’d met your partner or even better, before you had been interested in romantic relationships. Can you remember how pure and innocent you were?
You used to have light in you that was contagious when you were younger. Tap into it again. Bring it back to life. Trust me that this is what you’re actually seeking for more than anything else. Come back to yourself.
How would your life change if you decided that no matter what will happen, you’ll never abandon yourself?
Not abandoning yourself means being there for yourself unconditionally – when things go well and not so perfect. It means having a deep and loving relationship with yourself regardless if you’re single or you’ve been married for years. It’s about being honest with yourself about who you are and what you truly want and supporting your dreams.
Are you abandoning yourself spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or physically? Is there a vacuum in your life that you unconsciously try to fill in with external situations?
2. Parent Yourself
Healing abandonment issues in relationships come to parenting yourself. No matter what your age is, there is a part of you that wants to be nurtured and supported. This inner self is waiting for your love and attention. As you parent yourself, you’ll notice that you feel balanced and grounded. The things that used to swing your moods lose their grip on your psyche.
If you looked at yourself from the outside through the eyes of a loving parent, how would you support and love yourself? Would you let a child you deeply love to sabotage their life?
How would you help them to build up the strong core? Their relationships? Their life purpose? And health?