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Fear of abandonment in relationships : symptoms and explanation

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Fear of abandonment in relationships : symptoms and explanation

Fear of abandonment in relationships is unfotunately something quite common, it’s even a symptom descibed as “a mental condition than can afflict the child, adult or senior that is provoked by the absence or disappearance of an affective or material link considered to be essential to one’s life“, but let’s break down the symptoms and get a clearer explanation…

Fear of abandonment in relationships : The causes

I said feeling of abandonment inside the couple, but you should however be aware that the roots are deep inside of you!

This feeling of abandonment can appear after a breakup with your first love, your parent’s divorce, a past-related trauma, a real or imaginary lack of love, the death of a friend or relative, the absence of a parent when you were a child, a lack of attention or simply the impression of not being important in the eyes of others, of not belonging…

And that’s how a deep wound appears during childhood. According to Lise Bourbeau, there are five.

How do people with a feeling of abandonment inside there couple live

Lise Bourbeau describes the character of a person with a very strong feeling of abandonment :

“victim”, “needs presence, attention, a foundation and most of all support”, “difficult to do or decide anything alone”, “asks for advice but doesn’t necessarily follow it”, “voice of a child”, “difficult to say no to or to cope with refusal)”, “joyful one day, sad the next”, “sadness”, “attracts pity”, “looks for independence”, etc. 

The greatest fear when someone is dependent is solitude. “He is convinced he can not handle it. That is why he clings to others and does everything he can to get attention. He keeps trying to trick people into loving him, into not leaving him behind.

Fear of abandonment inside the couple and affective dependence

The feeling of abandonment is directly linked with affective dependence. The psychoanalist Eric Fromm once said : “Immature love says : I love you because I need you. Mature love says : I need you because I love you“. The person afflicted with a feeling of abandonment will have a tendency – unconsciously of course – to love somebody more because of need than because of real love.

So those who get that feeling of abandonment inside their couple will suffer from what they see as a lack of recognition. They will do everything they can to be loved by the other, at the cost of what they truly desire. Such people feel they only exist through the eyes of the other and are incapable of seeing their own qualities.

And when someone with a feeling of abandonment actually is abandoned, she will think it’s her own fault and that she wasn’t good enough for the person she was with. No need to be with a narcissistic pervert to feel this kind of guilt, the abandonic person will create it on her own.

What is completely incredible is that, because of that fear of being abandoned, the abandonic person puts everything in place so that it actually happens, so that she gets rejected. Even though she desperately tries to be loved, she is so convinced that she doesn’t deserve to be, that she ends up provoking involuntary rejection.

The abandonic person has a phobic fear of solitude.

If her husband has to travel for work, it will lead to a strong anguish she will have trouble coping with.

The abandonic person will have trouble being part of a long-lasting couple. She will go from partner to partner. That will provide her with the feeling of being loved and attractive (even if it’s short-term). And when she eventually does fall in love and get into a couple for a while, she ends up breaking up anyway : she would rather do it herself rather than be hypothetically victim of rejection.

The person with an abandonment symptom inside her couple will perpetually need to be reassured and her expectations will be impossible to match, which is why she will feel eternally unsatisfied.

Fear of abandonment and toxic relationships

An abandonic person will take one of these two paths when it comes to a relationship :

The seducer/The seductress

Not wanting to be abandoned, the abandonic person will jump from partner to partner. She will do all that is in her power to be attractive and will in a way be constantly manipulative, even though she won’t realize it.

It could also become a form of perversion and the abandonic person could, in this context, want to control everything until the other becomes her “thing”.

WARNING : these people suffer by hurting those they love!

The affectively dependent

As we saw earlier, the abandonic person can be, and is often, affectively dependent. And because of that, will have a tendency of abusing herself and to put all of her partner’s needs and wants before her own. She will belittle herself and even apologize when she shouldn’t, always acting like the victim, as convinced as she is that she doesn’t deserve the other’s love.

How to stop the feeling of abandonment inside the couple?

Life isn’t easy for the one living with an abandonic person. He will constantly feel powerless, trapped in the impossibility of making his partner happy. It is paramount not to feel guilty, because the problem is the feeling of abandonment, not you. It is essential that the abandonic person sees her denial for what it is, faces her irrational fear and works on it.

So the abandonic person should :

  • Learn to love herself ;
  • Work on her self-esteem ;
  • Be herself and not be afraid of disappointing others anymore ;
  • Accept making mistakes ;
  • Accept fighting with her partner without believing it will lead to a breakup ;
  • Be assertive ;
  • Break with affective dependence.

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