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Abandonment Issues in Relationships: How to Address Them and Move Forward

Defining Abandonment Issues in Relationships

Abandonment issues can be a major problem in any type of relationship. Whether you are dating, married, or just friends, feeling abandoned can lead to a lot of pain and confusion. If you have been struggling with abandonment issues, don’t worry! There is hope. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of abandonment issues and how to address them. We will also provide tips for moving forward and creating healthy relationships.

Defining Abandonment Issues in Relationships

Defining Abandonment Issues in RelationshipsRelationships can be complicated. This is something that everyone knows. But, what happens when the complications in a relationship are due to one person’s fear of abandonment? This is called an “abandonment issue.”

Abandonment issues mean what they are named: a person who experiences this issue feels abandoned by the people they are close to. This can happen in any type of relationship, whether it is a romantic relationship, friendship, or even familial. And, it is not always because the other person has actually left; sometimes, it is simply because the person with abandonment issues perceives that they will be left.

Abandonment issues can be extremely painful. If you have abandonment issues, you may feel like you are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. You may feel like you are not good enough or that you do not deserve love. As a result, you may find yourself pushing people away or sabotaging relationships before they have a chance to develop.

Warning Signs

It is not always easy to tell if you have abandonment issues. However, there are some warning signs that may indicate that you are struggling with this issue. You may even notice these in your partner or someone else around you. If you find yourself experiencing any of the following, it is important to reach out for help.

Control

This is the foremost symptom. A person with abandonment issues will feel the need to control everything in their life. They may feel like they need to be in control of their relationships, their work, and even their own emotions. This can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety.

While control in this context may not always be very overt or obvious, but if you find yourself feeling like you need to micromanage everything in your life, it may be a sign that you are struggling with abandonment issues.

Jealousy

JealousyOf course, no relationship exists without some form of jealousy. While some degree of it may be acceptable or even good for the relationship, an intense or obsessive form of jealousy can indicate abandonment issues. If you find yourself constantly checking your partner’s phone or email, following them when they go out or feeling insanely jealous when they talk to someone else, it’s time to take a step back and assess why you’re feeling this way.

Moreover, jealousy combined with irrational fears or anxieties can make for a very toxic mix. If you’re someone who struggles with abandonment issues, it’s important to understand that these feelings are normal and that there are ways to address them.

Overcompensation

When one is in a relationship with someone who has abandonment issues, they may try to overcompensate for the fear of being left. This can look like smothering their partner with affection, always being available, or never leaving their side. While this behavior may come from a place of love, it can actually be suffocating for the person on the receiving end.

There is a term that depicts the very real and literal manners of this definition of overcompensation, and that is “emotional incest.” This happens when a person tries to meet all of their partner’s needs, both emotional and physical. This can be extremely unhealthy and damaging to both parties involved. Another term referred to as “love bombing” is when someone tries to win over their partner with constant affection and attention in order to avoid being abandoned.

Rejection Sensitivity

People who struggle with abandonment may also be highly sensitive to rejection. Even if their partner says no to something as simple as going to the movies, it can be interpreted as a sign that they are not wanted and will be abandoned. This type of thinking can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress in relationships.

Anxious thoughts

Anxious thoughtsAbandonment and anxious thoughts are often linked. If you’re dealing with abandonment issues, you might have a lot of anxiety about your partner leaving you. This can lead to clinginess or always needing reassurance that they won’t leave. Some ways these anxious thoughts manifest is in the given examples:

  • Your partner not texting you back right away and you think they must be with someone else
  • When your partner goes out without you, you think they’re cheating
  • You constantly worry that your partner will find someone better and leave you
  • Overanalysing your partner’s every move and word for clues that they’re going to leave
  • Cooking up scenarios in your head about how they could leave you
  • You have a hard time trusting your partner because you think they’ll eventually leave you

These anxious thoughts can be exhausting and take a toll on your relationship. It’s important to understand that these thoughts are usually based on fear and insecurity, not reality. If your partner is supportive and understanding, they’ll be able to help you work through these fears.

Unhealthy co-dependency

Since humans are social animals, it is obvious that we feel the need to constantly be around others. For people with abandonment issues, this manifests as an unhealthy co-dependency. In the simplest terms, this is described as the fear of being alone. You might feel like you need to be with your partner all the time or you’ll feel anxious. This can often lead to behaviors such as:

  • Asking your partner to spend every waking moment with you
  • Getting upset when they can’t drop everything to be with you
  • Needing constant reassurance that they love you
  • Not wanting to do anything without your partner
  • Feeling lost and alone when they’re not around

While it’s healthy to want to spend time with your partner, it’s not healthy to need them all the time. This can be suffocating for them and lead to unhealthy and toxic patterns of attachment.

Unable to trust others

When one is constantly bombarded by the thoughts of getting abandoned, it is obvious that they lack trust in others. This lack of trust usually comes from past experiences where the person has been let down or hurt by someone they trusted. As a result, they find it hard to open up to others and develop close relationships. This lack of trust manifests itself in the following ways:

  • The person is always suspicious of others and their motives. They may think that people are only have an interest in them for what they can do for them and not because they care about them.
  • They find it hard to relax and be themselves around others. They may put up a false persona to try and make themselves more likable to others.
  • They may constantly test others to see if they will still be there for them. For example, they may cancel plans at the last minute or not return calls/texts to see if the other person will still stick around.
  • They often find it hard to let others in and may push them away when they start to get too close.

These are some red flags that may indicate that someone has trust issues with abandonment.

Intimacy issues

Intimacy issuesAt the very last, intimacy, be it physical or emotional, is one of the most common issues people with abandonment issues face. They have a hard time being intimate with others as they are afraid of getting too close and ultimately getting hurt. This results in the following:

  • The person may have a hard time letting anyone get too close to them physically or emotionally.
  • They may come across as guarded and not interested in getting to know others on a deeper level.
  • They may have a hard time being vulnerable and sharing their true thoughts and feelings with others.

These barriers to intimacy can make it difficult for the person to form close relationships with others.

All of these are the signs that may indicate struggles with abandonment issues in relationships. One may experience some or all of these issues depending on the severity of their trust issues. If you find yourself struggling with any of these, it is important to seek help.

Causes

CausesAfter learning about the signs, it is only natural to wonder what makes people susceptible to developing abandonment issues. There are a few key factors that can contribute to this:

  • Traumatic events: One of the most common causes of abandonment issues is a traumatic event in childhood. This could be anything from parental divorce to abuse or neglect. These experiences can leave deep emotional scars that make it hard for the person to trust others later in life. This trauma can also stem from other betrayals or issues in previous relationships.
  • An insecure attachment: Another cause of abandonment issues is an insecure attachment style. This means that the person had a caregiver who was inconsistent or unresponsive to their needs when they were growing up. This can make it hard for them to form healthy attachments with others later in life.
  • Comparisons: Another cause of abandonment issues is when someone constantly compares themselves to others. This can be in regards to their looks, their accomplishments, or anything else. Doing so can make them feel like they are not good enough and that people will eventually leave them.
  • Low self-esteem: People with low self-esteem are also more likely to struggle with abandonment issues. This is because they often feel like they are not good enough for others and that they will ultimately be rejected.
  • Having certain disorders: If one is prone to anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or depression, they may also be more likely to develop abandonment issues. This is because these disorders can cause someone to feel more insecure and mistrustful of others.

These are some of the most common causes of abandonment issues in relationships. It is important to remember that everyone experiences these issues differently and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you are struggling with any of these issues, it is important to seek help from a therapist or counselor who can help you work through these problems.

Consequences

It would be delusional and naive to try and claim that abandonment issues don’t have consequences. While the effects may not always be as dramatic or intense as one might think, they can still significantly impact both the person’s life and their relationships.

For people with abandonment issues

A few of the most common consequences on the person struggling with these are:

  • Loneliness: Oftentimes, people with abandonment issues feel lonely. This is because they often push others away and have a hard time forming close relationships. They may also withdraw from social activities and isolate themselves from others.
  • Anxiety: Another common consequence is anxiety. This can be both social anxiety and general anxiety. The person may feel anxious about being rejected or abandoned by others. They may also worry that they are not good enough for the other person. This can lead to them constantly seeking reassurance from others and feeling clingy.
  • Depression: Depression is another possible consequence of abandonment issues in relationships. This is because the person may feel like they are not worthy of love or that they will never find someone who will stay with them. This can lead to them feeling hopeless and helpless.
  • Increase in fights: One of the most common consequences in relationships is increased fighting. This is because the person may be constantly suspicious of their partner and looking for signs that they are going to leave. They may also be overly clingy and possessive which can lead to arguments.
  • Mood swings: Another consequence of abandonment issues is mood swings. This is because the person may feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster. They may be happy one minute and then feeling down or anxious the next.
  • Issues with other relationships: Abandonment issues can also impact other relationships. This is because the person may have a hard time trusting others or they may be constantly testing them to see if they will leave. This can make it hard to maintain friendships or other close relationships.
  • Increased risk of substance abuse: Some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to try and cope with their abandonment issues. This is because these substances can help numb the pain and make them feel more comfortable in social situations. However, this can lead to further problems down the road.

These are just a few of the ways that abandonment issues in relationships can impact a person’s life. If you are struggling with any of these, it is important to seek help.

For a person dating someone with abandonment issues

Consequences

It is also obvious that the person having to deal with their partner’s abandonment issues will also be affected. Here are some of the ways:

  • Feeling like you are walking on eggshells: This is because you never know when your partner is going to have a mood swing or become agitated. You may also feel like you are constantly being tested or that you have to prove your loyalty.
  • Feeling suffocated: This is because the person with abandonment issues may be overly clingy and need constant reassurance. They may also want to spend all their time with you and get upset if you have other commitments.
  • Feeling like you are never good enough: This is because the person with abandonment issues may constantly seek reassurance from you. They may also compare you to other people or try to find fault in everything you do.
  • Experiencing compassion fatigue: This is because you may feel like you are always the one who has to be understanding and supportive. You may also feel like you are not being appreciated or that your efforts are never good enough.
  • Exhaustion: This is because dealing with someone with abandonment issues can be very emotionally draining. You may also find yourself walking on eggshells or having to constantly reassure them which can be tiring.

If you are in a relationship with someone who has abandonment issues, it is important to strategize ways to deal with them.

Ways To Overcome

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome abandonment issues in relationships. With the help of a therapist, you can work through your past and present relationships to understand why you feel the way you do. Some of the most common interventions that a relationship counselor will use are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a type of therapy that helps you to understand your thoughts and feelings and how they impact your behavior.
  • Interpersonal therapy: This is a type of therapy that focuses on your relationships with others and how to improve them.
  • Imago therapy: This is a type of therapy that focuses on improving communication and understanding between partners.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy: This is a type of therapy that helps you to understand and accept your emotions.
  • Group therapy: This is a type of therapy that allows you to share your experiences with others who are going through similar things.
  • Family therapy: This is a type of therapy that can help to improve communication and relationships within your family.

No matter what type of therapy you choose, the goal is to help you understand your abandonment issues and how to overcome them.

Other than professional intervention, there are also some things the couple can do to work on the abandonment issues in relationships. These are:

work on the abandonment issues

  • Encourage independence: This means giving your partner space to do things on their own and not being too clingy. It also means letting them have their own hobbies and interests outside of the relationship.
  • Schedule quality time: This means making time for each other and doing things that you both enjoy. It also means having regular conversations about your relationship and how you both feel.
  • Practice self-compassion: When you’re able to be kind and understanding to yourself, it’ll be easier to do the same for your partner. Trust yourself that you’re worthy of love and that you won’t be facing abandonment again.
  • Build trust: This means being honest with each other and not keeping secrets. It also means being reliable and consistent in your actions.
  • Communicate: This means talking to each other about your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. It also means listening to each other and trying to understand where the other person is coming from.
  • Be patient: This means understanding that it will take time for your partner to overcome their abandonment issues. It also means being willing to work on the relationship even when things are tough.

Abandonment issues can be a difficult thing to deal with in a relationship. However, with patience, understanding, and communication, it is possible to overcome them. If you or your partner are struggling with abandonment issues, be sure to get help.

Conclusion

In conclusion of the blog, the best way to address abandonment issues in relationships is by getting help from a therapist. There are many different types of therapy that can be effective in helping you understand and overcome your abandonment issues. In addition to therapy, there are also things that you and your partner can do to work on the relationship.

If you or your partner are struggling with any type of relationship issues, Therapy Mantra is here for you. We are the leading providers of online therapy and counseling. Our team of highly trained and experienced therapists can help you work through your issues. Our sessions are open to individuals as well as couples. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You may also visit our website to book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.