Lets Talk about this Abandonment Issue

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2008
Lets Talk about this Abandonment Issue
17
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 8:58am

One poster here pointed out how abandonment issues can harm relationships. I am in one of those relationships. I think he has abandonment issues big time. His dad walked out without a word when he was a young kid. His last gf of 11 years asked him to move out even though they were raising a son together. He has little confidence in me. And he is in constant fear that I am going to leave him.

An example of a conversation with him...

me "some days I love you so much I am overflowing"

Him "what about the other days?"

or

me "I love and miss you"

him "I hope so"

or

me flirting "we will make up for lost time tonight"

him "promises promises"

This sort of dialog has become the norm. A day doesnt go by that he is asking me to confirm my love for him and that I am in this relationship to stay.

In addition to this he constantly doubts me. I wake up one night at 3am and check the Celtics score (I am a huge fan) on my iphone NBA Game Time app. He automatically assumes I am texting another man. Then another recent night I cant sleep and get up and read an email from his neice on my iphone. Again he assumes that I dont want to be with him and am reading something from another man. I offer to show him the email to prove it.

I am tired of looking at myself trying to figure out why he doubts me. I have not found a reason for him to do so. I really put an effort into honesty. I want this relationship to work.

How can I help him? How can we get past this and on to a normal relationship?

thanks

Laurie

anonymous

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 11:40am

I can address some of the abandonment issues, but you need to remember that you can not change him or make him better.

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 2:28pm

I did a little reasearch about a year and half ago on Attachment Disorders and my untrained observation was me and SO both have a form of it.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2008
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 6:20pm

Pam, actually you helped quite a bit. What are the books you read? I love reading and learn a lot from it. Plus I am about done with the current book.

You gave me a lot to think about and opened my eyes to new things. I try to talk to him about how much it is hurting me but his only response is 'dont worry about it'. So, no, he doesnt realize how much it is driving me away and how much it hurts.

Its interesting you mention drugs and alcohol. He and his sister both had these issues and his sister did kill herself when she was 19.

He doesnt have very low self esteem but he does have self esteem issues as he says things like, 'my son is a more valuable person than I" or "my son is a better person than I". And I see his abandonment issues when he says he wants his son to stay and live with him well into his adult years. His son is 15. So I think my SO fears his son growing up and moving out.

I was confused for a long time about what was going on and now I think I am coming up with some answers. At least answers to what is causing this. Now I can get on to what to do about it.

Thanks

Laurie

anonymous
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2008
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 6:22pm

Thanks for your insight. My SO too has constant fear that I am going to leave him. Plus he fears me leaving in the middle of the night and doesnt trust that I am going home to my kids. He assumes I am going someplace else.

Can you refer me to some good books to learn about what is going on.

Laurie

anonymous
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2004
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 6:57pm

Hi-


My father died when I was 10, and it still hurts. I correlate my reactions to break-ups to this. A psychologist once stated there is something called an "Abandonment Schema"...which he thought I had. Then having fiances who have cheated on me,

seachells

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 7:23pm

I am not a reader, so unfortunately I can't suggest any books.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 7:36pm

we need to get our 'good enough' from God (or whatever your belief system is) and not from people, places or things.


I agree!! Alanon or some other Codependency Support Group would be a great idea. I did a Codep support group for 3 years after my divorce. It turned my world around for the best when i learned how to own my issue and heal my wounds. And seek approval from one (my higher power) and not from the many (boyfriend, friends, family etc).


I feel so much freer and better able to love others.


Good luck,


Loonybunny


ETA - oh and, I also had abandonment issue as a child. after my parents divorced when i was 6. The support groups helped me sort out those feelings and I truly feel like i am no longer alone. and no longer defending my worth. I am loved by God. I am worthy of the best things in life. I am blessed.




Edited 3/12/2010 7:39 pm ET by loonybunny
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 10:19pm

So the 15 yr old is his only child? I find it very interesting that he was abandoned by his dad and wants to cling to his son. What happens if his DS wants to go to college? I don't have answers for that one but I think a parent's job is to prepare their children for living on their own, if they don't go to college at least to have some kind of a career where they can be self-supporting. When my DD went away to college, I really missed her, but recognize that it's healthy for her to become more independent. Now I won't mind if she wants to live at home after college to start out, but "well into adulthood." I'd want to know what that means--would he be upset if his Ds is 21 and wants to get his own apt? Will that make him feel abandoned?

Do you think he would go to counseling w/ you to work out these issues? I would be upset if someone was suspicious of me for no reason because that is questioning my honesty & integrity, which is very important to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2008
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 6:17am

He told me he wanted DS to go to a local college while living at home. And he said he would be fine if DS wanted to live at home with him well into his 40's. That part I couldnt wrap my head around. But now its making sense.

He stayed in a bad relationship until she kicked him out so he could be with his son. He told me he was willing to stay there with her for 18 years if need be to be with his son. So I wonder if he was afraid that leaving the relationship was the same as abandoning his son and he would do anything possible not to put his son through what he went through.

I also think he wasnt as insecure in his last relationship because he felt she was permanently attached to him through their son, finances and a shared house. But with me I have no physical attachments with him. No shared finances. No kids. No shared home. And I am making it on my own without needing him for anything. So he feels less secure.

Counseling? I dont know. I never mentioned it. And he seems like the type to refuse assuming there is nothing wrong with him. In his eyes its all me who is causing this. He was the one who told me I was a challenge. I stopped in my tracks and thought "I'm the challenge????!!!" But I didnt say it.

Thanks for your insight. Things are starting to clear up now.

Laurie

anonymous
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 10:18am

It's interesting to see how our pasts influence the present. I wanted DD to be able to go away to college because I did & I had a good experience--now neither one of us went too far away, it's not like we went across country. But she says that she feels that she has matured more than her friends who stayed home, having to make more decisions on her own.

My 2nd ex had many more "issues" than the 1st DH did, having grown up in an abusive family. And since his 1st Dw cheated on him, he was more suspicious, but as we went along, he did realize that I was not the type of person who would ever cheat, so he relaxed. I think that one thing that helped him was transparency. Like my single boss, who I used to have a crush on, invited me out to a fancy place for lunch--so of course I told DH about that. If I had kept it a secret, he would have thought something was up.

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