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While it’s not uncommon to fear losing the people you love, people with abandonment issues may struggle with an intense fear of intimacy because of fear of being abandoned or rejected by people in their lives. These fears can make it difficult for them to trust others or to believe that a partner’s feelings are genuine. Some people with abandonment issues fear being alone, which keeps them from leaving an unhealthy relationship.

People can develop abandonment issues for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the fear stems from childhood trauma, while others may have gone through traumatic events in their adult life.

By learning more about it, you can learn how to help someone with abandonment issues so you can provide them with the support they need such as communication, honesty, online therapy and more. Your support will help them build and maintain a healthy relationship.

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Understand why they feel this way

Fear of abandonment can lead to unhealthy behavior. It’s not uncommon for someone with abandonment issues to struggle with jealousy, ask for constant validation, or push their partner away to avoid rejection. These feelings can make it difficult for them to feel secure in a relationship or to trust their partner.

“It can feel like the burden is on you when you meet someone with abandonment issues, but once you recognize it, it can be easier to depersonalize. Having some patience and taking the time to communicate clearly can help both of you realize that honesty and understanding are necessary to minimize the fear, suspicion, or shame that often accompanies the fear of abandonment. ”

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Talkspace Therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW

Once you understand that’s where they come from, it will be easier to see that it really isn’t about you. You will probably start to have more compassion for your partner.

So part of learning to love someone with abandonment issues is accepting that you are not the cause of your partner’s fears. Research shows that many people with severe abandonment issues have experienced severe trauma, such as B. Emotional or physical neglect. Try to remember that your partner’s behavior may be a reaction to past hurts, not anything you’re doing in the present.

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Abandonment issues can be difficult to overcome even with a supportive partner. Don’t take your partner’s fears personally and avoid telling them they’re being irrational. Instead, gently encourage her to open up about her fears so you can both work on building a healthier relationship.

Practice communication and patience

Communication is vital to any relationship, but it’s especially important when you’re dating someone who has issues with abandonment. Being open and honest with your partner can build trust and help them feel more secure. Consistent communication can not only strengthen your relationship, but also improve your emotional well-being.

Although communication is a two-way street, try not to pressure your partner to discuss their feelings with you. Many abandonment fears are reticent, and it can take time to break down the walls they’ve put up. Focus on sharing your own feelings and letting your partner know that if they want or need to talk, you’re always there to listen.

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Whether you’re trying to support a friend or want to learn how to love a woman with abandonment issues, patience is key. Communication won’t change your relationship overnight, but it can have a positive impact over time. Keep being open and honest with your partner and showing them that it’s okay to trust you.

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Be honest

Lying to a romantic partner isn’t all that unusual. A 2017 YouGov poll found that 79% of respondents had lied to their significant other at least once. However, if you want to learn how to help someone with abandonment issues, try to buck the trends and stick to the truth.

Lying is not always about deceiving someone. At times you may be tempted to lie to your partner to protect their feelings. Remind yourself that small white lies may seem harmless, but for someone who struggles with abandonment, even a small lie can feel like a validation of their deepest fears and lead to larger trust issues.

You should also try to avoid lies of omission. If you suppress your emotions, your partner may become concerned about what you’re not telling them. Being honest about your positive and negative feelings can help you build a secure relationship.

Be ready to prove yourself

It can be difficult for someone with abandonment issues to overcome their fear of rejection, even when they are in a supportive and loving relationship. Sometimes it can feel like your partner is constantly doubting your feelings or looking for proof that you don’t really care. This can be frustrating and hurtful, especially when you’ve put so much time and energy into the relationship.

You may have learned to love someone with abandonment issues, but that doesn’t always mean your partner can truly believe your feelings are genuine. Fear of abandonment is often rooted in past hurts, and your partner’s experiences may have caused them trust issues. Your partner might even feel the need to pull away from you to try to protect themselves.

Working through any fear of abandonment requires you to prove yourself. You must consistently show your partner that you are different from their previous relationship or other people in the past who have hurt them. Try not to take it personally when your partner questions your feelings, and remind yourself that their fears are not a reflection of you.

Avoid unhealthy behavior and don’t try to fix it

When you’re dating someone who has issues with leaving, it’s easy to feel like you’re to blame for their relationship anxiety. Your partner may be scared of losing you, but that doesn’t mean that staying with them will heal them. Instead of trying to fix your partner, focus on building a healthy relationship.

“The fear of loss is often at the heart of the fear of abandonment. So it is important not to enable this. Whenever possible, affirm positive reframed thoughts while practicing openness with your partner who may have been hurt in the past. All relationships require effort, and at times it often feels like you need to fix your partner. Instead, it’s best to take the pressure off of both of you by providing room for understanding and clear communication.”

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Talkspace Therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW

While it can be difficult, it’s important to set healthy relationship boundaries. Don’t be afraid to spend time alone or with friends, even if it makes your partner anxious or upset. Empowering someone may make them feel better in the short term, but it can hurt both of you in the long run.

It’s normal to want to help the people you care about, but even if you know how to love a woman struggling with abandonment or a man struggling with abandonment fears, your love won’t make their fears go away. The best thing you can do for your partner is to support them in a healthy way.

Consider therapy

No, you can’t take away your partner’s problems, but you can encourage them to get the help they need. Therapy can help people with abandonment issues process their abandonment trauma, reshape negative thought patterns, and develop healthy coping skills.

If you really want to build a healthier relationship or change supportive behaviors, you should also consider individual or couples counseling. A counselor can help you and your partner resolve your relationship issues while providing guidance and support.

Connect with online couples counseling or individual counseling at Talkspace today.

Sources:

1. Cohen J, Menon S, Shorey R, Le V, Temple J. The distal consequences of physical and emotional neglect in emerging adults: A multi-wave, person-centred, longitudinal study. child abuse and neglect. 2017;63:151-161. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.11.030. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5282706/. Retrieved August 13, 2022.

2. De Netto P, Quek K, Golden K. Communication, the heart of a relationship: Exploring capitalization, adjustment, and self-expression for relationship satisfaction. Front page Psychol. 2021;12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767908. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8710473/. Retrieved August 13, 2022.

3. McCariston G. Is it normal to lie to your significant other? 49% of Americans have had | more than once YouGov. Today.yougov.com. https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2017/10/17/49-americans-have-lied-their-significant-others-mo. Published 2017. Accessed August 13, 2022.

Talkspace articles are written by experienced contributors in the mental health field; They are based on scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure that the content is accurate and in line with current industry standards.

At Talkspace, our goal is to provide the most timely, valuable, and unbiased information on topics related to mental health to help readers make informed decisions.

Articles contain trusted third-party sources, either linked directly in the text or listed below to take readers straight to the source.

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