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By associatesforl1144, Sep 13 2017 07:03PM

Abandonment issues can cut us to our core. Many don't recognize that the abandonment one may have suffered in childhood can have a major negative effect impacting adulthood.

Fear of abandonment or rejection can create fear, anger, anxiety and depression. As a result, relationships may be difficult to navigate, self-esteem is diminished and trusting others is never easy.

Substance abuse issues or other addictive behaviors are very common for individuals who have experienced rejection or abandonment from a primary care giver during childhood. This abandonment can be the consequence of a parent leaving the home due to divorce, death or even illness. Physical abandonment is not always necessary; a child can suffer rejection through emotional abandonment such as being ignored or even rejection that one experiences through bullying. These types of occurrences can be traumatic for a child regardless of age.

It is not uncommon for someone who has experienced childhood abandonment to self-sabotage relationships, careers, or friendships. When someone has difficulty trusting others there appears to be an unconscious need for the person to push others away. In a sense, the person will want to reject you first before you can reject them.

If you have ever loved someone who has done this then you can understand how frustrating this can be but it is even more maddening for the person who is doing it because a person who has experienced abandonment really wants to feel safe, secure and more than ever to be loved and validated.

Other signs that you may love someone with abandonment issues or have abandonment issues yourself is there is a strong need for control. Individuals may attach themselves too quickly, have a sense of neediness and they always give too much. When this person begins to feel that their partner is not reciprocating they will typically begin to resent the person and then set out to sabotage the relationship by creating emotional distance.

When a person begins to distance from a partner emotionally it usually happens on an unconscious level. For example, one may notice some of these negative behaviors when arguments occur for no good reason or the person may find one negative aspect about their partner and then over focus on the flaw. There will be difficulty in communication and there is an expectation that a partner will commit 100% to them but they will have trouble committing to their partner.

So, what is the answer? Simply, it may be found in what is known in the field of psychology as Attachment Theory.

In the book Attached, The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it can Help you find and Keep Love (2011) authors, Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. provide a very thorough understanding of adult attachment that is relatable to anyone who may be experiencing this.

The authors provide comprehensive descriptions and good examples of the varied types of attachment styles that have been described as secure, avoidant and anxious. The book is a very good guide that can help someone understand their own attachment style and how it may be sabotaging significant relationships. They offer a solid approach to improve communication, deal with conflict, and skills to develop healthier relationship behaviors so that the abandonment issue does not continue to rule the relationship.

A mental health professional may also be a valuable resource that can help you or a loved one break painful relationship patterns or help understand how you may be sabotaging relationships.

Levin, Amir and Heller, Rachel S.F., (2011). Attached, The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love. Penguin Group: New York, NY.

By associatesforl1144, Feb 23 2016 05:43PM

Remarriage has been on the rise and why not? Everybody seems to be doing it and individuals are now living longer. You might ask yourself will this time work?

Are you considering marriage again? It’s very popular these days. Although it is easier to get a divorce than ever before and maybe you are thinking that perhaps this time, it will work!!!

Sometimes not enough thought is given to this decision and this may cause tremendous confusion for the children, very supportive parents, grandparents and other important persons in your life. Thinking forward, what about the step-children? It's very important that visitation and living status be defined early in your plans. Continued employment with your company may require long distance travel or even relocation to a new area. These are just some of the issues that need to be thought through carefully and addressed before you actually take the plunge.

Yes, you are in love. It feels wonderful, freeing again, totally alive and smiling! However, it might also be the right time to think about clarifying and defining the new rules and expectations so that the support you will need will actually be there for you.

Thinking through the idea of re-marriage this time is vastly different from the first marriage! Other issues to consider is the possibility of multiple parents and spouses or a large extended family system of all whom want to be involved. Learning to set limits and boundaries is crucial to the success in navigating the family.

When you decide and imagine that this marriage will be the most wonderful, it’s imperative that you also discuss with your new partner obligations of finance, parenting issues, expectations and communication as significant issues can arise that may cause distress to all parties involved.

Before, you take the plunge, give it considerable thought as this time you might have much more at stake and sometimes what we imagine for ourselves, children and partners can become clouded when we are on the love cloud!

By associatesforl1144, Jan 25 2016 04:54PM

Whether married or living together, the pressure of just day-to-day living is the most intense we may experience when it comes to keeping our relationship healthy and intact. RELATIONSHIP BEGINNINGS are filled with excitement but can easily be replaced with frustration and regret when painful arguments nullify the memories of the “honeymoon" phase of a relationship. It’s so easy to blame each other when the relationship seems to not be working but nothing gets resolved. Often, this leads to bitter disappointment and can cause the relationship to end.

Couples’ therapy may be just a passing thought. “No one can possibly understand our problems. It isn’t even worth the effort to try.” However, if you are willing to explore the idea you may learn that couples therapy is about allowing each other to reflect on the feelings that first brought you together. Learning a healthier way to communicate and identifying unrealistic expectations and unmet needs are often the key to rebuilding a marriage or relationship. Think about attending a couple's session with a skilled compassionate therapist. The outcome is uncertain and not guaranteed but you may be able to find peace.


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Associates for Life Enhancement, Inc. is a group of professionals in private practice who provide counseling services with offices located in Atlantic and Burlington Counties. We hope to use this blog as a way to provide you with information on different topics that may be of interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our webfeed that will update you when new articles have been posted!