We hear so much talk about abandonment in relationships. So what is it? By my standards, its a deeply rooted fear that when you truly give someone your heart and allow complete vulnerability, that the person will reject you and run away. The need for approval, the acceptance of being treated poorly, the craving for love then leads to holding on and making excuses for staying with someone who is, let’s call it, less than healthy.
Studies that I have read show that women who had poor connection, and lack of praise and involvement with one of their parents, consistently experience:
1) Intense craving for male attention
2) Acceptance of disrespectful and abusive treatment by men
3) Poor quality romantic relationships
Here is one interesting and short article: http://www.trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-happiness-wellbeing/kortsch4.shtml
For me, at an early adult age, a discernible unhealthy relationship pattern started to bubble up…a repeated attraction to very unhealthy relationships, who were emotionally and physically unavailable. Some relationships were even all out abusive. It was often tempting to just swear off men.
But after reading Harville Hendrix’ book “Getting The Love You Want” it started to become apparent that I was trying to fill an emotional void that came from childhood.
As a result, I have craved a heightened level of attention, love and acceptance. According to Hendrix, we seek unconsciously certain traits that relate to our parents and caregivers so we can have a “do over,” and this time gain victory over the past hurts.
In my own history, relationships followed a predictable pattern. I searched for intense chemistry and stumbled quickly into a deep attraction and attachment. I saw no flaws, my man could do no wrong. Until…about 1 year in, once deep commitments had been made, I would realize the relationship was deeply unhealthy and seriously flawed. Like one man who threw a plate into the wall because he didn’t like broccoli and wanted to lock my cat in a tiny laundry room. Then I would spend another year or two trying to “fix” things, and finally break up and start the process all over again…Each time thinking I had just picked badly and promising myself to do better the next time.
Other relationships weren’t as extreme but might have involved cruel jokes, or lack of physical closeness, or just isolation from me through T.V., going out with friends constantly and so forth.
I knew I had to look deeply into my own emotional mirror in order to ever have a chance at a healthy relationship. Fortunately it was not in my DNA to blame the men and say that men were all bad. After all, I was the common denominator.
I don’t know or understand why it took me decades of prayer, therapy or reading but I do finally feel that I am in a healthier place. The relationship “mirror” of the future will soon tell if that is the truth.