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Coping w/ Abandonment Issues

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Arden posted 8/7/2014 00:16 AM

So it wasn't exactly news to me, but in MC it was brought up that I suffer from an abandonment "schema."

I was given up by my parents as an infant, adopted by my grandmother who later died when I was seven from lung cancer. I was then adopted by my aunt and uncle who I grew to know as "mom" and "dad." Dad cheated on mom when I was 12 and left to marry OW. Dad and OW moved out of state, but I visited often. When I was 18 I entered a four year abusive relationship. Geesh - I have never written this all out before...

I met my fiance when I was 23 and we were engaged a year later. I thought the pain would finally end. When I was 29 he cheated. One year ago. Fear of being alone has definitely contributed to my agreement of R, but I still believe that there is hope. He is definitely trying but has his own set of issues.

Obviously I can't change my past, and honestly I felt like I had handled/dealt with it in a healthy way since leaving the abusive relationship. I have forgiven my adoptive father, stepmother, and the universe in general, but I wonder how much this affects my efforts now.

Has anyone else handled this kind of issue? Do you find it hard to let go, detach, or otherwise handle your R in a reasonable way? My WBF has a tendency to flee when things get hard (his parents would fight when he was little and he would always run away) and I panic when he does so. Is there anything that helps?

nekorb posted 8/7/2014 06:30 AM

Are you in IC?

That helps.

I also have abandonment issues. But I've come to realize that it's better to be alone than to cling to someone who doesn't want me.

Alone is not bad. Alone let's you learn what you can do by yourself. And the reality is you can do a lot more than you think you can.

Do not make decisions from a position of fear.

Summerluv123 posted 8/7/2014 07:10 AM

I agree that you should be in IC. I too have abandonment issues as I was adopted as a child and now all of my adoptive family are deceased. I do not know my birth family. So I know where you are coming from. This has been an issue for me since I was young and probably should have had IC all along, but back in the 70's IC was not as common a thing as it is now.

Please seek treatment. I sure wish I had before now. your WBF should be too. I would before I entered in any M or any other relationship. That baggage will follow you forever. I know from experience. I am in IC now and it is helping greatly. I can even talk about my Dad without crying which is a major accomplishment for me!!

solus sto posted 8/7/2014 09:32 AM

Both stbx and I found the book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson to be helpful.

HurtingandLost posted 8/7/2014 12:27 PM

I hear you Arden. I was removed from biological parents along with my half brothers for abuse and placed for adoption at a young age. After a couple years in foster care one brother and I were adopted out together. Dad was decent, Mom was an abusive drunk. Always talked about "taking our sorry asses back". Only real steady influence in my childhood was my Grandmother on Dad's side.

When my stbx 1st cheated in 2010, I was crushed. I thought "I must be worthless if TWO different spouses did this and wanted a divorce" and it compounded on feelings / issues from earlier life. I all to readily accepted her offer to work on things and stay married.

The one thing that helps me focus is knowing that, at least in my situation, my stbx has zero desire to truly R, is cheating again, and has little if any regard for the kids or I. Its TOXIC. Knowing that I am, can be, and will always be a decent father and prevent my kids from growing up with a screwed up / tainted view of life like I did. Getting there requires getting STBX the hell out of my life sooner rather than later.

sisoon posted 8/7/2014 12:33 PM

I dealt with abandonment issues, too, through IC - difficult, but rewarding.

The thing with an A, though, is that we've actually been abandoned. The old childhood issues get compounded by the new abandonment, and healing the relationship needs us to separate the old issues from the new ones.

The only help I can give is to say that's this is extremely difficult and frustrating work, so if you're exhausted and frustrated, you're in touch with reality. You aren't making this stuff up - it's real.


Imissmyhusb posted 8/8/2014 10:26 AM

Both stbx and I found the book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson to be helpful.

Heres the website, which has loads of helpful content

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