Abandonment is our earliest fear. It’s primal and universal to all human beings. Fear of abandonment is the unique element of our existence that makes the loss of a job, separation, death of a loved one, and break up or divorce so painful. We’re left feeling vulnerable and unable to express it easily.
Often fear of abandonment is so frightening that it remains buried for years until an intimate relationship awakens fears of being left on the doorstep – of feeling left behind. Fear of abandonment can easily lead to mistrust and irrational beliefs that can sabotage a relationship. These include:
1. Love is easily broken, and despite everything I try, it may disappear.
2. If I show my partner the true me, he/she probably won’t like me and will go away.
3. I can’t ask for what I need, because my partner will likely reject me.
4. If I show how much I want to be loved, it will scare my partner.
5. If my relationship fails, I am unlovable.
6. Marriages and commitment trap people.
7. All relationships end.
8. Marriages and relationships may work for a while, but they always end up souring.
9. Everyone I love eventually leaves me.
10. There is something wrong with me, and I don’t know what it takes to make a relationship work.
11. I always pick the wrong partners, or the wrong partners always pick me.
All of the above statements reflect a lack of confidence. If you truly want to have a lasting and satisfying relationship, you must first acknowledge and work to overcome your fear of abandonment, self-doubt, and lack of self-acceptance.
Trusting yourself will only happen when you are able to love others in a committed way and believe in your ability to find lasting love.
There’s one certainty in life: there isn’t one person on this planet who hasn’t made mistakes when it comes to relationships. Some people make more mistakes than others when it comes to falling in love with a toxic partner. But only the truly masochistic person makes poor decisions and relishes the results. Most of us hope we are making good choices at the time, only to get badly burned later.
If you’ve had your heart broken a couple times, you may start to lose trust in yourself. After all, if you’ve made bad choices in the past, how do you know you’ll make the right ones the next time around?
Mistrust, at its origin, is really the fear of being left. A person can be afraid their partner will abandon them in all sorts of ways, and it doesn’t always involve him or her leaving with another person.
Sometimes the biggest betrayal is when a partner leaves emotionally. You might fear that when someone truly gets to know you, really knows you, they’ll ultimately leave you.
Do you question if the words your partner says are true? One day this person might change his or her mind. One day he or she might stop loving you, and there will be nothing you can do to stop it.
Proving trust is so much more than catching your partner in a lie. To trust someone, you must have faith in them. You must have a strong belief and conviction that you won’t be hurt by your partner. You must believe your partner is honest and dependable, and that you are his or her first priority.
Can you say that you’re truly confident in your partner? Are you confident that your partner is truthful, faithful, and in every way present in your relationship?
The scariest thing about falling in love is living with the knowledge that it might end. You are faced with a choice. You can come at relationships from a place of love and trust, or you can choose to be suspicious, doubtful, and wary.
The most important thing to consider is whether your partner is worthy of trust. Have his or her actions matched their words? Does your partner treat you with respect? Is your partner reliable? Is your partner faithful and truthful? If the answer to these questions is yes, you must choose to trust.
It’s possible you might end up getting hurt. But if your partner has shown you trustworthy behavior, you should reward him or her by showing trust in return. Practice trusting others in small steps. Trust is a skill that you can nurture over time when you cultivate self-compassion. Pick yourself up each time you overreact to triggers from your past and stumble. Be gentle with yourself as you rebuild trust in others!