Distancing in the relationship

I am in the habit of minimizing my feelings towards my partner. Namely, it is even for myself difficult to assess how much or how little I feel for them. There is a strong protection in me against someone coming too close, this protection also often times convinces me that I am indifferent towards someone even if I am not. This is exactly what happened with my ex. At the point I decided to breakup with him, I thought I was emotionally totally numb. I was so surprised when during next two years I was still missing him and crying regularly. I had protected myself against being rejected and hurt by convincing that I actually have no feelings for him anymore.

I notice the same pattern in my current relationship. Even if my partner tries to be nice, I am just indifferent. My boyfriend keeps complaining that I give him the feeling that he does not matter. I do not invest in the relationship by doing him favors and rather keep to myself.

I am scared. I am scared of being controlled and manipulated. He has an explosive nature and anger problems. I withdraw in order to protect myself. The same way I protected myself against my mother’s mood swings in the childhood.

I am also scared because I am used to people disappearing. I am so used to the behavior where when I get close to someone, I get punished. They withdraw. Or they literally try to hurt me. My mother was allergic against dependency. So I could not be weak and vulnerable. My boyfriend also has some issues with someone depending on him. So I am scared that every time I come close he just disappears (he has done this before). I feel that I am finally letting myself be reliant on someone and then this person walks away…..

In psychological literature my behavior is called fearful-avoidant attachment style. Unfortunately there is not so much literature on that attachment pattern because it is a later addition to the attachment patterns. It also describes people who have had the most disruptive childhoods.

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