Threats of abandonment in the relationships

I am noticing a certain pattern in my relationships which has persisted for quite a long time. Namely- I tend to have several people in my life who have reverted to the situations where they threaten me with abandonment.

The first one was my mother who on a regular basis told me to get my stuff and leave. This was usually followed by other threats such as- and do not dare to go to any of your friends or otherwise I will find you there and you will not want to know what happens then.

My partner is pulling the threat of abandonment on me on a regular basis as well. Usually this reaction is related to him starting to feel very ashamed whereby he tells me that, we should just break up. This reaction is usually brought about by my accusations that, the relationship is not moving anywhere.  My partner then tells me that if I am not happy and if he is really so bad boyfriend I should just leave.

Finally, my best friend pulled this stunt this summer. She was angry at me for criticizing her about pushing her opinion on me. Hence she told me- if you think I am really so bad person, we should end our friendship.

All the three people and their reactions are probably connected to them feeling ashamed. I can relate to this. However, it also feels from where I am standing, that these people, whenever they feel criticized, pull the abandonment card. This leaves to me very little opportunity to have an impact in these relationships. To varying degrees, none of these people allows comments on their own behavior whereas they are very vocal about my misgivings. This as a result also means that they are controlling the situation- they call the shots, because the other side learns quite quickly not to confront them unless they want to risk with the abandonment.  I am just now realizing how frustrated and angry I have felt for this lack of control.

At this point I have stopped all my communication with my best friend. I have also made it clear to my mother that the abandonment tactic does not work anymore. The only one left to handle is my boyfriend with whom I have tried calm conversations, but am feeling less and less hopeful that these actually lead anywhere.

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2 thoughts on “Threats of abandonment in the relationships

  1. It’s always prudent to ask yourself how you play a part in this pattern. In these relationships, perhaps the other people are setting boundaries (minus your controlling mother). You see them as threatening abandonment, but maybe they are expressing (passive aggressively) their own displeasure with the relationship. What if they did leave? Do you say OK, bye, or try to make them stay? Do you play a part in this pattern, or are you only the victim? I’m trying to make you question yourself a bit. I realize I don’t know you at all. Sorry if I’m being intrusive.

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  2. Thank you for your comment- very thoughtful. It took me some time to consider what you are saying and to be honest I am still not quite sure about my conclusions. I can honestly say that, I have an overly confrontative way of expressing my displeasure in certain situations. I think I tend to, instead of expressing how I was hurt, resort to blaming mode.

    That being said, I also have an abandonment fear, so to me these comments also send a signal that, the other person does not care about the relationship that much. If they are willing to leave in the middle of the conflict- how much can they care. So this is my biased reading.

    To say something in my favor, all three people I was talking about here have a habit of blaming other people for conflicts and problems in their life. My mother and my ex best friend more, whereas my boyfriend is warming up to seeing his own role. However, I do think that, my exaggerated reaction is also connected to the fact that I am anticipating their blame.

    However, you are right in the fact that, I need to analyze my role in escalating these situations to this point.

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