Have you ever been in the type of relationship when one person moves forward while the other moves back?
One partner desires closeness, while the other needs space?
This push-pull pattern is enough to drive us mad! It’s also very common…
In this article, I’ll discuss why we feel trapped and/or abandoned in relationships, and how to overcome this very frustrating dance of love.
The place to start is here: We all have relationship wounding from childhood. These wounds stay in our psychic memory and cause us to struggle with intimacy as adults.
It’s important to recognize that being wounded doesn’t mean that’s something’s wrong with you. It also doesn’t mean that your parents really messed up.
It actually just means that you’re an imperfect human being like the rest of us (and your parents are, too).
The reality is: Most of us struggle with intimacy to a certain degree! Two of the most common struggles we face are: the fear of abandonment and the fear of entrapment (loss of freedom). We may identify primarily with one or the other, but chances are, we’ve all experienced both.
>> The fear of abandonment is a wound that stems from a lack of close, emotional contact when we were young.
If there is too much distance in the early parent-child relationship, it’s likely that the child will grow up with an ingrained fear of being abandoned or rejected. This person will be prone to grasping or clinging in intimate relationships.
>> The fear of entrapment stems from too much contact (not having enough space and feeling intruded upon).
If there’s not enough space provided in the parent-child relationship, the child will likely grow up fearing close contact with others. This person will be prone to withdrawing out of relationships.
In all cases, individuals who fear abandonment will be attracted to individuals who fear entrapment and vice versa. This is what leads to the push-pull relationship (lovely, right?).
So you might be wondering, “Why does this happen?! It’s so frustrating!!” If you feel that way, you’re not alone. Trust me, there’s a good reason it happens, and that is…
So you’ll grow into knowing the REAL TRUTH about who you are.
Here’s what I mean…
If you’re prone to feeling abandoned, it’s because a part of you identifies with this wound within yourself. While you may feel like it’s another person’s job to make this wound go away (similar to how you felt as a child – you wanted your parents to make it better), this actually is not what’s supposed to happen.
It’s not another person’s job to make you feel whole again! In order to evolve beyond this wound, YOU have to learn how to soothe yourself through this fear.
And how do you do that?
Give your inner child the love that he or she is seeking.
Be present to this part of you that’s hurting. Be caring towards her, stay connected to her, and assure her that YOU will never leave her.
Healing occurs when you make contact with the deep sense of love and connection inside of you. By relying on this inner resource, your need to cling to others will lift.
This is what it is to grow into who you really are.
For those of you who fear entrapment, the same goes for you. If you want to experience deep intimacy in your life, then you have to face this fear head-on.
Notice that you feel scared to be close to others, be with yourself in this fear (instead of running away), assure yourself that you are safe (and no one can take you over).
Shower your wounded self with love.
Connect to the deep feeling of Love within you – feel it’s expansive nature and space. Know that you cannot be consumed by another person; know that you’ll be okay.
If you practice staying in relationship while soothing yourself through your fears (rather than trying to get your partner to change and make it better), your relationship with your partner and yourself will expand into new depths of love.
And that’s what we’re here to do.
When it comes to love and intimacy, we have to be very compassionate with ourselves and each other. Instead of going into reaction-mode when your fears surface, get curious about this wound within yourself.
Love her, stay connected to her, give her what she needs. Doing so will grow the love within you and will take your relationship to a completely new level of love.
In the comments below, please tell us what your most common fear in relationship is, and how you plan on soothing it yourself the next time it comes up. We look forward to hearing from you!