Part 2: The Power of Abandonment

Abandonment / Commitment Issues

Abandonment and commitment issues seem to have the same root cause: a fear of abandonment.

To recap, abandonment is a universal, primal fear, and at the core is being exposed to an emotionally distant environment, developing a void and wanting someone to fill that void forever. But forever leads to misery. One tip I learned for rewiring that is to think of my partner as the "man of the moment" (even if we're married or hooked on someone). It's always going to be conditional because situations can change; one person engages and grows and the other doesn't, dysfunctional patterns play out, a partner or spouse dies, etc. 

Those with commitment issues seem to want to fill that void forever as well, plus they are afraid of being hurt. The abandonment group is afraid too but when they get hooked, they suffer from inappropriate attachment syndrome and there's not much they can do unless the pain surpasses the addiction high. The first step to learning to establish healthy boundaries involves learning to walk away from an unhealthy situation when there is no hope of open communication.

I think there are multiple reasons why commitment issues happen depending on situation, intent, and subconscious. For those of you with commitment issues:

a) Because I’m a knowledge-seeking polymath and a bit of a weird bird, I don't get hooked often so I don't get a lot of practice dealing with it. That would understandably make people feel overwhelmed because they may feel as if I am trying to place my emotional well being into their hands, when that is my responsibility. 

b) Maybe you realize deep down the person you are with is the man/woman of the moment, and if someone better comes along you would leave. 

c) Maybe your values are too different and it won't work out long term. 

d) You begin to realize you care and you're afraid of getting hurt. 

e) You were hurt so badly your subconscious craves revenge, so you find satisfaction in getting people hooked on you, worshipping you, and feeling pain from you pulling away. 

f) We crave pursuing people or that initial chemistry. It is known science that chemistry transitions to a simmer and the nesting phase even in the best relationships. But if all you want are the thrills you'll forever be a serial abandoner. 

g) Those who are religious who are emotionally distant may still expect their partner to be faithful, and in pulling away can make others think they no longer care about them or have moved on to some new thrill. This just about guarantees their partner will act out and cheat, giving the abandoner justification for saying they were abandoned. It might feel comfortable because it reinforces childhood patterns. 

h) Strong religious beliefs and fealty to an external God as opposed to communing with an all-inclusive universe can bring on guilt about having a pleasurable sex life and emotional intimacy.

If you have commitment issues or are dealing with someone who has commitment issues, and you discover the core reasons are b) c) or f) then you should at least be honest with each other, and possibly walk away. But if you look back and realize, no matter who you were attracted to, you felt intense attraction and even love followed by pulling away, then this is likely a set of dysfunctional patterns, and per the Miller book, if you become conscious survivors, there is an opportunity to use the roller coaster rides to fully learn about these patterns and deal with them. Because until we learn to deal with them these patterns are likely to continue affecting future relationships. Either we will get hooked and those relationships will derail, or we will settle for less and eventually abandon the other person.

If these are deep seated patterns and not b) c) or f), you might not get it right the 10th or 20th time, but for those willing to communicate, learn, and stay compassionate, who find each time when they get up they are one step forward, I think there is hope. Especially if all of us learn to treat these feelings as information, acknowledge and embrace them as part of ourselves, and use that information to work towards rewiring the subconscious.

A theory I have: do introverts choose emotionally unavailable people? Introverts tend to need alone time to recharge, and initially it may feel as if emotionally unavailability people give them space.

The subject of the next post will be techniques for how to deal with this.