How to Deal With People With Abandonment Issues

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Abandonment issues can lead to heated arguments.
Abandonment issues can lead to heated arguments. (Image: Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Most people deal with a feeling of abandonment at some point in their lives. Whether you experience a death in your family or the end of a serious relationship, you are likely to feel a sense of loss and loneliness for a period of time. People with serious abandonment issues, however, believe that any person they have a relationship with will leave them, lie to them or somehow hurt them. This creates a variety of problems in any relationship, from trust issues to fights and more.

Recognize the person's problems and understand she is going through a difficult and possibly traumatic time in her life. Abandonment issues can shake the core of the person's being and be as detrimental to her life as the death of another person, according to Sue Anderson, a psychotherapist specializing in abandonment issues.

Live up to your promises or honor your word to prevent any issues with this person. People who have abandonment issues have been severely disappointed and lied to before. Honoring your word, such as being home at 10 p.m. when you say you will, helps the person with abandonment issues begin to trust and realize you are not going to leave.

Talk to your friend, spouse or significant other about the previous relationship and what went wrong, if they are willing to discuss it. Knowing how this other person (or people) has hurt your loved one in the past can help you to avoid demonstrating those behaviors, which might trigger upset feelings, trust issues and other emotional problems.

Spend some time each day reassuring your friend, spouse or significant other of the importance of the current relationship and your feelings about it. Let the person know you will help her gain trust in you and are willing to be a support for her each and every day.

Be upfront and honest in all your dealings with this person. People who have been abandoned expect others to lie to them, so you need to be honest about your feelings, whereabouts and any other issues or problems that arise in the relationship.

Suggest your friend, spouse or significant other attend therapy if they have not already done so. A therapist may be able to help work out the issues and fix your current relationship. You can offer to attend the session with this person as well.

Avoid getting caught up in the your friend or significant other's issues of abandonment. Despite multiple reassurances and demonstrations of trust, this person may still believe you will leave them. You need to proceed with caution and take care of your own mental health in order to avoid developing your own issues.

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