Ask Janine - Anxious attachment; How do I control the fear of my boyfriend leaving me?Oct 07, 2021
By Janine Wirth.
After experiencing two awful relationships, I finally feel that I've found my soul mate. The only problem is that I live in constant fear that he's going to leave me. This anxiety makes me do things that I feel really embarrassed about, like secretly checking his phone and calling him multiple times a day disguised as checking in, so I can keep track of his whereabouts. I know I have to stop, but I don't know how. Please help before I push him away forever.
This behaviour you're engaging in is actually more common than you might think, and it stems from what we refer to in psychology as Anxious Attachment. The different attachment styles refer to the way we bond, communicate, share intimacy, connect with and separate from other people.
Our childhood attachment experiences create the template for our relationships later on in life.
The behaviour patterns you describe are common in people who have experienced trauma and/or abandonment in their early years which overstimulates the Amygdala (the alarm system in your brain), leading to hyper-vigilance. Basically, your brain is on hyper-alert, looking for perceived threats and signs of abandonment- even if they are not really there.
This can be exhausting and damaging to relationships- especially if feeling unworthy or 'good enough' gets thrown into the mix.
An example of this could be a child feeling abandoned by a parent at a young age. Of course, as children, our brains aren't fully developed yet and capable of seeing the big picture, so we internalise and believe 'Ok, there must be something wrong with ME if the person who is supposed to love me unconditionally abandons me and isn't emotionally available to give me that sense of love and security.' This all happens subconsciously, creating these fears that drive our behaviour in relationships throughout our lives.
Speaking from personal experience, it is NOT fun being in a relationship with someone insecure who constantly checks up on you or violates your privacy, eventually leading to resentment, ultimately ending the relationship.
Unfortunately, attachment styles need to be addressed intensively and sooner rather than later because it WILL affect your relationships- therefore, my recommendation is that you work with a therapist.
When you dare to explore why you react in the ways you described, not only will you heal past wounds, but you'll be able to show up as a secure, loveable partner who knows their worth and can treat your partner with the love and respect they deserve.
The constant thought that your soul mate will leave you is causing you a lot of additional stress and anxiety, which leads to a snowball effect that can damage your health and mental well-being.
Good luck on this journey; you deserve to love fully without fear.
Janine Wirth, is the proud founder of Path to Healing Therapy and Coaching. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs heal their emotional baggage, heal unresolved emotional trauma and PTSD without spending years in therapy and create spectacular business success for themselves. You may have read her story in The Spotlight and if so you’ll know why she’s so passionate about her work so when she got the opportunity to work alongside The Female CEO and provide a monthly question and answer she was thrilled!
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