Fear of Abandonment Can Lead to Infidelity
In past posts and podcasts, I’ve talked about how sharing your fears with your spouse or significant other (SO) can help build intimacy between you. Today I want to talk about the other side of this issue: what can happen if you don’t share your fears, especially the innate fear of abandonment.
None of us wants to be alone. But so often the fear of being alone makes us feel very alone. We hide things we should be sharing with our SO for fear or hurting them or fear of their anger. We’re afraid that if we tell them whatever it is we’re feeling that they’ll be so hurt or angry or offended that they’ll leave us.
The opposite is the case, actually. The harder it is to tell your SO something, the more important it is to tell them.
Open communication is the only thing that will ensure a healthy relationship in the long run. Once communication stops for whatever reason, although it’s usually boils down to fear of abandonment or losing one’s family, you increase the risk of losing them. It feels much like a Catch 22, but it’s not. You simply must open up to your beloved or the consequences can be dire for your relationship, and ultimately your sense of self.
Perhaps the scariest thing to tell your spouse is that you find someone else attractive or perhaps it’s something as innocuous as having a dream about another wo/man. Another terrifying thing to share is that you feel unfulfilled or that your needs aren’t being met. Whether those needs are sexual in nature or emotional. Perhaps you just don’t feel seen or loved by your spouse any longer. These types of things are essential to discuss openly with your SO.
By holding such fears inside, they fester and they grow, making them increasingly difficult to share with your beloved. Too often, people find solace in the arms of new lover because this new lover is easier to talk to. But of course they’re easier to talk to! You have so much less to lose with a relative stranger. You find it easy to bear your soul to a new person because if they leave, then your family is still intact. You might lose a new love, but the security of one’s established relationship is untouched. Or, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that your primary partner is unaware that your relationship has been threatened and/or betrayed. For now.
When one is unable to share their deepest fears and dreams with their spouse, it opens the door to someone outside the marriage, for we all need to express ourselves from time to time. Even the most private person needs to vent and share and feel that they’ve been heard, seen. But by opening that door, it can never again be completely closed. Once one lie, one deception, has been embraced, it is that much easier to lie or deceive again. Then you are looking at someone in the mirror you may not like very much. Suddenly you realize that you are the very person you did not want to become, and it all started with an intense fear of abandonment.
Trust your spouse. After all, you chose to build a life together with this person, perhaps even build a family with them. So share your life. That’s what it’s all about in the end.
Remember, the harder it is to tell your beloved whatever it is you’re keeping from them, the more important it is to tell them that very thing. Find the courage to start bridging that gap today, or it will just become a chasm that is impossible to cross.
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~ by omgrey on July 13, 2011.
Posted in Romance & Relationships
Tags: author, broken heart, grief, heartbroken, honesty, infidelity, love, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, polyamory, postaweek2011, relationship advice, relationships, romance, sex, shattered