My fear of abandonment may ruin my relationship
I’m afraid my fear of abandonment is killing my relationship and idk what to do. I’m 16 and i’ve been in a couple serious relationships before but i’m now currently dating my best friend who i loved before we were even together. I’m terrified my lack of emotional regulation is going to ruin our relationship and i really don’t know what id do without him. He’s so important to me before we were even together and i just don’t wanna loose my bestfriend and boyfriend. I’m a highly sensitive person and i’m just terrified of messing up yet i’ll have outbursts and not realise how bad things i say are until afterwards. He’s very patient with me but i’m just scared it’ll get to him someday and he won’t want to deal with my emotional outburst anymore. I don’t even know how to deal with them myself but i’ve been trying to improve . I just don’t want to end up becoming abusive or toxic as it’s my worst fear to unintentionally hurt him or anyone i love. I’m just so scared he won’t wanna be with me
Hi, and welcome to Ask Alex. It is really important that we all have outlets and safe spaces in which we can discuss the significant and difficult situations that we are going through. You have made a very big and positive step today by writing out and sharing your concerns and issues. Well done to you for that as it’s not an easy thing to do.
What you have said in your message is that you are afraid of losing your best friend/boyfriend because of your struggle to regulate your emotions as well as your fear of abandonment. You speak of having outbursts and not realising until afterwards how bad the things you have said are, and that you do not want to become abusive or toxic. You also mentioned that you are afraid you will push your boyfriend away, but you struggle with managing these behaviours and emotions.
It sounds like your boyfriend cares deeply for you because you mentioned that he’s very patient with you. The fact that you were friends before getting into the relationship is also a very strong sign that they care deeply for you and only want what’s best for you.
It seems like your boyfriend has been in your life for quite a while; have you considered talking to him and letting him know how you are feeling? Being open and honest within a relationship is very important and it gives the other individual the opportunity to understand things a bit better when outbursts occur and to help you if/as needed. For instance, you could both work together on techniques for dealing with things when emotions run high. We often think “if I open up to others they will run for the hills or not like me anymore”, but we are not giving that person a chance, instead, we are making decisions for them and in turn pushing them further away. If they are the people who are important in our lives they will understand, and it also opens the door for them to talk about issues they may be having and in doing so, build and deepen the bond between you. If they choose to run away because you opened up about your feelings and were vulnerable, perhaps they are not the type of person you want in your life anyway.
Having the ability to admit to yourself that there are elements of your behaviour that need attention is such an important factor in the road to wellness; you are willing and trying to improve and that shows great emotional intelligence and maturity. Emotional regulation is something that many young people struggle with, you are not alone in that. Identifying what triggers the thoughts and emotions can be helpful because you can prepare yourself and do what you need to do (deep breathing, challenging the thought, taking a time out) before the situation escalates and in this way, you take control of your responses. As mentioned previously, honest and open communication with those around you can also be useful. Finding things that help you cope in general can be helpful in challenging moments too. Return to your baseline self by going for a walk, doing meditation or listening to a playlist you particularly enjoy – find what works best for you. Having a solid support base of people who you trust and who understand you is very important. You might have a trusted adult in your life that you can turn to; this could be a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher or doctor. That saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” really has some truth to it!
If you are not yet ready to approach an adult in your day-to-day life right now, then you could contact Childline through our web chat on www.childline.ie, by texting 50101 or by giving us a call on 1800 66 66 66. Childline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a free and confidential service. We are non-judgemental, and we will not tell you what to do instead we can help you explore what options may be available to you.
Thank you for your question and we hope that you have found some of the above useful. You are not alone so please do contact us anytime you need to; its important to have a safe space to speak out.
Look after yourself,