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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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I have some issues with my mother and the feeling of abandonment

Resolved Question:

I have some issues with my mother and the feeling of abandonment from my childhood. I think that has spilled over into my romantic relationships. I feel like I need someone to care about me and have me at the forefront of their thoughts. I know that it is unfair to expect my girlfriend to care about me in that way, but I somehow think it is due to the lack of care I had as a child. Are there any techniques I can implement in my thought process so I can be less selfish?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mina replied 6 years ago.
Hi and thank you for contacting us.

You sound quite an insightful person which is always helpful in realising and addressing our issues. Most people enjoy feeling that they are a top priority in their partner's life and definitely feeling cared and loved by them. However, previous experiences usually define these needs and our expectations of relationships. We tend to repeat patterns of relationships in our lives and the first relationships we form are the ones with our parents. One way for people to cope with unmet emotional needs is to "overcompensate" in their future relationships hoping that the emotional needs will be met. This however can usually create pressure on the partner and further disappointment to the person as his needs remain unsatisfied. Your feelings of abandonment is likely that are triggered in most relationships and might be perceived from your partner as overbearing sometimes.

It appears that you feel confused as to what your realistic expectations should be from a relationship. This is a positive indication that you are in a mature phase to accept and work on your issues of abandonment. These issues form the core of our personality and need work in depth with a Psychologist/Therapist to help you "heal" the traumas of the past and move forward. Engaging in a therapeutic relationship will allow you to explore painful feelings from the past. In psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalysis the patient "transfers" his/her dysfunctional relationships to the relationship with the therapist in order to resolve these issues. Other therapy models such as the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focus on here and now by identifying unhelpful thoughts and feelings that lead to maladaptive behaviours. You could still learn some things from this model but I would suggest you engaged in a more long term therapy in order to do some more in depth work that would enable you to form healthy relationships.

I hope this helps

Best wishes

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