The fear of abandonment, also known as autophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by an acute fear of being alone. Often, one of the symptoms of this particular anxiety is a strong need to be in control. This is because one has previously lost someone close through separation, divorce or death and may unconsciously blames his or herself for the event. When this happens, any type of separation may traumatize the person, even the marriage of his or her own child can be viewed as a life-threatening event.
Scenario: your teenager starts smoking and you detect it by smelling it on his or her breath or by finding packs of cigarettes in his or her bedroom. Possible inner issues: control, self-esteem, lack of relationships.
Question: My husband is always telling me the wonderful things he’s done to make me happy. If he makes the bed, makes calls on my behalf, works hard in the office, I hear about it. The other day he had to take care of a health insurance issue and he made sure to tell me that it took over two hours and three phone calls, in case I thought it went smoothly. I don’t constantly tally up what I do for him and I find it childish that he does. My friends tell me that their husbands don’t do this – so, why does mine?
The principles of Relationship Theory (where the greater the relationship, the greater the ability parents have to connect to their teenager) can help address some of the key issues facing teenagers today including: problems concentrating during prayers, difficulty in school, listening to secular music, smoking, rude behavior and alcohol and drug abuse.
Question: My husband and I both travel a great deal, independent of each other. My husband owns a start up company and I am very supportive of his need to travel constantly during the next couple of years. In the meantime, I am the primary wage earner and occasionally have to travel myself. Our youngest child is in college so we aren’t tethered to home. A long time ago, about 15 years, my husband was unfaithful. Obviously we worked through it and determinedly rebuilt our marriage. While he has not given me any reason to doubt him, lately it seems as if we hardly talk. We spend so much time apart and when we are together, we are both so exhausted. I have not brought up this issue with him as I am not sure what to say. Can you help?
The following was a letter sent as a response to the article, "Children of Shame" (02-04-2011). The article addressed the fact that children learn at a very young age to disconnect their feelings as a mechanism to end their feelings of shame. As these children become adults, they find it difficult to reconnect those out of fear that once again they will feel the pain of shame.
Question: My son is three-years-old and we have a great relationship. However, his mother and I are divorced and every time I go to pick him up he runs around and sort of avoids me. It's seems more like a game than anything else. I say that because once I chase him down and get him, we go off together - no tears, everything is great. But then, when I drop him off, he runs away without saying goodbye. For me his behavior is somewhat disturbing, how mother though has said that all this means he really doesn’t want to be with me. Other than pick-up and drop-off everything is truly fine between us. Shouldn't my ex-wife try to help instead of doing nothing and complaining?
Children who grew up feeling shameful for the most part will have also grown up without someone to talk to about how it made them feel. Shame is one of the most destructive feelings there is. It is a feeling that something is wrong within us and has a negative affect on a child's self-development.
Statistically, about half of all couples marrying this year will see their marriage end in divorce. For couples undergoing marriage therapy, surprisingly or perhaps not surprisingly, the rates of divorce are no different about one-half will suffer divorce.
Question: I am becoming an Orthodox Jew. I totally love what I am doing and the new meaning it is giving my life. I want to be become more strictly observant, but my wife does not agree and has become an unwilling participant. She refuses to consult with my rabbi because the one time she spoke with him she felt he wasn’t being sensitive to her needs. The more religious I become, the more irreligious she becomes. I really do love her but as far as I am concerned, when it comes to religious observance, things are black and white. I don’t want to live a non-observant lifestyle and yet, she won’t consider becoming religious. What do I do? I told her I was writing to you and she agreed to try whatever you’d suggest.
The couple had barely completed their brief intake papers, which included a small handwriting sample, when, her eyes blazing with fury, the wife pounded on the small table between us and yelled, "He has to grow up! I need a husband who is a real partner, not a lazy good-for-nothing who won't take responsibility and is totally clueless about my needs!" Her husband sat hunched in his chair, looking like a hapless cat which had somehow survived the spin cycle in a washing machine.