All of us come with baggage—it’s just a fact. Well, one of my big steamer trunks of “baggage” contains my abandonment issues. I have such big issues with it that I also have another steamer trunk that holds my attachment problems. Abandonment and attachment problems do not help when you are trying to create a marriage.
Simply, I am so afraid of being abandoned that I don’t attach to people, family or friends the way I should. This is a by-product of my childhood. I learned at a young age that no one was reliable and, unfortunately, I was surrounded by a group of people who continued to reinforce that mindset during my teens and early twenties. What can I say except, I chose poorly and felt lost.
I brought this and more with me into my marriage to Scott.
It has caused so many problems that I cannot begin to list them. I keep expecting Scott to decide that I am not good enough or perfect enough to be with. I feel I have to do everything perfectly. I expect him to leave me, calling me the bad names that others have called me in the past—to use me and then dump me like the garbage I have been told I am.
This caused me to not want to attach to him fully at the start of our marriage. Attachment is so very important in intimate relationships. I didn’t attach to my own parents correctly, so trying to attach to Scott was so difficult for me. Somehow Scott and I, working with God, made it possible.
Somehow Scott was able to see beyond all the steamer trunks that surrounded me and saw me as someone of value.
I know my fears have caused Scott to feel frustrated with me. I know he’s been troubled by watching me fight inside myself for control of the anxieties I have. I know I’ve been so disappointed with myself that I could not fully trust him with my innermost parts. So I kept him at a distance. This made the problems bigger.
Fortunately for me, Scott is a true man of patience. He has been one of my greatest gifts from God. With time, and God’s help, I have gained more control over my fears of losing Scott and have given Scott all of me (Sometimes I wonder if he regrets that—just kidding!). I have days where I am constantly giving God my fears because my mind is working overtime.
I put my faith in God that his love will give me the strength to have more faith in myself and in Scott.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:16-18 (NIV)
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)