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Abandonment vs Codependency
July 27, 2008
3:09 am
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CraigCo
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I think that it interesting to note the difference between the level of anguish felt in Codependency as opposed to Abandonment.

Not to disqualify in any way the difficulties endured by thoses in codependant relationships. Many have found themselves in situaions where they've suffered from both codependency & abandonment

Anyway, I have read how the effects of abandonment are akin to that of a knife wound to the heart. Leaving it highly vulnerable to infection and how it leaves scars.
How abandonment has its own special kind of grief, as painful as grief over death, and just as enduring.

I hadn't come across this before but I sure can relate & appreciate what is being said.

The feature that seems to distinguishe abandonment grief from all others is the level of damage to self esteem.

Abandonment overlaps with bereavement in that they both involve loss. For the abandonment survivor, the loss is just as disruptive and painful as it is for any other type of grief. Closure is incomplete because the person has not died, but has chosen not to be with you.

Rejection, withdrawal-of-love, criticism, and desertion create a devastating personal injury. 'Being left' cuts us all the way to the core. We lose not only our loved one, we lose our sense of self.

Everybody seems to know about the initial pain caused by abandonment but, it is the latter stages of its grief that have gone largely unrecognized.

The circumstances surrounding relationships are so complex and variable, that it is neither wise nor fair to make moral judgements, point fingers, nor draw generalizations.

However, there ARE serial abandoners!

Abandoners who get secondary gain from inflicting emotional pain on someone who loves them. For them, creating devastation is their way of demonstrating power. But even abandoners who are not motivated by this need, might experience a heightened sense of self-importance as an unintentional by-product. As regretful as they may feel about having to pull away, they can't help but go on an ego trip as they witness the protests and agony of the person who still wants to be with them.

In the light of the other person's pain, abandoners will not usually admit to feelings of triumph. Instead they tend to speak about their more humble feelings, like their regret over having caused another person to be disappointed. They are usually easily distracted from regret however, as they get caught up in their new lives with greater sense of freedom, newness, and a larger ego than before.

Many abandoners, however, are able to by-pass regret by remaining oblivious to what is going on for the other person. They blame the other person for the break-up in an attempt to justify their actions and avoid guilt. Their agenda is to sustain their image of themselves as a decent, caring person.

This denial and blame comes across as callousness and cruelty to the one(s) they left behind. The abandonee must grapple alone with the pieces of a broken relationship, further wounded by unjustified blame.

It nice to see that the effects of abandonment are fairly recently being more deeply understood & that there are resources available in dealing with this specialized type of grief.

July 27, 2008
3:25 am
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bevdee
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Guess what? I googled this phrase - from your post-

"However, there ARE serial abandoners!"

And it took me to this site.
://www.abandonment.net/faq.frame.html

You either wrote the article for the site, or you lifted it from the site.

July 27, 2008
3:48 am
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Hey Bevdee,

Yes, if you'll notice the third paragraph of my posting, I stated that I had read some interesting info re-abandonment & that I hadn't come across it before but could relate and appreciate what had been said.

Wakey, wakey!

Have you nothing constructive to add in reference to the topic?

I would imagine there would be a number of people that would find this noteworthy.

Crg

July 27, 2008
3:52 am
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Ten hut!! I did not notice attribution of the source.

July 27, 2008
3:57 am
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http://www.abandonment.net/faq.....frame.html

"WHAT IS AN ABANDONER?

Abandoners come in every possible size, shape, shade, age, social form, and disposition. It is often difficult to tell who is safe to attach to and who is not capable of being emotionally responsible - - who is worthy of trust, and who is an abandoner.

What complicates the picture even more is that one person's abandoner might be another's permanent partner. Also, many abandonment victims, depending upon certain conditions, go on to become abandoners themselves. The circumstances surrounding relationships are so complex and variable, that it is neither wise nor fair to make moral judgements, point fingers, nor draw generalizations.

But there are serial abandoners - - abandoners who get secondary gain from inflicting emotional pain on someone who loves them. For them, creating devastation is their way of demonstrating power. But even abandoners who are not motivated by this need, might experience a heightened sense of self-importance as an unintentional by-product. As regretful as they may feel about having to pull away, they can't help but go on an ego trip as they witness the protests and agony of the person who still wants to be with them.

In the light of the other person's pain, abandoners will not usually admit to feelings of triumph. Instead they tend to speak about their more humble feelings, like their regret over having caused another person to be disappointed. They are usually easily distracted from regret however, as they get caught up in their new lives with greater sense of freedom, newness, and a larger ego than before.

Many abandoners, however, are able to by-pass regret by remaining oblivious to what is going on for the other person. They blame the other person for the break-up - - attempting to justify their actions and avoid guilt. Their agenda is to sustain their image of themselves as a decent, caring person. This denial and blame often come across as callousness and cruelty to the one they left behind. The abandonee must grapple alone with the pieces of a broken relationship, further wounded by unjustified blame.

Let it be said that many abandoners do not set out to abandon, to hurt-by-intention. Many are just human beings struggling to find the answers to life's difficult challenges along with everyone else. None-the-less, to the extent that abandoners are able to blame, remain oblivious, or stay in denial of the other person's pain, abandonment recovery reaches out to them to increase their awareness as well. The program is devoted to the growth and development of all of those who struggle to sustain relationships - - abandoners and abandonees alike. Journey and Black Swan are designed to enhance this awareness. Help is available."

You did a fair job of paraphrasing, but you might have spent a little more time so the key phrases weren't googlable. Or just written it yourself.

CraigCO, I care about this site, and I hate to see it go down because of copyright laws, plagiarism, etc. Please be careful.

July 27, 2008
4:07 am
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CraigCo
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Bevdee,

"Care" is what this is all about for me.
Excerpts are quoted here frequently on this site.
Where do you think people get so much of their information from?
Conjured up from thin air?

Why so angry? I'm not here to argue or belittle.
If you enjoy that, then start a thread requesting that.

Same question: Do you have anything constructive to contribute to this topic?

July 27, 2008
4:18 am
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bevdee
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CraigCO,

Why do you assume I am angry? Or do you need to plant that seed, project that to the site since I have pointed out you plagiarised the abandoner material?

July 27, 2008
4:32 am
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CraigCo
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Hey Bevdee,

My only desire was & is for constructive feedback regarding the article.

As I'd mentioned, this is something new I had come across & found it quite interesting & relevant to my situation & likley so for many others.

Anything constructive to contribute regarding this topic?

July 27, 2008
4:39 am
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bevdee
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Naw, I'll let you have it dude. You're so cool.

July 27, 2008
5:07 am
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Lolllllll. OMG

Good catch Bevdee!

Craig.. that was an exact copy from the internet. You should mention the source when you copy paste an article from the net. OR you could atleast say "I found this on the internet".

July 27, 2008
5:12 am
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CraigCo
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Ahh, so that's the protocol is it? I did not know that.
Duely noted.

July 27, 2008
10:36 am
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yup thats it, ofcourse people want to know if its something you wrote or if its taken from somewhere so they can respond accordingly.

Its like me sending an nice email to all my co workers and then they discover its an exact copy of something from the internet.

Anyway its cool.

July 27, 2008
1:03 pm
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The thing that I noticed from this site is when someone packs up and leaves then they post that they are going downhill cause the person they walked out on hasnt called, come by or begged them back.

For many it is an immature dramatic exit.

For others it is because they are truly done usually cause they have found another.

But the ultimate goal is to mortally wound anothers heart.

Sometimes it is justified.

Often times when a realtionship is circuling around the drain both people are thinking of waking out all along but one gets mad cause the other one thought of it first.

It would seem logical that relationships break up cause someone leaves and never comes back.

It like either leave or be left.

From a psychological point it seems that it would be best to leave if you see it coming or if you dont to not make the fatal mistake of contacting the person.

July 27, 2008
6:02 pm
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Bevdee

Thanks for both your URL reference and your vigilance.

It is a very interesting to see that the topic of abandonment - an issue that has been recognized for so long - is now getting the focus directly upon it.

I believe that it is the infant pain of abandonment, so heavily imprinted in our amygdala as an emotional memory in infancy, that is retriggered in adulthood by rejection from a 'template' match.

IMHO it is this re-triggering that causes soooo... much emotional pain and physical distress. Severe weight loss has always accompanied my other painful symptoms during such times of grief.

I eagerly await the day that the academics place the focus heavily upon this 'template' theory as a hypothesis worthy of either validation or falsification in the academic arena.

The more these psycho-physiological issues are researched the greater the chances that one day we humans may learn how to parent our children well. If we humans did achieve this en masse then I can foresee the day when wars could become a thing of the past.

July 27, 2008
6:12 pm
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Destiny,

Those passages I'd cited do make the abandonment issue sound pretty serious. I'm feel at times that it is as they say, a knife wound to the heart. My wife did not seem to be the ideal partner for me as there was much dysfunction throughout and then her tendency to abandon her mates with such a final cruel blow.

I've had moments where I've regreted hooking up with her but would not want to have things back the way they were. No sir. I tried initially to contact her as there was no explanation for her disappearance.
I had a good relationship with her kids & they told me that it was nothing that I had done. They have seen this pattern in her numerous times before in her life.
In many ways my life has improved without her, but irregardless, any post traumatic evaluations do not remove the effects of abandonment. And this coupled with the fact that I am trying to reframe my entire life, get clear and get real with a lifetime of issues and that I'd like to become whole again.

Funny how it works that it's the big crisis that gets us on the path of evaluating the series of small decisions along the way that led to the crisis. I guess in some ways that could be construed as the purpose of a big crisis - to get us to suddenly take note of the bigger picture.

They also mention that the various array of self help groups out there (AA, Alanon, etc)are not sufficient to completely deal with abandonment issues but can at least help assuage the loss of self worth. They also seem to be able to deal with the mind set of a person who eventually wound up going down that road that led to the abandonment.

We all have our trauma's from our school days & unresolved conflicts from family life growing up. Its all one big picture & there probably just isn't one complete perfect solution for dealing with all of it.

I'd still have to choose the path of "spirituality" though. i.e., the problems & solutions are within ourselves.

Now you introduce the abandonment issue, which by the nature of its severity, the 12 step programs do not seem capable of completely dealing with it, except on the level of your life as a whole, & on the level of dealing with grief and loss of self esteem in general. So it would appear there does not seem to be any pure solution to the abandonment issue but at least there is a program of recovery for life itself, which in time can heal all wounds.

In other words, the healing comes from within, to use that overly used cliché. I do also firmly believe that there is great cathartic value of talking these things out so that one does not have to carry these burdens alone. I saw in myself from time to time, a patterns of isolation so for me, Alanon has been a substantial path of relief.

Again, the irony is poignant and bittersweet, the blessing in disguise, that my wife coming into my life & suddenly disappearing, has at the very least resulted in me putting so much effort into pursuing a quest of sorts to become happier & more self knowledgeable in my life, & that in & of itself is no easy task, the stuff of historical legend, the topic of some of the greatest literary works in the history of our species.

My youngest son has been down visiting in his off-time from university so both my boys & myself have kept ourselves fairly busy but, now I find myself with a little more spare time than I've had over the past couple of weeks, so it's back to meetings I go.

July 27, 2008
7:45 pm
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I found this cut and paste from the site for which Bevdee provided the reference, very interesting - especially the parts that I have underlined.

http://www.abandonment.net/faq.....frame.html

"NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH EXPLAINS WHY HEARTBREAK HURTS SO MUCH. Someone who leaves you becomes very powerful to your emotional brain. They become powerful simply by being able to inflict so much pain. Being left is perceived by your mammalian brain as an attack upon your personal being. It etches an indelible impression in a primitive part of the brain that acts automatically to protect you. It conditions your mammalian brain to react with fear each time you encounter the person whom it perceives as dangerous to your well being. Acting beneath your conscious awareness, it maintains a constant vigil on your abandoner. You experience this as being temporarily obsessed with the person. Your nerves are set to 'go off' if you should unexpectedly bump into them later on or see them with a new love. This enduring emotional reactivity is known as 'carrying a torch.' You are confused into thinking that if the pain can last that long and feel so strong, the person must have been very special. But this is not so. You can feel this way over anyone, even someone who had nothing special to offer. It is just your mammalian brain efficiently trying to warn you not to make the same mistake again."

I maintain that getting into a relationship with a 'template match' is bound to cause terribly painful retriggerings of the emotional centre of this mammalian brain, specifically the amygdala even during relationships. In such a template matching relationship I experienced terrible pain when refused sex because my partner was heavily menstruating. My cognitions knew only too well the reason for the rejection and fully appreciated the need to consider my partner's situation. Yet the emotional pain reared uncontrollably none-the-less.

When I was in relationships with women who were not good template matches such rejections didn't trigger off such abandonment pain.

The irony of all this is that poor template matches failed to produce the heightened sexual attraction felt with strong template matches.

So the ramifications for not addressing these childhood abandonment issues to the nth degree are a trail of broken relationships and a hell of a lot of pain!!

Can the abandonment programming of the amygdala be undone? I do not believe so. See the underlined word "indelible" above.

However, how we react to a retriggering can be changed radically and effectively. This I believe. Cognitions can be changed. Brain placticity is the physiology that underpins learning. But once the primitive brain, i.e. the amygdala, has been programmed then it is set in concrete. In my understanding, only a 'jackhammer approach' in the form of a lesion in the amygdala can erase such primitive programming. Neuroscience has not advanced to the point where such selective surgery can be done successfully.

My rate of recovery after my recent breakup has been enhanced by my previous learning regarding this emotional memory of abandonment. However, the initial pain levels were just as high only for a much shorter period. My recovery has been much faster than in previous breakups due to careful monitoring and control of the thoughts that I allow to pervade my consciousness.

Knowledge, insights. realisations enhanced by meditation, contemplation, introspection and reflection have been the tools that have facilitated this faster recovery. Since only 3 months have past since my breakup, I'm not there yet but I'm well on the way to recovery.

July 27, 2008
9:13 pm
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Hey Tez

You're welcome. I hope the link helps. :~x

July 28, 2008
1:29 am
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bevdee

"I hope the link helps."

It did.

Danke. Merci. Gracias. ???. ???????????.

Just in case you think I'm bilingual I used:

http://www.google.com/translate_t

to help me appear to be a smart arse.

July 28, 2008
5:07 am
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Hey Tez

You don't need any help with that!!

July 28, 2008
11:14 am
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Tez,

Thank you for the translation site. I have been working on translating imaging phrases into other languages, and I like this one better than the one I was using.

"Enrollables de su lado. Me voy a insertar este enema de punta en su recto."

July 28, 2008
6:16 pm
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BevDee.

Hehehe...

July 28, 2008
7:56 pm
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I have been thinking about our society, the culture in which we have been reared.

How much does the society in which we are raised reinforce those messages that we received as infants in our families?

As a child, I received these -

Without God, my heavenly father, I am nothing. Cling to a conditionally loving mangod, and you will never be alone. He will never forsake you. You will never be alone. God will remove our imperfections. It abnegates personal responsibility. It sets us up for failure, if we believe it. We are taught early that we need this external source of strength and validation. We are taught that non-believers will walk in darkness, God will turn His back on us.

July 28, 2008
8:14 pm
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Tez wrote: "So the ramifications for not addressing these childhood abandonment issues to the nth degree are a trail of broken relationships and a hell of a lot of pain!! "

I said i didn't want to go back and dwell....but i have anyway because i felt instinctively my childhood abandonment issues are playing out today. They , and having a low level N for a mother, are the source of my mental issues;mainly recurring depressive episodes.

Tez.The mammalian template, I call it imprinting, makes sense.
Perhaps this fear is better given a compartment, instead of complete attention and the power to destroy the functioning, successful parts of our personalities.
Perhaps it is akin to being diabetic..we physically react when our diet causes fluctuations in blood suger and insulin....our mind , being an organ, is wired for emotional reactions..

How we are attracted to those who are not good for us?

I did this dance through my 20's and it landed me in the hospital with Major Depression.
Through my thirties I basically cleaned house, and detached completely from friends who fell into the "risk of abandonment" catagory.
I was abandoned by some who saw risk behaviour in me.

Yes.ending it with them before them me and visa versa.

It's confusing and painfull since I'm not really in touch with my subconcious reactors.

My abandoning them was more due to them disrespecting me, so I felt it was justified and necessary for me to heal.

Obviously the instinctive nature of attachment plays out with our intimate relationships and we either fail at them ( seperate) or work the inner wounds to a point we can change, or involve our
partners in the healing process.

I can throw a persons faults, or the trespass against me, out the window if we can mutually admit weakness and fault, then try to change.

For now I'm working with mine( partner) but I've had to be humble, stifling my usual reactions, and submit.

Be still, and humble until i can find the answers, and pruge that which makes me weak.

This doesn't mean i ignore his traits ( addiction, avoidance and dependence issues) that cause us trouble but I try to adjust my behaviour according to MY stuff, not his.
For now we are stuck in the wilderness with a few tools, trying to find home.

At least we're moving in the right direction and not beating eachother up in the process.
Be Well!

July 29, 2008
2:58 am
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MsGuided

On the 28-Jul-08 you asked:

"How we are attracted to those who are not good for us?"

This is a very difficult question to answer. Why? Because it demands prerequisite knowledge of how our emotions work both physiologically and experientially to answer in a way that is easily understood. Though it might be useless to you I feel, I can answer thus:

We are attracted to those who are projecting 'template' images that 'match' the template' images contained within our psyches. Once a 'match' occurs then our emotions erupt and hormones are released arousing us sexually. Blurring of vision, weakness in the knees, wetness in the vagina and pre-intercourse penile lubrication discharges can be physical manifestations of such powerful body responses to such template matches in the initial honeymoon stage of the romance.

But this is not an easy answer to understand is it? What the hell is this thing that I call a 'template' image?

Without having the prerequisite understanding of the 'template' formation processes in infancy and early childhood, anyone would find the above answer really hard to grasp and understand.

Much research has been done over the last few decades in this area. But I am unaware of any research work that specifically addresses the issue of the formation of what I call the 'template', let alone the 'template matching' processes in later adult relationships.

Below is what I have just found, that just starts to scratch the surface of
the research necessary to substantiate my claims of the existence of what I call the 'template'.

Click on this link below to see the actual article reproduced here below for your convenience.

Research

Below is what the article says (the underlining is my doing):

"UCL study establishes common biological ground for maternal and romantic love in humans
A new study of young mothers by researchers at University College London (UCL) has shown that romantic and maternal love activate many of the same specific regions of the brain, and lead to a suppression of neural activity associated with critical social assessment of other people and negative emotions. The findings suggest that once one is closely familiar with a person, the need to assess the character and personality of that person is reduced, and bring us closer to explaining why, in neurological terms, 'love makes blind.'
In the experiment, published in February's NeuroImage online preview edition, the brains of 20 young mothers were scanned while they viewed pictures of their own children, children they were acquainted with, and adult friends, to control for feelings of familiarity and friendship (the brain regions involved in romantic love having been identified by the authors in an earlier study).

The similarity of the activity recorded in this study compared to those obtained in the earlier study was striking; with activity in several regions of the brain overlapping precisely in the two studies. In summary, the findings showed that both types of love activate specific regions in the reward system, while reducing activity in the systems necessary for making negative judgements.

The new results demonstrated also that the mechanisms of love are similar in animals and humans, and that the brain regions activated are the same ones as respond to the brain-produced drugs oxytocin and vasopressin. These neuro-hormones have been shown in animals to be both sufficient and necessary to induce both mother-infant bonding and male-female bonding. The new research therefore provides a link to the previous work on animals, showing that the same 'love-potion,' produced by the brain, known to work in animals is also at work in humans.

"Both romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences that are linked to the perpetuation of the species, and consequently have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance," said Andreas Bartels, of UCL's Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience. "Yet almost nothing is known about their neural correlates in the human.

"Our research enables us to conclude that human attachment employs a push-pull mechanism that overcomes social distance by deactivating networks used for critical social assessment and negative emotions, while it bonds individuals through the involvement of the reward circuitry (regions in the brain that induce euphoric feelings), explaining the power of love to motivate and exhilerate." "

I have maintained for many years on this site, that "the common biological ground for maternal and romantic love in humans" exists because it is exactly the same process established and experienced in infancy and early childhood that is experienced emotionally in adulthood in romantic love!!! It is the 'template recognition' process that triggers off the emotions in adulthood. Likewise the pain of rejection and abandonment is the same as that felt by an 'abandoned' baby. I hear people in such pain say to me:"BS - I wasn't abandoned by my mother as a child!!!" I say: "How do you know that as an infant, you never experienced forced separation for a short time for whatever reason, as terrible feelings of abandonment???"

As a newly born, I was unable to suckle for a week. I nearly died. The hospital had no idea why I couldn't breast feed. I was tongue tied and no one recognized the cause of the problem for a week!!! Screaming for my mother to feed me and alone in my baby crib in the hospital, I definitely would have formed terrible emotional memories of 'abandonment' then. These emotional memories of terror can easily be retriggered in me again today by rejecting 'template' matches with whom I have bonded sexually and I can experience seemingly ungrounded and unfocussed feelings of terror as a result!!!

Please feel free to question me further if you find some part of the above difficult to understand.

For two excellent works on how the emotions work see "The Emotional Brain" and "The Synaptic Self". These two academic works, that I have in my library at home here, were written by Dr. Joseph LeDoux, a research neuroscientist from NYU Labs. Though not easy reading, they both contain some very valuable and detailed neurological information on his neuro-physiological research into the workings of the emotions.

Click below for more info on these magnificent books - if you require it:

The Synaptic Self

The Emotional Brain

July 29, 2008
3:19 am
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MsGuided

Further to what you asked when you wrote:

"How we are attracted to those who are not good for us?"

To the degree to which we experienced the pain of abandonment in infancy, to that degree we will experience the same pain of abandonment in adulthood if rejected by a 'template match'.

If our 'template' match is of a personality type that is highly likely to abandon us then we will be attracted to those who are not good for us.

If our significant caregivers were of this same unreliable, emotionally uncommitted, personality type, appearance, behavior, mannerisms, speech characteristics, ambulatory characteristics, etc then this is the 'template' that will attract us if seen in a human being of the opposite sex.

When we finally discover that these people, our lovers, will not meet our needs for self-validation, love, etc, for whatever reason, then we suffer terribly indeed.

That is a more succinct answer.

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