Will Divorce and Separation Cause Abandonment Issues?

Divorce may be a necessary solution to spouses who are unable to agree or collaborate with each other. However, for a child stuck between their parents, divorce can lead to fear of abandonment and other emotional issues. Abandonment fears can also affect the child later in life in how they interpret and succeed in their relationships. This is further explained by psychology and the idea of object constancy.

Object constancy is how an individual perceives their relationship when they are not around that person. When a child has a healthy object constancy, they may believe that distance or time apart from a person does not negatively impact their relationship. On the other hand, a child with poor object constancy may believe that time apart ruins their relationship with a person. A divorce may lead to poor object constancy if a parent does not frequently reach out to their child or provide consistent emotional support. Since their routine is already interrupted, it is crucial that parents try to bring some sense of normalcy to their child’s life to prevent this.

What are the Symptoms of Abandonment Issues?

Children with a fear of abandonment may have different symptoms depending on how they perceive their emotional relationships with others. Those with a fear of abandonment often have insecure attachment styles, including the following:

Symptoms of avoidant attachment include:

  • Avoiding close relationships
  • Shutting down around highly emotional situations
  • Refusing to open emotionally to others
  • Appearing withdrawn or distant

Symptoms of anxious attachment include:

  • Developing a dependency on a relationship or person
  • Being highly emotional
  • Fearing distance from their partner
  • Fear of being an emotional burden to someone

Symptoms of disorganized attachment include:

  • Having inconsistent relationships with others
  • Having difficulty being vulnerable to others

Fear of abandonment can ultimately affect a child’s relationship with others in the future, therefore, it is crucial that parents try to prevent their child from developing these insecure attachment styles.

How can I Prevent My Child from Experiencing Fear of Abandonment?

To prevent a child from developing an insecure attachment style, it is crucial that both parents show consistent attention to that child. They should also try not to bad-mouth each other when the child is around. This is important because it ensures that both parents are supportive to their child and are willing to put them above their problems with each other. Parents should also make a consistent effort to check in on their child and show that they are there to listen and respond in times of an emotional crisis.

New Jersey Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Clients During a Divorce!

If you are considering a divorce, contact a New Jersey divorce lawyer at Burnham Douglass. Our lawyers understand that a divorce affects the entire family, including the children. We help clients have a smooth transition during their divorce to help minimize the emotional toll on the rest of the family. Contact us online or call 856-751-5505 for a free consultation. With office locations in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout all of New Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, Salem County and Mercer County.

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