Why Borderline Abandonment keeps occurring in relationships?

Borderline individuals fear abandonment and constantly end up in relationships where they become abandoned. How do Borderline personality disorder individuals burn out relationships, until partners abandon them? Borderlines constantly feel uncared for and mistreated as victims. How does borderline abandonment keep re-occurring? Lets begin with how borderline abandonment came about.

How can a mother, who is dotting on her child, co-create a borderline dynamic in her child? When the child explores their own ‘self,’ by moving away from the mother, the mother feels separation anxiety and clings to her child, the child feels frustrated and becomes upset, because they want to explore or play. The mother perceives her child as misbehaving or angry at her, and so the mother

Borderline abandonment

Counselling for Borderline Personality Disorder

walks away in frustration. In this moment the mother actually abandons her child, when the child needs her to facilitate their exploration. In this moment, the mother misreads the child signals, as not wanting her, so she walks off.


According to James Masterson, the mother feels abandoned and so the mother abandons the child for discovering their self’. In actual fact, the infant needs her mother to support their play and exploration, while refuelling them, to give them the libidinal support so that their ‘real self’ can emerge. Instead, the  repeated abandonment in these parent-infant interactions prevents their ‘real self’ from fully developing. In order to avoid abandonment, the infant becomes fixated at finding ways to comply with the mothers needs, giving up their ‘real self,’ by adopting the false compliant self. This creates the beginning of a clinging  relationship on the mother. Gradually the child forgoes their own self in order to be close to the mother. Instead of developing mastery in their skills, they  need their mother, to avoid fears of abandonment. However, this can cause the parent to feel overwhelmed with a child that clings to her, so the mother can further abandon the child, by wanting to get away from constantly focusing on her child. These children having difficulty separating without feeling abandonment. The child suffers abandonment, if the mother is not constantly attentive and so the child will ‘act out’, by becoming demanding, clingy or needy on the mother, to avoid feeling abandoned, pushing the parent to become frustrated and angry. This becomes the beginning of borderline abandonment in the child.

Unable to handle separation from the mother, the child  ‘acts out’ by having tantrums  to get the parent to respond, so they do not feel abandoned. Yet  parents who give into tantrums actually reward their clingy and regressive behavior, giving into them. Yet, the child learns how to get their way and take control over the parent, who feels helpless at giving into their needs. The more the mother runs around pleasing them, the more frustrated the parent becomes. Eventually, these mothers can end up angry or reactive, when they feel their borderline child or teenager expects a lot of love, support or care taking. The Borderline gets angry when others finally say ‘no’ or not give into them. This perpetuates the pattern of eliciting guilt in others to give in to their demands.

The actual truth is, the person with borderline personality disorder learned how to get away with their ‘acting out’ behavior, the more the parent gave in, not set limits, boundaries or said ‘no’. So, they enabled the Borderline to get away with their regressive behavior, by giving into them and doing things for them. As a result the borderline learned to depend on the parent and feel helpless to function for themselves.

By avoiding abandonment causes Borderline Abandonment in relationships.

Borderline abandonnmentBy avoiding abandonment causes borderline abandonment in relationships. The dependency on the relationships causes the borderline to not be able to take care of themselves, so they evoke their partner to take care of their needs, not being responsible for themselves. They misinterpret that their partner does not care about them, when they stop giving into them, causing them to ‘act out’ by becoming hostile, as they find ways to draw their partner into meeting their needs. Like a child, ‘acting out’ with a tantrum, borderlines get others to respond to them, perpetuating a dependency relationship on others.

The partner of the borderline eventually feels burnt out, at giving into their needs. By getting drawn in,  partners can get to the point that they do not care, as they  have enough, and  react by abandoning them or becoming abusive, the same way the mother did. As a result, it perpetuates borderline abandonment.

Borderlines constantly experience others as mean, mistreating them, not caring or telling them off,  when others get to the point that they react hostile towards them.   So, they constantly relive the feeling of abandonment, felt originally with the mother. After giving into them constantly, partners become angry and frustrated with them, often behaving abusive towards them and perpetuating how bad the Borderline feels about themselves. Sometimes the more you give in to their needs, the more they ‘act out’ in regressive or clingy behaviour, burning out relationships, causing borderline abandonment.

Dealing with Abandonment in Borderlines

Sometimes partners need to let go of worrying about them, so they can handle separation from others. Sometimes we get hooked into them, perhaps our own separation anxiety or fear of abandonment, while getting drawn into them. Sometimes parents or loved ones need therapy to overcome this dynamic, so they can let goof meeting their needs, without cutting off abruptly. Meeting their needs causes them to get worse, as they do not develop their self

Borderlines burn out relationships, then feel victimised and abandoned all over again, jumping in and out of relationships, to avoid borderline abandonment. They fall in and out of jobs, often  leaving abruptly due to interpersonal difficulties with their bosses or colleagues.  They often expect a lot of support and being told what to do, and struggle with taking responsibility, because the self remain developmentally arrested. They do not have enough resources or strength in their real self, to get them through life challenges. They effectively run out of fuel.

How counselling deals with Borderline abandonment.

The Borderline requires a therapist, partner or parent to be strong enough to not get drawn into their regressive pull for support or care taking, as this perpetuates their dependency and helplessness. The Masterson approach at  counselling in Melbourne  strengthens the Borderlines  impaired self, that is underdeveloped and assists them to grow up, by taking responsibility for themselves, not clinging to others to take care for them.

Borderlines will develop healthier relationships once they do things for themselves, so they do not drain the life force out of people. Unfortunately, many therapist’s can get drawn into rescuing and taking over their life for them,  so they get worse in therapy. The Borderline needs a therapist who can withstand their attacks,  be able to resist their regressive pulls, and confront how they sabotage their self by perpetuating their dependency, and how this works against their self. A Masterson therapist assists the borderline to develop their real self, meet their own goals and take better care of themselves, while dealing with their  abandonment feelings.

Nancy Carbone is specialised in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, trained from the Psychoanalytic International Masterson Institute. Contact Nancy at Counselling Service Melbourne if you want to overcome abandonment issues. You can sign up on her newsletter for more tips and relationship advice

Find out more at https://www.counsellingservicemelbourne.com.au/, Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn.



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