A woman with commitment phobia always feels insecure and vulnerable when it comes to marriage. She wants to postpone the decision; is often confused and does not know how to get out of the relationship.
Unlike men, women with commitment phobia don’t go around hunting for men. They develop natural relationships; relationships in which they believe but which they are not willing to sustain. In the process they not only hurt men but also hurt themselves.
They find it very difficult to get out of such relationships. There is a feeling of guilt; sometimes even of remorse. But these feelings are overpowered by a strong feeling of fear. There is a great reluctance to approach the subject of marriage. At the same time, there is despair too. They don’t want to let go the man who has brought such happiness in their lives. But they only end up leaving their partners confused, bewildered and angry.
Why do women turn into commitment phobes?
The psychologists see a clear relationship between commitment phobia and a traumatic childhood. Their studies show that women who suffer from commitment phobia are deeply influenced by their childhood experiences that have seared their subconscious minds and given birth to such unrealistic fears.
According to the psychologists, commitment phobia can be caused by any of the following three situations that a child may have undergone during her formative years:
1. Death of a parent: Children may not show grief but they are very sensitive. A few of them may find it very difficult to accept the passing of their father or mother to whom they were deeply attached. Some of them can’t bear to see the grief of their father or mother. This is when their mind decides that they should not allow themselves to get into similar situations. The logic is that there will be no grief if there is no long-term relationship.
2. A messy divorce: There are many children who go into a shell when they see their parents bickering over small things, and finally breaking up. There are some girls who cannot reconcile themselves to their stepfathers or stepmothers and cannot forgive their parents for what they have done to their lives. Marriage to these girls seems to be a relationship where they can only expect bitterness and hurt. That is why they are so keen to avoid the “imagined” pains of marriage.
3. Abusive relationship: Some girls are never able to get over the abuses inflicted by their parents, especially their fathers. They therefore do not want to surrender to men once again, but want to prize their independence much more. They are mortally scared to risk an unhappy wedding or another abusive relationship.
A fourth reason for women avoiding long-term relationships is purely professional. They may enter into a relationship at a time when their career is poised to take off. They are so attached to their career prospects that they are not willing to compromise on them. Instead they want to postpone the marriage to a future date, which, in most cases, never comes. But such successful women invariably attract men who want to possess them.
How to spot a commitment phobe
It is not easy to spot women who suffer from commitment phobia. They do not go around lavishing love and affection freely, or trying to seduce every man who catches their fancy. In fact, they appear more vulnerable and insecure, triggering relationships where a man wants to protect them. This is how most such relationships begin.
However, the men do not know what they are doing. They are involuntarily getting sucked into a relationship that does not have a future. The best they can do is to probe why the woman for whom they feel so strongly has not found a partner. It should strike them as odd if the woman tells them that her relationships are invariably short. They may, of course, be blinded by love and believe that it would not happen to them. But then they will be making a big mistake.
A better option would be to make the woman talk about herself and her early life, to understand why she has had such unstable relationships. This can make the woman share her fears, however unrealistic they are. The man can throw a protective umbrella around her, and offer her security that she has all along been missing. But there is no guarantee that the woman will be able to exorcise her fears. The relationship may still end on a note of unhappiness and bitterness with the woman pushing her partner away, but the partner refusing to let her go and suffer her fears alone.
Can counseling help?
A last resort is to convince the commitment phobe to seek professional help. A trained psychologist may be able to wipe the fears away. A hypnotist can also be able to remove the fears of the past. But much depends on how much the woman is willing to open herself, and how much emotional support the man is willing to bring to the relationship.
There is always the possibility that the commitment phobe may be able to exorcise her fears. But it is also possible these fears may return to haunt her after marriage. Then you can be sure that the marriage will be short-lived. It will not be able to withstand the hallucinations and unrealistic fears of a commitment phobe.
In the other situation, where a woman places her career first, the man must be ready to compromise. He should never question her priorities even if it hurts his male ego every day or every week. Once again, this is not going to be a stable relationship, and will die sooner than later.