How Are You Attached to Your Partner?

By nature, our brains are wired to desire attachment to others. We are social creatures; even entering into conflict is a manifestation of our mutual need to "link" or "attach" ourselves to another person.

However, the ways we attach to one another depend on many factors, namely, how our mothers/caregivers were attached to us during our first year of life. This first year creates this pattern simply because that is the time that our very survival depends on someone else, so whatever happens between the child and the caretaker leaves an imprint on the malleable young brain.

Whether in or out of conflict, the way we interact with others is based on our learned attachment patterns. Analyzing attachment is very useful in revealing hidden motives, needs and desires in any relationship.

What are the three main attachment styles?

  • Secure: Secure attachment is a healthy attachment. It is confidence and security in both the permanence of the relationship, and the honesty of the significant other. Secure attachment people tend to trust that their partners love them and find them attractive. This was learned from a secure mother, who was there for the child when it needed her, and provided love and attention on a continual (rather than spotty or random) basis.
  • Anxious: Anxious attachment deals with fear of rejection and relationship stability. An anxious attachment pattern in a mother relates to a mother who alternately smothered and ignored the child, bouncing between thinking she didn't love it enough and thinking she loved it too much. This undependable and erratic behavior translates to the adult relationship, making the terrain of the relationship unreliable and fickle.
  • Avoidant: Avoidant attachment deals with a lack of desire to depend on others, as well as an abhorrence of opening up or being vulnerable. This is learned in childhood when a mother is avoidant - she will deny the child attention, avoid giving him what he needs if he asks for it. Often, avoidant partners will call their significant others "needy" and "overemotional," and see themselves as independent and self-assured individuals who do not depend from others.

Something to keep in mind is that if there are recurring conflicts within a relationship (or if there is some kind of trust or communication issue blocking a resolution), conflicting attachment styles could be at play.

For example, a marriage where a secure woman is with an avoidant man is probably prone to episodes where the wife is considered "needy" by the husband, and the husband is considered "heartless" by the wife. What we often write off as male and female stereotypes and roles within a relationship are not cut in stone - they are merely attachment styles, and can be mixed across genders!

Do you have a conflict where you think attachment styles may be combating? Perhaps you have another conflict and want to get an expert opinion on the situation? Get a free consultation with our conflict coach today, and learn what you can do to create happier, healthier relationships with others!

 

Neil Warner

Neil Warner

I'm the “relationship guru,” and my main focus is to increase the quality of love-based relationship experiences. In this ground-breaking guide I offer useful strategies on healing a difficult angry relationship with love and compassion. You don't have to stay in an unhealthy relationship one more minute. Let us share our tools with you today.

We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation (by clicking here), with a plan for action to change your life with new skills included. Just click this link and get started now!

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