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You have so much awareness already. You know part of your patience is actually fear. And I would imagine that at some level she knows she has the upper hand because of that. Therefore, she has no reason to change, to attend therapy, to rock the boat or break up the status-quo on which so many avoidantly-organized people depend. There is this fine balance between accepting partners as-is and asking for change when needed.
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You, too, are important. If she is unwilling to attend therapy, how do you feel about going yourself? Thanks Jeremy for breaking it down so directly. Agreed, there is a balanced required but it continues to be hard to envision what asking for change when needed is without going overboard into pre-occupation.
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Any insight there for those of us who are so pre-occuppied and unaware of our needs or unable to assert them even when we do see them. I have been and continue in therapy for the last decade. While sometimes it seems like a very long time, it has helped me through each phase of my self-awareness, from complete denial to working through marriage, ultimately ending it peacefully, then moving on to other relationships.
This last relationship I am referring to is hard because so much was available in the relationship but the stressful moments turned into full anxious-avoidant trap. In a sense, her unwillingness to dive into emotions forced me to deal with my insistence. I struggle to not want to fix, to provide advice, to calm her inner conflict she said it was amazing how she could feel so at ease and calm with me even after the relationship was over. Thank you! I hope this helps others too.
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I have read articles about avoidant attachment styles, but… OMG… your article — especially the first part — describes the behaviors of the two parts so well, I had so many aha moments, and I had to comment! Thank you for writing and sharing this, Jeremy! However, we kind of went in different directions. I knew I needed to become more independent and grow and he even said to me a little while ago that I have grown , thus the separation in Throughout all of this not much emotional support from my current husband at least in my mind.
The depression lead to anger issues over feeling not being heard. I went for a few sessions, but then stopped because I understood that my behavior had been wrong. I have not had any issues since.
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Today I do not believe that anymore. I also do not believe that I really had anger issues. Well, I had, but they were based on being ignored by my partner, getting depressed and ultimately angry. Having read your article, and knowing his family, it makes a lot of sense because I know emotions are not being talked about there.
My parents did not abandon me. I know that I have made mistakes in this relationship, many mistakes. Not a pretty feature, I know. Ultimately I think we did a lot of damage to each other…. What boggles my mind is that, even though rationally I understand that we are not a good match not only because of the attachment differences, also because of goals in life, lifestyle, etc.
I so would like to have a partner to share my life with, and a healthy relationship. Am I that insecure? Do I still love him? Or is this like an addiction, wanting to keep this electrifying toxicity that you describe? I could go on… but, I guess what I want to say is: I want to work through this, I want to be able to let go even though deep down there is still hope that he will change, work on himself and come back… but that is probably that addiction speaking again and ultimately find happiness with a healthy partner in a good relationship!
I would like to work with a therapist like you! Do you happen to be able to recommend anyone in the Southern California area? Thank you so much for your work and for reading this! Hi, Daniela. Thanks for your comment. Alternatively, you are welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8 a. Pacific Time; our phone number is ext.
Many people want to know where their attachment strategies began. Same for a parent with avoidant attachment… A generally accepted current theory: Anxious comes from inconsistent connection. Avoidant from consistent disconnection. What is fairly clear is that parents with extreme attachment styles often have children with extreme attachment styles. Yes, it does often feel like an addiction — like a trail of unnecessary and automatic reactions that just play themselves out over and over. Best wishes….
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Hello Jeremy, Thank you so much for your detailed reply, I really appreciate it! I will look into the information you shared, and will continue to work on the relationship with myself :. Thanks in advance.
Hi Vanessa. So far, Stan Tatkin has presented the most unbiased perspectives on the topic. His work is available in books, articles, and videos online. I realise now how giving him the choice to either meet me and talk about everything or nothing was maybe too harsh, and just forcing intimacy and control onto him. But in a way i think ultimately it has done good. I hope that cutting contact with me will break the cycle he has in coming back for more intimacy when he really needs to look for that in himself. I think both anxious and avoidant people have a big thing about control, and just approach it differently.
Hi SB. Unfortunately, both extremes of attachment tend to stay in this dance longer than necessary, and a lot of our growth comes in the process of stepping into and out of relationship with a mindful, observant presence, as each mode has something different to teach us, and the transition from one to the other can be full of useful information.
Thank you for your representation of anxious attachment. This is such a common predicament — stuck with decreased boundaries for fear of being left alone. Powerlessness in relationships sometimes perceived as fear of conflict or fear of hurting others keeps us from speaking our needs, from setting boundaries, from basic connections that feel empathically or through projection like disconnections — such as asking for space when we feel numb.