Your Relationship May Not Need to Suffer or End

Understanding Your Attachment Styles In Your Relationship

​Understanding your attachment style can significantly impact your relationship by providing insights into your behaviours, emotional responses, and interaction patterns.

Identifying Patterns: Recognising your attachment style helps you understand why you react the way you do in relationships. For instance, if you have an anxious attachment style, you might notice a tendency to seek constant reassurance.

Improving Emotional Regulation: Awareness of your attachment style can help you manage your emotions better. Understanding your triggers allows you to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

There is much more to this subject and sometimes you may need to go back into your childhood to understand you and your behaviours.

Here is Ben and Abby’s story (characters)

Ben and Abby had been married for ten years, but their relationship was not the fairy tale they had once imagined. They met in college, and their whirlwind romance quickly turned into a deep attachment. Ben loved Abby’s outgoing personality and her ability to light up a room, while Abby adored Ben’s calm and steady presence. However, over time, their attachment became unhealthy, suffocating the feelings of love they once experienced.

Ben was possessive and controlling. He wanted to know Abby’s every move, constantly texting and calling her to check up on her. He thought his behaviour was out of love, but it was more about his insecurities and fear of losing her. Abby, on the other hand, was overly dependent on Ben. She had given up her hobbies and friends, relying solely on Ben for emotional support and validation.

Their marriage was a cycle of arguments, followed by intense make-ups, but the underlying issues were never resolved. Both felt trapped but were too scared to let go. Their attachment was rooted in fear, not love.

One evening, after a particularly heated argument, Abby decided to confide in her friend Emma, who was a therapist. Emma listened patiently and then gave Abby some advice that would change their lives.

“Abby, it sounds like you and Ben are stuck in a pattern of unhealthy attachment. True love is not about controlling or depending entirely on each other. It is about supporting and growing together.”

Here are some tips to help you move from attachment to love.

Tips to Move from Attachment to Love

Self-Awareness and Acceptance:

Abby: Understand why you are overly dependent on Ben. Acknowledge your fears and insecurities.

Practice self-love and recognise your own worth outside of the relationship.

Ben: Reflect on why you feel the need to control Abby. Recognise your own insecurities and work on building self-confidence.

Open Communication:

Both: Have honest and open conversations about your feelings and fears. Create a safe space where both can express themselves without judgment. Regularly check in with each other about the state of your relationship.

Independence and Personal Growth:

Abby: Reconnect with your hobbies and friends. Pursue interests that make you happy and fulfilled as an individual.

Ben: Encourage Abby’s independence and take time to pursue your own interests. This will help both of you grow individually and as a couple.

Trust Building:

Both: Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Start by being transparent and reliable. Show through actions that you can trust each other.

Seek Professional Help:

Both: Consider couple’s therapy. A professional can help you navigate through deep-seated issues and guide you towards a healthier relationship dynamic.

Healthy Boundaries:

Both: Establish boundaries that respect each other’s space and individuality. Boundaries are essential in maintaining a healthy relationship.

Shared Activities:

Both: Engage in activities that you both enjoy. This will help you bond over positive experiences and strengthen your emotional connection.

The Turning Point

Abby shared Emma’s advice with Ben. At first, he was defensive, but after some reflection, he agreed to try. They began couples therapy and started working on their individual issues. Abby rekindled her love for painting and reconnected with old friends. Ben joined a local sports club and started focusing on his career goals.

Slowly but surely, their relationship transformed. The constant need for reassurance and control diminished as they built a foundation of trust and mutual respect. Their conversations became more open and honest, and they learned to appreciate each other’s individuality.

Ten years into their marriage, Ben and Abby discovered a new kind of love—one based on trust, respect, and genuine connection. They realised that true love is not about attachment; it is about supporting each other’s growth and finding happiness both together and apart.

Couples therapy can provide a structured environment to explore and address attachment-related issues.