Untreated Depression
May 8, 2011
May 9, 2011

Attached to Your Partner?

~Working with a Couples Counselor in Fargo to Achieve a Secure Attachment in Your Relationship~

Attachment Theory was introduced in the late 1950s by John Bowlby. Bowlby studied how babies were attached to their adult caregivers and how the babies would react when they were separated from their caregiver.

The theory goes… if a baby cried when the caregiver left, but then calmed down when the person returned, the child was securely attached to the caregiver.

If a baby didn’t seem to care about the caregiver leaving, didn’t react much when the caregiver returned, could be comforted by any stranger, the child was considered to be insecurely attached to the caregiver.

Bowlby believed that a secure attachment in infancy was necessary for normal social and emotional development. We now understand that attachment and bonding evolves throughout life. Each significant relationship changes how we bond with people and impacts our ability to develop emotionally. Our adult relationships are somewhat comparable to that of the infants/caregiver.

Common Bonding Patterns in Relationships Include:

Secure Attachment

You are comforted by being around your partner. Seeing your partner typically decreases your stress-level and is soothing for you. You feel secure and safe in the relationship. The person’s love increases your confidence. In the relationship, you feel that you can go out on your own and be an autonomous person. You are confident that the other will be there for you when you return. This, of course, is the best way to be attached to your partner. You have a positive view of yourself, a positive view of others, and a positive view of relationships.

Anxious Attachment

You are anxious and upset when separated from your partner. This causes or increases clingy behavior. You are not confident about your partner’s love or feelings for you. Because you are so anxious about your relationship, you may pick a fight to try to get a reaction out of your partner. You have a negative view of yourself, but a positive view of others, and a romanticized view of relationships.

Avoidant Attachment

You are not confident of your partner’s feeling toward you. Instead of responding with anxiety and/or anger, you sometimes distance yourself and focus on other tasks to deal with your feelings. You have a positive view of yourself, but a negative view of others, and a distrustful view of relationships.

Fearful Avoidant Attachment

You want to be close to your partner but instead run away, untrusting, when closeness is offered to you. Being around your partner in a loving way does not soothe you or decrease your fears. You have negative self-image of yourself, a negative view of others, and are apprehensive about most relationships.

In couples counseling, the counselor will explore your attachment and bonding patterns and utilize this information to increase the success of couples counseling. The goal of couples counseling, of course, is to achieve secure attachment for both partners. The rewards for having a secure attachment with your partner are infinite!