I strongly believe in the theory that, if you have unresolved childhood pains and trauma, you tend to bring them into your adult partner relationships, especially the injuries that were caused by a severely ruptured parent-child bond. John Bowlby, the British developmental psychologist and psychiatrist, is the originator of the different attachment styles, both secure and insecure attachment. The nature of your partner’s attachment style to their primary caregivers and the one of your attachment style to your caregivers, play a major role in the current emotional connection, or lack thereof, between your partner and yourself.
If both partners are securely attached individuals, your relationship has a better chance of being stable, healthy, loving, and respectful. As children, you both grew up in a protective and nurturing environment, where it was safe to be vulnerable, explore, push boundaries, and make mistakes. At the end of the day, you felt that you were still loved and accepted by the people who were raising you.
If both individuals are insecurely or anxiously attached, and never experienced a true sense of “belonging” in their family growing up, their adult relationship will more likely be at risk and tumultuous, involving many ups and downs with few high highs and many low lows. Childhood maladaptive behaviors and coping skills are reenacted, and negative emotions are projected onto each other. The relationship has a lesser chance of making it unless you are both willing to get guidance with improving your basic attending skills and uncovering the traits that, on an unconscious level, you don’t like about yourself.
If you mix a securely attached person with an insecurely attached person, there is hope that the securely attached person provides the insecurely attached person with enough corrective emotional experiences that you can learn to trust, let down your defenses, heal from your childhood wounds, and eventually, thrive and grow in your romantic relationship.
In couple’s therapy, I can better explain the attachment theory and how it applies to you. Once you are aware of the role you play in your relationship dynamic, we can focus therapy on the underlying unresolved emotions you are both experiencing, so you can increase your understanding of each other’s “raw spots”, show unconditional acceptance, and as a result, deepen your level of connection and intimacy. I am aware that not all couple relationship issues stem from an insecure attachment style to your childhood caregivers, so of course, we will look at the issues through various lenses and use an integrative approach to treatment.
I also help couples employ fair fighting rules and improve communication skills.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Quote by Rumi