On the journey to Relationship Reveal (RR), I encountered many different points of view, robust research, and theories that help people understand the complex nature of human interaction. One that sticks with me, and is the theoretical foundation for RR, is attachment theory formulated by John Bowlby based on research on infant bonds with their caregivers.
What does that have to do with adult relationships? Well, as it turns out, how you bonded with your primary caregiver in your childhood, impacts how you relate, especially under stress, with your partner. How you attach (there are four different attachment styles) can have positive but also sadly, devastating impacts on your self-esteem, self-worth and fulfillment from intimate relationships.
From an article on Psychology Today by Lisa Firestone Ph.D. Director of Research and Education for the Glendon Association. "Our style of attachment affects everything from our partner selection to how well our relationships progress to how they end. That is why recognizing our attachment pattern can help us understand our strengths and vulnerabilities in a relationship. An attachment pattern is established in early childhood attachments and continues to function as a working model for relationships in adulthood."
Understanding your attachment style and your partner's can help you see behavior patterns and their source, and provide tools to help you reduce frustration. When that happens you can be more empathetic and open up allowing for secure, healthy connections between you and the people you love. Most people seek to be seen and loved but for some it is harder to get there due to fear of not being enough or not feeling worthy of love. I believe attachment theory can help more people get to a place of peace and connection with their hearts all in one piece.
The four attachment styles are:
- Secure Attachment
- Avoidant Attachment
- Ambivalent/Anxious Attachment
- Disorganized Attachment
Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some terrific and simple articles on attachment.
A couple of excellent and easy to digest books on the subject that are well worth reading are below. Click on them and you will go to Amazon for a better look and purchase.
If you are struggling to connect with your partner, take a look at your attachment style and your partner's to see if perhaps that is getting in the way and find ways to reach out to each other and work together to learn how to positively attach to each other. No matter what the outcome, you will both grow in the process and learn an aspect of what drives your behavior.
With well wishes for happiness.