Attachment in a couple relationship

We discussed the issue of attachment in couple relationships for you.

From the moment we are born, we need others to be fed, protected and regulate our emotions. According to Bowlby, the first bonds formed between us and the person/s who meet our needs, the premise of the bonds we establish with the world and other people, are the building blocks of ourselves. Being owned, protected, loved, cared for, and appeased by “others” creates a positive “self-model” in our minds, on the other hand, we create a positive “others model” that people are reliable and ready to offer care and love.

While living the “now” and constructing the “future”, we walk in the traces of the past. We carry our past relationship styles into our new relationships. If our model of ‘ourself’ has been negatively structured in the past, there is a sense of our own worth in new relationships. anxiety We cannot stop ourselves from living. If our “others” model is negative, it suppresses our need for intimacy to avoid harm. avoidance We show reactions. Our past attachment styles, our “self” and “others” models determine our behavior, especially in close relationships such as lovers and spouses. In our infancy, we perceive ourselves as valuable, others as secure, and attach securely, if attention came promptly whenever we needed it and our needs were met immediately. With this attachment style, we do not hesitate to open our feelings and thoughts to others and express our needs, and we easily establish close relationships. We have a positive attitude towards ourselves and the person we are attached to, and we value both ourselves and him.

If our needs and expectations are not adequately met in infancy, we develop anxiety and avoidance reactions to attachment. Inconsistent, inadequate and/or unbalanced responses of caregivers, being nervous and anxious, and disproportionately intrusive when we are under stress, ill or in need lead to increased attachment anxiety and hypersensitivity to stress. This causes us to pay excessive attention to our spouse’s behavior and accessibility in close relationships, to sharpen our selective perception in this direction, to “stick” to relationships and spouse, and to constantly seek closeness and approval (Mikulincer and Shaver 2005). The fact that those who look at us when we need closeness, protection and support prevent us from expressing our feelings by acting coldly, distantly and angry, leads us to avoid behaviors that will trigger the attachment system and to develop insensitivity to the closeness and support needs of others (Shaver and Hazan 1994). Our fears and anxieties of being re-bailed lead us to resort to defensive activities in close relationships. As mother-infant attachment is replaced by romantic attachment in adulthood, similar defenses are carried over to these relationships as well. Lansky (1987) found many defenses in family studies that emerge with intense narcissistic injury and hurt situations. These defenses, such as blame, impulsive action, intense preoccupation, and shame, serve to regulate emotional distance between partners.

Our attachment style, the foundation of which is laid in childhood, also shapes our romantic relationships in adulthood as it is the basis of our capacity to establish intimacy, our sense of trust and self-confidence (Shaver, Hazan, & Bradshow 1988). While successful in marriage (Feeney & Collins, 2001), those with insecure attachment form the basis for a stressful marriage (Mikulincer, Florian, Cowen, & Cowen, 2002).

Securely attached; In a close relationship, they feel trust, closeness, interdependence, commitment and responsibility. They do not feel comfortable approaching others and being approached. They do not fear abandonment, they do not show jealousy. They adopt an integrative relationship style that prefers mutual solidarity. Problem solving strategies are effective. They provide a supportive environment and open communication. They find their marital relations satisfactory, they are less offended, and they show less verbal aggression. They are less divorced.

Those with an avoidant attachment style; Has trouble establishing close relationships with another person, has difficulty trusting and connecting. He is introverted and cold, avoids expressing his feelings. He is not very interested in problem solving, he is not aware of his wife’s needs and troubles, he is restless in the face of his wife’s desire to be close. She wants a distance between her and her husband. He prioritizes his work and hobbies more than his relationship. Marriage expectations are low. He prefers to be self-sufficient. Avoids conflict or reacts with resentment.

Those with an anxious attachment style; have ambivalent feelings about intimacy. He experiences constant emotional ups and downs. She is worried about whether her partner truly loves her, whether she really wants to stay with him. He quickly notices even the smallest threat, exaggerates negative situations. Therefore, they need to increase the sense of security in the relationship. Since he organizes the feeling of trust within the framework of “control”, he provides self-confidence when his wife responds positively to him, and he thinks that he has been betrayed when he goes out of control (Mikulincer, 1998). It does not allow autonomy and independence. Shows excessive jealousy, passion, conflict and grudges. She is insatiable in the relationship, but she continues the marriage even though she is unhappy because of her deep fear of abandonment. The other partner often withdraws from the relationship due to frequent conflicts.