bonding in marriage

Attachment theory describes the pattern of relationships that a person establishes with caregivers in early childhood. In this context, three basic attachment styles are mentioned: secure attachment, anxious attachment and avoidant attachment. Attachment styles of individuals are one of the most important factors that determine the quality of the relationship within the marriage relationship.

Attachment theory describes the pattern of relationships that a person establishes with caregivers in early childhood. This relationship pattern forms the basis of the relationships that a person establishes in his adulthood. Therefore, a person’s attachment style is of great importance in terms of how his life can be shaped. There are basically three attachment styles. These are secure attachment, anxious attachment and avoidant attachment styles.

Having a secure attachment style is the result of a positive and trusting healthy relationship with caregivers between the ages of 0-3. Caregivers of these people have the ability to communicate effectively with their babies. They make eye contact with their babies, touch them tenderly, take care to understand the baby’s feelings and approach the baby sensitively. Securely attached people tend to have more satisfying relationships in their lives, and they have no problem establishing intimacy in their relationships. In addition to being able to express their own feelings effectively in a relationship, they are also successful in recognizing and responding to the emotional cues of their relatives.

An anxious attachment style is often the result of interactions with caregivers who were inconsistent as a child. While these caregivers are sometimes very interested and friendly with the child, sometimes they can be insensitive and cold, the child cannot understand the reason for these inconsistent behaviors and is confused. He cannot predict what kind of reactions he should expect. These caregivers, who do not meet the needs of the child they care for, may also be neglectful or overly concerned and act overprotective and intrusive towards the child. Individuals with this attachment style usually complain about not being as close as they would like in their adult relationships. They fear that their partner will not want to be as close as they would like, and they tend to overreact. These individuals, who need reassurance and comfort, may develop a “dependent” profile and overwhelm their partner with their sticky behavior.

The fact that the caregiver exhibits angry, distant and cold behaviors towards the child, the absence of an environment that allows the child to express his/her feelings while growing up, results in the child being pushed to suppress his/her feelings. The child, who grows up learning that expressing his feelings is a negative situation, also avoids expressing his feelings in the relationships he established in his adulthood. Fears or runs away from intimacy, prefers solitude. These individuals are overly self-indulgent and may perceive close relationships as threatening. They are hesitant to open their inner world to their spouses, and although they want to establish closeness, too much intimacy bothers them.

Attachment styles of spouses are one of the most important factors that determine the quality of the relationship within the marriage relationship. There are a lot of researches on this subject both in the world and in our country. In line with these studies, it is seen that attachment style is one of the most important variables affecting marital life. While there is a positive relationship between secure attachment and marital adjustment, there is a negative relationship between insecure (anxious and avoidant) attachment and marital adjustment. Marriages of securely attached spouses are the most satisfying, when they encounter a problem, they communicate effectively and look for a solution together. Insecurely attached spouses, on the other hand, may experience various difficulties in effectively solving their problems because their own relationships are also in conflict. It is recommended that these couples seek professional help in order to eliminate these unhealthy patterns and acquire new problem-solving skills.

Source: Tutarel-Kışlak, Ş. and Cavusoglu, S. (2006). Relationships between marital adjustment, attachment styles, attributions and self-esteem. Family and Society, Vol.(3), (61-68).

Caglayan, Y. I. and İpek, M. (2019). Attachment styles in couples, examination of the relationship between marriage and marital adjustment. Aydın Health Journal, Vol.(2), (161-180).