Just the other day, a young lady contacted me about last week’s blog post, “Does your man make you feel trapped.” She was hype-ventilating as she was beginning to realize that her relationship had the characteristics of what I mentioned in the post.
The first thing I did was to get her to breathe, relax and tell her that all was not lost. Anxious-Avoidant relationships usually stay consistent over time, but they can change. Today, we will discuss how this type of relationship can be more secure. Here are 4 tips that can help lead your relationship to a more secure future.
- Model your relationship after someone in your life that has a secure mindset.
- Think of that person who gave you a sense of security.
- Remind yourself how they interacted with the world
- How did they respond in times of conflict
- What were the things they said to make people feel more secure.
- What did they choose to ignore or respond to.
- How did they behave when their partner was down.
- Become an expert at analyzing your relationship. – You will have to figure out how to reframe the state of your current relationship in order to move to a secure model. You will have to think about what are the situations that get you going, what shuts you down, your attitudes and expectations and how you can make adjustments to become more secure.
In order to get started the both of you must create some alone time and think about all your romantic partners past or present and write them down on a sheet of paper. The names of those partners will go in column 1.
In column 2 you will write down what was the state of each relationship; what patterns existed; what characteristics stood out the most.
In column 3, what event(s) can you recall that either activated your anxiousness or de-activated your investment into the relationship.
In column 4, ask yourself how you responded to those events: What did you do? What were your thoughts? What were your feelings?
In column 5, which is the most important, describe what was your behavior as a result to the attachment issues you had? For example, you might continuously attempt to re-establish contact at all costs if you are anxious or always try to make your partners feel jealous if you have an avoidant attachment style.
In column 6, figure out how these behaviors hurts you or gets in the way of your happiness.
In column 7, what positive characteristics could you have utilized to move those relationships to a more secure one.
It’s now at this point you should share your personal inventory with a relationship coach, i.e. Coach Keith, your therapist, or a personal friend that can withhold judgement and honestly give you a different perspective on how to move to a more secure model.
3. The path to a more secure relationship is a continuous journey. Whenever a new situation or conflict occurs use the chart from previous relationship.
4. Learn to always accept disappointment or accept that your partner has certain shortcomings and develop strategies help strengthen your life personally. Such things as:
- Admit to yourself that in certain areas, their mate is never going to be an active partner, and stop urging them to change.
- Stop taking personal offense when their mate pushes them away and accept that it simply his or her nature.
- Learn to do things on your own and don’t expect your partner will always join you.
- Engage with like-minded friends in activities that their mate doesn’t want to participate in
- Learn to be thankful for what your mate does do and not what he or she doesn’t do.
5. If those clashes continue to a source of intimacy collisions, and irreconcilable fights, it might be time to let go.
In the next blog, we will analyze how these clashes can go from bad to worse and how to develop strategies to leave it behind.
Material taken from Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine M.D.