Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life
by ourselves alone – we find it with another.
~ Thomas Merton
Tom: I’ve been with my husband, Dave, for 10 years. Even though he has never cheated on me, I still worry about it. It’s really not his problem; it’s mine. He gets tired of repeatedly having to reassure me. I’m always questioning, “Will he be there for me?”
Bob: What did you learn about “relating” in your childhood?
Tom: You mean, “Blame it on my mother?” I’m 43 years old. What does my childhood have to do with my marriage problems?
Bob: We all have different styles of “attaching” or connecting in relationships. And it comes from our early experience with our parents; not just moms by the way.
Tom: Great, I can blame dad too. Dad left our family when I was about two years old and never came back. My mother struggled to raise three boys. So how did that affect me?
Bob: “Attachment,” the emotional bond we have with another person, is learned. The way we were cared for by our parents forms a template for bonding with others throughout our lives. If we get fed and nurtured, we feel the world is a safe, secure place. We generally feel trusting of others. If that doesn’t happen, we learn the world is dangerous and are less secure about relationships with others.
Sounds like at a very young age, dad disappeared and mom went into survival mode. Dad left and mom had less to give. It likely created a sense of loss and uncertainty for you, especially since you were too young to process what happened. You just “felt it.” So no matter how secure your relationship is with your husband, you are wired to feel insecure.
Tom: Interesting, never thought of that. I’d like to understand more about this.
Bob: Great. I’ll send you some resources that would be helpful.
I sent Tom the links below to help him understand more about “Attachment Theory” or the way we learn to connect.
Understanding your own style of attachment is a vital part of gaining insight into the way you connect today. Otherwise it unconsciously impacts your relationship. Once understood, you have access to changing it, and you can learn how to become more deeply connected with your partner, so love will last.
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love – Dr. Sue Johnson
If you are feeling disconnected from your partner or want to learn how to more deeply connect, Bob and I can help. Call us at 410-363-2825 or email email@example.com.
Image Copyright Fergus Coyle