I am in doubt about my RELATIONSHIP. What can I do ? If you are in doubt: Recognize your doubts. Say to the doubt and nervousness " okay doubt you are allowed to be here right now." If You feel resistance: Say to the resistance: resistance, you are allowed be here right now.
I am convinced that my boyfriend will leave me at some point. What can I do. I think that he is secure?:
Then you can use this mantra: "we are together, as long as we are together."
This mantra can help you to land the nervous system and can help You to get you into the present moment.
There are no guarantees in love life. ALL relationships will end at some point. Many relationships ends before death will separate you.- By thinking that all relationships Will end sooner or later can Be helpfull to the ambivalent. Then you don't have to use so much energy worring about it.
The quarrel about my husband's old shirts For several years, my husband and I had a recurring quarrel about his old shirts and crowded wardrobes.
It was always me who started the quarrel and the pattern was always the same. We sit and enjoy time together. The conversation comes down to 'the delicate subject'. I think he needs to clean up his closet and he thinks I need to mind my own business. One word takes the other. The conversation, the arguments and the emotional reactions were always the same. Sometimes we moved on quickly, other times it took time to become good friends again.
Why quarrel about these things?
One day, I realized what the quarrel was really about. It was my ambivalent attachment pattern, and a what was left of my broken heart that created the problem.
Show me you love me! In a mixture of anger and despair, I said; 'You'd rather throw me out than your old shirts ... you have no idea how worthless I feel right now'. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with sadness and tears. Suddenly, I understood what I was really fighting for.
I struggled (subconsciously) to get my husband to give up the shirts (for my sake). If the mission succeeded I would feel loved (I thought subconsciously). But, the mission failed and it triggered my anger. When he rejected my desire, old feelings of failure were triggered. Emotions that were not about shirts, but that pulled threads back to my childhood and to a traumatic divorce.
In fact, quarrels are rearly about being right but longing to have emotional needs met:
Recognition, presence, interest, hospitality, security, love
Maybe you're thinking ... -your husband, he's a selfish man! Why didn't he just throw out the shirts? Why does he bother to stick to some old shirts that he probably won't use ? The answer is because, like me, he was trapped in his own insecure and dismissive attachment pattern! That's how our quarrel stopped When I said 'You'd rather throw me out than your old shirts' was my husband's answer. 'Okay, honey, I'll probably throw Them out ... are you happy then?'
No, I was definitely not happy.
What do you think happened? Instead, I realized something important about myself. No matter how many shirts my husband threw out. No matter how much he did what i wanted, I would never be completely happy or completely satisfied. It was truly a sad and painful admission, but also a great relief and a deeply healing and self-loving experience. Nobody is perfect We fail, say stupid things and sometimes hurt each other. It cannot be avoided. Nobody's perfect.
Ticking bombs There are quarrels, which are just quarrels. It is quite common. Two people can't agree on everything - all the time. And then there are the dangerous and devastating quarrels where we do not find a common solution to the satisfaction of both parties.
The important thing is to get some help if you are fighting about the same thing over and over again.
Unresolved conflicts are like ticking bombs. Not until the bomb is dismantled does the war stop Warning! Whether you are single or in a relationship Last but not least: If you are in a couple relationship and are experiencing weary quarrels with the same pattern, you should raise the red flag. If you do nothing serious about the problem, there is a great risk of losing both respect and love for each other. At worst, you end up breaking up.
If you are single, I would advise you to take a look at your past relationships. What were you arguing about? Who started the quarrel. How did you react? What was your pattern? Is there a red thread? And even if you have decided your next boyfriend should be the last one ... unfortunately the problem will move on if you do not heal your insecure attachment patterns.
The way forward… Reach out for help, either individually or as a couple. Once caught in a negative (attachment) pattern, it is very difficult to get out of it!
Not until you drop something old, you can make room for something new! That applies to all of us. If we do not consciously or unconsciously want to let go of the past, it is not possible to live in the present. No one can be at two placess at the same time.
What goes wrong for many is that they cannot say no to others, and therefore must say no to themselves. Not intentionally, but again more or less subconsciously. The autopilot takes over and says YES, before you even consider and notice. Afterwards, you are having difficulty undoing the YES. But then it is 100x harder to pull back and say no!
EXAMPLE Lisa's boyfriend asks her: Honey, do you want to attend a football match in the capital town on Sunday? Then we can spend the night with my parents from Saturday. Gert and Anna will also be joining us. Actually, Lisa had no desire at all, because she has been VERY busy with her work for a long time, and at the same time the children have been sick. Lisa has not slept well either. So while the kids were supposed to be with their dad for the weekend, yes, she had really been looking forward to a relaxed and quiet weekend with no plans, but with plenty of sleep-long-and-dangeling-around in-her morningrobe. But to her surprice, she hears herself say: Yes, it could be super nice, honey, I would love to. Well, it could be nice - just not this weekend. And just not with Anna, because she always says a lot of negative about others. Afterwards, Lisa is unable to pull herself back and say No thanks. But instead she gets even more stressed and at the same time annoyed at herself for not saying thank you - but no thanks.
Lisa's autopilot is set to satisfy others - especially her boyfriend and children, but also the boss and the close family. It is typical of people with the ambivalent attachment form. THE secure attatchment: If Lisa had been more in the secure attatchment style, she would have given herself time to notice how she felt and then said: "Hmn, honey that sounds really nice. But as you know, I've had a slightly tough time at work and with my children's illness, so I need to completely relax this weekend and not have any pland at all. Maybe we can take such a trip when I have more time and energy again? "
PROBLEM For EVERY time you can't say no where it would be best for you - YOU DO NOT say YES to YOURSELF! Is it a problem? Not if it happens from time to time. But if it happens often, it drains your confidence. Self-confidence as in that you can trust that you will do what gives you a good life! If it goes on, it also drains your self-worth. After all, self-worth is selfworth, and the autopilot doesn't seem to notise it when you ignore yourself over and over again! It also brings you into the victim ROLE. Like a puma in the dark, it will give you stress not to say no. More and more. And a day you have to throw in the towel. Unfortunately, depression and anxiety is consequence of long-term stress. And for some, that means they never get back to normal function. It's Far from the good life ...
THE SOLUTION This unconscious autopilot, or attachment pattern, which makes you say yes when you want to say NO, can to some extent be handled by training yourself to say no. Ask yourself: If I say yes to this, what do I have to I say no to myself (and your loved ones)? Whoever asks you, say: If you want an answer right away, it's a NO. But give me some time, then I have to find out if I can say yes. You will receive a response in the afternoon / tonight / tomorrow If the ambivalent pattern has a good grip, it is not certain it is enough to get you out of the tendency to say YES to others and No to yourself. Use methods of generally landing the nervous system, for example, the water tank exercise methods to get more into secure attachment ect.
We humans are herd animals, and the most important thing for us - at the instinctive level - is to be part of the herd and at the same time to have a love partner.
STOP interpreting other people, based on who you are 🧐 The difference between an ambivelent and an avoidant attatched diary 🤔😂 (originally a woman's and a man's diary)
AMBIVALENT (her) diary: I think my husband is behaving strangely tonight. We have planned to meet at a restaurant for dinner. I was out shopping with my girlfriends all day, so I thought he was mad, because I was a little late, but he did not say anything about it. We did not really talk to each other. I suggested we go to a restaurant, that was a little quieter, so that we could talk better together. He accepted, but still did not say much. I asked him what was wrong. He just replied, "Nothing." I asked him if it was my fault, that he was angry. He said, that he was not angry, and that it had nothing to do with me, and that I should not worry. On the way home, I told him I loved him. He smiled and continued driving. I can not explain his behavior, and I do not understand why he did not say, "I love you too". When we got home, I felt like I had lost him, that he did not wanted anything to do with me anymore. He just sat and watched TV. He continued to be absent. In the end, I decided to go to bed, because we did not talk together after all. After about 15 minutes, he also went to bed, but I could still feel that he was absent and that his thoughts were in a completely different place. He fell asleep and I cried. I do not know what to do. I'm almost sure his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.
AVOIDANT (his) diary: My motorcycle will not start - I simply can not figure out why.
Her feelings are characterized by the fact that she experiences his introversion and interprets it as if he does not want HER - what happens to him is probably that he thinks about how he can solve the problem with his motorcycle and he is therefore not accessible. This is not durable , as in loving in the long run in their relationship but thats another talk
They both contribute to the "dance". She could - instead of asking him what's wrong - tell him, that she gets upset / insecure when he is that silent. AND that she would like to hea,r about what concerns him, even if it has nothing to do with her, or is not something she can do anything about, or he thinks it will bore her ...
Try the exercise: "live in the relationship as if you are single".
People with an insecure ambivalent / anxious attachment style experience that they are good at managing themselves when they are single. But in a steady relationship, they begin to feel insecure.
Rediscover your strength - and heal the feeling of being addicted
In the relationship, there may be an urgent need for confirmation, comfort and reassurance from the partner - as a small child who longs for a parent and feels: "I can only, if you help me." You can get upset and long, when you have to do things on your own. It can give an experience of weakness and insecurity - the experience that you need your partner more, than you love your partner.
Try living in the relationship for a week as if you were single:
Try to share fewer of your innermost thoughts and feelings with your partner. make multiple decisions on your own. Listen to what you want to do yourself, instead of waiting to find out what your partner wants to do. enjoy doing things without interference from your partner. Often the exercise gives a ‘fresh breath’ to the relationship. Without words, you convey to your partner:
I stand by myself, I can do on my own, I have inner strength, I feel good enough. I am with you because I love you - and not because I am dependent on you.
As an ambivalent / anxiously attached, insecure relationships in the past have made you feel a deep - and sometimes heartbreaking - longing for closeness. It can show up in you as you:…
- want to spend more ‘you and me-time’ with your partner than vice versa. - have a hard time feeling calm when your partner sees other people or nurtures interests of which you are not a part of. - may be jealous and afraid of losing your partner, when your partner has contact with others.
Learn to distinguish between:
- cohesion in a healthy and normal secure attachment. - an anxiety-driven need for duality, closeness, and affirmation.
Give your partner a free space in your actions, thoughts and feelings:
- let your partner do things on his own - without ‘punishing’ before, during or after… - do not think the worst, but think positively when your partner cares about his interests. - learn to accommodate the feeling of insecurity - without letting yourself be ruled by jealousy: ‘Yes. I'm jealous and Im feeling insecure right now. It feels really uncomfortable, but I can handle it! It will pass' - Remember that the deep longing, that the wounds of the past have given you, can only be partially fulfilled in the relationship. You also need to work on yourself to be able to calm, comfort and love yourself.
Being ambivalent / anxiously attached, you may be prone to being flooded with emotions and thoughts if you have been hurt and something is difficult for you.
One problem makes you think of 10 other problems. One thing your partner has done wrong, makes you think of 10 other times your partner has hurt you. If your partner comes up with concrete suggestions for solving the problems, you can quickly talk further about other problems. This tendency does not help to solve the problems - and can leave your partner exhausted and paralyzed. You may even feel even more discouraged.
- focus on one problem at a time and avoid talking about many problems at once. - give your partner a concrete suggestion of what can be done differently once you have been injured. - accept it if your partner does what you ask for. Instead of thinking, "It doesn't count, when I have to ask myself." - talk less about what has gone wrong and more about solutions. - If you are hsp, then use your sensitive potential to reflect deeply on things in a constructive way. - Recognize the small progress that both you and your partner can make in different areas.
As an ambivalent / anxiou, you may have more difficulty reassuring yourself, when you are frustrated. You can flare up and surround your partner with a fire of hurt feelings. This way you become a less confident partner to be with.
What can you do?
- Do not cultivate the emotions: Try to let different emotions wash through you as waves wash up on the beach and back into the ocean again. Do not hold on to the negative emotions. - Seek cohesion: Lock neither yourself nor your partner in what you say and do, when you are in the red zone. Return to the cohesion of the green zone as soon as possible. - Break the loneliness: Conflicts that are not turned into cohesion can create loneliness, that causes the brain to secrete neurotransmitters, that cause more stress and frustration. Hold on to important messages and at the same time extend a loving hand to your partner. - Separate messages from emotions: You can apologize for the way you come up with a message - e.g. that you have become too angry, resigned or disappointed your partner - but stick to your messages, if they are important to you. Often, as an ambivalent / anxious person, you will be the first to take the initiative for reconciliation after a conflict.
Make sure you include yourself and do not - perhaps because you regret your emotional outbursts - make too many compromises that leads you into a victim role.
When your brain is 'on the lookout' for failure, rejection and absence, you may become 'hypersensitive' to situations where your partner disappoints your expectations:
- try to put your partners' faults and shortcomings in a larger perspective so that you retain the ability to distinguish between large and small dissapointments - use your energy wisely. Do not take 'big fights' about small things. Remember that your sensitive nervous system can 'blow things up' unless you pay close attention to your anxious reactions. - Communicate clearly, consciously and lovingly about your expectations - and listen to your partner's views. This is the best chance that your partner will meet you. If you think in advance: “this is how I must not feel. I must not need this, ”you will typically also be angry and defensive in advance. - Try to get rid of unrealistic expectations, e.g. that your partner should be able to ‘read your thoughts’, make you ‘feel whole’, always be able to understand you, etc. Unrealistic expectations can spread a dark shadow over the relationship so you can not see what is rewarding. And so you overlook all the things, that proves, that you will not be let down. - Speak to the fear and ask it to calm down. Often, disappointed expectations can lead you to think, "He does not love me" or "I do not mean as much to her as she means to me." etc. It can give rise to a wide range of thoughts, which confirm, that you are not worth anything. Learn to recognize these train of thought. Accept that they show up, but do not take them too seriously. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis.
The ancient Greeks distinguished between two forms of love:
Eros love: You feel desire for your partner, you experience that your partner makes you happy, and you feel attracted to your partner. You find that being with your partner gives you positive emotions and that your partner satisfies your needs.
Agape love: You want to make your partner happy, you think more about what you can give yourself than what you can receive. Even when your partner is having a hard time and hurting you, you feel love inside. You 'look behind' your partner's weaknesses and make an effort to safeguard the relationship. You are willing to sacrifice yourself for your partner, and you are willing to go through adversity for your partner's sake.
Eros love flares up when there is success. But it can also fizzle out when there is adversity and struggles in life. When your partner no longer satisfies your needs, but may even frustrate you, you may ask: do I still love you?
Where eros comes and goes, agape love attaches itself to a more lasting happiness in the relationship - and carries the love through difficult periods.
A relationship can be challenged by:
- economic problems. - stress and illness. - unemployment. - problems with a child. - traumas and wounds from the past.
During periods when such difficulties arise, agape will make you stay with your partner - persevere and love your partner despite the fact that it is sometimes painful.
Several researchers emphasize that it is especially the agape love that most of us associate with ‘true love’. Agape love does not 'suffocate' eros and does not stand in opposition to eros. Agape, on the other hand, can ensure that you and your partner form deeper bonds with each other when you face adversity. And agape provides the best conditions for eros to flare up again when you have come through the difficult time.
A STRONG AGAPE LOVE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO MORE SECURITY, DEEPER HAPPINESS AND GREATER COHESION.
Remember the sides of your personality that are not insecurely attatched:
Remember that you are not your ambivalent / anxious attachment style.
Use your positive experiences:
Typically, you may have had some in your childhood that you were securely attached to, e.g. your grandfather and grandmother and your father: sometimes you repeat patterns you have learned in these relationships and it stabilizes your attachment to your partner.
Put the healthy and safe sides of your life experience more into play. Take responsibility when the negative experiences 'come to visit':
At the same time, there are other important people in your life that you have not had a secure connection to, e.g. your mom and ex-boyfriend. In these relationships, your clinging and controlling side has been developed and reinforced.
Try lovingly to stop yourself when anxiety encourages you to 'suffocate and limit' your partner in an unhealthy way. Other times, maybe you can even remind yourself a little of your mother? And as an adult, do exactly the things to your partner that you as a child did not like that she did to you? Or do you remember your father in a negative way?
Look honestly at the negative psychological traits that you have inherited. Do not identify these negative aspects with 'who you are'. But use your positive qualities and values to rein in the negative you have brought with you. It is through such a conscious effort that you can become a more confident partner to be with. Changing your own behavior in the relationship is also one of the most effective ways when it comes to getting your partner to change his behavior.
Remember that your partner with his behavior can support you in developing a secure attachment style. What should your partner focus on?
- continuously to confirm and assure you, that you are loved. Eg. Text messages, practical help, caresses, intimacy, joint activities. It depends on what is especially important to you.
- be consistent in his attention to you. Ie. not be absent one week and present the next. - In long-distance relationships and relationships where you do not live together, consistency can be especially important when you have to meet and say goodbye to each other. In these ‘transition moments’, you can be more sensitive. - keep his promises and agreements - and let actions follow words. - to show patience with you, when the anxiety wells up in you and you become afraid of being let down and abandoned. -.Reassure you and convince you, that you are wrong, if you fear being abandoned, let down or downgraded.
If you have a partner who is also insecurely attached - and who may even have an dismissive attachment style - it is important that you both commit to helping each other to feel safe and become secure