Attachment Style Therapy: Key Indicators

Attachment molds how we develop, maintain and behave in relationships. Four main attachment styles are stimulated and developed from childhood based on parental or caregiver relationships and interactions. 

The reason behind your reactions and communication styles in a relationship is primarily based on your attachment technique.

From an early age, the relationship we had with our parents and caregivers dictates whether we will develop a healthy or unhealthy attachment style. 

Why is it important to understand your attachment style? Attachment behaviors have a direct impact on interpersonal relationships.

Developing secure attachment will positively influence your relationships. Whereas the development of an anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, or dismissive attachment can have converse impacts. Identifying the early signs and indicators of your attachment style will benefit you in future relationships. 

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The Four Attachment Styles

Introducing the four main attachment styles. According to the attachment theory created by psychologist and researcher John Bowlby – the four main attachment habits develop primarily based on the relationship and interaction between a parent and a child.

The main attachment styles are categorized as; 

  1. Anxious-avoidant attachment.
  2. Disorganized attachment.
  3. Dismissive-avoidant attachment.
  4. Secure attachment.

What is an attachment style? An attachment style is mainly categorized by one’s mannerisms and behaviors in a relationship of any nature. Attachment additionally describes one’s form and manner of communication. These are based on learned behaviors from childhood experiences and interactions. The reason why attachment techniques are learned and developed during childhood years is since at a young age, children are extremely impressionable. As they are developing between infant years to adolescence, they are absorbing the behavior around them. Thus, leading to the development of a certain attachment style.

Attachment through life is based on four distinguishing characteristics: 

  1. Proximity. The need to be close to people we are attached to.
  2. Safety. A feeling of safety within the presence of the person we are attached to. Usually, seek comfort in fear of threat.
  3. Security. The attachment figure provides a base of security.
  4. Separation anxiety. This causes distress in the absence of the attached individual.

Although primarily based on childhood experiences, attachment styles can change over time.

  1. Anxious-avoidant attachment.

Someone with an anxious-avoidant attachment may have intimacy challenges, and trouble expressing or communicating emotions in social settings or in romantic relationships. Additionally, they will be reluctant to share thoughts with others.

  1. Disorganized attachment. 

As a result of inconsistent behavior on the caregiver or parents’ behalf, a child will develop their form of parental care. What happens in adulthood, they will not show a clear indication of attachment to friends or partners. They also come across as fearful or confused and indecisive.

The effects of disorganized attachment can cause confusion and distress when in intimate relationships.

  1. Dismissive- avoidant attachment. 

Someone with dismissive-avoidant attachment often struggles with showing genuine emotion. Relationships are a challenge to maintain as they prefer to be independent and self-sufficient. Dismissive avoidants are commonly perceived as cold and standoffish.

  1. Secure attachment. 

A secure attachment develops as a result of emotionally attentive and supportive parental or caregiver relationships. Someone with secure attachment is self-aware and expresses and communicates emotions with ease.

Depending on the attachment style you develop as a result of childhood experiences, will dictate how you develop, maintain and communicate in relationships.

BetterHelp online methods of therapy offer services for each attachment style:

With an array of professional, certified, and experienced attachment specialists – you have the opportunity to connect with the best-suited therapist for you. Affordable, convenient, and effective methods of online therapy.

Attachment behaviors can be changed or developed throughout life. One can have a negative attachment style and practice methods to achieve a healthy attachment, such as secure attachment. However, it requires persistent work.

In circumstances where attachment techniques may be negatively impacting areas of your life, it is advised to seek professional guidance and advice on how to change and develop healthier attachment habits.

Get matched with a BetterHelp online attachment style therapist.

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Overcome Insecure Attachment for an Emotionally Healthy Relationship

As human beings, we fundamentally need an intimate attachment to thrive and create long-lasting emotionally healthy relationships. However, in a relationship where one or both partners have an unhealthy or negative attachment style – it consequently impacts the relationship. Causing challenges in communication, intimacy, and emotional trust. You can overcome insecure attachment and maintain an emotionally healthy relationship through building secure attachment.

What is healthy attachment? Categorized as secure attachment”, healthy attachment relationship describes having experienced a safe, healthy, and loving relationship with your parents. Having healthy forms of communication, love, and affection during childhood results in developing secure attachments in adulthood.

Attachment therapists and counselors have successfully guided couples through changing their attachment habits and achieving healthier relationships. The core factor throughout this process is effective communication. Although attachment behaviors develop over time, it is possible to learn how to change from one attachment style and develop a healthier and more secure attachment.

“How can I change an unhealthy attachment style to a secure attachment style?”

Building secure attachment relationships require understanding your attachment habits, and how and why they developed. Additionally, you have to learn how your attachment style affects relationships. If you have an insecure or anxious attachment, when changing to a more secure attachment, you will have to learn new methods of self-regulation and communication.  Consider reactive attachment disorder treatment, which will help you avoid negative reactive behavior.

Attachment therapists suggest;

  1. Find friends or partners that have a secure attachment. It can be helpful to learn from them and practice how they operate.
  2. Learn to heal your shame, guilt, codependency, and self-esteem. This helps you not to take things personally in circumstances of conflict.
  3. Be more assertive, and learn to express your needs, feelings, and emotions.
  4. Practice not reacting, and learn how to identify your triggers and how to avoid and soothe them.
  5. Learn to love and understand yourself, this way you will be able to communicate your fears, needs, wants, and emotions clearly to those around you.

The benefits of developing an emotionally healthy relationship with a secure attachment can improve your sense of self. As well as, maintaining healthy, loving, and long-lasting connections. Learning how to work on an anxious attachment or dating someone with an anxious attachment can be an emotionally stressful journey, however, it is possible. Partners are encouraged to seek professional attachment therapy to build an emotionally healthy and secure relationship.

How can I work on anxious-avoidant attachment? According to the attachment theory, it is proposed that the fear of abandonment and low-self esteem are the foundation of developing anxious-avoidant attachment. When overcoming anxious-avoidant attachment, it is advised to practice these methods to cope;

  1. Practice mindfulness.
  2. Communicate openly and honestly with your partners or friends.
  3. Learn to be compassionate with yourself.
  4. Keep track of your emotions and use them as data to manage your triggers.
  5. Be aware of your environment, and surround yourself with positive people.

It is a challenge to change an attachment style that has developed over time. There is always hope and methods to improve negative or unhealthy attachments. Consider connecting to a specialist in attachment therapy for adults for further assistance, guidance, and support.

BetterHelp online therapy for insecure attachment is affordable, convenient, and effective. With a wide variety of extensively trained and experienced professionals, BetterHelp will match you with the best-suited specialist for you.

Warning Signs of Emotional Detachment in a Relationship

The warning signs of emotional detachment should always be acknowledged. It is crucial for saving a relationship and maintaining a healthy, long-lasting connection.

What is emotional detachment and how does it happen?

Emotional detachment is the emotional disconnect between partners. Emotional detachment in a relationship can happen for various reasons. In most relationships, two partners may experience personal external stressors such as work or family pressure. Emotional detachment also occurs when one of both partners is challenged with health complications, family death, or depression. The reason why many couples do not overcome and heal emotional detachment is due to a lack of understanding and effective communication. 

Attachment styles play a crucial role in emotional detachment in relationships. Someone who has a dismissive-avoidant or anxious-avoidant attachment may be prone to negative reactive habits, causing them to emotionally shut down in times of crisis. Additionally, partners who lack understanding of their attachment style and their partners, commonly avoid uncomfortable conversations that are necessary when dealing with emotional detachment in a relationship.

Warning signs of emotional detachment in a relationship and marriage may be subtle at first, however, they are not to be overlooked. Attachment specialists encourage couples and spouses to adhere to the signs of emotional detachment to address them from the onset.

  1. Emotional numbness or lack of empathy.
  2. Tense or passive-aggressive communication.
  3. Lack of communication regarding plans or locations.
  4. Reduced intimacy or attention.
  5. Little to no investment in the relationship.
  6. Difficulty expressing emotions.
  7. Sexual avoidance.
  8. Little availability or preoccupation.

Although emotional detachment is not a condition on its own, the act of emotional disconnection is severely damaging to a partnership. It can make both partners feel unwanted, misunderstood, inferior, and insecure. Lack of emotional connection between partners consequently develops into further complications such as poor communication and trust issues. The foundation of any healthy relationship is heavily reliant on emotional connection.

If you have noticed that you or your partner may be showing signs of emotional detachment in your relationship, learning how to cope, manage and fix emotional detachment is the next step. Experiencing emotional detachment could also be a sign of an underlying attachment disorder in adoptive adults if you or your partner are adopted. It may be challenging to communicate these observations to your partner, however, it is important. Begin with these intentional specialist-recommended strategies:

  1. Mindful meditation. Mediation helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and fear. Practicing mindful meditation methods will help you remain grounded and at peace.
  2. Writing and journaling. Therapists recommend keeping track of your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. In the future, this guides you through understanding your emotions and potential triggers.
  3. Avoid self-medicating. Many individuals with emotional detachment challenges are prone to seek substances to help them cope or relieve their lack of emotional attachment.
  4. Consider joining a support group.
  5. Learn to be vulnerable with yourself and your partner. This increases intimacy and creates a stronger bond.
  6. Start hobbies or activities that allow you to be creative. Emotional expression through activities by yourself or with a partner brings you closer.

The causes of emotional detachment in a relationship can be a result of past experiences, attachment disorder, side effects of medication, or an underlying mental health condition.

If the symptoms of emotional detachment continue or progressively worsen, we encourage you to do further research or seek professional assistance for tests.

BetterHelp online methods of emotional detachment therapy and attachment disorder therapy, are affordable, convenient, and effective. With the close guidance of your chosen specialist, you have the advantage of planning and scheduling sessions based on your availability.

Understanding the difference between Love vs Attachment

Is there a difference between love and attachment? Love and attachment are commonly misunderstood. What may seem like love can be a negative attachment causing a distorted outlook.

What is the difference between love and attachment? Attachment is based on how you feel in the presence or absence of the individual.

Attachment can make you feel anxious, secure, or comfortable in someone’s presence. Emotional attachment develops gradually with feelings of positivity and sometimes euphoria.

Love is defined by a deep fondness and happiness in someone’s presence. It is the commitment to another individual’s well-being and the awareness of how your words or actions may affect the other person.

The reason why it is important to understand the difference between love and attachment is to avoid any potential hurt or confusion for both parties. In many relationships or potential relationships, one partner feels attached and the other experiences love. Consequently, this leads to conflict and one or both parties getting hurt. Every relationship requires healthy mutual attachment and love to maintain a long-lasting connection. A commonly asked question is,Can you love without attachment?”, although this may seem unusual or unobtainable, it is entirely possible and in most cases, seen as the best form of love. Here’s why.

To love without attachment does not mean that you are emotionally unavailable. To love without attachment means to love deeply and unconditionally without any expectations from your partner. To love someone without attachment allows you to love yourself and fulfill your happiness, needs, and wants. It also gives both partners the freedom to be themselves in the relationship without the pressure of needing to change to satisfy the other’s expectations. Love without attachment is an introspective and selfless way of loving, it is a journey of healing your insecurities before expecting a partner to heal you. It is a form of love that is not surface level, but one that increases intimacy, trust, and unconditional love.

How can I love without attachment? Loving without attachment is a journey, it does not happen overnight, but rather requires conscious daily practice. To love someone without attachment demands that you do self-introspection and healing.

Start with these techniques:

  1. Learn to love yourself holistically. Understand your insecurities and how to heal them. Self-compassion is a key factor in loving without attachment.
  2. Identify your attachment triggers and behaviors. Take note of certain behaviors or mannerisms from your partner that make you feel anxious.
  3. Allow your partner to get close to you. Vulnerability in a relationship can enhance intimacy.
  4. Understand that love takes a lifetime to learn. Be patient with yourself and your partner.
  5. Journal and keep track of your feelings. This helps to bring insecurities to light and allows you to heal them.
  6. Try again. It’s easy to give up when the journey becomes tough. Keep trying again and be intentional about your actions and outcomes.

Understanding the difference between love and attachment can alleviate any relationship anxiety you may have. More importantly, teach you how to recognize love and attachment and ensure that you are getting what you deserve.

BetterHelp attachment counseling near me or online,  familiarizes couples and individuals with how to identify the difference between love and attachment. More importantly, help you identify the signs of attachment that may look like love. 

Understanding why you get Easily Emotionally Attached

Emotional attachment is part of normal human development. It is the ability to connect to those that provide a sense of security and comfort. However, emotional attachment can become toxic if you start to rely on others and become obsessed with satisfying their needs. A healthy relationship requires a balance between being able to satisfy your needs and not entirely depending on others to meet your needs.

Negative emotional attachment is known to result in vulnerability, consequently causing;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD or,
  • Personality disorders.

Understanding emotional attachment and love can be helpful when avoiding getting emotionally attached. What does healthy emotional attachment look like?

Emotional attachment looks different depending on the individual as well as their experiences and current relationship. How to identify healthy emotional attachment:

  1. You should feel close and connected to the other person.
  2. In their presence, you feel comfortable, safe, and at ease being vulnerable.
  3. You can rely on them to be responsive to your needs.
  4. Self-expression in a relationship is easy.
  5. You feel secure in the relationship.

Emotional attachment and love may seem the same in some circumstances. However, there is a difference that is important to note. The significant difference between love and attachment is that love is defined as selfless. Whereas emotional attachment is a selfish act. An example commonly used by psychologists is the love between a parent and a child. Assuming that the parent comes from a healthy foundation of attachment, they do not expect their attachment to their child to exhibit protection, safety, or security. However, the love that they have for their child is selfless and boundless, their child’s needs are their priority. To understand why you get easily emotionally attached, you have to identify the difference between love and attachment.

Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy emotional attachment helps to maintain a balance. In a relationship where there is an unhealthy emotional attachment, partners can start to feel overly anxious, insecure, or suffocated. As a result, this can negatively impact the relationship, causing communication challenges and emotional detachment. It is common to experience signs of unhealthy attachment and feelings of jealousy in an open relationship. This is another example of unhealthy attachment.

How do you know what unhealthy emotional attachment looks like? There is a very thin line between healthy and unhealthy emotional attachment. Naturally, we need to connect and bond with others, however, when these needs cause us to abandon or dismiss our freedom, happiness, peace, or self-worth, it becomes unhealthy.

These are the warning signs of unhealthy emotional attachment;

  1. You often measure your self-worth or self-esteem based on relationships. Unhealthy attachment relies on a relationship to define self-worth and value.
  2. You’re unhappy being alone and commonly seek relationships to avoid being alone. Continuously jumping into new relationships to avoid being alone and having your needs met is unhealthy. It is important to be happy by yourself and able to love and satisfy your own needs.
  3. Although the relationship may be harmful or toxic, you choose to stay. This is a common sign of unhealthy attachment.

It is a challenge to find a healthy balance of emotional attachment, specifically, if you get emotionally attached easily. At times it may become overwhelming and confusing. We highly recommend doing further research and connecting to an emotional attachment therapist to guide you through developing healthier attachment habits.

BetterHelp emotional attachment therapy and open relationship counseling teaches people to understand their attachment style. As a result, you learn how to manage and overcome getting easily attached. Betterhelp online counseling services are affordable, convenient, and effective. You have the advantage of conducting therapy your way, and according to your schedule.

Understanding and Healing from Anxious Attachment

Unhealthy attachment is formed from a sense of fear and abandonment. This is usually a result of traumatic experiences during childhood.

What is the importance of healing from anxious attachment?

Anxious attachment can negatively impact your interpersonal relationships. Depending on the experiences in your life, the relationship you had with your parents, as well as, interactions along the way. Attachment styles such as anxious, avoidant, or fearful are known to cause the development of negative attachment habits. If left unresolved, these impacts can cause tremendously negative psychological and emotional complications.

Understanding the negative attachment styles and how they develop.

Anxious-Avoidant attachment.

Anxious attachment is a form of insecure attachment style. Insecure attachment forms during childhood as a result of not being emotionally cared for. A child that has experienced emotional neglect from a primary caregiver will experience:

  • Clinginess
  • Avoiding the caregiver
  • Suppressing emotions
  • Randomly crying without explanation
  • Feeling anxious or upset when a parent leaves
  • May come across as independent, however secretly desires attention
  • Emotional irregularities
  • Fearful of new experiences

These habits enhance negative behaviors in adulthood, if left unresolved, any insecure attachment style is known to cause further challenges in relationships and personal development. Those with an anxious attachment may present the same signs as an adult, however, far more consequential. The result of not healing anxious attachment, can lead to unhealthy techniques and behaviors in adulthood;

  • Challenges with low self-esteem and confidence.
  • Unable to ask for help
  • Isolating from loved ones
  • Detrimentally independent
  • Constantly seeking reassurance from a partner or in a relationship
  • Lack of effective emotional expression
  • Resistant to intimacy with a partner
  • Jealous of a partner’s independence

Insecure attachment affects adulthood in various ways beyond intimate relationships.

Those who have disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED), often have anxious or dismissive-avoidant attachment styles.  BetterHelp online methods of disinhibited social engagement disorder treatment, helps to heal anxious attachment or dismissive-avoidant attachment, and rebuild secure attachment.

With your chosen attachment therapist, you will be guided through understanding your attachment style, as well as how to avoid the negative impacts of anxious attachment. As a result, building and maintaining emotional connections with people, particularly in romantic relationships – is a challenge.

Dismissive-avoidant attachment is formed based on the interaction and relationship between a child and caregiver. From the infantry stages, a child requires genuine emotional and physical care to ensure healthy psychological development. If their experience of these fundamentals was negative or toxic, it causes the enhancement of unhealthy attachment habits which can look like this;

  • Highly self-sufficient and independent
  • AVoids displaying or expressing emotions
  • At times may act narcissistically
  • May not prioritize romantic relationships
  • Deliberately aggravates a partner to ensure emotional distance
  • Hypervigilant about being controlled

As dismissive-avoidants enter new relationships or connections, they will be overly careful and secretively critical. They avoid becoming vulnerable and attached to their significant other in an attempt to protect themselves from childhood trauma triggers. If these negative attachment behaviors develop, they are known to result in further personal complications, as well as, negatively impact relationships. When entering relationships with an anxious or dismissive attacher, it may be in your best interest to;

  1. Avoid proposing ultimatums.
  2. Discuss circumstances or opinions based on facts instead of on personal feelings or viewpoints.
  3. Assess the relationship as holistically as possible before deciding to terminate it.

The fearful-avoidant attachment style is a result of experiencing inconsistent behavior from a caregiver. This consequently causes trust issues and an inability to allow anyone to get too close. However, fearful-avoidants crave deep and intimate connections but are governed by fear of rejection and abandonment. Common characteristics of the fearful-avoidant may present themselves as;

  • Fearful or wary of relationships
  • Prefer casual interactions to intimate connections
  • Anxiety challenges
  • Low self-esteem or negative self-image
  • Severe difficulty when expressing emotions and reacts irrationally to negative emotions
  • Commonly perceives other’s support negatively
  • Higher likelihood of displaying violence in a relationship
  • Generally feels dissatisfied with relationships
  • Has a high number of sexual encounters or partners

Fearful-avoidant attachment is also known as disorganized or preoccupied attachment.

It is advised for everyone to educate themselves and their loved one’s about attachment styles. This can help couples develop a stronger and more intimate bond, as well as, learn to understand one another. Healing anxious attachment, or unlearning unhealthy attachment habits is a challenging journey, it is however possible.

Consider connecting to a BetterHelp specialist in: attachment and trauma therapytherapy for anxious attachment, fearful avoidant attachment therapy and fear of rejection therapy, that will be able to offer you professional advice, support, and guidance.

dismissive avoidant attachment treatment

Top 7 Avoidant Attachment Deactivating Strategies

The fear of connection or intimacy is detrimental to one’s personal development as well as to relational development and maintenance.

What is avoidant attachment? The avoidantly attached adult rarely has a coherent state, they will often feel a need for space or independence in relationships. Based on their experiences during childhood, they will perceive their relationships the same way. In cases where adults with avoidant attachment have had a negatively impactful childhood, they will present themselves as self-sufficient and independent. Commonly avoid becoming reliant on a romantic partner and prefer to isolate and suppress emotions.

This has consequential effects on a relationship as an avoidant attacher develops avoidant deactivating strategies. 

What are avoidant deactivating strategies?

Avoidant deactivating strategies are a mental process where the avoidant will convince themselves that being alone is just as good as being with someone else. The strategies are a subconscious method to self-protect as a result of childhood trauma. As the avoidant goes through life, if these deactivating strategies are not resolved effectively they can become worse. This not only directly impacts their relationships but is also known to cause;

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • PTSD
  • Personality disorders

When a partner initiates actions that can be interpreted as avoidant attachment triggers, the  avoidant partner feels provoked, he withdraws and begins to react and disconnect through these deactivation strategies;

  1. Focusing on their partner’s flaws or shortcomings to convince themselves to terminate the relationship is validated.
  2. Convincing themselves that they are ready to commit even when they are not.
  3. Reminiscing about a past partner or connection and comparing it to their current relationship.
  4. Retracting or isolating when things are going well in the relationship.
  5. To maintain distance and independence, they will keep secrets and avoid clear communication.
  6. Flirting or entertaining others.
  7. Avoiding physical intimacy or closeness.

Although these strategies may help the avoidant attacher maintain their autonomy, it interferes with maintaining a healthy and happy relationship. When managing deactivating strategies, for those who long to improve their attachment style, identifying the triggers of avoidant attachment is the first and most crucial step. This can help you clearly understand what makes you feel the need to retract. In addition to deactivating attachment strategies, healing childhood trauma is an important aspect of understanding yourself holistically.

Not all avoidant attachers may have the same triggers, but it can be helpful to look out for these common triggers of avoidant attachment;

  1. Feeling that a partner is getting too emotionally close.
  2. Feeling out of control in unfamiliar or unpredictable situations.
  3. Having to depend or rely on others.
  4. Being forced to open up emotionally.
  5. Feeling that the relationship is consuming too much of their time.
  6. The fear of being judged or rejected.
  7. Feeling controlled.
  8. A partner demanding too much attention.

For someone who is an avoidant attacher, these deactivating strategies have developed throughout their lives and it has become a regular and familiar way of self-protection and coping. It is advised to practice methods of self-regulation that can help you heal from avoidant attachment to let go of negative deactivating strategies.

Therapy for avoidant attachment teaches the avoidant attacher how to identify triggers, as well as how to avoid them and create healthier attachment behaviors. BetterHelp online Avoidant attachment therapy offers services to couples and individuals who are looking to overcome or improve negative attachment habits. With a wide range of vastly experienced and certified specialists, you have the opportunity to connect with the best-suited specialist.

Changing Attachment Style and Building Secure Attachment

Healing from anxious, dismissive, or preoccupied attachment is a journey that will help you build secure attachment.

What is secure attachment? Secure attachment is known as one of the healthy attachment styles. As a result of an emotionally supportive, positive, and attentive relationship with a caregiver or parent, secure attachment develops.

Secure attachment involves;

-A consistently secure base during childhood

-Having a caregiver close

-Maintaining a place of safety

-Emotional acknowledgment

These primary foundations during the impressionable years of child development positively impact how you develop in adulthood. It allows you to have a healthy emotional connection to a parent which will be carried out in future relationships. A secure attachment is not based on one event, it requires persistent, appropriate and automatic emotional and physical responses.

When a child develops with a secure foundation, they become secure within themselves, confident, and curious.

In adulthood, secure attachment positively looks like this;

  1. Comfortability with emotions and expression.
  2. Positive self-worth, confidence, and personal empowerment.
  3. An appropriate balance of dependence and independence in a relationship.
  4. Able to effectively adapt to conflict or circumstances in a relationship.
  5. Highly empathetic to themselves and others.
  6. Self-aware.
  7. Resilient and tolerant even in unpleasant circumstances.
  8. Good sense of trust.
  9. Optimistic and hopeful.
  10. Beliefs that the world is positive.

The positive impact of having secure attachment is advantageous to personal development as well as to intimate relationships. Those who have secure attachments are at ease with their friends and family, their communication is effective and they love easily. Although it may seem impossible to change an unhealthy or negative attachment to a secure one, there are benefits to learning how to build secure attachment in relationships.

How can I change the anxious attachment to a secure attachment?

When healing from anxious attachment, it is important to practice self-love. The main challenge people with anxious attachment face is a lack of self-love and acceptance, they commonly struggle with a negative sense of self-image and constantly need reassurance or validation from a partner or a friend. Healing childhood abandonment trauma of negative experiences with a caregiver is advised.

When changing attachment styles – therapists recommend using these methods to build secure attachment;

  1. Learn to use others to help you regulate your negative emotions. When you feel triggered, remember that the people around you love and care for you deeply. Talk to your partner about your feelings and thoughts honestly and ask them for support and reassurance.
  2. Be aware of how you talk to people when you react. Many times in the heat of reacting, it can be easy to ignore what the other person may be feeling. Communicate and listen.
  3. Accept and resolve past disappointment. Anxious attachers often hold on to past disappointments and use them as a way to navigate a relationship. It is important to forgive past disappointment and move on healthily.
  4. If you have someone in your life with a secure attachment style, take note of how they do things and try to introduce them to your life.
  5. If you feel as though your partner is not securely meeting your needs, after trying methods of communicating and regulating, it may be time to let go of them.

Secure attachment has positive advantages when creating a healthy relationship.

Discussing the development of secure attachment and the positive impacts on relationships. Having a positively secure emotional attachment improves communication, trust, personal growth, and enhanced intimacy.

Through online attachment style therapy, our professional BetterHelp counselors closely guide you through resolving past challenges and teach you how to practice effective methods of self-regulation.

The Warnings and Effects of Emotional Abandonment in Marriage

Emotional abandonment in marriage is a result of poor communication, lack of intimacy, and at a time, external stressors. Additionally, if a spouse withholds affection or emotional attention, it causes feelings of neglect and loneliness. Emotional abandonment can occur gradually between partners, however, it is valuable to address these subtle signs before they develop and cause irreversible damage and trauma.

How does emotional abandonment happen?

Your attachment style influences how you connect with a partner emotionally and intimately. In a marriage where one or both partners have negative or unhealthy attachment behaviors, you may find that you have developed unhealthy ways of reacting and responding to uncomfortable conversations or conflicts. In any marriage there will be challenges to work through, if these challenges are managed effectively, they can be overcome. Conversely, if there is a lack of interest to resolve challenges, the result may be emotional abandonment.

What is emotional abandonment in marriage?

It is important to keep in mind that physical proximity is not the fundamental cause of emotional abandonment, but rather the lack of emotional availability or emotional neglect. The suppression of negative emotions is a common cause of emotional abandonment, if one or both partners do not communicate their honest feelings or thoughts, it results in emotional disassociation.

These are warning signs of emotional detachment or abandonment in a marriage you should not ignore:

  1. A spouse withdraws to avoid conflict.
  2. Behaviors of isolation.
  3. Lack of emotional intimacy.
  4. Less communication.
  5. A spouse shuts down during important conversations.
  6. Feeling neglected, unseen, or ignored.
  7. A partner deliberately giving you the silent treatment.
  8. Feeling uncomfortable or on edge around your spouse?
  9. Lack of physical intimacy.
  10. You or your partner confide in others instead of one another.

According to studies on emotional abandonment in a marriage, the most recurring cause is the change in support and engagement between spouses. Another notable factor of emotional abandonment is extramarital affairs, both physical and emotional. This consequently causes mistrust and betrayal, resulting in further complications and emotional neglect in the marriage.

When a couple experiences traumatic incidents such as emotional abandonment, it may seem as though there is no way to overcome these challenges. It is always suggested to consider connecting to a marriage counselor for emotional support and guidance through challenging times. Many couples have found methods to improve their communication and emotional intimacy through marriage counseling.

What causes emotional abandonment in marriage and how does it affect the relationship?

Each partnership is unique in its communication styles, forms of intimacy, and problem-solving. As time progresses, natural life stressors occur and can negatively impact a spouse’s ability or willingness to connect. Although this may seem periodic, it is likely that a pattern of emotional avoidance or ineffective methods of communication likely starts to develop. We encourage you to take note of the causes and effects of emotional abandonment may have on a marriage. This can be used as a guideline to avoid unnecessary conflict or unpleasant emotions and outcomes.

How to identify the damaging consequences of emotional abandonment;

  1. Depression or depressive episodes.
  2. Feeling rejected or unwanted.
  3. Resentment or anger.
  4. Lack or complete loss of physical intimacy.
  5. Distrust and feelings of jealousy.
  6. Feeling incapable or unwilling to resolve the issue.
  7. Emotional unavailability or distancing yourself from your spouse.
  8. Acts of spite.
  9. Infidelity.
  10. Divorce.

Emotional abandonment is severely damaging to a marriage and both partners. If challenges are not discussed respectfully and timeously, it can ultimately lead to divorce. Learning to cope with emotional abandonment requires the acknowledgment of the issue as well as the causes. As this may be a complex journey, it is always helpful to involve an impartial third party such as a marriage counselor who is experienced in emotional abandonment.

BetterHelp online marriage abandonment therapy helps couples develop methods of preventing and conquering challenges together. Our marriage therapists are available for your convenience, offering support and educated advice on improving your marriage.

Why and How to Detach with Love From an Addict

Have you ever experienced the challenge of detaching from a loved one that may be causing you and your family tremendous emotional distress? It is a journey that causes families to disconnect from one another if not managed effectively. Detaching from a loved one for their own benefit can be extremely hard, it is emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. 

Why is it important to detach from an addict? 

Many family members take on the responsibility of helping an addict recover. Oftentimes this results in enabling behaviors although it may seem like progressive support. Detaching from an addict that is a loved one is extremely painful, you may feel conflicted and as though you are abandoning your loved one. However, it is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and more importantly the addict.

When dealing with detachment from an addict, the love many family members feel can persuade them to continue supporting and enabling them. This results in a toxic cycle of codependency between the addict and the enabler.  As challenging as it may be, you can detach from an addict with love. To detach with love does not mean that you are neglecting them, but instead positively persuading them to take responsibility and accountability for their decisions and consequences thereof. This is an effective method of helping an addict recover as well as preserving your and your family’s wellbeing.

How do I detach from a loved one?

Addiction is painful. The first step to detaching with love from an addict can feel overwhelming. It is common for a family member to enable the addict for personal feelings of comfort and responsibility. It fills a void and makes the family member feel at ease. This is dangerous. Learn about enabling behaviors that you might be engaging in;

  1. Dismissing or ignoring excessive and dangerous substance abuse.
  2. Providing resources such as housing, finance, or other forms of support.
  3. Making excuses for the addict’s behavior or lying to loved ones to protect the addict.
  4. Feeling resentful towards the addict for their addiction.
  5. Ignoring your or your family’s needs to prioritize the addict.
  6. Acting out of hopelessness or fear instead of rationality and safety.

These enabling behaviors not only encourage the addict to continue but also negatively affects your mental and emotional well-being. It is important to acknowledge that whatever you may be gaining personally from enabling the addict’s behavior is not as important as ensuring that they receive the treatment they need and deserve.

Detaching from an addict with love is learning how to stop reacting to their demands or requests.

Intervention specialists and emotional detachment therapists strongly encourage these detachment methods;

  1. Do your best not to react to a crisis or create a crisis as a result of an urgent call or message from the addict. Calmly handle the situation without providing an immediate response.
  2. Do not prevent a crisis from happening. It is important to have the addict become responsible for their decisions and actions. If you continuously prevent a crisis, they will continue using you.
  3. Resist trying to give them what they cannot give themselves. A form of enabling that does not seem like enabling. You are providing comfort, housing, or finances to an addict that cannot do so for themselves.
  4. Separate your emotions from theirs. It is important not to base how you feel on where they are. This will be a continuous cycle of highs and lows.
  5. Be brave. Do not fall victim to an addict blaming you for their problems.
  6. Consider joining family support groups or self-help centers.

Betterhelp therapy for family support as well as individual guidance teaches you why and how to detach from an addict with love. It is a tremendously emotional journey to deal with alone.

Match with a BetterHelp therapist for emotional detachment, who offers services that are convenient in times of need. Families can comfortably and safely learn to cope, and detach with love.


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