Changing your attachment style
The answer is yes, but it takes hard work. Often therapy can be incredibly helpful. Being aware of your attachment style and the choices you are making in a partner is crucial. A quality therapist will guide your development of the awareness necessary to discern whether you are reacting to past wounds.
We tend to recreate unhealthy relationship patterns from our childhood in our adulthood. As much as people may dislike it, the familiarity is comforting. You may even confuse the feelings of relationship chemistry with what is the familiarity of your early life experience.
You can challenge your insecurities by choosing a partner with a secure attachment style, and work on developing yourself in that relationship. By facing your fears about love, you can build new styles of attachment for sustaining a satisfying, loving relationship.
The following books will help you to understand attachment theory and how it impacts your relationship.
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine
Levine explains how the three attachment styles create the types of relationships we end up in as adults and how to break those patterns to have healthier relationships.
- What Makes Love Last: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal by Dr. John Gottman
Trust and attunement are the foundation of a secure and healthy relationship.
- Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin, PsyD
Learn how to recognize and avoid “blind spots” in dating so you can find lasting love.
- Your Brain on Love: The Neurobiology of Healthy Relationships by Stan Tatkin, PsyD
Tatkin shares the complexity of attachment styles and how to love an emotionally unavailable partner so they can be more available, and how to love an insecure partner so they feel safe.
- Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson
Johnson offers seven vital conversations that help partners work with their unique insecure attachment styles to create a more secure and meaningful relationship.
Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida where she specializes in couples therapy. She is a go-to media contributor and freelance writer for all things relationships, love, marriage, dating, and divorce. Check out her self-help book for single women titled, Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships. For more information, visit her website: www.DrMarniOnline.com. This article was originally published at www.gottman.com.
Written by Dr. Marni Feuerman, LCSW, LMFT
Originally appeared in The Gottman Institute