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Why You’re Only As Troubled As The Relationship You’re In

It all starts with attachment and troubled relationship…

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“All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the [person] to which we are attached by love.” -Baruch Spinoza

Meet Steven. Steven has decided to become a psychoanalyst. Before starting class, the graduate school requires students to spend a year in therapy.

Six months in, Steven was doing well. He showed signs of a healthy and stable mind. So much so that his assigned therapist believed he wouldn’t need more than a few years, compared to other students who need an average of four.

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Then he met Leah. He fell in love within a matter of weeks.


Related: 3 Ways Your Attachment Style Decides The Success Of Your Relationship


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Leah, an aspiring actor, was beautiful. But she was toxic. She sent mixed signals about committing to a relationship, leaving Steven unsettled. Two months into the relationship, Steven’s behavior began to change entirely.

Every 20 minutes Steven would check his cellphone to see if she had answered his text, Facebook messages or his emails. He began to miss deadlines for his job in programming. He started to spend an extraordinary amount of time chatting with Leah in a popular online chat room… under a fake profile.

He was obsessed. It was ruining his life.

Steven’s therapist was dumbfounded. How could his most promising student transform into his worst? Steven’s behavior started showing borderline masochistic personality traits.

Related: 13 Signs You’re The Toxic Partner In Your Relationship



A Masochist or Just Sensitive?

Our environment sculpts the type of person we become. Without computers, there would be no programmers. Without cars, there’d be no Uber drivers. Humans, by our very nature, are adaptable.

One of the most heavily researched theories on adaptability in interpersonal relationships is the Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory states that our relationships influence how we feel about ourselves. This starts in our childhood.

Our relationships with our parents give us a blueprint of how our adult relationships should be. They influence how we believe ourselves to be and what we deserve in love when we start adulting.

In his relationship with Leah, Steven lives in a constant fear. He feels like he was walking on a tightrope without a safety net, anxiously floundering to keep his emotional balance. Endless cycles of anxiety with only rare moments of peace and security.

Related: Codependent Relationships: Takers and Caretakers

A relationship that creates an anxious person is a relationship with one unavailable partner who behaves in ways that avoid closeness. This behavior is toxic for the anxious partner, and consumes them in a tsunami of thoughts that all point to the same goal: how they can re-establish closeness with their partner.

If your partner responds to you in a way that reestablishes security in your relationship, you become calm and go back to watching cats freaking out to cucumbers on Youtube. But if they don’t, you literally cannot function without the reassurance that the relationship is okay.

Relationship text messages

Steven’s obsessive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors were driven by the fact that Leah was unavailable to him, although he may have felt it was just part of love.

Despite all his insecurity and anxiety, Steven, like many others, had a difficult time breaking up with his toxic lover. He was drowning in common beliefs sensitive people have: believing that she would change, or that every relationship has similar problems. It took a year for him to find the self-respect to call things off for good.


Why We Love Toxic Relationships

Are we attracted to people who confirm our beliefs about love? A number of studies show that anxious partners choose an avoidant, and avoidants are attracted to anxious partners.

Watch  out this video to know the signs of troubled relationships:

Isn’t it odd that partners who fiercely guard their independence seek partners who most likely invade their autonomy? Why is it that people who crave closeness in a relationship are attracted to people who push them away?

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Janine Stranger

my perception of you is… Read more »

Erika Venn

If your happiness depends solely… Read more »

Debbi Dever

Very interesting article.

Kyle Benson
I've had the privilege of working with men and women on a wide range of relationship issues. I've helped individuals:Leave toxic relationships to find a healthy relationship that makes them feel calm, grateful for the person in their life, and deeply valued by their partner Close the emotional distance between partners so they feel deeply connected to each otherResolve relationship conflict, leading the couple to become closer and more loving than they ever thought imaginable Remove sexual anxiety to create intensely passionate and longer-lasting sexUse problems in the relationship as catalysts to help individuals grow into their highest potential (and become more awesome lovers)Our coaching sessions are tailored towards reaching solutions that improve your relationship quickly. Read more about my coaching programmes here, Relationship Coaching or Email me at [email protected]
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