Attachement Styles in Couples

When a therapist describes a couples attachment style, they are referring to the way a couple supports, loves and disagrees with one another. There are three different attachment styles that are most often cited. The first is secure, which refers to a feeling of safety when conversations become difficult. The couple is able to disagree and express thoughts, emotions and feelings while,still feeling securely attached to one another. This securely attached couple does not do for days without talking. They can argue and repair the relationship quickly. The second attachment style is ambivalent. This Insecurely attached couple become anxious if one or the other is not in agreement. They may attack or criticize each other, or withdraw when the topic feels unsafe. They lack the ability to differentiate while still allowing room for the other to express thoughts, feelings and desires. This relationship is often controlling and blaming of the other. Finally, disorganized attached couples are often abusive and needy. They confuse themselves and each other. Love and security is desired by these couples, but those desires represent lack of emotional safety. These couples will fight when it feels the relationship is going really well
Most couples have a bit of each of the three attachment styles. Of course, Ideally the secure attachment style is the desired goal. The good news is that attachment can change over time and even insecurely attached couples or disorganized couples can improve their relationships.

Trump Supporter Partner vs. Liberal Partner

Since Donald Trump was elected president, I have experienced several couples in therapy who have become distant due to their different views on Trump.  Most often it has been the male who is the Trump supporter and the wife or girlfriend who “detest the man”.

This subject can drive a couple apart or it could create a deeper understanding of one another.  If you are a couple and find yourselves on different sides of the political fence, be curious about the other? Take a deep breath and ask questions such as, “what is important to you about voting for Trump?” Do still believe in affordable health care?” “How do you feel about women’s issues”? ” “Do you understand that he is frightening to me?”

A shared moral code is one of the hallmarks of long term relationships.  Even though the two of you are voting for different sides, you may continue to have similar beliefs. It may be that you simply view different paths to get to your shared goals.

Jeannette York, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Burbank, CA  818 200 9513