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unhealthy relationship style

Was Your Divorce Caused By An Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style?

unhealthy relationship style

 

Aside from infidelity, which also has a slew of underlying causes of its own, divorce is frequently the final outcome of a relationship that was unhealthy, to begin with. Unfortunately, when neither person is aware of their issues, they can hardly invest time to heal or look for professional help.

Consider the reasons that caused conflicts or even the very divorce between you and your spouse. Ask any of your divorced friends, and they’ll likely come up with similar responses to yours. They typically resemble statements such as “We couldn’t stop arguing”, “He became insanely jealous”, or “She never really opened up to me.”

Although the problem is far more complex than what a simple blog can cover, it can at the very least give you invaluable insights into how your bond works and what goes wrong – so that you can prevent future conflicts. The theory of attachment styles dates back to the sixties, and it helps us unravel the intricate behavioral patterns in the dynamics of our relationships.

Here are a few pointers to spot your own style and that of your former or potential spouse, and ways to help yourself overcome the most common pitfalls of unhealthy attachment forms.

How an Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style Leads to Divorce

The paradox of anxious attachment

When you feel insecure and in constant need of affection and attention, accompanied by feelings of doubt in the love of your partner, you’re most likely developing an anxious attachment to them. These emotions are often expressed through anger, aggression, overwhelming sadness, and the partner will feel attacked as well as pressured into providing more care and affection.

The paradox lies in needing the affection of your partner while you simultaneously doubt its authenticity. When paired with a person prone to building avoidant attachments, the anxious partner will feel constantly tortured, especially when both fail to understand the underlying psychological factors at play.

Being complete before entering a relationship

No marriage dissolves because of one person, but because of the dynamics between two individuals. Likewise, no one is truly “complete” at any stage during their life, since we continue to evolve and change over the course of our entire existence. However, we can do so much on our part if and when we know how to take care of ourselves and grow as a person before and as we build our relationships.

This heavily depends on the society you are raised in, as in the Land of Down Under, there’s a great emphasis on the notion of wellbeing, self-care, and self-love. Their culture empowers people to care for themselves through healthy eating with the help of brands such as Australian Sports Nutrition paired with regular exercise. Taking good care of yourself is a great start in preventing highly dependent bonds in which you feel as if your very essence and value depend on the other person.

Perhaps we can learn something from a nation whose divorce rates have plummeted to their lowest in 40 years.

Avoidant attachment and its perils

The avoidant style presents itself in the form of a detached, emotionally unavailable person that prefers not to express their emotions or immerse themselves into an emotionally intense experience. One could say that they prefer no attachment at all.

However, you would be amiss to presume that this behavior is merely narcissistic or malevolent. It stems from fear of getting hurt and being vulnerable, and it serves as a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to communicate with someone who shuts down any attempt of close interaction, let alone form a long-lasting marriage with them.

Embracing the emotional learning curve

Although superficial bonds may have their appeal, marriages are never formed, nor sustained on sexual attraction alone or discussing the weather. It takes courage to recognize an opportunity to open up, and even more of it to actually take the risk of being hurt. Recognizing that you can safely express your feelings takes time. It also takes time to find appropriate methods for maneuvering those emotions that will protect your marriage.

You can embark on this journey alone, or you can work with a therapist to resolve your emotional troubles that have led to the end of your marriage. Even online options such as BetterHelp can serve you and your spouse well if you notice your issues in time. It’s important to note that we usually spend our entire lives recognizing our attachment style issues as they rear their not-so-attractive heads when we’re most vulnerable.

Feeling and forming secure attachments

Finally, secure attachments are formed only by individuals who feel good and confident in their own life, who might have had negative encounters, emotional and otherwise, but have been able to cope with them in healthy ways. When a person with avoidant or anxious attachment patterns connects with a secure partner, they are far more likely to embrace that secure mode of behavior over time. Still, that is not a promise, nor the best way to develop emotionally.

We all need to take responsibility for our own emotional wellbeing before we begin another marriage or start assigning blame for the mistakes of the past. It takes time, therapy, and proper self-care in our everyday lives to embrace new modes of acting and ways of connecting and bonding with our loved ones.

This article first appeared on DivorceMag.com

The post Was Your Divorce Caused By An Unhealthy Relationship Attachment Style? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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How To Navigate A Divorce Caused By Addiction

How To Navigate A Divorce Caused By Addiction

Dealing with a divorce can be a hard thing to overcome, it is best to seek the help of professionals to help with not only the divorce proceedings but the substance abuse issues as well.

The post How To Navigate A Divorce Caused By Addiction appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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narcissistic ex-husband

Maddie’s Story: I No Longer Blame Myself For The Harm My Narcissistic Ex-Husband Caused

narcissistic ex-husband

 

blame – adj : expletives used informally as intensifiers; “he’s a blasted idiot”; “it’s a blamed shame”; “a blame cold winter”; “not a blessed dime”; “I’ll be damned (or blessed or darned or goddamned) if I’ll do any such thing”; “he’s a damn (or goddam or goddamned) fool”; “a deuced idiot”; “tired or his everlasting whimpering”; “an infernal nuisance” 1: an accusation that you are responsible for some lapse or misdeed; 2: a reproach for some lapse or misdeed.

I was 45 years old, divorced and raising two sons on my own and for six years I had needed someone to blame for my predicament. I was finally able to blame someone after a conversation with my son. He was having some difficulty, emotionally, with the financial problems we faced to keep him enrolled in his college courses.

He was struggling at a time when his only concern should have been what courses he would take and living the carefree life of a college student. He was upset and through his tears, he said to me, “Mom, if we had played a role in this I might be able to deal with it. If I held some responsibility for the way things are with Dad it wouldn’t hurt so deeply.”

I began to reflect on my role in the pain of my divorce and the damage done to my children. Isn’t it human nature to want someone to blame your problems on? If there is someone to blame then we might be able to extract some justice and feel vindicated for our suffering.

As I sat thinking back I realized that the ultimate blame lay with me, the person who had fallen in love with and married his father. I had looked across a room one night a little over two decades ago and with one momentary look at his face, my fate and the fate of my children had been sealed. What came in between then and now has been, at times, powerfully loving and incredibly cruel.

How I Met my Narcissistic Ex-Husband

Connie and I chose a table close to the door and ordered a couple of drinks. We hadn’t been there long when I glanced over at the bar and noticed a group of guys sitting at the bar. I had an immediate and intense attraction to the looks of one of them.

He had a square jaw line, full lips with a perfect receding hairline. If there is such a thing!

He had a little boy look about him. He smiled at one of his friends and there were dimples, deep dimples that lay right below beautiful, icy blue eyes and rosy cheeks. He had a sweetness to his face and before I had even spoken to him, I knew, from his look, that he would be able to grab my attention and hold it.

I look back now and realize that look was the look of the “walking wounded” and that my attraction to it had to do with my need to rescue, take care of and love unconditionally anyone who needed to be fixed.

And, wounded he was. Wounded beyond fixing no matter how hard I tried. He was one of nine sons raised by a devout Catholic mother who thought it her religious duty to procreate but not mother and an absent father who thought raising the children was women’s work. He became the love of my life, the father of my children and a man who would do immeasurable harm to those who loved him most.

To be continued…

The post Maddie’s Story: I No Longer Blame Myself For The Harm My Narcissistic Ex-Husband Caused appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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