Do you often find yourself feeling rejected in your relationship? Perhaps you’re feeling anxious that your partner, “doesn’t want to spend time with me,” or “isnever there for me.”
These types of feelings and questions are signs that you could be in an anxious-avoidant relationship and might need help learning how to make a relationship work.
Here are some insights from Dr. Margaret Paul, PhD in psychology and noted public speaker and educator, on how to do just that!
In her years of experience working with married couples, she sees a clear pattern: one person wants more time together, closer connection, more things in common… while the other person feels smothered by all of this attention. Both partners feel unfulfilled. This combination of feelings often leads to relationship conflict, where one person wants more space and the other wants less. How does one reconcile this?
In an anxious-avoidant relationship, both partners are dealing with a fear that is impacting their ability to connect with their partner. For one partner, they fear the loss of their partner. For the other, they fear the loss of self.
“He just does whatever he wants to do, with no concern for me.”
“She’s so demanding that I just don’t feel like being with her a lot. I wish she’d back off. I need more time alone or with my friends.”
Dr. Paul explains that iIn both cases, each partner’s fear creates a repetitive cycle of push-pull within the relationship. Fear typically leads to blame, so both partners start to blame each other for their unpleasant feelings.
The fear of losing our beloved, OR losing ourselves cannot be healed by someone else. In fact, many couples split up thinking that they’re with the wrong person, when in fact, that same fear will end up causing similar problems on their next relationship.
These fears are deeply rooted, usually in childhood. We must be willing to learn about these fears in order to begin to heal them, and before we can share love with another person.
We’ve all heard that we first need to love ourselves, before we can love someone else. And this is what it means—healing our internal fears, so we can show up as our best, most secure selves in a relationship.
Learning to love yourself will help your create better relationships with others, even if you think the problem is someone else’s behavior. Looking into ourselves for healing is the key to a deep and long-lasting connection with your partner.
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