Attachment Styles - They can Make or Break your Marriage

Attachment Styles - They can Make or Break your Marriage

Attachment Styles - They can Make or Break your Marriage

According to attachment theory, we develop an “attachment style” based on our important relationships. This can be from relationships with caregivers when we were babies, or significant relationships we have in adulthood. Knowing your attachment style can give you valuable insight about your behavior in relationships.

You may have heard of “attachment theory” thanks to its prominence in pop psychology, and the many mental health and relationship influencers creating content about it on social media. The psychoanalyst who is credited with developing attachment theory, John Bowlby, defined attachment as the “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.” Bowlby believed that attachment is a trait we developed for survival – after all, caregivers who are attached to their children are likely to give them what they need, ensuring their survival. But attachment theory goes deeper than that. Many experts believe it’s not just the relationship you have with your caregivers as a baby that informs your attachment style, but also formative relationships that happen in adulthood.

attachement style marriage

What Are the Four Attachment Styles? Attachment Styles - They can Make or Break your Marriage

Attachment styles are categorized by behavior, particularly the behavior you display when the relationship is in crisis or threatened. Knowing your attachment style can help explain and predict how you show up (or avoid showing up) in your relationships. Understanding attachment styles can also help you figure out your own biases in how you interpret the behaviors of others, like your partner. Being aware of your attachment style can also help you identify and change relationship patterns that aren’t serving you any longer. Let’s explore the four attachment styles.


Secure Attachment Attachment Styles - They can Make or Break your Marriage

Secure attachment is healthy attachment. This attachment style develops when you have reliable and responsive attachment figures, who energetically reciprocate. A secure attachment style provides you with a sense of safety and stability. Securely attached individuals are able to develop intimate relationships and build trust with ease. Those with this attachment style typically report higher satisfaction rates in their relationships.

 attachement style couple hold hands marriage

Anxious Attachment

If you have an anxious attachment style, you may be clingy, insecure, and need a lot of validation and reassurance from your partner. Anxiously attached individuals want intimacy, but are scared that others do not. This attachment style is fostered when attachment figures are inconsistent, unreliable, or behave unpredictably. Anxious attachment is also called ambivalent attachment or anxious-preoccupied attachment.


Avoidant Attachment

Avoidant attachment is also called avoidant-dismissive attachment. This category is another insecure attachment style. These are your classic “emotionally unavailable” people. They may have an “I can do it myself” or “I don’t need anyone” type of attitude. This hyperindependence is learned behavior stemming from not having safe or dependable people in their lives. An avoidant attacher deliberately seeks to avoid intimacy and emotional connections with others, because they do not believe it is safe for them to do so. This attachment style develops when attachment figures are unresponsive, dismissive, or distant.

attachement style marriage couple make break 

Fearful-avoidant Attachment (Disorganized)

This attachment style is called disorganized or disoriented attachment, and is common in people who experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma in childhood. Attachment figures who were dealing with their own unresolved traumas poorly create this attachment style by being a confusing attachment figure, presenting as both a source of comfort and fear. This in turn leads to confusion. Those with a disorganized attachment style may want intimacy, but have deep-seated fears about it, and have trust issues. They may have no idea what a healthy relationship looks like. These are the people who are “hot and then cold” or do the “push and pull” dance in relationships, because they are unsure how to maintain emotional stability in relationships.

marriage make break attachement couple

There are many attachment style quizzes online you can take, but most people are able to discern their attachment style by reading the descriptions. Thankfully, if  you find yourself identifying with one of the three insecure attachment styles, you can heal/change your attachment style. As always, seek professional help if you feel you need it.


So, which attachment style do you have? Drop a comment and let us know. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @tuesdayinlove!

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