How To Get Back With Someone With Anxious Attachment Style Couple Closeness Gone Too Far

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Couple Closeness Gone Too Far

Is it possible for wonderful experiences like marriage and romantic intimacy to go horribly wrong with too much closeness? Can being loved and loving someone begin to feel like a noose or an isolation chamber? The answer to both questions is YES. There is an insidious process involved. At first the typical couple is in bliss and in a bubble of romantic love. They finish each other’s sentences, like all the same things and seem to others the perfect couple.

However, too many of these “good parts” become suspect when other people in the couple’s lives begin to feel slighted and unimportant, and when the happy lovers themselves (one or both partners) begin to feel the negative repercussions of isolation and constriction. aspect of how they function as a couple. Couples who “engage” in this way tend to distance themselves from pre-existing relationships in order to strengthen their bond and the “specialty” of their union. Based on insecurity, these choices to isolate and entangle create both self-alienation and social alienation, which in time will lead to alienation from each other.


In the early stages of attachment, this couple acts self-centered and arrogant in the face of abandonment by everyone around them. The integrity of previous relationships becomes a low priority for these individuals. The isolation, the cocoon with each other to the exclusion of others, feels like a warm, safety blanket. Because other relationships can be seen as a threat to the partner bond, it’s safe to say that this type of first part of a relationship is fundamentally insecure.


People who bond with romantic partners in this way often have similar negative childhood experiences together. Childhood abuse, neglect, or neglect results in damaged self-esteem and starves a person for a strong, positive attachment to another human being in order to feel worthy as a person. This need can become a craving that is so powerful that judgment and perspective on one’s own needs and desires are not clear. Thus, choosing a partner becomes the need not to be alone and to be validated as a person because someone wants to be with you.

When early attachments to parents are weak or abusive, emotional and physical needs are not met, a child grows anxious and disconnected and longs for an attachment where he can feel loved and secure. Mature reasoning and deep self-knowledge do not evolve in this environment of deprivation.

So when people find themselves in these psychological states, they reach out quickly, seeking an intense and positive connection that they’ve never experienced. So they join an atmosphere of immaturity and emotional hunger, and the pattern of isolation and entanglement is established and personal identity is lost in the formation of the relationship. Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Jack Soll, MFT, explains that “this loss of self within a relationship is called ‘codependency,’ and it can cause a level of self-damage that can lead to severe depression and anxiety. A relationship cannot reach a healthy state if either person in the relationship functions in this tangled and isolated way.” This codependent state then becomes a place where two people who are not fully formed begin to feel integrated in the codependent way that has defined their relationship.


Friends and loved ones feel the estrangement immediately as these couples establish their place in the family. The needs and wants of the partner begin to be constantly asserted as the most important above all others. Less time is given and less interest is shown to family and friends. Conflict often occurs when people confront their partner with their feelings of hurt, anger, and confusion. The couple tends to stick together and label everyone who stands up to them as needy or disrespectful to them as a couple. They will often “enforce the law” that each of them is always “number 1” for the other, which often means that the needs and desires of pre-existing intimate relationships are no longer a high priority, especially if it involves compromise. in any way that either member of the couple may prefer.

These couples often report that their attachments to others feel less important. That in their distancing process, they don’t particularly alienate their friends and family, because they have each other. They will make space for other people and enjoy it, on their terms, without regard to the needs or desires of others. The ideas of pleasing others and engaging in relationships apply exclusively within your relationship with each other.

In a healthy relationship, the patterns mentioned above do not occur. Family and friends are seen as enhancements, not threats, to a healthy couple’s life. But for the insecure person, seeing their partner fulfill the needs of others can feel hurtful and threatening to the stability of their relationship. Even if one of the partners in the relationship does not feel this form of intense insecurity, the entanglement and the pathological loyalty will not allow him to judge or disagree with the demands or expectations of his partner.


When feeling insecure, a partner will engage in controlling and manipulative behaviors that will alienate others from their loved ones. Demands such as seeing only friends and family as a couple are common. Other negative relationship patterns that occur are 1) badmouthing people, 2) faking a physical illness, and 3) lying. Bad mouthing is an attempt to turn the partner against others. It is intended to destroy any positive, pre-existing perceptions and turn them into perceptions that cause others to be seen as threatening or disrespectful to the relationship. Faking illness is a strategy used to bind a couple to each other’s side. The goal here is not to create time for other people or create guilt or anxiety if they decide to see others. Lying behavior is related to both bad mouthing and feigning illness, as it is used for control.

Attempts by friends and family to point out these negative behaviors often fall on deaf ears, until one partner becomes aware of their own emotional suffering within the restrictive and isolating construct of the relationship. Once his awareness surfaces, the relationship enters a state of destabilization. The emergence of a strong sense of self in a couple makes it impossible for the couple to maintain their former isolated and dysfunctional equilibrium.

Friends and family should continue to keep their distance from the couple during this time, unless the couple begins to grow closer in ways that are emotionally welcoming.

Conflict patterns

The level of conflict will be high if both partners do not simultaneously switch to the switching mode. Patterns of argument and distancing become prevalent, replacing the previous entangled and appeased state of functioning. The partner who still wants to remain entangled will fight hard to recreate the romantic bubble, but will be met with resistance by the partner who wants to break free. Patterns of denigration will be given to family or friends, to restore their image of the “ideal and unique” person of value in their life. However, if the partner who wakes up to their pain stays the course, either thing will happen. The relationship will remain in conflict and eventually break down, or the resistant partner will open up to the possibility that the isolated and entangled way of functioning was unhealthy and not allowed to continue. If this acquiescence is done from a true and healthy realization, that positive change can happen. If it is done out of fear of abandonment and insecurity, the relationship will have little chance of survival.

New patterns of communication inside and outside the relationship

The couple will have to develop new ways of communicating. They will need to include the expression of honest feelings, wants and needs. They will have to strike a balance between being empathetic to each other while making sure that what they need is not minimized or ignored. The new pattern should include discussions about what led them to tangle the way they did, to exclude or turn on others, and to neglect their own personal needs for the sake of the relationship. They will need to learn constructive conflict resolution skills to redefine their bond from needing to be a perfectly pleasant union, to something more real and therefore more solid. They will need to negotiate and compromise the areas they disagree on to make sure they both feel equally important and empowered.

Each partner will also have to allow the other to have conversations with others that do not always involve their presence or knowledge. This refers to the issue of maintaining a certain level of healthy privacy within the relationship. For example, if someone wants to talk to their mother about a feeling or issue that they feel will benefit them, they do not need their partner’s permission, nor do they need to reveal the conversation to their partner. In a healthy relationship, there is respect for privacy and the significance of other relationships in each other’s lives.

A strong self leads to a strong relationship

Knowing and accepting yourself is the foundation of healthy self-worth and self-esteem. Any pattern of negative self-criticism, abuse, or deprivation lowers self-esteem and makes one vulnerable to making poor partner choices. A weakly formed self is drawn to a situation where it can follow someone else’s lead, without the ability to discriminate whether that direction is positive or authentic to who they really are. High self-esteem allows a person to set boundaries in their relationships because a person with self-esteem should not allow themselves to be moved by the fear of rejection. Their self-esteem allows them to place their needs, desires and personal values ​​above whether or not someone rejects them.

Once entangled couples begin to destabilize, re-evaluate, and reorganize their functioning as a couple, there is hope for a transformation toward a healthier and ultimately happier lifestyle. The couple’s ability to support each other’s individuality and separateness, and to tolerate and enjoy the re-entry of friends and family into their lives is a sign that security, not insecurity, will now define the relationship.

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