Attachment is how we form our earliest relationships. It also sets the tone for our adult relationships and why we choose the mates that we do.
The avoidant attachment is often what keeps so many people confused about their partner’s behaviour.
If you’ve ever googled, why do they do that?
You know exactly what I’m talking about.
What can help to get you out of that state of confusion and repeating the same patterns in your relationship is getting to grips with what it means to have an avoidant attachment style.
Let’s dive into the six key signs that will help you to recognise an avoidant attachment in your spouse.
Rather than dealing with relationship issues when they arise.
They become emotionally overwhelmed and retreat.
This can look like stonewalling or just a lack of interest in resolving the issue.
You might think it’s better to pursue any conflict and attempt to sort out your differences, but that can be really difficult to do with someone who is unwilling to meet you half way.
Instead of being open to understanding, they can perceive any amount of feedback as a direct criticism.
They can feel under attack and do not address the direct issue.
It can be difficult to feel heard when the other person sees your feedback as a constant criticism.
They might have learned their defensive patterns when they’ve found it hard to deal with conflict in the past. People can describe themselves as easy going or that they don’t like conflict.
However, most people do not enjoy conflict. When you haven’t learned how to have healthy conflict, which allows for relationship growth and a better connection, you can think of conflict as a negative thing.
When you have avoidant traits, it’s normal to often need some time alone.
This can look like emotional and physical withdrawal when not communicated well.
That’s because people who have more evident traits are used to being self sufficient and spending time alone without thinking of the needs of others.
Try not to take it personally, because this need for space is how they feel comfortable.
DOES NOT ASK FOR HELP
Avoidantly attached people can be hyper independent and withdraw instead of leaning on you for support.
Recognise that this drive is not about you. It’s how they have had to learn to adapt during times of stress.
Being self reliant can also be seen as a positive quality as it shows determination and resilience.
AVOIDS TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS
Talking about feelings is an expression of emotional vulnerability.
Avoidantly attached people feel uncomfortable with this, and it feels like a threat to their emotional safety.
Often, in childhood people who have had less emotionally responsive parents learn to adapt to their environment. If feelings and emotions weren’t prioritised, it’s very difficult to openly express feelings. Especially if it hasn’t been well received or acknowledged in the past.
SEEMS EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE
In the talking stage, it might have felt as though they are totally into you. They would make an effort to be around you and everything seemed pretty normal. What you may have noticed is that after some time, they seemed to go cold or seem not as invested.
They call less, take longer to respond to messages and are suddenly busier doing other things. The energy around them seems to change and it can feel like maybe you’ve done something wrong. When relationships show signs of getting serious, or there is more intimacy, someone who is avoidantly attached will begin to find this uncomfortable. As a natural instinct, they will want to withdraw as a way to self protect.
So what does this all mean?
A person becomes avoidantly attached when they’ve had inconsistent caregiving as children and unreliable relationships as an adult.
This doesn’t excuse avoidant behaviour, but it does give an insight into why things are happening and how you can make adjustments in your interactions to have a better relationship.
Avoidantly attached people or people with avoidant traits are capable of having healthy relationships, with self awareness and lots of communication.