By Chandrama Anderson
“Attached.” by Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel S.F. Heller, MAUploaded: Dec 2, 2021
If you’ve been reading CouplesNet for long, you’ve read about Attachment Theory. Levine and Heller have focused Attachment Theory specifically to help you find--and keep--love. I recommend you read it.
There are four parts to Attached.:
1. Your Relationship Toolkit—Deciphering Attachment Styles
2. The Three Attachment Styles in Everyday Life
3. When Attachment Styles Clash
4. The Secure Way—Sharpening Your Relationship Skills
I’m going to write about part four; not surprising being a couples therapist. In chapter 10, When Abnormal Becomes the Norm, the authors compare and contrast when you’re treated like “Royalty” and when you’ve become “The Enemy”. I shared this with a couple of people I know who are struggling in their marriages. They wanted to know if I thought they were the “Enemy” or their partner is. I responded by saying I just want you to know what a healthy, secure relationship is--and isn’t. I’m going to share part of their lists. You can read it all in Attached.
• Your well-being comes second to none.
• You are confided in first.
• Your opinions matter most.
• You feel admired and protected.
• Your need for closeness is rewarded with even more closeness.
• You are ashamed to let family and friends know how your partner really treats you.
• You listen in on your partner’s conversations to learn what is really going on in his or her life.
• It is more important for your partner to make a good impression on strangers than on you.
• You are the person most likely to be insulted or put down by your partner.
• Your emotional and physical health are low on your partner’s priority list.”
If you are not treating your partner like Royalty, or not being treated like Royalty, do something about it now! Read section four of Attached. Let your partner know it’s time for couple therapy. If s/he doesn’t want to participate, that might sting, AND it’s information you need to know. You can change your own behavior (you have no control over him/her). Start treating yourself like Royalty. Try treating your partner like Royalty, even if it’s not reciprocated at first. If it’s eventually not reciprocated, that’s also painful information you need.