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Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Kenzi, Nov 28, 2017.
I will read it and let you know what I think, thank you
Attachment Theory has been of interest to me. But, I personally seem outside of it's reach. yes, that's a pun. But, with my overly-pseudo-logical brain functions, it seems inapplicable. No, not unapplicable. In- as in difficult to wrangle applicability. Surely most people are more into the whole "connection as opposite of addiction" thing. Stoicism being an example of a competing theory.. my self-diagnosis would be a case in point. However, humans are somewhat proven to be bent, seemingly irreparably, without the proper early-life attachment bondings. So, let's definitely /TRY/ to use those ideas.
@Kenzi, you are definitely a writer. I think all @Buzz Lightyear was saying was that if it was packaged differently, others might more easily recognize and appreciate you. I have a similar problem. Always trying fro nonconformity.. you know? Not saying that's you. Except the part about being misconstrued. Buzz has posted lots of poetry-styled things, and I do appreciate his talents, as well.
You seem very honest.
Mrs. Lots-and-Lots of Msg Posts
It flows forth.
And, it works
Ride on the text.
We'll follow... for the ride of a lifetime.
Awesome! Thanks again! This is exactly what I was looking for.
My SO and I took the test some months back. I came up secure and my husband’s results were anxious with me, avoidant with parents and friends. I like the article on anxious attachment because explains how it is what it is but you can change by learning to recognize how you’re feeling. I feel he may be able to relate to this.
Being a secure, I don’t overlook them. I point them out and try to explore why they may be present and how can they be remedied. This is what I’m working on with my therapist. Just because I know what works for me doesn’t mean it’s a fit for others.
I can’t make my SO go to therapy or want to change his attachment style but knowing what it is, I can tread more cautiously and with consideration so I don’t come off as Little Miss Fixer. I’ve learned that trying to better his emotional health (“try this when someone does this to you, don’t let so-and-so treat you that way”) can cause him more anxiety vs. being available and supportive (“check out this article, how about that test?”) achieves the help I’m intending to provide and the relaxed environment he needs to make his journey and own discoveries.
Best wishes to all couples working through this together!
Hi VX, fancy seeing you here! I'm not sure what you mean by being outside of the reach of Attachment Theory. If you simply mean that you don't believe in it, then yes, that's understandable - it's a theory after all. Also, I see Stoicism as a complimentary theory and not one that competes or contradicts. Your view that difficulties formed in early-life attachment bondings are seemingly irreparable is where you are butting the two theories up against each other. When you realize that insecure attachment style can be healed into more secure attachment style, the two theories are in harmony and both seek a freedom from the negative emotions that separate us from the ability to control our behavior. You could say that healing from insecure attachment is a way toward Stoicism or practicing Stoicism is a route toward healing from insecure attachment style.
I typically sidestep intellectual conversation because I find it's often used to temporarily suppress emotional discomfort rather than resolve it. It's like when you need to get up a large stairway to get into a building, you can either get on a Stairmaster and work on having the best physique and form for the climb, or you can just start directly on making your way up the stairs. What I mean is that when we start dicing theories and definitions we aren't actually getting anywhere. Pick one, pick all, pick several or pick none and get on to getting on. Gittyup! There's more than one way to living well and with virtue and with interpersonal harmony but there's only one that is Your Way. Your Way that works is always the best way.
Yes, it's a "theory" but that's not what I was pointing out. I mean that attachments don't seem to matter as much to me, personally as so many theorize.
A DSM diagnosis isn't a final or absolute truth. We change. And, we are living people and not numbers or classes. The patterns identified are helpful, though. Ever look into those MBTI scores? ..about 50% of the people are kind of in one large group (SJ)? Or the multiple intelligences? Most students prefer auditory yet are continually trying to learn visual. Lines are even clearer when you split by gender. As we know around here, males are more likely subject to P due to different impact of visual thinking. (Overwhelming dopamine.) Outliers that are female tend to struggle with the recovery system.
It's all just the bell-curve of natural distribution. I was saying I seem to be an emotional outlier. We all need attachment, or healing, but I seem to be outside the 3-sigma on some of those things. Lots of others are, as well. So, I tend to gravitate to people with explanations about their recovery who like similar lone-wolf hobbies. You seem to be equally afflicted with IQ, so I'm sure you get the drift.
I think all the theories are quite likely to contain truths, so it's still instructive to read. Like you and Buzz (et al) always going at it with the philosophy; even if one doesn't adhere to a type of thought, it can provide instruction. There was a TedX that got me all interested in this Attachment Wounding thing a ways back. So I read it. I study it. I put some things into practice because there are factors in my upbringing. But: no real results. Better results from other self-work. That's all I meant
Quite instructive. Hadn't thought of it like that. Strength for within from without. That little sentence helps me see how to better put it together. What my presupposition was is once someone is a Stoic, as if there were a certification - haha, then they might feel immune to attachment requirements. But, that might be a misconception, a false sense of the ideal.
For me, personally, I don't want to be void of attachments. I want my primal emotional needs met from within my relationship to my wife. And, I want to provide that for her. Work in that regard has gotten me super far in recovery: not by counting days, I mean by the peace it offered, even when progress was faltering. There's something magic in marriage. A religious person might say that's because God designed it that way. In any case, surely you've seen that's where I've put some energy in relating my experience (if it's not outright "advice").. and commending others to efforts for their spouse, on behalf of serving others.
Didn't mean to hijack your thread, @Kenzi. Hopefully it's productive. Healing from all that damage as a goal is the larger topic front. I think you must have found a lot of motivation so far from progress in your marriage. Those lists are amazing, for one thing. And, I hope that your success continues!
And I think this is all good stuff!
I'm on errands and back to court today for work, but I will sit and read it when I can... My NoFap messages atm are overwhelmingly abundant, however I am always fascinated by psychology and it's been my hobby study focus for most of my life so I'm anxiously anticipating all this current topic that has everyone abuzz.
Your explanation of why you are outside of Attachment classification is literally the definition of Dismissive-Avoidant attachment style. This is the style I am healing from, and this may explain why you might relate to the sometimes "lone-wolf" aspects revealed in my journal. Nobody is outside of Attachment classification, just like nobody is outside of fashion classification. You may not dress to make any sort of statement or expression whatsoever, or you may refuse to wear clothes, but these are expressions of yourself nonetheless. It's inescapable.
When you believe that attachments don't seem to matter much to you personally, as you have stated, this doesn't place you outside of Attachment classification, it places you into Dismissive-Avoidant, which is a classification of a theory and not a DSM diagnosis of any kind. Your belief is a characteristic of this particular class in the theory and is not the symptom of a medical diagnosis. It is not necessary for you or anyone else to subscribe to Attachment Theory in order to heal from addiction or any of the characteristics of insecure attachment. You needn't feel threatened (not saying that you do).
The reason I brought Attachment Theory to this specific thread is because Kenzi painted a vivid picture with her post that I have seen many times in the SO section of NoFap - the picture of a woman who became trapped in a very unhealthy relationship in which she learned in hindsight that she had been overlooking her partner's serious flaws. This is characteristic of Anxious Attachment style so I wondered out loud to Kenzi if maybe there was anything in the article that might be helpful to her.
At this point I'm just poking you in the ribs VX. You have a good thing going for yourself and don't need Attachment Theory in your life. I am at peace with that if you are.
Totally cool! I will yield the thread back to @Kenzi, and LIKE the post when my stupid daily limit isn't exceeded. I was never at peace with my abandonment of Attachment.. the thing, the theory, nothing. I've been alone in what feels like the Château d'If sense.. not quite literally, but emotionally equivalent for my tender years. Was definitely interested in it. It shall now be revisited. Surely there is in fact applicability for others. Anything to suggest that then resonates is a great tool to have here on NoFap in the sea of wounded ones. Thanks again!
Thanks again @Strength And Light
Honestly tho, my "anxious attachment" probably predates my first PA, if I'm being totally honest.
Well yes, it would have begun forming when you were very young. It’s how we learned to bond with our primary caretakers as children.
@Strength And Light ..I concede the point. For what it calls the Dismissive-Avoidant attachment type, the Wikipedia article's sampler statements that strike me are:
"It is important to me to feel independent and self-sufficient"
"I prefer not to depend on others or have others depend on me."
In this, I am secure
Actually, I'm just not in a box. I have strong attachments with family, and derive a lot of energy from them. When I tried to think about changing to a less independent person, it just plain old doesn't help me win the war of NoFap. I do think I'm dismissive. Don't think I'm avoidant. That's not their terminology, but just breaking it down.
Curiously, I'd still like to hear what others think of being "attachment secure" or whether it's good to avoid some attachments.
@Rock_Star when you have time please read this stuff on attachment theory, I'd love your opinions too
This statement is very interesting and perhaps it reflects something important. There is no group of psychologists who are telling you that you are too independent. There is nobody harassing you to change anything about your approach to relating and interacting with people. Your resentment is generated from within. Your perception of a group of people safe and secure and you on the outside being persecuted is generated from within.
I responded to a post by @Kenzi with a link to an article and asked if the article has any insight for her. You jumped into the middle and are claiming persecution. I assure you that I'm not pushing Attachment Theory on you (or on Kenzi or anyone else). In fact, I've actually asked you to drop it.
You asked what others think about whether it's good to avoid some attachments. My opinion is that of course there are relationships that should be avoided and people that you should avoiding bonding with as there are unhealthy bonds. There are also risks that must be undertaken in any relationship. This is how trust is created and maintained. Attachments that purposely void any sense of trust should be avoided.
Couldn’t agree more.
I “live in secure”. I can definitely say I don’t have all the answers, I don’t think I’m better than the other groups, and I’ve had my fair share of betrayals which have caused me to be reserved in my attachments with new people I allow in my life. I feel the difference is how I end up dealing with each situation on an emotional level. I may be avoidant with being an open book with someone trying to build a relationship with me, but once I’ve made the decision to let them in my life, I understand the potential risks involved and hope I made the right choice. If I make a mistake I address each emotion I feel, talk about it with myself and those close to me and find a way to get through it.
My mom had a less than stellar childhood. So when she decided to continue her pregnancy with me at 19yrs old, she read every book she could to better herself and to help her raise a child. I’ve been taking self awareness tests and seeing therapists since I was 4yrs old everytime my mom felt I could benefit from it. She was constantly having me communicate my feelings especially if I had a tantrum or acted out. We sat down and talked until we found out the underlying issue that resulted in my behavior and why I resorted to acting out instead of verbalizing. She always acknowledged if she could have acted differently herself in the situation if she was the reason I was upset.
So when the bullies pushed me and my friend off the jungle gym when I was 5 and made disparaging remarks about our ethnicity and cheap clothing, I told them I felt bad for them. That for whatever reason they already had hate in their hearts to be mean to little girls in order to feel better about themselves. Of course the “leader” wasn’t phased but I saw 2 of the other kids look embarrassed.
I still went through a learning curve. When I was 7 I also told my mom’s coworker how funny he was and that it made me sad he wouldn’t live long because he was obese. I told him he should love himself as much as we did so he didn’t feel the need to eat to find happiness. My mom read books with me about empathy and knowing when to keep silent after that one.
I still struggle with this today. I couldn’t grasp how my spouse, who had a decent childhood, could have similar emotional insecurities like my mother that also resulted in addiction when her childhood was so much worse. It explained her actions but his? I have since learned that neglect can come in difference forms. Just because my spouse wasn’t abused like my mom, his parents were emotionally neglected in certain ways that were then passed onto him. I learned my spouse also went to therapy as a kid, but while my mom went with me when I asked her to, followed up on my feelings pre and post sessions and sought a different therapist if I didn’t like who I was seeing, his parents dropped him off and picked him up. When he said he didn’t want to go because it was a waste of his time, they said he had to because that’s what parents do for their kids when there’s a divorce. No inquiry into why he felt the way he did or if he needed anything specific from them.
So just because I’m secure doesn’t mean I know how to help my spouse or understand where my spouse is coming from. But because I’m secure I can invest my time learning how to understand while still looking out for my own emotional health. I can recognize when I’m feeling depressed, sad and angry and get myself the help I need to move forward. I still second guess myself and wonder if I’m doing things correct or all that I can do before coming to some solution. My solutions are not always right and I do my best to learn from them.
I think it’s possible for people to float through the quadrants of attachment theory. Some are cut and dry in all aspects of their life but I feel most can be secure, say in work and business relationships, while still being dismissive avoidant in romantic relationships and preoccupied anxious with family.
Not sure if that was at all what you were looking for @vxlccm. I have taken the attachment theory test several times thoughtout my life and I always come up somewhere in the secure quadrant. FYI: never directly right on the bisecting line.
That sure does help @ItsNeverTooLate. You're making me feel more secure already! Seriously, sincerely. That fits in really well with other things being discussed. A lot of what you describe is a) perfect coping skills according to my ideal and b) perfect leadership and empathy skills. Seems like maybe you were lucky/born a certain way but also used your intelligence to really magnify your talents, and that's admirable. Thank you for taking the time. It's kinda fitting together better in your experience than the black/white text of psyche talk.
Re-reading my post, it sounds a little snarky and down. It's just a defensive mechanism. Sorry if that struck anyone wrong. It's just that I found recovery and productivity and love and family and many things in life that are highly desirable and anathema to my view on worldiness and media. So, I'm not criticizing the 'who' of certain other people at all, not pointing fingers, not complaining about them, just don't always want a mythical 'them' (not people here!) to step out of their zone and into mine and be telling me what's proper to change. It's the writers of some articles with a certain tone, and those that write human interest pieces sourced from those psych-science bits. that strike me as pushy at times. Yeah, I'm maybe emotionally distant and comfortable there. It's still useful. Being an introvert, it takes a lot of energy to interact socially.
My wife would love it if I'd improve my attachment stance. Everything I tried early in recovery was just *not* helping me. I was probably doing it wrong. So, I gave up on the "codependent" take. (Yah, that's just a small jab ) I decided for the stoic approach, though not bound to some ancient philosophy. @Strength And Light's take on how that fits in was a huge help, as well. What I need is a better assessment by someone else, it seems. I think I'm more distant than I really am. Subjectivity is scary. It also means I'm not as independent as I'd like to assume/pretend. Ay pues. I'm married and need connection for sure, so it's not like I'm all about going it alone or anything
p.s. Random aside. Hey, has anyone seen that movie 'Knight and Day'? There's this line in there about watching out when people promise to help you get to a "safe and secure" place. Haha.
This is really helpful for me also INTL. I'll probably end up writing in my journal about it, so I'll keep it short and sweet here. Thanks!!
Lucky us @Kenzi doesn't mind tangents to her stories. Hugs girlfriend!
I never believed this...until my brother was born. I always figured it was nurture vs. nature. When I was almost preteen I got a little screaming brother. Almost 30yrs later he’s still hollaring. I would describe my brother and myself as caring, helpful people but emotionally we are complete opposites, yet we have the same parents. That told me nature does play a roll, it’s not just nuture. I thank God that I was born first. If my brother had been I’m sure I would not exist and both my mom and his life would be very different from what they are now. They say He works in mysterious ways and I, for one, believe it!
I often wonder too since my brother was a giant baby and if the stress from my mom’s physical discomfit during pregnancy had any cause to result in the way he is. They say the infant can sense a mother’s stress in utero.
Wow! You sound EXACTLY like my husband. He’s an engineer. He was zonked after Thankgiving. It’s the first one he wasn’t on the iPad the whole time. So much talking!!! He even “owned” it during FANOS - “People are exhausting”
Also he gets overwhelmed if I start really pushing him to explore his feelings. After all it’s so subjective and what he feels right now might be different from 10 minutes from now so how do you really know how you feel over all? He’d much prefer concrete evidence & guidelines.
We need people like that to be our INTJs and do what they do. Discover efficient and innovative solutions.
@cakeinacrisis because... I understand. Let me know if you need anything.
I need a tall drink, the beach, & good conversation. Think Santa will bring?