Stan Tatkin has coined the term “wave” for tendencies generally described as an anxious ambivalent attachment style. While an “islandish” person fears loss of self and loss of their independence, the “wave” develops a fear of losing the relationship. Their fear is of being rejected, left or abandoned. They worry that they are too much or too needy. Like a wave coming in and going out, they go back and forth between wanting to connect and fearing rejection. That often comes from a parenting style where the parent was loving at times and preoccupied at other times.
Stan Tatkin has coined the term “island” for tendencies generally described as an anxious-avoidant attachment. Do either you or your partner have “islandish” tendencies: needing space, being more independent or even being a bit of a loner? “Islands” also tend to focus on their intellect and rational discussions instead of comfortably talking about their feelings or their partner’s.
In every partnership, there are conflicts and unsolvable problems that require dialogues and compromises. How do you recognize a workable problem from a dealbreaker? When is it time to call it quits?
What is going on in our adult relationships is directly connected to our early childhood attachment experiences. Even if you have learned an avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized attachment style, “we never lose our inherent capacity for secure attachment” (Diane Poole Heller). Our close, loving relationships offer the perfect realm to develop secure attachment skills with our partner.
Trust and commitment are two fundamental pillars of a strong relationship. If faith in each other has been damaged, it needs to be strengthened or rebuilt again. Here are the main steps that a couple can consistently take to get back onto the path of mutual trust.
Some fights are not at all what they seem. What we are fighting about is not the real trigger. A fight could be about underlying beliefs and feelings, childhood projections, fear of loss, or value differences. Here are 5 common types of fights according to relationship coach and author Jayson Gaddis.
Relationships can be tricky at times. When we go through stressful periods, it is enormously helpful to have specific agreements to figure out a challenge as a team. Agreements that both people commit to, increase the strength and longevity of a relationship.
Have you been in one of those arguments where you cannot believe that your partner does not remember an event the way you do? Yet, you are sure they are wrong and will remember again how it really was if you just remind them of what they said or did? Here is why arguing about the accuracy of past events is a terrible idea.
The struggle to apologize is widespread. Most of us have been conditioned to shame ourselves when we are told that we have done something “wrong.” Instead of taking ownership and mending a rift with the other person, we often minimize, ridicule, get defensive, explain, or become angry. Because our feelings of shame are so uncomfortable, we do not usually take the step to empathize with the other person and deliver a heartfelt apology.
When is the right time to hire a relationship coach? Couples who believe that you only hire a coach when there are serious issues miss the opportunity to learn more productive interactions when there is only a “small fire,” as opposed to the entire “relationship house standing in flames”. Thankfully, more and more young couples realize how smart it is to create a solid foundation. They want to learn and establish habits of successful couples, for example how to have productive conflicts and how to show up together as a strong team from the start.
Resentment towards our partner is the accumulation of lingering feelings we have from previous unresolved conflicts and unfulfilled needs. If resentment is being ignored and suppressed, it tends to grow. It creates a toxic atmosphere. We can let the resentments fester and allow them to poison our relationships, or we can learn how to work through them. Here are two processes to work through resentment.