Welcome to the second part of the “Secrets that Men Keep” series.
Today we are going to talk about Romantic Relationships.
Have you ever felt insecure in your relationships? Are you afraid of being abandoned, have low self-esteem, are self-critical and need approval and reassurance from your partner?
Or do you rather experience a fear of intimacy and want to remain independent?
Find out what’s hidden in your relationship!
Key Points From This Episode
Do you love your partner for what you experience together or do you love her because the relationship feeds your self-esteem?
Make no mistake: we all seek love and affection and try to feed our self-esteem in romantic partnerships.
However, some men love for the experience they have in their committed relationships – like warmth, nurturance, support, intellectual stimulation, comfortable intimacy and sexual chemistry – while other men love their partner because without her they have no sense of their core self.
You are probably wondering what does not having a sense of core self look like? If you stay in a relationship so that you will not feel lonely, or because it keeps you from feeling like a boy or feeling pain, you are in that relationship seeking to feed your self-esteem because you have probably been hurt by your mother or father, or both.
Sooner or later, relationships based in self-esteem needs collapse. That is why it is so important to be aware of the reason why we are seeking the relationship.
“If we are seeking the relationship for self-esteem building rather than content, we will probably find ourselves in debilitating behavior patterns – like oppression of women, codependency, and sex and love addiction – patterns we can identify and transform with hard work and a long initiatory journey.” Michael Gurian, The Invisible Presence
These patterns that Gurian mentions are deeply rooted in our attachment styles. The bond between the mother and her baby is the first love that we know – we experience this as soon as we are born. In psychology, this bond is called attachment. We bring the attachment styles that we learned from our parents into adult relationships.
Without going too much into details, I want to briefly describe the adult attachment styles:
Avoidant Attachment: people with this attachment style don’t allow others to get close to them because they do not feel comfortable in relationships. They have a fear of intimacy and have a hard time trusting their partner.
Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment: individuals with this attachment style feel insecure in relationships. They fear being abandoned, constantly need reassurance from their partner, are clingy and dependent.
Secure Attachment: this attachment style ensures happy relationships. Individuals with this attachment style are positive and confident, give and take emotional support and feel safe in relationships.
You can find several tests online to where you and your partner fit in by googling attachment style quiz.
Studies show that 25% of U.S. adults have the avoidant attachment style, 20% of U.S. adults have anxious/ambivalent attachment style and approximately half of the U.S. population has the secure attachment style. According to researchers, this is one of the main reasons half of marriages end in divorce.
However, even if you belong to the 45% of people with dysfunctional attachment styles, it does not mean that you are doomed to spend the rest of your life in solitude or in dysfunctional relationships. You can change your behavior and alter your thoughts at any age!
1st step: Educate yourself: recommended books:
Daniel Siegel http://www.drdansiegel.com
Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzel, Parenting From Inside Out https://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Inside-Out-Self-Understanding-Anniversary/dp/039916510X/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1495208280&sr=8-6&keywords=daniel+siegel+books
Harville Hendrix and Hellen L. Hunt http://harvilleandhelen.com
Harville Hendrix Getting the Love You Want https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Love-You-Want-Anniversary/dp/0805087001/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495208577&sr=8-1&keywords=harville+hendrix
Michael Gurian http://www.gurianinstitute.com
Michael Gurian, The Invisible Presence https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Presence-Relationship-Affects-Relationships/dp/1590308077/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&qid=1495208516&sr=8-27&keywords=michael+gurian+books
Step 2: Join a Men’s Group.
Step 3: Find a Men’s Coach or an EFT therapist for 1:1 Deep, Inner Work.
In case you need support with any of the steps mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact me for advice/coaching inquiries/resources/referrals at firstname.lastname@example.org