Falling in love is the easy part. What happens when the "honeymoon" ends; when you realize that you are married to this irritating, sulky person who is not the person with whom you fell in love?
A basic human need, going back to infancy, is for emotional safety and security. In adults, that is usually provided by the spouse. What happens when that security is threatened? Perhaps your husband takes off his wedding ring because he supposedly does not like to wear jewelry. Perhaps your wife spending one night a week out with her friends convinces you that she prefers to be with other people more than you.
A person with a secure attachment style will give their mate the benefit of the doubt. They can calmly discuss the problem, and believe the explanation. Those with an anxious attachment style are not confident of their partner’s trustworthiness. They are more clingy and aggressive in demanding reassurance and explanations, which will probably not be accepted. An avoidant style of attachment equals a fear of getting close to anyone. People can’t be trusted, so there is no point in closeness with anyone. Everyone has an attachment style. What is yours?
When a person feels their mate’s separation or distance, there are two ways to react. A criticizer/pursuer gets angry. Their attempt to regain closeness may sound like complaining and criticizing their partner. They also demand an accounting. The withdrawer/defender goes in the basement, or simply ignores the partner. They also get defensive. What sort of person are you?
What to do? First of all, understand that you are part of the problem. It is not all your spouse’s fault. Couples have to listen and communicate emotionally to each other. Your interpretation of your partner’s actions may be wrong, so ask for clarification. If you don’t understand what you are doing during an argument, how can you change it? Look at things from your partner’s perspective. Everyone has hot buttons. Recognize yours, and if they are activated, take a step back and tell your partner what you are feeling, instead of going right into "argument" mode.
This is a really interesting book full of practical information to help the two of you get back to being "best friends." It is very much worth reading.
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