There’s really no way around it: In order to be a person in a partnership in the 21st century, you pretty much have to know about attachment styles. Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin is one of many primers on the topic, but its a really good one.
Read this book to understand your own attachment style and to learn what to expect from the attachment of others.
- There are three types of partnership styles: securely attached; islands; and waves. Islands prefer aloneness and are often uncommunicative. Waves are highly emotional, turbulent and have a great need for reassurance. Securely attached partners often give and receive assurance, but also trust their partners and don’t disconnect.
- One way to securely attach to your partner and to provide for their needs is to learn what their triggers are. Often, people feel like they are “messed up” and have a lot wrong with them, but most people have only three or four major overarching triggers. These have often been wired in them from a young age and will likely be with them for the rest of their lives, to some degree. The loving partner’s goal should be to understand, recognize and calm these triggers as needed so that their partner feels safe and protected. No shame. No blame. Just helping them get through that situation. Then, when it’s your turn, they will do the same for you.
- Being on each other’s side, always, is the best way to engender feelings of security. Also, attachment requires full and complete honesty, especially regarding third parties (coworkers, friends, etc.).
About the Author
Stan Tatkin is an American psychotherapist, author, and speaker. He is the founder and developer of the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), a research-based and innovative method of treating couples and families. Tatkin has written several books on relationships, including “Wired for Dating,” “Wired for Love,” and “Your Brain on Love.” He has also been featured in various media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today. Tatkin has a private practice in Calabasas, California, where he provides therapy and training for individuals and couples.
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