This past weekend I attended an incredibly joyous wedding. The happy couple was surrounded by family and friends. The rain had held off while the sun shined, and laughter, and smiles filled the wedding hall. The most heart-warming moment, was easily when the brides exchanged vows. The newlyweds did something that was incredibly thoughtful, and vital, to a healthy, functioning relationship. The couple promised to always hear one another express their feelings of hurt when they caused it.
As a therapist, it was easy for me to know, that that vow, was rooted in security, and Attachment Theory. In that moment, I saw their wish for the future. They vowed to always be honest and vulnerable. They knew that at it’s heart, a secure relationship is about healthy attachment.
What Is Attachment Theory?
Attachment Theory is about two things. The close, emotional, bonds we form, and how we tolerate and react to feeling hurt, by the very same people we share those bonds with. One way the theory describes this is with the language of injury.
An attachment injury is when a person experiences a violation of trust and care during a time of need. How a person responds to this injury can be further examined and understood through one’s attachment style and the behaviors associated with each.
Healing Attachment Wounds
The aspect of attachment theory that I love, is that it gives us the chance to address our wounds and move towards healing. Attachment is not solely about the wounds we ac
quire; it is rooted in the opportunity and power we possess to share our experiences of hurt, and then reunite.
The phrase “rupture and repair” may sound familiar. It is the phenomenon of experiencing conflict with a person and working to acknowledge it. Then understand what went wrong, and work to create a relationship that is rooted in supporting one another with clarity of who we have been.
Leaning Into Vulnerability
When I watched my friends say their vows, I felt their intentions to always strive for a secure bond. Instead of simply acknowledging the possibility of accidentally hurting one another, they welcomed the inevitability of not being able to always be there for each other. By acknowledging their limitations and encouraging one another to be honest in her pain, the couple created a space in their marriage to be vulnerable, affirming, and patient.
Leaning into vulnerably can be hard, especially if we’ve been hurt, or weren’t taught how to healthily attach. At Be Well Therapy Group, we know how to get you there with ease. We don’t judge, and we start where you are. Sometimes, just doing this three step process, is all you need.
Relationships are precious, and we are incredibly lucky when we know someone who leans into discomfort, rather than lean out.
References and Further Reading