Six Things Secure Recovering Couples Don't Do

Date Posted: September 29, 2014
Six Things Secure Recovering Couples Don't Do

You may have heard the term "secure attachment." It is more widely used than ever these days, both in the media and in professional circles. Simply put, having secure attachment means your parents - primarily your mother - were readily available to respond to you in times of distress when you were a child. Not only that, they were welcoming and happy to see you when you came home from school each day, while also allowing you the freedom to move toward the outside world at your own comfortable pace. As a result of this kind of parenting, children are wired with a secure attachment style. They grow up feeling safe and trusting of people in general, and as adults, find it easy and natural to be in close proximity with a romantic partner.

If you're thinking, "Hey, who are these secure people you're talking about? What planet are they from?" then you know you have not been wired with a secure style. The great news is that everyone has the chance to form a secure attachment with his or her partner, even if coming to the relationship without one. Your brain is capable of growing neural pathways that resemble those in the brains of folks who were wired for secure attachment since childhood!

Having Secure Attachment

So, even if you have to fake it 'til you make it, get started with the following suggestions:


Secure recovering partners never gossip negatively about a partner behind his or her back. Instead, go to your sponsor, therapist, or confidante to discuss matters of resentment. Figure out exactly what is going on inside you, and don't use the conversation to hex, character assassinate, or bad rap your partner. Conversely, insecure partners talk behind a partner's back pretty easily, and bond with others over these complaints.


Secure recovering partners never let anyone else say a negative word about his or her partner to them. If someone tries to do this - and this includes your best friend - your response should be, "If you're having a problem with my partner, I suggest you take it up with him or her. Don't speak poorly about my partner to me." An insecure partner will happily engage in this kind of conversation, and even feel secretly gleeful that the complaining person prefers them to the partner.


Secure recovering partners don't ignore text messages from a partner for too long, and never neglect cries of distress. They don't take the relationship for granted. Insecure partners put off responding until they feel like it, and sometimes purposefully ignore signs of distress with the unconscious thought "No one was ever there for me, why should I be there for him or her?"


Secure recovering partners are not competitive in a power hungry way. They are more likely to cheer a partner on or are competitive in a way that is not at the expense of the partner's feelings. Insecure partners are intimidated by a partner's success, and see it as foreshadowing abandonment. They may go as far as to unconsciously get in the way of a partner's success.


Secure recovering partners don't disregard, devalue, shame, judge, or question what a partner needs to feel loved. They keep those needs on their radar without the partner having to poke and prod them to do so. Insecure partners resent and feel critical of a partner's needs. Again, they think because no one has ever done that for them, why should they do so now?


Secure recovering partners don’t withhold affection, sex, or attention from a partner. They just don't. Insecure partners may parcel out affection, sex, or attention as rewards, and they don’t see it as a problem if they themselves are not in the mood for these things.

So, whether you were wired for secure attachment early on or are working toward it now in a romantic relationship, know that your brain is happy to follow your commands and create the attachment you want. Trust me, the process is not easy. But secure attachment is attainable, and it will make you and your partner giddy with love, connection, and well... security!

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