Author (Greek version): George Brekoulakis

Psychologist-Psychotherapist

Translator: Evi Diamantopoulou


‘’ We are all happier when life gives us the opportunity to do some small or big quests, beginning from a safe base’’ (Bowlby, 1998)

In western societies, the majority of adults mention that their erotic relationship is more important in order to cover their emotional needs for safety and ministration (Levinger, & Houston, 1990), while the failure of an interpersonal relationship is affiliated with the increasing possibilities of psychological problems, such as depression, mostly in women (Joiner & Coyen, 1999), the overuse of alcohol, mostly to men (O’Farrell, 1998), and low self-confidence ( Brennan & Morris, 1997;Collins & Read, 1990). As it happens and in the research of emotional bounds (attachment) for babies, the worry and the interest between two sexual companions is shown in two ways: with the provision of a certain base, where the other companion can face the world. Ideally, the two lovers should pass effortlessly from one roll to another, giving comfort and security when is needed. We provide a definite base every time we try to save emotionally our partner, either by helping him solve a problem which bothers him, or comforting him, or by just playing the role of a right listener. When we feel that a relationship offers a certain foundation we are free to face challenges and do some small or big quests.

These quests can be simple, like a day of work at the office or complicated, like a worldwide accomplishment. But let’s don’t forget the speeches of them who are honored with great prices, almost always thank the person who provides them a safe site. This clue shows the greatness of the feeling of security and certainty that one has to have in order to succeed. The feeling of safety and the urge for exploration is compatible. The theory of British psychiatrist Bowlby claims that the bigger the paradise of certainty that our partner gives us, the more quests we try in the outer world. The bigger and discouraging is the target of these explorations the more it will be needed for us to count on this support to reinforce our energy and centralization, our self-confidence and courage. These propositions were tested to 116 couples which maintained an erotic relationship for at least four years ( Feeney, 2004). Just like it was foretold, the more the companions felt they were a safe base for each other, the more willing they were to chase with self-confidence life opportunities. Videotapes of the couples where they talked about the life goals of each partner, revealed that the way they talked also mattered. If one appeared to be sensitive, warm and positive during the duration of the discussion, the other one logically felt more certain in the end and often boosted the forearm of his pursuits. But, if one of the partners seemed to be abrupt and inspective, the other one tended to be more negative and insecure about his aims and often ended up to back off from his aspirations and feel les self-confident. The ones who seemed to be inspective became seen us rude and judgmental by their partner, while in general their advice was not taken in mind. On the other side, one person without self-confidence, when it comes to his ability to face the world can truly rest with a companion who controls everything, can easily stand his indiscretion and be relieved once he has the chance to be over fond. But the attempts for control violate the basic rule of providing a safe site: someone oversteps only when it is asked or is completely necessary. When we let our partner try something in his own way, we give him a verbal vote. The annoying interference reduces the mood for quests.

Support and  forms of emotional bounds are various. Anyone who is anxious about emotional bounds may have a hard time to relax so us to let their partner the space they need for their quests. On contrary, they want their partner stuck on them, like overprotective mothers with their children. These over-attached companions may ensure a certain base but cannot stand to function by themselves as a safe context. On the other, the ones who belong to the inevitable kind may not have a problem to let their lover roam around free, but have a hard time giving him the safe place of comfort and never rush for their emotional rescue.

Feeney researchers (2003, 2008) recognize the same motives of emotional bounds in every tight relationship. Persons with safe emotional bound tend to commit more grown and equal relationships with their partners and in case they choose to have children, they carry to them a feeling of protection. Persons with insecure attachment, carry their negative experiences to their children, when their erotic relationship fails to bring emotional fulfillment.  Then, the children take the part of the basic remedial figure in their parents’ lives. A couple, which finds balance, tries to deal with its relationship, asking for help, can reduce the impact of emotional insecurity that each one inherited from his parents.

In order to be given an image for categorization of the general population according with the types of emotional bound, the results of some surveys are reported (Davila, Burge & Hammen, 1997; Feeney & Noller, 1990, 1991; Hazan & Shaver, 1987; Kirkpatrick & Davis, 1994; Van Ijerdoorn & Bakermans- Kraneburg, 1996):

Secure People (low stress- low deflection, 55% to 65%)  who enter a relationship expect that their partner will be emotionally available and co-ordinated, that he will be next to them to support them during hard or painful times and that it will be the same for him. They feel comfortable when they come close to each other. Humans with safe emotional bound believe they are worthy of Interest, care and affection and face others us reliable and with good intentions towards them. As a result, their relations are usually familiar and count on trust. They tune with their partner’s sadness and rush to help him.

Anxious or captivated people (a lot stress, low deflection, 15% to 20%) from the moment they create a relationship, count on fear that their partner will leave them or that they will stay marginalized, they are always alert and feel fantasized cautiousness and jealousy for their lover’s erotic adventures. They tune with other’s hypersensitivity and are quite vulnerable in weariness that compassion causes once they get overwhelmed by their own agony when they face other’s problems.

Disordered people (great deflection, great stress, about 5%) from the moment they create a relationship show mixed attitudes of denial and absorbed people. Namely, they never have a hard time to trust a companion or share their feelings and so they are most of the time in great stress and fear of abandonment or fantasized cautiousness for their partner’s erotic adventures.

Couples who seek for healing help often feel trapped in defensive procedures, in dominance games, in reactivity and lay the responsibilities and the blame on the other. Each member in a couple feels as the victim of the other, while dominant feelings as frustration and weakness prevail. The judgment of the one to the other weakens connection procedures.

The scientific research for couples, explains the important role of blended responsibility for a couple’s relationship, the development of realization for ‘’together’’ in a couple and redaction of disagreements. Love in a couple consists also conflicts and disconnections at the same time with the commitment of fixing disconnections. Trust has a defying meaning for a functional ‘’together’’ and for personal evolution of each member in a relationship.


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