Conflicts in a Relationship: How Much Is Too Much?

Fighting is an integral part of any relationship, no matter how healthy it may be. However, if you and your partner keep butting heads without any kind of resolution, you may be wondering if staying in the relationship is the right decision to make.
Realizing that a relationship is wrong for you can be extremely hard. Still, if your relationship problems keep getting more and more serious, you may find yourself considering breaking up if you want to save both your partner and yourself from getting even more hurt and frustrated.
Thankfully, most relationship struggles can be solved with assistance from a skilled relationship coach. Seasoned relationship experts can be of immense help in a wide range of circumstances, whether you’re struggling with codependency in your relationship or need advice on dealing with anxiety. Couples often need high impact solutions that are customized to their specific needs.  Not just talking and talking about the problem.
Read on to find out more about conflicts in relationships and how to deal with them.

What Causes Relationship Conflicts?

People have disagreements for all kinds of reasons. Most of the common relationship conflicts arise from the fact that the partners in a relationship have different values and personalities that may or may not be compatible.
If two people in a relationship keep getting into fights and can’t seem to find common ground, they will first need to determine the root causes of their conflicts. Here are some of the most common causes of conflict in relationships:

  • Poor communication: If you and your partner can’t fix your arguments using healthy communication patterns, you can expect the same conflicts to reoccur. Listening to your partner’s needs and sharing your own thoughts openly is the only way to move on.
  • Selfishness: We all focus too much on our own needs sometimes. However, if our egoism gets out of hand, we may forget that our partner has needs and desires too. In fact, selfishness is one of the most common causes of conflicts in relationships.
  • High expectations: If our partner fails to meet our expectations of the relationship, we tend to feel betrayed and hurt. That is why we need to keep our demands and expectations in check as much as we can.
  • Criticism: Constructive criticism is one thing, demeaning criticism is something else entirely. Constant criticizing and nagging are bound to lead to conflicts since the criticized party probably feels small, hurt, and resentful.

Does Conflict Strengthen Relationships?

There’s a positive side to conflicts, too. They are a natural part of any relationship and without them, our relationships would never evolve. Through arguments and disagreements, you get to see your partner as a human being with their own wishes and needs.
If you make an effort not to feel attacked when you and your partner disagree and try not to lay blame, you can use the conflict at hand as an opportunity to better understand your partner and find common ground. Stepping back and thinking twice before getting defensive in an argument will enable you to see the situation more clearly and allow you to discuss the core issues that led to the argument without resentment and bitterness.

Positive Effects Of Conflict In Relationships

Here are some of the ways that conflict can be beneficial for your relationship:

  • It can help you build trust in the relationship.
  • It will improve emotional intimacy with your partner.
  • It will make you feel better about both your partner and yourself.
  • It allows you to see the relationship from your partner’s perspective.
  • It helps create healthy boundaries in the relationship.

How Do You Handle Conflict In A Relationship?

The way you go about resolving your arguments can make a world of difference. Shouting, screaming, and insults will only make things worse. Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Be ready to speak honestly. Both parties in a relationship should feel comfortable communicating openly about the way they feel. If that’s not possible, then healthy conflict resolution is out of the question.
  • Try not to get heated. Once a calm argument turns to insults and aggressiveness, conflict resolution will be near impossible. Try staying as patient and reasonable as you can if you want to fix the issue at hand.
  • Determine the root cause of the issue. Conflicts are rarely about what they seem to be about. By taking a step back and asking your partner if there is a larger problem that needs to be fixed, you’ll be much more likely to change the situation for the better.
  • Compromise. If you and your partner care about the relationship enough, you should be able to find a solution that benefits you both. Of course, these compromises shouldn’t feel like sacrifices, but like a healthy, mature agreement between two adults.
  • Pick your battles. If you realize in the middle of an argument that you and your partner are fighting over a trivial thing, consider laughing it off and backing down. Bickering about where you’ll go for dinner isn’t really something you should waste your energy on.
  • Reach out to professionals. Unfortunately, not all couples can resolve their issues without external help. If you and your partner can’t stop fighting over trivialities, consider partaking in a couples workshop for deepening relationships.

How Do You Know When To End A Relationship?

Sometimes, a relationship is simply not meant to be. Trying to salvage a failing relationship isn’t always possible, and that’s okay. But how do you know if the relationship is worth fighting for? Here are some signs you should look out for:

  • You don’t feel like yourself in the relationship. Disliking yourself or feeling like a different person in a relationship is not a good sign.
  • You can’t get over small irritations. Can’t seem to tolerate the little annoying habits your partner has? If small annoyances become too much, it may be time to say goodbye.
  • You feel like you’re carrying the relationship. A relationship that’s severely one-sided can be extremely exhausting and may not be worth the effort.
  • You don’t feel like your partner truly loves you. Naturally, you shouldn’t stay in a relationship in which you don’t feel loved. Be mindful to not mix up your past wounds of abandonment and neglect from childhood into unrealistic expectations from your partner.  In other words, do your attachment work first.
  • You’re not confident in your own feelings. This goes both ways. If you’re not certain that you love your partner, you’d do both of you a favor by leaving the relationship if you have done everything to save it and have reached the end.
  • You make too many sacrifices in the relationship. If your relationship is taking your life away from you, that’s a serious reason to consider breaking up.

Our Experienced Relationship Coaches Are Here to Help

Our relationships can cause both immense happiness and great distress. If we want the positives to outweigh the negatives, we need to put in substantial time and effort into making the relationship work.
Luckily, you don’t have to do everything yourself. With assistance from our seasoned PIVOT Advocates, you can find amazing solutions to your relationship conflicts and discover new ways to enjoy spending time with your partner. e
PIVOT offers both couples and individual relationship coaching, as well as our five-day retreats at The Glass House. Reach out to us today!

Restoring A Relationship After A Breakup

Sometimes, the best thing you can do in a relationship is to break up. Breakup is a harsh term for some, however, it is the universal term people use to describe ending a relationship.  Still, splitting up with someone doesn’t have to be forever. Many couples figure out that they still want to be together and work on improving their relationship after the break.
Saving a relationship after a breakup is no easy task, especially if you and your partner are trying to resolve issues such as emotional withholding and silent treatment. Luckily, most relationships can be changed for the better with a bit of time and effort, as well as through effective couples relationship coaching. Additionally, you may find the support you need to fix the relationship in an intensive problems and solutions retreat.
Read on to learn how you can save your relationship after splitting up and rebuild trust with your partner.

Can A Relationship Work After A Break?

If you’re thinking about getting back together after a break in your relationship, you may be wondering if it’s even possible to make it work after everything that’s happened.
Naturally, reconciliation after a breakup isn’t always possible. Sometimes, staying in the relationship simply isn’t healthy – you may be dealing with codependency or have trouble with people-pleasing tendencies that put you in an unfavorable position in the relationship.
Nevertheless, many relationships can be saved if both parties work together to fix their issues in a healthy way. For instance, issues such as a lack of intimacy or poor communication between partners can be resolved with the right approach and a lot of patience.

How Long After A Breakup Should You Wait To Get Back Together?

Overcoming relationship challenges can be a difficult and lengthy process. While there are no rules when it comes to the right time to reconcile with your ex partner, you shouldn’t rush yourself if you feel like the problem hasn’t been resolved. Before you try and make things work once again, make sure that you know exactly what you want from the relationship and that your partner is on the same page.

How Do You Rebuild A Relationship After A Breakup?

Getting back together after a break can be tough, but it’s certainly not impossible. Here’s what you can do to try and make the relationship work.

1. Make Sure Both Parties Are On The Same Page

Reconciliation won’t be possible unless both you and your partner are willing to put in substantial time and effort into rekindling the relationship. If one of you is less enthusiastic than the other, it’s likely that you’ll encounter the same problems all over again. Both individuals need to be willing to invest the necessary time and effort to rebuild the relationship.

2. Communication Is Key

If you want your relationship to be healthy and successful, you will have to be ready to talk to your partner honestly and without judgment. Good communication is a prerequisite for a happy relationship, so make sure to speak with and listen to your partner on a regular basis. This can be challenging with a history of one or both of you not feeling comfortable using your voice when you are hurt or angry.  Silence can be deadly to relationships.

3. Figure Out Why The Breakup Happened.

Once you and your partner are on the same page and able to communicate openly, try to work together to determine the main reasons why your relationship didn’t work the first time. Just be aware that this isn’t about anger and blame but about gaining a deeper understanding of your issues.

4. Take It Slow And Be Patient

Your relationship can’t be rebuilt overnight. While you may be tempted to ignore the underlying problems in your relationship if you feel like you and your partner are doing better, sometimes it’s better to start things over, step by step, and get to know your partner once again.

5. Experiment And Embrace Change

It’s often necessary to make a few changes after a breakup in order to reinvent the relationship. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and share new experiences with your partner. By having fun and enjoying some quality time together, you’ll see what made your relationship special to begin with.

Can Trust Be Rebuilt?

Building trust in a relationship is hard enough as it is. Rebuilding it after a breakup can be even tougher, especially if the reason for splitting up was infidelity. Still, it can be done if both you and your partner are ready to commit to making the relationship better but overcoming trust issues will definitely take some time. The WHY behind the infidelity needs to be revealed and understood by both individuals.

How Long Does The Pain Of Betrayal Last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question since people deal with emotional betrayal in different ways. You may be able to forgive your partner in a couple of months or you might need significantly longer than that to learn how to let your guard down once again.

How Do You Heal From The Pain Of Betrayal?

Either way, overcoming emotional betrayal will surely require a lot of patience and determination from both parties in the relationship. In order to learn to trust your partner again, you may need to:

  • Control your emotions and keep anger outbursts in check.
  • Learn how to forgive your partner and try not to mention the betrayal in every fight.
  • Refrain from blaming yourself and feeling resentful towards your partner.
  • Learn how to care for yourself and put your needs first.
  • Be honest with yourself about where the relationship is going.

How Do You Regain Trust After A Breakup?

If you’ve decided to give your partner a second chance, you need to be ready to put in some effort. Here’s how to how to build trust back in a relationship after breaking up:

  • Learn how to trust yourself before you learn how to trust your partner. If your partner has cheated, you need to learn when to trust your instincts. Of course, you shouldn’t suspect that your partner is cheating again every time you get into a fight.
  • Try to keep a positive outlook. Emotional betrayals are difficult and painful, but that doesn’t mean that everything needs to be negative. Try focusing on the positive aspects of the relationship instead of dwelling on past issues all the time.
  • Don’t look back too much. If you keep returning to the details of the betrayal every single day, you may diminish the chances of your relationship’s recovery. Instead, try focusing on the future and how you and your partner can work together to fix the relationship.

Does Coaching Help After A Breakup?

Reaching out to dating and relationship experts can be of immense benefit to your mental health and wellbeing after a breakup. Here’s how attending a couples workshop after a breakup can help:

  • You will understand and accept your grief. Sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings can help you overcome your sadness and prepare you to date again when the time comes.
  • A relationship coach may motivate you to change. If you talk with an expert, you may find all the tools and resources you need to overcome your relationship challenges by finding effective and healthy solutions.
  • Your healing process will have structure. Breakups can be messy. If you feel lost, professional help may be crucial for finding balance and focus again after heartbreak.

Have A Fresh Start With #1 Couples Relationship Coaching

If you find yourself wondering if there is a way to rekindle a broken relationship and can’t seem to come up with a satisfactory answer, reaching out to professionals may be the best course of action. Fixing a broken relationship is hard and if you can’t do it yourself, why not let PIVOT Advocates help? 
At PIVOT, we specialize in helping both individuals and couples with their relationships, allowing them to move forward without fear, anger, and resentment. In addition to providing effective individual and relationship coaching, you can also fix your relationship by attending our short-term intensive workshop at The Glass House where you can transform your relationships through our intensive workshops. 
Reach out to us today! 

What Is Attachment Dysregulation? (Formerly Known As Love Addiction)

If you’ve ever felt like the world was coming to an end, depressed or in despair when you’ve let go of a relationship, then you may have experienced withdrawal, or what the Behavioral Health industry has been calling “Love Addiction.”
In the PIVOT Process, we define this as Attachment Dysregulation, to highlight the severity of the condition.

What Is Attachment Dysregulation (Formerly Known As Love Addiction)?

Attachment Dysregulation is a condition that is typically created by adopting survival patterns to tolerate feelings of abandonment or neglect.

What Causes Attachment Issues?

Often individuals that have Attachment Dysregulation have experienced unresolved abandonment and neglect in childhood. This leads them to be challenged with attachment wounds and can make them feel lonely, empty, and lifeless.
The result?
When in a relationship, the default behavior is to cling to another person because of a deep fear of abandonment and neglect. Until the attachment wounds have been treated.

What Are The Most Common Attachment Styles?

There are several ways that our relationship with our caregivers in childhood can affect our adult life. As kids, we tend to manifest the following four attachment styles:

  • Secure: this style of attachment is considered to be the healthiest. It comes about when parents give their children sufficient care, protection, and emotional support.
  • Anxious-ambivalent: this attachment occurs as a result of unpredictable parenting.  The child is in distress when the caregiver is gone and ambivalent when they return.
  • Anxious-avoidant: kids with an avoidant style tend to ignore their caregiver and show little emotion. It occurs as a result of a neglectful or unresponsive parenting style.
  • Disorganized: a child that exhibits disorganized attachment shows no clear attachment behaviors.

How Attachment Disruption Leads To Dysregulation

A secure attachment can become disrupted for a great number of reasons, leading to a series of difficulties for the child later on in their life. A child with attachment wounds is likely to experience issues with forming and maintaining relationships in adulthood.
For example, an adult with attachment issues may struggle with expressing their emotions to their partner and communicating with them in a healthy way. Bottling up emotions and withdrawing emotionally can take a great toll on any relationship and cause great distress for both parties.

The dangers of traumatic attachment and affect dysregulation

There are many ways in which childhood trauma can affect your adult relationships. Our attachment style is, in fact, one of the most important factors that influence our ability to form and maintain healthy intimate relationships. Some of the most common attachment dysregulation patterns we see are:

  • If we’re rejected or neglected by our parents when we’re young, we may develop a tendency to avoid commitment, keep our partners at a distance, and show little genuine emotion for fear of being rejected once again.
  • If we’re hurt or abused by our caregivers, we can develop an attachment style where we struggle to trust our partner, fear abandonment and rejection and have trouble showing our emotions freely.
  • If our parents are inconsistent in tending to our needs, we tend to be clingy in our relationship, crave lots of attention and intimacy and be paranoid about the relationship falling apart.

How Do You Know If You Have Fear of Abandonment?

If you feel overwhelmed that your partner will leave you, it may be the case that you have a deeply rooted fear of abandonment that is a result of a traumatic emotional experience from your childhood. But how do you know for sure that that’s the case? Look out for these signs:

  • Are you sensitive to criticism?
  • Do you have trouble trusting your partner?
  • Do you find it hard to make friends?
  • Have your relationships been predominantly unhealthy?
  • Do you get attached quickly, but also move on quite soon?
  • Do you blame yourself for anything that goes wrong?
  • Do you do everything in your power to please your partner?
  • Do you tend to stay in the relationship even though you know it’s not healthy?

If these sound familiar, it’s very likely that you’re struggling with fear of abandonment that probably comes from emotional abandonment you experienced when you were a child.

How Do You Know If You Have Attachment Issues?

Individuals who have unresolved childhood abandoned issues are in a destabilizing position – they feel anxious and depressed. In most cases, they are unable to show up for commitments, work, and family.
This anxiety and depression lead to feeling relationally challenged with people and when relationships don’t work or end, they experience relational withdrawal.
Anxiety can create a pattern of addictive relationships and result in Attachment Dysregulation (formerly known as love addiction) and codependency.
If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has Attachment Dysregulation, here are the most common signs and characteristics to look for:

Most Common Signs And Characteristics Of Attachment Dysregulation:

  • Lack of nurturing and attention when young
  • Feeling isolated, detached from parents and family
  • Seek to avoid rejection and abandonment at any cost
  • Highly manipulative and controlling of others
  • Unrealistic expectations of others in relationships
  • Mistake intensity for intimacy (drama driven relationships)
  • Hidden pain or denial
  • Afraid to trust anyone in a relationship
  • Inner rage over lack of nurturing, early abandonment
  • Sense of worthlessness without a relationship or partner
  • Need for positive regard
  • Tolerance for high-risk behavior
  • Presence of other addictive or compulsive problems
  • Using others, sex and relationships to alter mood or relieve emotional pain
  • Confusion of sexual attraction with love at first sight
  • Trading sexual activity for “love” or attachment
  • Outer facade of “having it all together” to hide internal disintegration
  • Existence of a secret “double life”
  • Refusal to acknowledge the presence of a problem
  • Leaving one relationship for another and the inability to be without a relationship

If you’ve gone through any of the situations described when your relationship ends, then you may experience withdrawal symptoms of Attachment Dysregulation such as:

Common Withdrawal Symptoms Of Attachment Dysregulation:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Having a hard time with a spiritual connection
  • Spending money that you don’t have
  • Not able to show up for other relationships
  • Unmet longing
  • Missing deadlines at work
  • Fear
  • Panic
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Dramatic changes in weight
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Rage
  • Loneliness
  • Irrational thinking
  • Irritability
  • Extreme grief
  • Restlessness
  • Anger
  • Nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Emotional instability
  • Inability to care for yourself or others such as children
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Denial
  • Despair

What does withdrawal from love addiction look like?

For a person experiencing attachment dysregulation, a withdrawal from a relationship looks a lot like recovering from any other addiction. It’s a highly emotional and stressful experience that may leave serious consequences without effective relationship addiction counseling and other forms of care.
The recovery process tends to be long and tedious, with a number of intense highs and lows. What’s more, the experience of emotional dysregulation attachment can sometimes include physical symptoms such as vomiting and stomach aches, as well as extreme psychological symptoms like severe depression, anxiety, and distress.

What To Do If You Experience Attachment Dysregulation
(Formerly Known As Love Addiction)?

If you think you are in withdrawal from love addiction, you must give yourself time to heal.
The good news is you’re not stuck with this forever. You can heal and create secure attachments in the future.

How To Deal With Love Withdrawal

Recovery starts with being aware of and recognizing the symptoms. It is about getting the right help and being motivated and accountable to the process.
Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love and have a different outcome…
Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.

Freedom From Love Addiction: How We Can Help

At the Glass House, located in Northern California, we offer a 5 day retreat program, which is designed to repair and restore relational challenges and heal old attachment wounds. For those of you who are unable to visit the Glass House, we also offer remote, one on one relationship coaching with a certified PIVOT advocate. We’re here to help!

What Is Avoidance / Ambivalence Attachment?

For some individuals, thinking about being in a relationship can activate feelings of wanting to run away. Why? Because they feel that the needs of a partner, family member, or employer are overwhelming.
Unfortunately, many individuals find themselves attracted to avoidant or ambivalent partners. This often leads to a series of unhealthy patterns which cause a great deal of pain for both sides in the relationship. If this is the case with you and your partner, consider love avoidance coaching or intensive workshops which can give you the tools and resources you need to heal your attachment wounds.
Read on to learn more about love avoidance and ambivalence.

What Is Avoidant Attachment?

Avoidant attachment is the inability and fear to show love. Individuals will carefully guard themselves when in relationships and avoid real intimacy… to protect themselves from rejection, loss and pain. Often they are not even aware of the behavior and it can be misunderstood as selfishness.
Unfortunately, denial and avoidance become habits, which keeps the individual from being seen, feeling connected and loved.
Paradoxically, the individual will often want more but will go outside the relationship to get what they want, because it feels safer. 
People with avoidance issues have difficulty trusting others and will distance themselves if a relationship feels too close. Experiences in early childhood are usually the cause of this, and they use avoidance to try to feel safe within an intimate relationship.

How Do You Know If You Have an Avoidant Attachment Style?

Do you think you or your partner have avoidance issues? That may be the case if you notice that you tend to be uncomfortable with intimacy in your relationship and have a way of escaping commitment when you start to feel stifled or suffocated. 
If you worry your partner is avoidant, you may want to look for signs such as: 

  • Not returning your texts or calls
  • Idealizing a past relationship
  • Sending mixed signals
  • Keeping secrets 
  • Childish and sullen behavior
  • Showing mistrust 
  • Escaping commitment 

Of course, these are just some of the signs your partner may exhibit in your relationship. However, if you feel like most of these signs ring true, you may want to consider professional couple counseling or relationship therapy workshops. 

Do Avoidants Fall In Love?

Despite the name, love avoidants actually crave love and affection, just like everyone else. But because of their childhood wounds, they find it more difficult to face disappointment and betrayal than other people, so they tend to guard their feelings and do all they can to avoid being hurt in their relationships. They are not running away from love, they are running away from pain. 

Why Are Love Avoidants Attracted to Love Addicts?

Both love addicts and love avoidants often carry deeply ingrained fears and insecurities that stem from their childhood. On one hand, addicts crave affection and love that they rarely received from their parent or caregiver. Love avoidants, on the other hand, typically try to run from intimacy to avoid getting engulfed and hurt once again. 
While the relationship may work initially, it is bound to come with its own set of challenges. As the love addict showers the avoidant with love and affection, the avoidant will inevitably start to pull away. The distancing of the avoidant will lead the addict to seek even more reassurance and affection as proof of the avoidant’s love. This cycle often repeats itself. This is what many refer to as a love addicted tango.

How Do You Deal With A Love Avoidant?

Being in a relationship with an avoidant partner can be extremely challenging, especially for a love addict. But despite the challenges, it is possible to create a deep connection with an avoidant, but only if they are willing to put in some effort, too. Here’s how you can improve your relationship with an avoidant partner: 

  • Be patient and show your partner that they can trust you 
  • Give your partner some space instead of chasing them 
  • Keep in mind that their love avoidance is not your fault 
  • Be understanding and dependable without overwhelming them
  • Learn the differences between the wants and needs for the relationship between you and your partner 
  • Recognize your own unhealthy survival patterns 
  • Set healthy boundaries 
  • Don’t neglect your own needs 

What Is Ambivalent Attachment?

Another way attachment shows up is if the individual is unavailable for intimacy. This means they are caught up in feeling anxious and also at times avoidant. This is the type of person that communicates “come here – go away”. This is known as being Ambivalent
The coping strategies that are avoidant or ambivalent which people use relate to creating an intensity in other activities outside the relationship, such as non-intimate sex, work, shopping, drugs and alcohol. 
Among all of the attachment styles, ambivalent attachment seems to be the most chaotic. This is because ambivalent attachment tends to come from a childhood in which the parent or caregiver was inconsistent in providing love and affection. 
A child who never knows when they will receive attention or love ends up being fearful of it but still craves it desperately. They never feel secure in a relationship and will live with a constant fear of abandonment and an intense need for validation. 

How Do You Know If You Have an Ambivalent Attachment Style?

Being ambivalent in your relationships or living with an ambivalent partner can be exhausting. If you’re worried that your partner has an ambivalent attachment style, look for the following traits: 

  • Is your partner constantly critical or picky? 
  • Do they have a history of short relationships? 
  • Are they confused about what they want from the relationship? 
  • Do they always seem distant or busy? 
  • Are their actions unpredictable? 
  • Are they hesitant to make long-term plans? 

If you never feel sure of what your partner feels or thinks, it’s likely that you feel lost and confused about the nature of your relationship. If that’s the case, it would probably be a good idea to seek expert help if you want to salvage the relationship and improve your mental health. 

Link Between Attachment Style And Depression

The Glass House helps avoidant and ambivalent individuals find their voice and use it. 
When the avoidant or ambivalent behavior is defined and understood, it becomes a starting point to treat the underlying causes that create love avoidance. If this isn’t treated, then it often leads to depression.
When an individual has difficulty deciding whether to leave a relationship, this indecisiveness can lead to a combination of feeling anxious and depressed. 

Why Is Attachment Important To Physical And Mental Health?

Avoidant and ambivalent attachment behaviors can significantly decrease the quality of your life, especially when it comes to your interpersonal relationships. In fact, the style of our attachment is a key factor in our physical and mental health. Here’s how: 

  • The relationship with our caregivers will shape our intimate relationships. 
  • Unhealthy attachment can result in difficulties with understanding our emotions.
  • In turn, we may struggle with relating to the emotions of other people.
  • Without healthy connections with others, we may struggle with anxiety and depression.
  • Our attachment style can make it hard to bounce back from disappointment and failure. 

As you can see, your attachment style is a key factor in determining your personal relationships. Because of this, working on your attachment can be incredibly useful for improving your intimate relationships and overall wellbeing. 

What Causes Love Avoidance and Ambivalence?

Individuals need love and connection with others. However, if you have suffered from feelings of abandonment or loss as a child, then you are likely to have difficulty forming healthy attachments in adulthood, which can lead to avoidance or ambivalence. 
Avoidance or ambivalence can also occur from experiencing abuse or neglect as a child from parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, coaches, bullies and friends. 
If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has Avoidance behaviors, here are the most common signs and characteristics to look for.

Most Common Characteristics And Signs Of Avoidant Attachment

Individuals with an avoidant attachment style tend to exhibit a number of characteristic behaviors, including: 

  • Avoid intimacy in the relationship by creating an intensity in other activities outside the relationship
  • Craving independence at all costs
  • Emotional withdrawal and bottling up emotions
  • Avoid being known in the relationship
  • Distance themselves from intimate contact to keep from feeling engulfed
  • Over-controlling parenting when young
  • Secretive behavior – hiding feelings
  • Need to be seen and adored and then escape
  • Refusal to acknowledge the existence of a problem
  • Tolerance for high-risk behavior
  • Denial that there is a problem 

Most Common Characteristics And Signs Of Ambivalent Attachment

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one has Ambivalent behaviors, here are the most common signs and characteristics to look for:

  • They let other things outside of the relationship get in the way, i.e., hobbies, work, friends, lovers, addictions—anything.
  • Typically, they had one anxious and one avoidant parent attachment style
  • They have a “come here, go away” relational pattern
  • Crave love and fear it
  • Avoid intimacy by obsessing about love through romantic fantasies about unavailable people
  • They sexualize relationships such that emotional intimacy is non-existent and then become addicted to the sex or the relationship—often both.
  • They become addicted through romantic affairs rather than committed relationships
  • They struggle to open to a deeper level of emotional intimacy, and yet they are unable to let go of the relationship.

Can Avoidance or Ambivalence Be Treated?

The first step starts with being aware of and recognizing the symptoms. It is about healing yourself and being committed to being able to attach securely by knowing what you want and need in a relationship based on your personal storyline and background.
The process includes dealing with feelings and healing from past wounds. Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love. 
We recommend that you seek support from professionals and talk about the pain that’s inside of you. 
Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom.

How can you deal with ambivalent or avoidant attachment?

Coping with their attachment style is a long and stressful process for most people. This is because we’re often unaware of the exact issues that stem from our relationship with our caregiver in our early childhood and finding out exactly how much it has affected us can be both eye-opening and terrifying. 
The first step to overcoming your insecure attachment is to get acquainted with your past. Understanding exactly how you became the person you are now can help you accept and reconcile with your childhood experiences. 
This is best done through professional therapy and attending different workshops and programs designed to help you improve your relationships and your overall well being. But if you want to take some steps on your own, here’s what you should do: 

  • Start by identifying your emotions and expressing your needs without fear. 
  • Strive to be as authentic in your communication as possible. 
  • Combat your shame and work on your self-esteem. 
  • Try not to criticize yourself and accept your flaws. 
  • Work on compromising and seeing your partner’s perspective. 

Of course, these are just some of the steps you can take to start on your path to recovery. In addition to these general coping techniques, you should also seek professional support if you want to improve your relationships and the quality of your life. 

How To Overcome Insecure Attachment: Our Love Avoidance Intensive Workshops Can Help!

We provide support and healing for these individuals by providing a personal PIVOT coach or coming to The Glass House and taking a 5-day deep dive into the PIVOT process. We provide defining attachment styles, one on one sessions, group process and experiential therapies to encourage individuals to be seen, respected, and understood.
In addition, we offer intensive programs designed to repair and restore relational challenges. Learn more about the PIVOT process and our programs. We’re here to help.

How To Effectively Communicate With Your Partner?

Communication is one of the core building blocks of a healthy relationship and both partners need to understand the importance of communication in relationships if they intend to make their relationship last. A budding romantic relationship is not likely to last beyond the honeymoon phase if partners are unable to express their feelings openly and communicate with each other effectively.
If you’re in seventh heaven, you may not notice the little red flags. But rest assured that being unable to communicate with your partner is one of them. Don’t attempt to sweep these things under the rug. Be honest to yourself and to your partner and work on your communication and intimacy issues instead of ignoring them.

Why Communication Is Important In A Relationship

Every relationship is a two-way street and it takes two people to make it work. Sometimes, establishing healthy communication and building a healthy relationship comes easy. Other times, it’s a struggle that takes time and patience, especially if you feel you may be stuck in a codependent relationship.
Many couples do not know how to fix communication in a relationship as much as they want to. They cannot see eye to eye, especially in the heat of an argument, which may lead to further issues that they could easily overcome.

The Common Communication Pitfalls In A Relationship

Couples tend to make certain universal mistakes that are preventing them from communicating effectively:

  • Texting instead of talking face to face: communication in writing may lead to misinterpretation.
  • Using the accusatory tone and attacking the partner using ‘you’ language. (e.g.: You need to do this if you want our relationship to work; You never listen, etc.)
  • Resorting to universal, generalizing statements with words used for emphasis such as never, always, every time, everyone, so, such etc.  (e.g. You never remember to do what I ask; You’re so selfish; You let me down every time; etc.). Commenting on your partner’s personality instead of their behavior. (e.g.: You’re dumb instead of You’re smart but you did not think through what you did last night)
  • Demeaning behavior such as invalidating your partner’s feelings. (e.g.: You’re overreacting; You’re being unreasonable; You’re acting irrational, etc.)

Lack Of Communication In A Relationship: A Challenge To Overcome

If one’s partner idea of achieving a set goal is to give the other partner the silent treatment and rely on a passive-aggressive approach instead of communicating their feelings openly, it could be a sign that the relationship is heading nowhere. Any communication breakdown in a relationship is a challenge the couple needs to work on overcoming effectively.

Can A Relationship Survive Without Communication?

Chances are we all know couples in long yet dysfunctional relationships which suffer from chronic lack of communication. Chances are these relationships cannot survive. The resulting toxicity will take its toll eventually unless the partners are aware of the problem and take action to resolve it.
You also need to openly discuss your old relationship patterns such as being avoidant or secretive, and being anxious and/or controlling, so they would not affect your current relationship.

How Can Couples Communicate Better?

There are various effective strategies that you and your partner can employ to foster communication. Better communication equals a stronger relationship. Try the following:

  • Create a set of rules for your relationship. Communicating your priorities to each other can be an eye-opening experience.
  • Apologize to your partner when an apology is in order. Do not hold a grudge and risk deepening a conflict. Likewise, request an apology if you feel you’re entitled to one.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings and do not expect your partner to read your mind.
  • Proceed with caution during an argument: remember that words, like actions, have consequences.
  • Be mindful of your body language. Listen to your partner, be attentive and respectful.
  • Schedule a time to discuss important matters when it’s most convenient for both of you. When emotions are running high, you run the risk of exacerbating a communication breakdown.
  • Take the time to think before you act. If something your partner did made you upset, give it some time before approaching them about it. Experts suggest following the 48-hour rule which should be enough for the matter to blow over or at least for you to cool your head.
  • Go off grid: make a plan to say no to technology when you’re spending quality time together, at least for a weekend, and stick to it.
  • Learn to negotiate things with your partner.
  • Focus on yourself. You are not responsible to manage your partner’s emotions but solely your own. The partners’ emotional maturity is pivotal to the success of a relationship.
  • Show respect and kindness even if your partner is refusing to reciprocate.
  • Do not take things personally. Your partner may be having a bad day or having difficulty expressing their thoughts.
  • Be open to your partner’s attempts to make things work. Anger and frustration could prevent you from meeting them halfway, which you may regret later on.
  • Be open-minded. Your partner may have an alternative point of view that differs from your own considerably. Be flexible and show willingness to reach a compromise.
  • A couple that laughs together stays together. Add some humor to lighten the atmosphere.
  • Steer clear of excessive negativity and criticism. It’s all too easy for things to get out of hand and for you to say things you’ll end up regretting when you’re upset. Remember to state positive comments that will show your partner how much you respect and appreciate them.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. If you’re upset that your partner forgot about the plans you made weeks ago, stick to the topic and do not mention any other unresolved issues.

What Is Healthy Communication In Relationships?

If you and your partner are in it for the long run, you have to build a healthy relationship foundation. Whether you’ve been together for some time or you’re just starting a new relationship, healthy communication is key.
Healthy communication in a relationship means that partners are honest and open to each other. They are not afraid to speak their mind and discuss what’s bothering them without feeling guilty or putting the blame on the partner.

Empowering You For Effective Communication With Your Partner

Healthy communication does not equal an ideal relationship scenario where conflicts are out of the question and it’s all rainbows and unicorns. It simply means that partners can talk to each other in a meaningful way and make it work in the real world, and that’s all that really matters.
Our PIVOT Advocate can help you work on fostering healthy communication between you and your partner, or you can join a personalized couples workshop for deepening a relationship at our retreat: The Glass House. Communication is something you learn, much like any other skill. Call today and let us help you overcome communication challenges and resolve conflicts that are plaguing your relationship.

Intimacy In Relationships: What You Should Know

Many couples tend to confuse intimacy with sexual activities in their relationship. What they don’t know, however, is that true intimacy comes in many forms, all of which have to do with building trust and enhancing closeness between partners.
Being in a relationship comes with a myriad of struggles, including everything from emotional withdrawal and silent treatment to engulfment and control. For many people, dealing with issues in their personal relationships can take a great toll on their mental health and decrease the overall quality of their lives. That’s why building intimacy with your partner is a must if you want you and your partner to be happy and your relationship to last.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about the meaning of intimacy and how to improve intimacy in a relationship.

What Is Intimacy In A Relationship?

What does true intimacy mean? Well, by definition, intimacy involves feelings of closeness, vulnerability, and openness between partners in a relationship. While intimate relationships typically include physical acts of love, they don’t necessarily have to be sexual.
A sexual relationship may or may not include emotional intimacy between two partners. This is why we may have one-night stands and other sexual acts that don’t involve intimacy and love.

What Are The Four Types Of Intimacy?

Intimacy manifests itself in many ways. A healthy relationship would include and nourish each of the following types of intimacy:

  • Emotional intimacy means that you are able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings with your partner and don’t fear being vulnerable around them. Nourishing this form of intimacy is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship.
  • Physical intimacy entails acts of affection between two partners. While this type of intimacy does involve sexual activities, it isn’t the same as sexual intimacy. It also involves everything from kissing and hugging to holding hands with your partner.
  • Intellectual intimacy includes sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings with your partner. For instance, talking about your interests and favorite music will help you deepen the intellectual or cognitive intimacy with your partner.
  • Experiential intimacy means sharing experiences with your partner, whether it’s traveling together, taking a walk, going to the movies, or any other activity that can bring you closer together.

How Do You Rebuild Intimacy In A Relationship?

Building intimacy in a relationship is crucial if you want to have a mature and lasting bond with your partner. Here are some tips for restoring the feelings of intimacy in your relationship.

Talk Things Through

If you no longer feel connected to your partner, you should first try to determine the underlying struggles that may have caused your emotional intimacy issues and have an honest conversation about them. Just make sure to be completely honest and attentive to what your partner has to say – healthy communication in a relationship is a must if you want it to work.

Share Experiences

Instead of spending your evenings on your phone while your partner is on a computer, try engaging in activities you both get to enjoy. For instance, going on a weekend trip or simply seeing a movie together will help build a stronger bond and bring you closer together.

Work On Physical Intimacy Too

While emotional intimacy should definitely be your starting point, it’s important that you don’t neglect the physical aspect of the relationship. Sexual activities and other physical acts of love, such as cuddling and hugging, can greatly improve your mood and help you reconnect with your partner.

Give It Time

You can’t rebuild intimacy overnight, especially if you’re trying to repair a relationship after a crisis or infidelity. If you are patient with your partner and communicate openly with them, you will manage to rebuild trust and deepen the connection over time.

What Are Some Good Relationship-Building Activities For Couples?

No relationship can work without effort from both parties. If you and your partner need help maintaining intimacy, experts recommend the following healthy relationship workshop activities for strengthening the bond with your partner:

  • Extend cuddle time: many couples get so lost in their busy lives that they forget to cuddle. Cuddling a couple of times per week can do wonders for deepening the connection with your partner.
  • Allow your partner to vent: a great exercise for enhancing intimacy is to have uninterrupted listening sessions. This means that you should set a timer, let your partner speak and simply listen to what they have to say, without judgment and defensiveness.
  • Play the 5 things game: this simple but versatile exercise is both fun and effective. It involves you and your partner taking turns to state five things on a certain topic, such as “what are the five things you’d like to change in your life”, or anything along those lines.
  • Engage in soul gazing: Sit face to face with your partner with your knees almost touching. Try to maintain eye contact and say nothing for around 3-5 minutes. You can make the exercise easier by playing a song and trying soul gaze while it lasts.
  • Have weekly meetings: Many relationship struggles arise from a lack of communication between partners. By having conversations without distractions every week, you can get insight into your partner’s thoughts and avoid communication errors.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t expect immediate change if you do these exercises a couple of times and then go back to your old ways. Rebuilding a relationship takes time, especially if you’re dealing with issues like dealing with codependency in a relationship or struggling with love addiction.
That is why couples can greatly benefit from relationship coaching or attending intensive workshops aided by seasoned professionals who can help them rekindle intimacy in a healthy way.

Rebuild Your Bond With Modern Relationship Intimacy Coaching

Sometimes, a relationship can keep going downhill no matter how hard you try to maintain a healthy connection. This often happens because couples simply don’t have the time to focus on actively working on their relationship with all the distractions they have to deal with in their everyday lives. Because of this, many couples find that relationship coaching can be highly beneficial for enhancing intimacy and building lasting bonds between them.
With PIVOT, you can transform your relationship swiftly and effectively with the help of our seasoned PIVOT Advocates. In addition to our relationship coaching programs, we also offer customized couples retreats at The Glass House where you can work on your relationship with complete focus and bring about immediate change.
Why wait? Reach out to us today and make your relationship thrive!

Think You Might Be A People Pleaser? Here’s How To Stop

Many of us find it hard to find a balance between being nice and putting our feelings aside to make the people around us feel good. While it may not seem like such a big deal, being a people pleaser can cause a series of issues in your interpersonal relationships and other areas of your life.
If you keep accommodating other people’s needs without fulfilling your own, you may start to harbor resentment, anger, and hurt towards the ones you love the most. In many cases, these unresolved inner conflicts result in emotional withdrawal and unhealthy relationships that may benefit from individual relationship counseling and other forms of treatment.
Read on to find out about the dangers of being a people pleaser and learn how to stop.

Are You A People Pleaser?

If you’re unsure if you’re simply a nice person or a people pleaser, you should take a look at how you tend to interact with other people. If you feel like you have to say yes to every favor that’s asked of you, you may be leading towards the latter option. Either way, the best way to determine whether you are in fact a people pleaser is to understand how this pattern came about.

Why Do Some People Become People Pleasers?

As with most unhealthy patterns, people-pleasing starts in childhood. Some children learn very early on that the only way to earn love and acceptance from their parents is to be good and ready to please.
If your caregivers convinced you, consciously or unconsciously, that you had to do things for them and fulfill their wishes in order to be considered valuable and “good”, it’s no wonder that you’re struggling with creating healthy boundaries and saying no in your adult life.

Signs of People-Pleasing 

The first step towards breaking your people-pleasing habit is to recognize how it manifests. Here are some of the most common signs that you may be a people-pleaser:

  • You think you’re responsible for other people’s feelings and try hard to make them happy with your actions.
  • You say sorry all the time and blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life, even if there’s no reason to believe that’s the case.
  • You avoid conflict at all costs and can’t stand when someone is angry or displeased with you or your actions.
  • You feel uncomfortable saying no and accept favors and arrangements even if you would rather not go through with them.
  • You crave validation from people to feel good and tend to base your self-worth on the opinions of others.

Is People Pleasing And Codependency The Same?

Many people are confused by the differences between codependency and people-pleasing. While these two dynamics can overlap, they are different in some key respects. The main distinction has to do with the relationship between codependency and childhood trauma, specifically the role a person assumed in their family as a child.
For instance, a codependent may have had to act as the responsible adult to an addicted family member and, in turn, developed an attraction to addiction-prone and abusive partners. By contrast, people-pleasers tend to come from a family that neglected them or taught them they had to earn their love and attention by being good and willing to help.

The Danger Of Being A People Pleaser

Being a people-pleaser can have severe consequences for your overall well-being. Here are the main dangers of pleasing others to an excessive degree:

  • Resentment and bitterness
  • Losing one’s identity
  • Being taken advantage of
  • Lack of respect from others
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Unstable relationships
  • Addiction to affection and love

How To Stop Being A People Pleaser (But Still Be Nice)

If you’ve realized that you have people-pleasing tendencies, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. Here are some useful tips:

  • Practice internal validation by building up self-worth. Focus on your own qualities and participate in activities that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Take small steps and give yourself time. Instead of rushing and saying no to everything straight away, try starting with small no’s and go from that.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Start showing people how you feel about certain situations and choose to spend your time with individuals who make you feel at ease.
  • Practice self-care. Make sure to spend quality time with yourself every day doing what you enjoy the most, without pressure and feelings of guilt.

Learn How To Put Your Own Needs First With PIVOT 

With over 10 years of success, the PIVOT process is a great way to start changing your life for the better. Whether you’re looking for effective individual coaching or want to attend a relationship therapy workshop, look no further. What’s more, we also offer five-day retreats at Glass House, a residential facility where you can transform your life through the PIVOT process.
Start working on your well-being today!