RR05 – The Roots of Relationship Distress

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” (or maybe I should rename these Relationship Readings?) is from page 30 of the “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Sue Johnson.

RR05 - What is at the root of relationship distress?

“Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Can I count on you, depend on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me? The anger, the criticism, the demands, are really cries to their lovers, calls to stir their hearts, to draw their mates back in emotionally and reestablish a sense of safe connection.” ~ Dr. Sue Johnson

I went back to look this up again today because:

  • I remember it resonating with me the first time I read it. I had an “a ha” moment about why people fight, argue, and get defensive – myself included. It just made sense.
  • It was a call to always look below the surface and be aware of the attachment needs of my closest connections.
  • It connects beautifully with the four characteristics of attachment bonds I was reading about yesterday.
  • Even though the book talks specifically about romantic partners, my subsequent investigation into attachment figures verified that teachers can fill the role of attachment figures for students. In that context, it spoke to disruptive behavior coming from students and made me wonder if some of that might be “attachment” related protest.

Does this quote speak to you? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your comments.