This type of toxic relationship has no checks and balances
If your ‘intimacy button’ differs from your partner’s, you enter a perfect storm preventing both parties from getting what they want. It’s like starting a weight-loss program with Big Macs and supersized french fries on the menu.
Good luck with that!
It is very common for one partner to crave intimacy, the Anxious partner, while the other becomes uncomfortable when things get close, the Avoidant partner.
If that sounds familiar, read this article…
When our need for intimacy is met and reciprocated by our partner, our happiness increases. On the flip side of the intimacy coin, incompatible intimacy lowers our happiness and satisfaction with the relationship.
With every clash of intimacy style, one person loses more ground. It’s frustrating and unfulfilling. This type of toxic relationship has no checks and balances.
Intimacy differences are difficult to harmonise
Intimacy differences impact more than just the relationship. It’s much more than one person wanting to cuddle and another needing space. It’s also reflected in opposing desires, assumptions and attitudes.
This may range from the way you sleep with someone in your bed to how you raise your children.
Each new change in life (making money, becoming ill, having kids or getting married) will manifest the differences and expand the gap between partners even more.
The conflict is never resolved because the solution requires too much intimacy – while one will seek to work out the relationship problems, the other will unconsciously want to avoid them.
Since the underlying issue is never addressed, the problem expands like a balloon and causes a lot of unhappiness.
6 Signs you’re in a toxic relationship
In the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it can Help You Find – and Keep – Love, the authors propose six tell-tale signs of a toxic relationship:
1. Can’t-leave syndrome
You have the feeling the relationship is not right for you, but every time you think of leaving, the toxic emotional connection to the other person prevents you from doing so.
2. Roller-coaster effect
The relationship is never calm. At times, the Avoidant becomes available to the Anxious partner, allowing the Anxious partner’s intimacy button to relax and feel normal. This allows both partners to get close.
As a result of getting closer, the Avoidant becomes uncomfortable and withdrawn, and the Anxious is forced to drink a cocktail of negative emotions that lead to bat-sh*t crazy behaviour.
The Avoidant’s withdrawal lowers the anxious person’s self-esteem and heightens their insecurity. Even if things do get resolved, both partners will be dissatisfied with the relationship.
3. Emotional seesaw
Avoidants often inflate their self-esteem and sense of independence in relation to their partner’s inability to be alone. Therefore, Avoidants don’t usually date each other – they never feel strong and independent in relation to someone who shares the same intimacy button as they do.
4. Stably unstable
Although the relationship may survive the highs and lows, a sense of uncertainty always persists. Since neither partner finds a degree of intimacy they are comfortable with, a sense of chronic dissatisfaction will lurk in the relationship.
5. Meaningless fights
This type of relationship breed fights about things that shouldn’t be fought over at all. Typically, these insignificant fights are not about the minor problems, but rather the amount of intimacy between the partners.
6. Your partner is the enemy
The Anxious partner will feel like they are being treated worse and worse – because they are – once they are close to the avoidant.
So, what’s the solution?
If you’re an anxious lover, I encourage you to:
- Build your self-esteem by expanding your identity and social circle.
- Seek a secure partner.
- If you do want to stay with your avoidant partner, you need to work on expressing yourself and establishing boundaries
Read the FULL article here.