Trust and Vulnerability in Relationships

  • Fear of dependence on another. Growing up means becoming strong and standing on our own two feet, which implies independence. We can be reluctant to admit we miss our partner when they’re not there. But obeying a rigid script of independent adulthood doesn’t allow a close relationship to grow. We can take note of our need for our partner, our disappointment and loneliness when they are away, and give ourselves permission to miss them.Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships

Prolonged stress tests protective love. Taking the long view — using memories of past happiness as insurance for the future — can help. Recalling our original commitment and promises to each other can help love endure the inevitable rough patches.

When John Bowlby’s attachment theory was extended to adult romantic relationships, psychologists found that partners in relationships classed as “secure” tend to show low anxiety and avoidance. In other words, they are relaxed about opening up to each other. Research suggests these partnerships allow people to cope better with stress, including the stress of having a child.

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