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Relationships, Self

5 Steps To Stop Being Anxiously Attached With Your Partner

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Is your partner too clingy, constantly doubting your intentions? Are you tired of the endless calls and messages from your partner who’s needlessly anxious about your whereabouts?

Yep, I’ve been there. 

I’ve been in an anxiously attached relationship, and I feel you. My partner leaned on this attachment style, and it was one of the most frustrating—I mean maddening—experiences that caused us to almost destroy each other.

I’m not trying to sound the goody one here because, I’ll be honest, because of a previous trauma, I didn’t realize I had an avoidant attachment style, too, so just picture that.

Anxious and avoidant? It was pure chaos, to say the least.

But thankfully, we managed to escape that rut. I’m proud to say we’re evolving into a more secure and mature relationship, and I’m here to share our journey with you.

Are you ready? Here we go:

What is Anxious Attachment versus Secure Attachment?

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What does a healthy relationship look like compared to an anxious one? And what causes this behavior?

An anxious attachment style is a relationship attachment pattern. It occurs when one has a deep-seated fear of abandonment and asks for excessive assurance from one’s partner. 

You may feel the urge to know their every move, need to hear frequent affirmations of love, and expect immediate responses to your messages, or else you’ll go frantic.

In extreme cases, you might even feel uneasy if your partner enjoys activities without you. You’re scared about being left behind. 

What’s the cause?

Sometimes, this anxious attachment often stems from childhood traumas and experiences of abandonment.

Did you feel neglected?

That could be a reason you’re too hungry for love and would feel anxious if you’re neglected once again.

Or it may be caused by overprotective and strict parents who raised you to be dependent. So now, you’re struggling to thrive in life on your own.

Losing a loved one can cause trauma, which fosters fear of abandonment, too.

On the other hand, a secure attachment style in relationships obviously shows healthy signs of loving, caring, and balanced interactions.

Secure partners can depend on each other while also finding fulfillment in their individual pursuits. They regulate their emotions to maintain a trusting, harmonious partnership.

When issues arise, they address conflicts constructively instead of engaging in defensive and emotional arguments.

Signs You’re Anxiously Attached to a Relationship

Here are some serious signs that you’re anxiously attached to your partner:

  • Excessive clinginess
  • Feeling distressed when not with your partner
  • Constant need for reassurance about your partner’s commitment
  • Unease with your partner’s actions and whereabouts
  • A pervasive fear of your partner leaving you
  • Creating and overthinking hypothetical scenarios
  • Unnecessary jealousy and possessiveness
  • Excessive self-blame and frequent apologies during arguments
  • Overreacting to any slight sign of withdrawal from your partner
  • Constantly doubting your partner’s honesty
  • Inability to make decisions without your partner’s approval

Signs of a Secure Attachment Relationship

Meanwhile, a secure relationship is when they:

  • support each other’s individual growth while also building their relationship.
  • trust and have faith in each other.
  • Both partners recognize their self-worth
  • willingly communicate their flaws and work to correct them.
  • don’t chase after their partner out of insecurity.
  • avoid dwelling on negative “what-ifs” that can harm their outlook on the relationship.
  • identify the root of conflicts and be willing to make necessary changes.
  • maintain open communication about their feelings and concerns.
  • feel close and safe, even during vulnerable times.
  • don’t feel anxious when apart from their partner.
  • can rely on each other.
  • Both feel valued, cared for and loved

How to Stop Being Anxiously Attached to Your Partner

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If you or your partner is struggling with an anxious attachment style, don’t be disheartened. There is hope.

I firmly believe that our beliefs, minds, and hearts can change if we’re truly willing to improve. It takes a lot of patience, though. 

My partner and I spent two years working on ourselves without therapy, and we made it through.

It’s not for the fainthearted, but I do hope you get the courage to face a tremendous mindset change to survive and flip a toxic relationship into a healthier one.

Here are 5 tips to stop being anxiously attached to your partner

1. Truly understand what a healthy relationship looks like

First of all, you need a clear and healthy standard for your relationship. Otherwise, you’d be pushing your own beliefs, and they’d be forcing their own ideals. 

The arguments will never end if you always clash and are unwilling to cave into each other’s wishes. 

Take a moment to pause and reflect. To fix your relationship, you must agree on a common standard and use it as a benchmark.

This way, if one of you falls short, you can easily identify where things went wrong. You must have a standard of rights and wrongs, must-dos and must-nots.

If I ask you, what are your ideas about a healthy relationship?

If you can’t think one at the top of your head, you can explore relationships empirically like reading case studies, following advice from reputable YouTube gurus, or consulting a therapist to solidify your understanding of what a healthy relationship looks like.

As for us, we chose something we could get for free—a strong confidence in the Bible’s definition of love.

The Biblical standards may seem out of the norm and too much for today’s age, but I’m convinced that the difficulty level and standard it tells us are actually wise.

For instance, Ephesians 5 says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” and “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Read that again.

Well, who else dared to tell you to “submit yourself to your husband” and “sacrifice your life for your wife”? 

Many may not agree, but this is one thing some relationships lack these days. We tend to be self-serving and forget the essence of true love, which involves looking out for our partner’s well-being.

It’s often about “me, me, me.”

So, I’m out here telling you that before you can leave the anxious attachment style of love, you must actually know what “better” and “healthier” looks like.

Develop a well-rounded image of true love and relationships to guide your transformation.

2. Identify where your anxiety is rooted from

As mentioned above, anxiety attachment style can be caused by the traumas you experienced in childhood.

Backtrack on your life. When did you accumulate this trauma?

Was it your parents’ divorce that left you feeling neglected? Did your family ignore your opinions and dismiss your ideas?

Were you often told to be quiet and never felt heard, leading you to cling to the one person who listens to you now?

I believe that trauma is a nasty enemy, especially when it originates from experiences you didn’t recognize early on.

Trauma carves our responses so covertly that we can be unconsciously triggered over something, and we don’t have an idea how.

Ugh, very, very terrible.

I told you I struggled with an avoidant attachment style, and my partner was the anxious one. It took me two years of observing my partner and myself to identify the root cause of all our fights.

At first I blamed him. But it turns out I was a contributor to his anxiety, too.

Going deeper, when I finally pinpointed the ongoing trauma I have after losing a loved one, the tables have turned.

I made peace with my trauma and shared with my partner that he likely had his own unresolved trauma from a difficult childhood, too.

And voilà! The moment we pinned down the root cause of all this havoc, we started observing our own actions and freed ourselves from the shackles of the past.

He forgave his relatives and parents, learning to stand on his own rather than as someone shaped by others.

I started to read emotional fiction again, absorbing the pain so I could face and process intense emotions once again instead of avoiding them.

Understanding these truths has immense power. Once you learn its weaknesses, you will know how to overcome them.

3. Recognize anxious attachment style behaviors

After you have sought what a healthy relationship looks like, then we start applying them in our lives. This is the time we must consciously recognize the anxious behaviors and depart from them one situation at a time.

Say, if you catch yourself doubting your partner’s whereabouts, pause and reflect on whether there are any legitimate reasons for your suspicion.

Are there concrete signs of cheating or lying? If none, recognize that it’s just your anxiety kicking in without a factual basis.

Ask yourself: Is your partner truly cheating on you, or is it the product of your imaginative mind?

Baseless anxiety and doubts can be really exhausting on your partner, and if you truly care about their well-being, try not to chase them out.

Maybe restrain yourself for an hour, then two hours, then half a day. As you practice self-control along with mutual trust with each other, this anxiety would gradually dissolve.

Now, list the signs of anxious attachment and, for a year, hold yourself accountable. Habits take months to become automatic in your life, so in the beginning, it’s a conscious effort.

But be patient. In a year, you will realize how much of your anxious behaviors have been reduced.

4. Work on it together with your partner

Eliminating anxiety attachment isn’t a one-way street. It requires action from your partner, too.

Your anxious attachment can sometimes be triggered by them, so both of you need to have open communication to resolve this.

List the behaviors that trigger your anxiety and eagerly discuss what can be done to address them.

Say, your partner isn’t used to giving frequent updates about his day, while you need hourly check-ins.

Truly, this contradiction drains them and unfortunately, agitates you. But going back to the meaning of love and respect, you’ll always find a way to compromise.

Maybe you can agree on a term, such as limiting updates only during lunchtime and talking in the evening. Stick to what you agreed on.

Your partner’s well-being is a key point to all your future changes, as well as your evolving behavior is a key point to changing theirs.

5. It’s a deep, internal issue and requires patience.

Healing from anxious attachment doesn’t happen overnight. Just as it took years to develop this negative trait, it will also take time to heal from it.

Since it’s rooted in our hearts, beliefs, and ingrained values, unlearning these patterns and embracing a heart free from fear of abandonment and independence will also take time.

A person who’s willing to change still needs time. 

It’s not an abrupt change but a slow transformation.

A message to people with anxious attachment style

You’re valuable.

Regardless of how you may mistreat yourself or whether others fail to recognize your worth, the truth remains: as a human created in the image of the Almighty, your inherent value cannot be stripped away.

And because you have innate value, it’s important not to tether your self-esteem to others’ approval or affection.

If someone chooses to leave your life, grant them the freedom to do so. Never beg for love or cling desperately, for you are far more valuable than that.

Find purpose in serving others, but also cultivate the confidence to respect others’ freedom to choose their path.

Because if they truly respect and love you, they will show in their actions that they do. No need to control them. No need to worry, or be anxious. A person who loves you will stay.

And if you truly love someone but occasionally struggle with behaviors like clinginess, always pause and ask yourself: Is this behavior stemming from genuine closeness and love, or is it driven by anxiety? 

Which room is it coming from?

Overall, anxiety is a difficult thing to deal with because the emotions can be so involuntary and even manifest in our physical actions.

But always put your hopes in healing the past traumas, and you’ll eventually be freed.

Your anxiety sends you fear based on lies. Pursue the truth. The truth sets you free. 

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Hi, I'm Maj! I'm a spirited daydreamer who broke free from the corporate grind to chase a life of passion and freedom. Proudly introverted and a fan of minimalistic living, I still thrive on discovering new things and diving into exciting ventures—like creating my own income streams, starting small businesses, and setting unique goals. As an empath, I live true to my strengths and vibrant imagination, with a focus on compassion, truth, and authenticity. Welcome to my blog! :)

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