According to Karyn Ellis secure attachment starts at birth and impacts how the child will develop and socialize with others outside of those first attachment relationships. Secure attachment relationships create the sense of belonging, healthy dependency, security and stability that allows the individual to be independent. How the caregiver interacts with the child, meets the child’s needs and recognizes the child’s emotional gestures, as well as the consistency of interaction has a long term impact on how the child develops socially, how they are able to relate to others as well as how stable their future relationships will be. Insecure attachments lead to stress, anxiety, and inability to cope with danger or stress. Insecure individuals are unable to have a happy, secure and or stable attachment to a significant other.
3 Types of Attachment in Marriage
Secure/secure attachment couples are the most successful. The spouses are flexible, able to communicate new patterns, balance between being dependent /independent, and cope with stressful and dangerous situations without too much additional anxiety or conflict. Most importantly the spouses are able to express their needs knowing that their spouse will be able to support them.
Insecure couples lack flexibility (relationship is very rigid) and there is no sense of oneness and consistency. The insecure spouse is self absorbed. These couples cannot negotiate in their relationship and are unable to handle change. In times of change, stress or danger these couples will become highly conflicted. They are unable to cope outside of their rigid roles and they cannot meet the needs of their spouse. Continue reading more about attachment styles on the next page.
Megan, a native of Kansas City, Kansas is an empty nest parent of three adult children Ayanna, Jonathan and Isiah. Megan is a Christian and active in ministry at her church Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Arlington, TX. She is currently a Doctoral student working toward a Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy at Texas Wesleyan University. Her personal interests include independent film, music and marriage enrichment. Megan is the co-founder of the Minority Behavioral Health Provider Networking Group along with colleague Cynthia Thompson.