Dismissing/preoccupied couples are the most common couple seen in counseling. The dismissing spouse has a false sense of self-sufficiency and hates the idea of dependency even though they are. The preoccupied spouse is searching for the comfort and support and is never satisfied by what their spouse gives. These individuals are extremely needy and dependent. Conflicts are avoided at all costs in this couple. They are the couple that is most commonly seen in counseling.
Spouses who are preoccupied had their needs met but there was no consistency or stability in the time or way in which the needs were met. As a child these individuals were needy, often used by their parents to regulate stress levels, or were often rejected or ignored. As an adult spouse these individuals continually feel deprived and are never satisfied with their spouse’s attempts to comfort them or satisfy their wants and needs. Continue reading more about attachment styles on the next page.