Create a lifetime of love.

Why do some couples thrive, whereas others barely survive?

You are welcome to share Dr. Gloria Lee’s article:

This may have something to do with your childhood attachment. Your attachment style describes the way you relate to others in the context of intimate relationships, which is heavily influenced by the emotional bond you had with your primary caregiver(s).  

There are four known attachments styles. These styles set the template for how you connect with others in relationship throughout your lifetime (with some flexibility). It also impacts your self-worth, self-concept, and relationship with yourself.

Secure attachment style is considered the only healthy type of attachment. The other three are deemed “insecure” types of attachment. As I describe each one below, think about which one(s) resonates most with you.


Attachment Style 1: Secure Attachment


Primary Caregiver Characteristics:

  • Responsive, consistent, and attentive to the child’s needs
  • Warm, affectionate, and emotionally available
  • Encouraging of the child’s independence and exploration


Sense of Self:

  • Positive and coherent sense of self
  • Confidence in one’s own worth and abilities
  • Ability to regulate emotions and cope with stress


Attachment Result in Adult Relationships:

  • Comfortable with intimacy and close relationships
  • Trusting, supportive, and reliable
  • Capable of resolving conflicts in a constructive manner


Attachment Style 2: Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment (Insecure Attachment)


Primary Caregiver Characteristics:

  • Inconsistent, unpredictable, or intrusive in responding to the child’s needs
  • Overprotective, overinvolved, or enmeshed with the child
  • Sometimes emotionally available and supportive, but other times rejecting or neglectful


Sense of Self:

  • Negative and fragmented sense of self
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Difficulty regulating emotions and coping with stress


Attachment Result in Adult Relationships:

  • Overly dependent and clingy in relationships
  • Fearful of rejection or abandonment
  • Jealous, possessive, or controlling of partners


Attachment Style 3: Avoidant-Dismissive Attachment (Insecure Attachment)


Primary Caregiver Characteristics:

  • Emotionally distant, unresponsive, or rejecting of the child’s needs
  • Emphasizing independence and self-sufficiency over emotional closeness
  • Minimizing or denying the child’s emotional experiences


Sense of Self:

  • Positive but defensive sense of self
  • Overly self-reliant and self-contained
  • Difficulty recognizing and expressing emotions


Attachment Result in Adult Relationships:

  • Uncomfortable with intimacy and emotional closeness
  • Avoidant, dismissive, or indifferent in relationships
  • Difficulty communicating feelings and needs to partner


Attachment Style 4: Disorganized Attachment (Insecure Attachment)


Primary Caregiver Characteristics:

  • Abusive, neglectful, or inconsistent in responding to the child’s needs
  • Sometimes loving and supportive, but other times frightening or harmful
  • Creating a sense of unpredictability or danger in the child’s environment


Sense of Self:

  • Negative and disorganized sense of self
  • Difficulty integrating positive and negative aspects of self
  • High levels of shame, guilt, and self-blame


Attachment Result in Adult Relationships:

  • Fearful of intimacy and emotional closeness
  • Torn between a desire for connection and a fear of rejection or harm
  • At risk of entering abusive or toxic relationships


As you can see, your childhood bond with your primary caregivers has a tremendous impact on your sense of self and relational connection with others.

In the coming weeks, I will go deeper into the three insecure attachment styles and offer some suggestions on how to work through and heal this wounding. Stay tuned.

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