Wei Sim Ho I Ep #22 | Couple Compatibility with Attachment Theory



so today we have our guest wei sim ho who is a psychotherapist who specializes in couples therapy and she is based in dublin ireland um welcome to doctor of the podcast ways and we

are so excited to have you today thanks for having me on your show tasha and gwinnie it’s really nice to be here yeah we’re glad to have you um so i know today there’s a lot to talk about but we want to speak to you particularly about attachment theory and i guess couple compatibility using attachment theory um okay so there was there was a study published in the journal of sex and marital therapy which highlighted that two of the most common reasons people got divorced was pure sorry poor communication and a lack of intimacy um and it’d be interesting to see what your take on this um is yeah uh you know thanks for for bringing that statistic up uh um tasha and i guess in poor communication we see it as uh partners who are uh who can become silent or feel silenced because they feel like they can’t speak if they spoke that their partner might feel criticized or might jump down their throat so you know to kind of keep the peace they might decide not to say anything but that’s not great because it means one partner is not being able to share what he or she is going through right and then the other ways of seeing the poor communication is like when the other partner is self uh uh not restrained or is reactive and says things that are hurtful or not diplomatic or if put a different way would have been more helpful for the relationship so yeah i think like accommodation or good communication skills is definitely a factor it makes relationships much harder it’s harder to understand each other right yeah yeah and the other thing you said as well is um the lack of intimacy um definitely uh lack of emotional intimacy is present when relationships not working uh both parties might feel not close to each other so you hear this a lot you know people might say you know i’m in relationship but i feel like i’m alone i feel like i might so be on my own you know i’m i’m i do all the things that are about being a partner but i just don’t feel that i’m i’m close to my partner or that he’s really there for me so that’s that’s a hard thing for it’s hard thing for any partner to feel yeah and that kind of comes into uh the physical realm as well you know that there could be a lack of physical right as well and uh the the and it could be one or the other the lady or the men or the lady might feel like i can’t believe that he he wants sex and he’s not even listening to me you know you hear this quite often yeah but you know men and women are different and then you have men who might feel like uh you know when i don’t feel very close to her the only way i can feel closer to her is when we do have sex when because the physical intimacy makes me feel uh that i’m i’m there she’s there for me and that when i can see that i do make her happy and there’s pleasure that that i feel i can do something for as a partner it makes the man feel much more okay as a partner so this can be like quite misunderstood sometimes by women you know feeling you’re asking too much like you’re not even doing this for me and you’re looking for sex but men can be can look at it very differently so you know here’s where we are different and and here’s where you know i think our attachment starts as well come in yeah so yeah um tasha the statistic is true but i think i think we also need to look underneath that to see what really is going on you know in terms of how we relate to each other like our attachment needs and attachment styles so yeah that’s um that’s what occurs to me when you talk about that statistic so i guess like as a starting point like maybe it’d be good to know what what is it what is it attachment theory in the first place you know for people who don’t know what it is yeah i know that’s a good question um tasha it’s um i think many people may have heard of john bowie and he’s the person who developed this attachment theory in the first place quite a long time ago and then it was further developed by uh researchers uh called ainsworth and strange and they did this experiment between moms and their infants where they had their mom their infant and separated them and brought the infant back and then showed what happened between securely attached mothers and their children and those they were not really securely attached so you had you know children who came in back after the separation and after a bit of protest and reunited with the mom playing okay already but then there are other children who come back into the room and then even seem to ignore their moms like i don’t need you anymore you know that kind of but i would later talk to you about kind of avoidant way of relating or the ones who come back and uh find it very hard to be sued it’s like really really very very very upset by this separation find it very hard to be soothed again so it’s it’s seen in infants um how how the separation affects the the the the two the the moment the child and so you know when we’re human so when we are children our parents especially our mom they’re our main attachment figure right right in relationships then our partner is our main attachment figure right so right in in uh uh in the child uh in with john bowie’s theory mainly um uh there are uh if you were securely attached what your experience is that as a child if you cried your mom will respond your mum was there she would respond she’d give you the uh if you were hungry she’d give you the food you needed if you were tired she’d make sure that you could go to sleep so the you learned to you learned that the world is a safe place and you learn that you’re the person who you are attached to is responsive you know so you can get what you need and the world is going to be okay but if you are not as lucky and i think most of us have a tendency to one or the other like few people are like completely perfectly securely attached all of the time that’s not possible as human beings that we’re human yeah yeah all kinds of things and outlaws and our insecurities that’s just what being human is about right so what you might feel that if you were more tending to anxiously attached is that you could be quite vigilant about when your relationship doesn’t feel okay you know you could be more kind of nervous you know say if you texted somebody and they didn’t text you back within an hour you start to think but they always text me back all the time right so you’re not texting me back maybe it’s because yesterday i didn’t say goodnight to them or you know right so simple yeah you start to think about all the things that might have been the problem when in fact that isn’t a problem so if you’re more anxiously attached you’re going to be more vigilant you’re going to start to ruminate and think more and you may need more reassurance from your partner to um say you know it’s all fine i was in the meeting it’s actually i’m definitely here for you you know don’t worry about that i’m 100 here and and and through time when when you have more and more of the experience you start to question your partner less as well you’re like oh yeah i know that last time i started to panic also nothing happened right they were just in the meeting so you start to feel like you know with the right partner the right partner who is willing to pacify your fears you know because we all have right if you’re if your partner is securely attached himself or herself and they are willing to reassure you when you’re feeling not okay then that then you have more and more experience that things are generally okay and then you start to be less vigilant right but then if you’re paired up with somebody who’s kind of avoiding the attack and what i mean by avoidantly attached is that uh when it comes to needs if you have a need an avoidantly attached person might feel like um i don’t expect that my needs will be would be fulfilled so you know as you were a child maybe your parents were they were ten children and you were one of ten and then you know that sometimes when you need something your parents are actually not going to be there because they just physically just not possible to meet everybody’s needs so you start to expect that when i have needs my needs might not be met and my needs are not might not be met means i really have to rely on myself that i i can’t rely on my person you know so if you are if you’re an uh say an avoidant attache sorry anxiously attached person you’re paired up with an avoidantly attached person then you might you know that’s a recipe it sounds like a recipe for disaster yeah definitely tasha is it’s hard because anxiously attached person is going to get triggered by the royally attached person because they’re widely attached person tends to be more absent much less available and and might even kind of dismiss your needs because they’re like i understand why you’re so needy right why do you need something right i don’t know codes around the needy part so it’s like um instead of responding to your request for reassurance uh the avoidant person might feel not able to or start to dismiss your needs i mean they may have a world view that’s very different you know they might start to think or they might it might start to be expressed that you know the way i live in the world is i feel like i rely on myself and i don’t need you oh i don’t need anyone that’s not the way i see relationships working and i expect you to be able to deal with your own needs so the anxiously attached person might start to feel yeah there must be something wrong with me that i need them you know i will do it myself so it is kind of a recipe for a lot of like what conflict yeah conflict and and um not meeting expectations and being scared that i need too much so it’s tough you know it’s tough when an anxiously attached person is going out with an avoidantly attached person because the needs are different the way needs are met or not match are different yeah does that make sense am i um definitely i i have a i have a couple in mind that is exactly that and how it looks like is basically he’s very content with himself and um he said i don’t so they have a they have a child so he he says i’m completely fine kind of even if she leaves me um yeah and on her side she feels like she needs him to to show affection to show that he cares for her and um and when he doesn’t then she just you know picks fight and just very angry and um and so i think that he came to a point in his relationship and maturity i guess you know with as you get older it was like okay what can i do to make her feel better yeah and so he’s been looking at more into like attachment styles and i think he he does recognize himself as someone who you know is pragmatic or very independent with the guest yeah um so interesting uh how but is it but it sounds like so you so tasha even said recipe for disaster um but is it is it really it can we i’m sure there are ways to overcome this and you know working yeah yeah totally i mean i it’s um it’s a difficult uh pairing uh but uh it’s absolutely not to say it doesn’t work it absolutely can work i think but it takes a little bit more self-awareness and work on both sides you know so it’s that um uh it’s just really understanding what happens when our attachment needs are not messed yeah so uh just to give an example then like following what you said there uh gunnity like your the the female partner you talked about there she needed more reassurance right right so what what happened what can happen is you you go into you you get triggered and you go into what is called protest behaviors so kind of generally the kind of protest behaviors that you can often see is like um not kind of excessive texting like um texting 10 times to get a reply or you just like trying to get reassurance that the person is there or you might go into other protest behaviors like oh uh if it feels like you don’t care about me i’ll i’ll make you jealous and i’ll try to engage somebody else it’s not helpful or i try to threaten to leave and say well if you’re not there for me then this relationship’s over but inside it’s not that you want to leave but that you are trying to elicit a response you’re trying to make them say no no no you are important to me please don’t leave me you know right so it’s like being aware that you’re being triggered is important right and being aware that these are my triggers and being able to like not react and do these protest behaviors because they don’t help right right they’re quite yeah they’re intuitive or counterproductive sorry yeah yeah they are definitely counterproductive so it’s a kind of typical cycle and you have one person pursuing for more and the other person withdrawing and the more the more the other person withdraws the more the other person wants to pursue because you know you’re constantly triggering each other so this is not to say it doesn’t work but you really need to know this is what’s happening between you and you kind of have to step back and go oh gosh there’s happening between us i mean typical like relationships you get um i guess we’re human we want to like put the blame on the other side yeah it’s you exactly it’s you it’s not me it’s not me there’s a typical line in any breakup right in the movie like in any breakup he’s like it’s them it just doesn’t work right you want to face the other person and the other person says it’s you and both of you have kind of valid views like both of you have reasons why you believe that right but when you can identify your cycle and you know hey we’re in the cycle then you can not be adversaries you don’t have to be enemies to each other you can’t you don’t have to be like you’re the one you’re you’re the one at fault you can be like oh god you know we’re both human beings like we get triggered and when we get triggered we get into the cycle i figure you trigger me so let’s forget that dance line let’s forget let’s not do that we’re on the same team and the enemy is a cycle right so technologically identify a cycle and say the enemy is the problem and then that allows you both to keep on the same side and they’re not exactly being on the same team yeah right that helps a lot for couples right it’s i guess like tying it back to like an example okay maybe it’d be good to give context with an example right so what if like you know in a i’m a person i think i i think i’m actually more with like the anxious attachment style yeah and then he was moved okay and then but then there’s i also resonate i can understand like what guru says is like when i know how to be independent myself but then when it comes into like a relationship or in that context of another person it gets lost in that in in that dynamic right um so how how would like can you give an example of a scenario where you know they’re in conflict where you’re in a relationship with someone who’s anxious and avoidant so that opposing and then what would happen like in a in a conflict and it doesn’t have to be like a complex conflict right it can be a simple one as well yeah yeah no it can it can be kind of different ways uh so for example it could be that um in one partner um is stressed and maybe she’s kind of easily stressed she may even be like um um uh unreasonably stressed so so she might be easily worried about things right and she uh say she did something at work and um she sent the wrong attachment and then she gets really freaked out oh my god you know what my boss sees the wrong attachment like it’s not really a big big deal like but for her it’s a big deal or she might feel you know particularly a very responsible kind of person or maybe she’s like a uh she has a job like a personal trainer or something and she did something and she felt that she might cause injury so she spends the night kind of ruminating about it and wondering like what’s going to happen and he’s looking for some response to support from the partner and the partners like you you’re just being unreasonable you know you don’t need to worry about that but the problem is that she’s human she does worry about it and he’s on the other side going you shouldn’t be worrying about this but that’s not missing and yeah she’s dismissing her feelings and so she gets a double mommy you know not only is she not complacent but she hasn’t you know the disapproval of her partner now like oh yeah that’s not reducing her load but it’s increasing her load then she might then react and she might go you know you’re the worst partner in the world i can’t believe you can’t even support me for this thing you know i i i’m stressed at work and these are normal situations why can’t you help me with this so she starts triggered she might get more and more critical so moving from just being stressed she becomes critical and moving from critical she becomes attacking and she’s going like i just don’t know that this relationship is working anymore like you’re not and how did that like how did it escalate so fast it could you know because over time small um grievances become consolidated into one thing it’s like oh all the like 10 times he did not support me when i brought up stress it’s not just the feeling then it’s like a meaning they make of it the meaning is that he’s not a good partner he’s not better off with somebody else and then for him he might start to feel like okay i can’t reassure her she’s far too needy of me or something that’s the meaning he makes of it and then he starts to make the meaning of well we’re not i’m not a good partner for her i’m a failure when i see my partner not okay and i can’t do anything for her i feel like i’m just not right for her and i think it comes kind of often hear that from men you know i think women might tend to say he’s not there for me or something and men sometimes say i don’t think we are right match because i’m not able to do what she needs you know you kind of hear that right right so yeah then he starts to feel i’m a failure then he starts to withdraw and like this relationship not good for me and we should be you know it’s both sides start to polarize the boat starts right but to feel like this is not the right person for me when it fix sorry and it looks different right versus like a pursuer because i was going to say the pursuer looks like it they have it the toughest because they pursue and then they get you know disappointed and then um they suffer from it and they are angry et cetera and i was thinking the withdrawal just can say okay peace out and yeah and you know i was like oh yeah this is not working or like oh needy and you as a pursuer you might be thinking well it’s so easy to be a pursuer um it looks like it’s the best it’s the the most in terms of power or in terms of um the word is vulnerability yeah you need to be vulnerable or to show vulnerability is very low because you’re just like okay peace out i’m out of here or i’m just going to be silent or i’m just not going to be addressed this uh addressing this um is that a fair assumption yeah i think that that definitely happens you know it’s easier to be the pursuer in the sense that you’re like i’m the one who has a need and then my needs are not getting matched but i think it’s you know it’s equally hard for the withdrawal or the the you know to feel i’m a failure i’m not an okay partner for you or maybe nobody else you know so i think kind of fundamentally it’s hard for both sides but i think just to say you know it’s like yeah it’s probably kind of stereotypically easier to say to to be the one saying i i have needs and no i need not being matched yeah i think but like you say it’s so hard for the other side to feel that i’m i’m not able to meet those needs and why is it usually harder for the withdrawal for example to even express those feelings of just saying i feel i’m not you know i’m not able to meet those needs of this person who’s clearly or who’s overly like shown uh her her needs well mainly it’s got to do with the the the kind of the key thing about an evolving avoidant way of relating like very long time ago you learned that when i reach out to the important person in my life they’re somehow not around or not able to give me what i need so you can you kind of do something to yourself you go like ah yeah well my needs are not important um i don’t need it anyway so you start to kind of repress your vulnerability you start to say well needs are not important my needs are other people’s needs right so when it comes to a partner you start to dismiss your needs you dismiss your partner’s needs you dismiss your own vulnerability and you dismiss your partner’s vulnerability so i find that when i meet people withdrawals particularly i i work to help them to come into contact with their own vulnerability you know that they start to feel oh yeah it’s okay when i don’t feel okay you know it’s it’s actually okay you know that they can actually tolerate that feeling when you can tolerate the feeling in yourself then you can tolerate that feeling in your partner you know until you can start with yourself you it’s very very hard for you to do that for your partner you just want to close it down i think it makes sense i mean taking an example like even for from parenting it’s like those of us who are our parents might um identify with this feeling of like sometimes it’s just really difficult when you hear your child cry and you can’t do anything to stop it you know it’s just this real helpless feeling because you wanna you want to comfort your child and you’re unable that’s a really tough feeling it’s kind of the same feeling that this withdrawing partner feels it’s like i want i really really want to make you feel better and i can’t do it i feel so helpless i feel so powerless i feel like so much less about men that i can’t do this but instead of owning that place you it’s easier to go ah she’s paying to walk away oh yeah you know either she’s being too much or i’m not good enough and then just but yeah i was just gonna say like it really makes me uh it resonated me and it makes me remember it reminds me of this quote where it says like you can only go as far as you’ve met yourself right you can only connect with someone as far as you’ve connected with yourself yeah and so it i i feel like i mean to just touch on this note is like society’s improving with men being vulnerable but yeah the fact that men have been suppressed like they’ve been told that they should suppress their emotions it’s really kind of like um it shows that you know when it comes to tough situations like they they are unable to even meet the needs of a woman because they don’t even know where to start or how to stop because they’ve never had the opportunity to so how can they meet your needs when they don’t know how to feel them themselves right yeah absolutely you know that’s absolutely right tasha it’s that like men are um of course we’re speaking in kind of stereotypes here right correct correct yes but men are um told not to be you know don’t be a crybaby you know be a man you know uh it’s not okay to cry like i think between men in their lives like in their friendships with men with other men they talk about things that need to be done or situations i i don’t think they would share their feelings that much i think it’s with your another you must share your feelings so that part of emotional life isn’t very developed for men you know it’s not normal to like stay in the place of sadness or stay in a place of hurt like that’s totally unheard of like for a man why would you you know you just fix it you just change it yeah and if my partner is hurting like i just fix it right yeah and and for so we kind of went on this the cycle of the pursuer and the withdrawal right and how does a pursuer with a pursuer looks like like how how is how are those dynamic uh is it more um is it easier because they kind of speak the same language oh you mean like a pursuer pursuer yes so say yeah yeah well the the the person withdraw is one of the kind of classic uh cycles that you that we see there are also pursuer pursuer uh type of cycles and this is kind of typically two ancient attached people pair up together and i i would say that when two interestingly attached people pair up together at least it’s that you will have contact you know you don’t have one person coming at you and the other one is running away you know at least two people together now i mean the problem is when you come together too strongly or both of them too reactive that they become attacking you know they become criticizing and blaming uh and then yes it is easier in that yes there is contact at least they’re not running away no at least not it’s not one person running away right we’re coming towards each other but you got to watch the level and the elevation that gets you know the intensity at which they they kind of come together yeah make sense so that’s the cycle but you need to be still aware of your contribution to the triggers and be self-controlled enough to like not like um overreact and start attacking your partner that’s not helpful yeah and and what if it’s a withdrawal so you i see you as a i’m describing the movement that i see way seem doing it’s like two hands kind of getting together for pursuer and so withdraw is is it you know fading away from each other yeah yeah is it like the the worst thing so it’s like okay it’s close it’s not gonna work yeah actually it’s much harder to work because you know if you’re both not looking for contact and you’re both withdrawing them where is the contact where is the connection right but um were you going to say something there gooney uh no i was just going to say would that mean that those like avoid both avoiding people in a relationship would that mean that their relationships end sooner or later it’s much harder to maintain a meaningful connection yeah but i think it’s also um important to point out that uh the pursuer withdrawal kind of um dynamic can also change to a withdrawal withdrawal dynamic because you see one party trying to make things closer trying to find connection trying to be closer is moving away and when the pursuer is trying trying trying trying and it’s not working she starts to withdraw he starts to before as well and then it can be that the withdrawal becomes a pursuit that she really is really like leaving so i better do something you know then the dynamic might change to one person is like looking for contact but the other one is now giving up yeah yeah i think it’s really interesting to to point out the fact that um these dynamics as we kind of take it at a static state where you know when to are kind of pursuing or withdrawing and or pursue which are in a relationship you can be at different at different times of plays et cetera it could be a different dynamics that’s a really great observation to to that you make that goody it’s that yes exactly that that yeah you might it’s not set in stone you know that yeah sometimes it may be that the relationship changes and that one person becomes the one who is looking for more contact it could be situational it could be that you meet in a place where you’re both kind of fine and solid and um one person tends to be more pursuer than a withdrawal i mean say for instance the couple moves country or like one is uh italian and one is swedish or something right they meet in london and that goes on and then say the couple moved to sweden and the the partner who is more the withdrawal before might feel like suddenly lost in the environment right god i have no attachments except my partner so i’m gonna need more now than before and start to look for judgement and then the the partner who’s maybe the the swedish partner might feel like he’s getting a bit much like he is yeah yeah yeah wow you know so things things can revolve and move you just need to know what’s going on underneath you know yeah yeah that’s like it’s and that kind of reflex of when you were saying the cycle the like understanding your cycle and the patterns that your couple go through and it’s understanding when one becomes the you know the pursuer or the or the withdrawer and and understanding when this happens and being able to both say like i think we’ve we are becoming that but that requires a lot of you know self-awareness and yeah i think willingness to to or respect towards the the partner to to will to be willingly you know yeah wanting to you know commit to this and and put their ego aside because there’s a lot of ego in in this yeah and this dynamics um yeah would you do you agree would you agree well i think that’s that’s really that’s true and that’s very human you know we are human we are flawed we don’t always do the what is the right thing and and when we talk about ego it is something about feeling hurt that we are not recognized we don’t feel accepted and valued you know right so um yeah uh it’s uh it’s really important to for both to own the cycle like you say it’s then you’re able to be on the same side and know that that’s the cycle happening you don’t have to be adversaries you don’t have to like blame each other and say okay it’s your fault it’s kind of the like uh you know every breakup that there’s always kind of a pointing of fingers that it was their fault right it’s these point fingers right that polarizes the couple right it doesn’t can be on the same side and you can say oh that’s cycle happening and then like you say that goodness it’s just like also the self-control and the the self-awareness it takes a lot to do that yeah it really takes a lot to be aware of like why i feel the way i do and why i say and do the things that i do you know while you’re doing it it’s not easy we all know that we all have been reactive one time or the other yeah does that make sense 100 and i mean were talking about it together and we were saying well yeah there are quite a few people that feel like that so it’s it’s normal and and normalizing this process of talking about it i think would be so good if we can all have this kind of language or you know vocab vocabulary that’s the okay this is how you name it yeah this is how we start talking yeah you know first of all to like to know like we’re not the only ones in the world you know it feels like that it feels like yeah everyone’s feeling so insecure i think insecurity is kind of a kind of a really like maybe a bad word but it’s just that we don’t feel okay we don’t feel accepted we don’t feel valued we don’t feel like it’s there for us i think they’re all very valid very very valid feelings right sometimes we need reassurance you know so what like we’re human right yeah so um it happens to all of us and like you say it’s good to know that it’s not that we’re not only once in the world that feels that way it’s normal this is what happens in relationships and then when you can normalize it you can normalize it with your partner as well and go look you know we’re not the only couple in the world that is doing this kind of dance like it’s kind of like exactly like like you know like on one hand maybe the first time you heard your partner say you’re just being insensitive it feels really bad but then like the millions of partners in the world are hearing the same thing and it’s not not a it’s not a good thing but at least you know that that can happen and you can say okay as being human and this is kind of us being a normal couple and but we can get through this you know by spotting the cycle as it comes and having self-awareness and having self-control you know to respond to our partners in the best way possible yeah does that make sense yeah and i think it really just kind of like it resonates with another conversation we were having earlier uh with another practitioner about like how relationships are built right any any foundation of a relationship is like the rapport you have with the person and how you build that trust with them the foundation of it and so if you’re unable to build that foundation and how is that foundation built right it’s communication and it’s like expressing your needs your desires and of course different types of relationship will be different types of needs and desires but when you’re able to do that then that that opens the door for intimacy and that opens the door for like that long-term bond and if you’re lacking that it’s it’s really hard to to to come come out of that when you’re so far from that that point right where you can make it no absolutely uh tasha it’s um the communication and being able to say what’s going on that’s like so important like we we need to be able to share with our partners what’s going on and we need to feel understood and i think part of that is that it’s so much easier to share um the anger and the frustration you know it’s so much easier to like launch accusations and say you’re not doing this and you’re not doing that yeah but it’s so much harder to speak from a more vulnerable place of i need you i need you it’s hard to say that it’s hard to be so like open that gosh you know you’re important to me and i could i’d be i could be devastated by you not being there it’s hard to say that you know that you that you make that the other person is that important to you it’s not easy to speak from that so it’s it’s um i was as you were saying this i was i had a small smile in my face because i was thinking because we were talking about communication intimacy right yeah and three of us emphasized communication because if we were to stereotype again because we are females here but if there was a man maybe he was like no i’m talking about intimacy here there might be a bit more and it’s uh i think that it would be interesting to to to dive into into that as well in the intimacy part where yeah because so men maybe communicate in a different way or what it means so that the the meaning of an action or um is sometimes different so how to how to breach that gap right how do we somewhat try to speak the same language yeah because that’s this they want to build intimacy and sometimes physical because that that means such a different it means um it’s another type of language or it’s another type of reformation and validation for them but women might want it in a more communicative verbal way yeah um so when we are talking like somewhat different languages what what is that gap what is that switch that people could do to to feel that they are they are meeting at least at you know halfway yeah halfway i can say you probably have to do a bit of both you know i think both sides will do bit both right yeah so um i think for a man again completely terribly speaking from stereotypes because i’m sure you can flip this direct side as well right i think for men that it’s uh important to you know to to be able to um at least be able to uh first off like communication is not just speaking but listening i think for men can it can be hard to simply listen and not try to fix so i think in so far communication is concerned i think if a man had to have a cv about am i dateable am i how do i the one skill that they really need to have on their dating cv is the ability to listen the ability to listen without trying to fix yeah i think that’s important for them and then if you’re able to also on top of that be able to like um to say when you’re not feeling okay i think that’s also sometimes hard for men to to say that because they feel they have to be strong and they need to be strong for their partners and they may be viewed as not okay if they came across as not so strong so i think the ability to be able to express more vulnerable feelings really important for a man because then when the man is more open to vulnerability in himself then he’s more vulnerability in his partner as well right right and what can what can women do to facilitate that needs to understand that it’s actually very difficult for a man to just listen it’s just we’re gonna snip at that no i think that’s like a message that needs to go to the world yeah you just need to know he’s he is trying he’s not like it’s not like he’s trying to you know when he says you’re being over sensitive and all that it’s a defense it’s not like he doesn’t care you know i think you need to believe you really need to trust and believe that he does care you know i think that that part is important for a woman uh i think we can be discouraged very easily when things are not done what the way we like we make it mean like he doesn’t respond within two hours of my text he doesn’t care if he didn’t it’s like very cliche but it’s like a technique you’re trying to test them it’s like uh yeah i’m gonna i’m gonna put it i’m gonna know what time it is i just need you to say it the way i need you to say it you know yeah i guess yeah that’s different and i suppose being open you know being understanding that physical intimacy also means something very different to men i think that’s important you can often do it you know women who might kind of hold back and say well if you’re not listening to me i’m not having sex with you then right the uh understanding that that this could be a way of connecting for for your partner and he wants to connect and again that’s the trust of knowing that it’s not about it’s not just about the physical piece of it but even for a man that really means yeah there’s a you might be aware of being close you know that right words cannot express yet because he just doesn’t have the emotional vocabulary just yes and that’s why we’re different you know yeah um and kind of like to tie it back to the attachment theory right because i i realized we were talking about the anxious avoided and avoided avoidant but it’d be good to also know um even if they don’t have as many problems like for the secure attachment style how how does it look like in a dynamic when you know um they’re with a party that is avoided or anxious like yeah in some ways being the most secure one you have um you have quite a big burden to bear as well in a way because you have to be the strong one you know at times you don’t feel so you may yourself feel like you you also need some leeway to act out a little bit but yeah if you if your partner is um acting out quite a bit like in a way you do have to be the strong one you have to be the one who is firm and not acting out you know you just do that because if both of you then it’s gonna be much worse escalate things yeah so it’s a good question uh you know like uh how do i deal with it like if um i can see that their my my partner has uh gets triggered yeah right and it’s uh it requires from the secure one a lot of maturity a lot of awareness and empathy yeah yeah patience if the impatience oh my goodness yeah and and then their trust and and willingness to be vulnerable because then you would say okay if i show my vulnerability maybe the person will so you’re exactly the example yeah it’s a lot of work and effort yeah you have to you do have to lead by example and going back to the early example you gave theraguni about the couple that you talked about that there was maturity as time went on so one day the partner became more mature that he was more able to meet the the his partner’s um needs for reassurance i mean he may not agree with it but he in time when you become more secure in yourself and mature in yourself you you know that you have to be steady and you know that even if it’s not reasonable you have to find a way of um making your partner feel okay because you know that’s that’s what’s happening yeah you really care for this person as well yeah you care for this person that’s why you do it yeah as long as you want to show up then you that you take on that kind of perspective and this is what we do this is what we adapt to our partners and that’s why we’re in relationship i mean if we know we need to adapt to our partners then you can be relationship by yourself then you know yeah i mean that’s 100 but i think that’s that’s like the lesson a big lesson though it’s like if people are you know in a relationship then this sort of conversation and question questioning line of questioning needs to happen either with themselves or with their partners to understand and get to the bottom of the fact that are we why are we doing this again like do we want to be here like if you want to be here let’s let’s be here um exactly i mean if you want to have a relationship you want to have a partner then be a partner right i mean you you cannot be in a relationship and be self-focused and selfish it just doesn’t work right you’ve got to be willing to understand yourself understand your partner and to adapt to what’s going on between the two of you yeah yeah yeah and i guess and our closing right um yeah we’re doing this rapid fire questions thing um but it’s it’s just a simple answer like what comes to your mind right um so uh i’ll go first and i’ll say uh so if you could tell us i know what is the worst health advice you’ve ever received um okay the worst the thing that comes to mind is i i had an issue uh i went to a consultant and they mistakenly thought that i needed reassurance and they said oh you know 95 of women come they don’t have this problem so clearly you left me thinking well i might have 95 percent of the five percent like you know this is not about reassurance i’m coming to you as a professional you’ve got to deal with the truth so it was nice i appreciate that he wanted to comfort me but at the same time also needed him to be professional and and not gloss over what was really really happening so um off the top of my head that example came to mind that’s a good one because sometimes you’re there to to get facts right and our second question is if there was one habit we should all adapt what would it be um i guess self-control you know when we’re triggered not easy like we talked about right like when we’re triggered and like don’t do the thing you feel like doing right so sim if you were to put a song or soundtrack to your life what would it be oh my gosh right um i’m not sure about a song about my life but i think the song that comes to mind right now and we’re talking about relationships and all that right now right so i don’t tango and the song uh the tune of it that comes to mind is it’s called uh todo samur it’s spanish for all his love appropriate for today since we’re talking it’s very appropriate not only is it appropriate that you dance tango because it takes two to tango to gain a relationship and no this is really on point look at you yeah thank you indeed yeah oh nice i’ll have to listen to it yes love it well thank you so much weiser for taking the time to speak to us um we had a lot of fun yeah not at all i’m so so glad to be on the show and we had lots of fun we brought in lots of things about relationships that i think we all go through and had a bit of a laugh so that was great so thanks so much thank you

Wei Sim Ho I Ep #22 | Couple Compatibility with Attachment Theory

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