Relationship advice – How to get intimacy in your relationship – part 5

It’s time for the 5th episode of the relationship advice series.

Today you will learn how to identify your triggers so you deal with them before they cause conflict.

Ok so you learned so much about how attachment impact your relationship and how to deal with conflict.

Now let’s see how you can identify your needs and triggers.

Once you know those you can express your needs clearly and manage your triggers rather than just acting on impulse emotions based on old childhood strategies to protect yourself that no longer serve you.

Based on our past relationships with key attachment figures like our parents, romantic partners or close friends, we may have experienced our boundaries being violated, our needs not met or felt abandonment.

This will likely result in attachment fears and insecurities that makes it easier to get triggered.

This is one of the big gifts of relationships that our partner will trigger us and if you are conscious and don’t hide away from the emotions and sensations then you can heal those old wounds.

We are often not aware when we are triggered because we simply feel emotions like anger, sadness, or other emotions that can overwhelm our system and so we lash out instead.

This in turns makes our partner defend themselves and unable to hear our actual needs and fears. 

When you know your own triggers and your partner knows your triggers and vice versa, then you have the first step to preventing this destructive cycle.

Triggers reveal needs

Knowing our triggers will help us identify our needs that we require to feel safe and for self-expression.

We can then communicate them in a loving way to our partner.

Not all needs are attachment needs, so it’s important for you to learn to hear the difference between when your partner expresses an attachment need vs an individual need.

An attachment need is often expressed as feeling excluded, alone or abandoned.

It’s often expressed in blame language but what they really are saying is that their attachment needs are not being met and they need to feel safe.

Statements would sound something like:

Can you see how these statements reveal they feel alone, not important, feeling abandoned or that you will not be there in time of need.

This is a cry for you to attend their attachment needs, not that you address the specific issue that triggered them.

The real issue is not you watching TV.

The real issue is likely that your partner wants you to be there for them, give them attention, help with cooking or whatever their need is.

Once their needs are met, they will not care if you watch some TV.

Often men withdraw, causing the partner to experience him as cold and distant.

However, it is often a feeling of hopelessness and failure that consumes him, and a fear that nothing he can do will have a positive impact.

It is the first sign of giving up and detaching, so it’s important to understand that he wants to attach, care and be emotionally involved but is scared.

So, when you can swap the criticism, blame and attacks with encouragement and clearly expressing your underlying attachment need, then you are much more likely to see him engage in the way you want.

Positively re-enforcing the behaviour, you want is far more effective than trying to change the behaviour you don’t want through punishment or blame.

We will talk in far more detail on this in later podcasts.