Category: Attachment Theory

Did you wake up confused at why your spouse or partner can show more emotion with The Royals than with you? Often boys and sometimes girls are subtly told to ditch their vulnerable feelings except for in the confines of sports. Leaving dullness on the inside save for sports, sex and alcohol. Let me explain.

The tension
This is the bind: we all have parts of our lives that are messy and yet we live in a culture that places a lot of pressure on us to pretend that we have it all together. The following scene, from the movie This is 40, gives a great picture of this. Larry (Debbie’s father-in-law) has been struggling with finances and depression. Debbie is encouraging him to open up to his wife (Claire) instead of dumping it on his son all the time.

DEBBIE He worries about you. It puts a lot of pressure on him.
LARRY I know. I just don’t have anyone else to talk to about it.
DEBBIE You can talk to Claire.
LARRY No. If I open up to her she’ll leave me.
DEBBIE No, she won’t, Larry, she loves you.
LARRY I know, but there’s a certain point at which you just can’t stay.

Do you see the bind? Pretend everything is perfect but feel alone or go with transparency and risk rejection.