Tag: Hold Me Tight

pursuer distancer relationship

How to Understand a Pursuer – Distancer Relationship

Scene from a Pursuer Distancer Relationship:

Partner 1: I wish you would pick up your stuff in the living room.
Partner 2: What? Well, I’ve walked the dog, paid the bills, and worked all day. I can’t get to it.
Partner 1: But it’s your stuff! I don’t want to pick up after you like I’m your mom!
Partner 2: Fine. Go away. Take the dog out. I’ll do it now.
Partner 1: Hey, don’t get mad at me.
Partner 2: Just go!

Silence follows for most of the day.

What happened in this exchange?

Partner 1 needed to feel cared about. This partner pursued it by complaining to Partner 2.

Partner 2 felt overwhelmed, judged as inadequate, and pushed the other partner away. Partner 2 withdrew.

Both feel alone, hurt, and rejected.

In an intimate relationship, you might think the pursue/withdraw (pursuer distancer) pattern would be the exception, not the rule. Committed partners are supposed to care about each other deeply, right?

Who would get angry or turn away at the exact moment … Come Read the Rest

emotions below the surface

What’s Below the Surface of Arguments with Your Partner?

emotions below the surface

I work with many couples who are upset that they fight all the time. They wonder why they can’t solve problems like disagreements about cleaning up the dishes, or how to parent their kids, or whether one works too much. They think that if they solve that content issue, they’ll go back to feeling close again.

In fact, it’s hard to get back to feeling good without looking at what’s underneath. The argument is what’s happening on the surface. But what’s underneath is usually a very real fear of not being loved or appreciated, or being seen as “not good enough.”

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Why Arguments Escalate with Loved Ones

When an argument heats up, often there is an unmet need for more emotional connection. One or both partners is feeling emotionally starved.

The person who is upset about dirty dishes, for example, probably thinks, “I’m not appreciated, my partner doesn’t care; I’m just being taken for … Come Read the Rest