Holding on too tight can happen in the early stages of a relationship or decades into one - I see both in my office. In the early phases of a relationship, it’s easy for one person to feel a bit smothered by another and it signals to them that they need to pull away and assert their independence. While they love being in the relationship, it begins to feel like too much. The other person might be wondering how the heck they are smothering the other, it seems like they hardly spend time together as it is. It’s tough to feel like you are locked in a desire discrepancy around being with each other.
In older relationships, what I often see one partner who has been catering to or overshadowed by their partner, or by their partner and their kids simultaneously. They have given given given and slowly begin to realize this is not the life they want to live anymore. They want the independence and freedom that they have neglected to give themselves because they gave and gave to others and didn’t focus on their own needs. When this happens, the other partner starts to panic because there is a shift in the system that feels like an abandonment. It makes sense on both sides. Partner A takes their head out of the sand and realizes all the potential for a more fulfilling life. That doesn’t necessarily mean divorce or separation, but it does mean unfamiliar and frightening territory to partner B. Partner B feels left out and not as important and starts to hold on too tight which makes A want to run even faster and further away. It’s a scary pattern for partner B and an annoying pattern for partner A.
If you find yourself in this pattern, we need to help you learn how to communicate your needs in a way that your partner hears and understand. You are likely locked in a pattern of push pull that gets you nowhere. We can help you find new, different and better ways of being understood and getting your needs met in more effective ways. Quit stalling and call us today!