Are you failing at love by the pursuer-distancer pattern in your relationship?

love failure Are your attempts to get closer to your partner pushing them further away? Are you failing at love by the pursuer – distancer pattern in your relationship? 

Are you causing love to fail by pushing your partner away by your attempts to get closer towards them? Find out how to overcome the push-pull dynamic in your relationship and stop failed loved attempts, by drawing your partner closer towards you.

Are you tired of failed love attempts, where love goes not where?

Have you tried everything to fix your relationship, yet love does not work out? Perhaps you feel alone, so you’ve tried everything and put lots of effort into focusing on your partner, or making them happy, only to feel your needs are not being met.

Do you wonder why your partner has stopped putting an effort into the relationship? Do you bring up how alone and unloved you’re feeling, only to be told that there is nothing wrong with the relationship and that you’re over reacting?

Do you feel your feelings are being dismissed or shut down by your partner? So you start protesting more, as a bid for more connection, in order to avoid that dreaded feeling of being alone or not good enough, wanting to feel secure and loved in your relationship. You want to communicate more, only to feel your partner becomes increasingly frustrated, distant and detached.

All of a sudden, your attempts to get closer have seemed to have pushed him further away. Perhaps he feels that nothing he can do is good enough to make you happy, no matter what he does to please you. perhaps, he feels that you are always complaining or critical of him, feeling as though you put demands upon him, so he feels forced or pressured to give more, when he does not understand his own emotions or anyone else’s.

He hears your bid for connection as a personal attack on him, so he dismisses your feelings, and distances himself in order to gain emotional safety because he feels obliged to give you things that he does not even understand. This demonstrates how each partner misreads each other and misconstrues each other’s behaviour, therefore misattuning to each others real needs in the relationship. He is not rejecting her, he wants space and she is not attacking him but feels insecure.

Reasons why you are failing with love by pushing love away

Reasons why love fails

I will refer to the pursuer as the female and the distancer as the male, since this is the common presentation. The pursuer learned early in life that when they felt alone, they had to put a lot of effort into getting attention from the care giver, so they could feel secure and good enough. This may have ranged from being compliant, meeting the parent’s needs or acting out to get noticed, whereas the distancer learned that it was unsafe to need anyone, since their emotional needs were dismissed by care givers. So they learned to avoid expressing their attachment needs to the caregiver and turned inwards towards themselves to meet their own needs, not needing anyone.

The distancer feels unsafe or uncomfortable with showing emotions and often do not understand how they feel or how to get their words out, without making it worse for their partner. Any attempts to communicate actually feels scary or unsafe, so they avoid conflict by giving others what they need by doing things for them or taking care of them.  The distancer does not know how to communicate their needs, so his way of getting close is by being a good provider.

The more the  partner pursues them, the more they distance, as a way to not lose themselves to the other’s needs and regain control of themselves. The distancer feels uncomfortable because they feel controlled, and pull back for safety so they can get back control, since they feel weighed down by the other’s emotional needs.

Inevitably, this pursuer and distancer dynamic causes the distancer to dismiss his wife’s feelings and not respond to her needs for security and attachment. The more the pursuer pursues him, the more the distancer distances and gets pushed further away because he does not feel he can be himself and scared that the interaction will cause him to feel overwhelmed. If this pattern goes for too long, the pursuer becomes punishing and resentful, spiteful or critical, causing the distancer to withdraw further away for emotional safety, unable to respond to how the purser feels.

He feels responsible for how his partner feels and feels pressure to do something, often feeling weighed down and the only way out is to emotionally remove themselves so that they can get relief, becoming detached. They often appear aloof, numb or indifferent because they have switched off from the relationship and turned inwards, where they can think for themselves.

The distancer actually feels alone, and deep down they’re longing for a connection but it is too unsafe, so they negate their needs. In this situation, each spouse feels discomfort from changing their part in this interactive cycle. Failing to fall in love, the distancer feel anxious communicating how they feel because they fear being attacked for saying the wrong things and the pursuer becomes increasingly more distressed and anxious when she feels unloved, alone or insecure in the relationship.

How to stop failing at love and overcome the push-pull pattern in your relationship

love failureThis distancer fails at love due to  the fear of closeness. The distancer learned it was safer to avoid interactions or closeness, and the  pursuer learned that the only way they felt loved was to pursue their needs for connection. These coping mechanisms actually work against each of them in terms of building a wholesome and loving relationship. The pursuer often requires the containment of couples therapy to manage the intense distress feelings of rejection, in order to soften how she reacts, so that she does not feel the need to pursue her partner. Once her feelings are managed, she can take her focus off her partner and focus on herself by meeting her own needs, rather than hoping that her partner can encourage her to feel better.

In this way, the pursuer can eventually express how she feels, without putting her feelings onto her partner by making him responsible for them. In this way, it takes the pressure off him to make her feel better about herself so he can respond to her feelings,  instead of feeling forced to connect. By de-escalating the conflict, Couple Counselling Melbourne can assist the distancer to feel safer towards taking the necessary risk of communicating to his wife, so she can understand how her interactions have impacted him by pushing him away. Once he can see his wife is in pain and not attacking him, he can be responsive to her emotional feelings, to stop love failing. Once he is heard and feels emotionally safe to talk, he will feel like being closer towards her and respond to her feelings, if he does not fear her reaction. Marriage Counselling Melbourne requires enough sessions to change the pursuer-distancer pattern of interaction, by creating new ways of interacting, so each partner can respond to each other’s actual needs.

If you want to stop having failure in love, by changing the pursuer-distancer dynamic in your relationship, you can contact Counseling in Melbourne on the contact form.

Having a M Soc Sc ( Couns) Nancy Carbone provides relationship therapy. If you notice the push-pull pattern in your relationship you can contact her   at Counselling Melbourne. You sign up on her newsletter for free advice and tips for relationships.

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All content is copyright Nancy Carbone 2018

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