Stopping Negative Cycles

Common Negative Pattern: Pursuer and Withdrawer

For example, in a relationship, one of you can be very attached and becomes the pursuer when feeling insecure, while the other responds by detaching and withdrawing. The more one pursues, the more the other withdraws. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Things to try

Some distance and time away from a partner is healthy for a relationship. When one of you needs his/her alone time, communicate that need respectfully. Suggest a time to reconnect, so the other doesn’t feel left. If your relationship gradually improves, then bingo!

Deep Patterns are harder to break

However, not all negative patterns are as easy to fix, especially those that have roots tracing back to our childhood. If you grew up feeling unsafe, invisible, rejected, shamed, you might carry that emotional DNA into your adult relationships. Being aware when your negative feelings get triggered is the first step (e.g., “when he doesn’t call, I feel I don’t matter to him,” or “when she shows dissatisfaction, I feel I will never measure up!”). Browse through self-help books might help you understand why you feel the way you do. Other forms of guidance might also help you find ways to make changes that lead to a more satisfying life. Patience and perseverance are key. If you need more help, contact us and we will go from there.

Learn more about how our history might affect our current relationships.

Learn more about how individual therapy might help break the destructive cycle, and prepare you for a more satisfying relationship.