It’s safe to say that the honeymoon phase is over.
You used to communicate together so well, or so you thought. Now your partner seems to be avoiding you completely.
You both get home from work, and you barely speak a few words to one another.
What happened? What changed? You even start questioning your words and actions.
‘Did I do something wrong?’ ‘Did I forget something?’ ‘Maybe I’m the problem.’
Here are 4 tips on how to communicate with an avoidant partner.
1. Be Patient
Communication takes time, and more so if you have an avoidant partner. One of the best things you can do is be patient and have patience with them.
It takes longer for an avoidant person to trust and open up compared to the average person. Give them enough time and space to come to you on their own. Take the time to learn their wants, needs, desires, and goals. Open up to them with the same information. If you are honest with them, they’re more likely to build trust and open up with you.
Building a strong connection and better communication takes time. The patience will pay off with time.
2. Show that You’re Supportive
One of the best things you can do as a partner, no matter what type of attachment style you and your partner have, is by showing your support, through good and bad times.
Healthy boundaries are essential in any type of working relationship. Setting boundaries allows you to recognize your own wants, needs, and goals for yourself and your relationship. Both partners in a working relationship should implement their own set of boundaries that each partner recognizes and respects for the relationship to work.
Implementing boundaries is a great way to allow your avoidant partner to feel more secure in your relationship.
If your partner wants space, you have to respect their boundaries. Let them know that you’re there for them when they’re ready and willing to talk it out.
3. Educate Yourself
Learning more about your and your partner’s attachment styles and personalities can help you find the best way to communicate with one another. By taking the time to educate yourself, you’ll be able to recognize certain characteristics or traits that they have and become more understanding of the behaviors they have.
Learning more about a certain attachment style will also help you take the blame off of yourself. You may be wondering what you did wrong or if it’s not working because of something you did or said. This isn’t the case. There’s a good chance that their attachment style was brought on by situations or events that took place in their past, especially in their childhood. They learned this type of behavior as a way for them to cope and protect themselves as they were growing up.
Learn about their behavior, but keep your own, personal boundaries in mind. Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you should push your boundaries aside to allow you to feel negative thoughts or emotions about yourself. Find a healthy balance with one another during the learning process.
4. Try Counseling
Individual or couples counseling can be a great way for you to work separately or with one another to make the relationship work. Individual counseling can help you cope with having an avoidant partner. Couples counseling will give each of you the tools you need to work together, build trust, and find ways for each of you to cope with any thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
A professional can help get your relationship back on track and teach you the best ways to communicate and connect with one another. If you’re interested in individual or couples therapy, reach out today to set up a consultation.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.