We all want to be strong women. That means, we want to do what we want, say what we think, make our own choices. Some of us may be doing that. But for many women, it simply doesn’t exist.
Those women may be scared to express their opinion. They may feel what they want is not important enough. Or, they may feel they simply don’t deserve to.
If we want to do these things, why don’t we? Instead, we tend to do the opposite. But why?
There is a term we use at the iNLP Center called “Psychological Attachments”. Psychological Attachments are emotional ties to the past that cause us to repeat negative thoughts and behaviors.
Let me give you an example. Say there was a woman who, as a child, had a very controlling mother. She learned she could never do anything right and was scared to speak up for fear of being criticized. This happened all through her childhood and adolescence.
In high school there were a few boys she dated but none that she got excited over until a certain one came along. He was handsome, smooth and a take-charge attitude. He was the kind of guy that could sell an ice cube to an Eskimo. She was impressed by him and he knew it.
They married right out of high school and started having babies. At first she was really happy. He took care of everything and she didn’t have to worry about the much. He was in charge. He would let her know what she needed to do each day and she was happy that he depended on her so much. She felt needed and that made her happy.
There was only one little problem. He was in charge. In charge of her.
She started to realize that by allowing him to be in charge, she gave up her personal freedom. She couldn’t speak up. She couldn’t make decisions without his ok. If she did disagree with him, he would ridicule her. He beat down her self-esteem, what little she had, until she believed he was actually right. When she gave up her control, she gave up her life.
You can see where I’m headed here, but there’s a little twist.
Because being controlled is how she felt growing up, she felt most comfortable in that environment. She doesn’t know what life is without it. She’s psychologically attached to it.
She doesn’t believe she deserves better. Or does she? She knows it’s not right, but her deep attachment for being controlled craves it.
This is where a person gets stuck. The predicament is that our conscious mind know what we want (freedom) but our unconscious mind craves something else (control).
She can say, “I want him to value my opinion.” But the choices she makes don’t allow that. Then on top of that, she resents him for controlling her. The negative behavior she has of allowing herself herself to be controlled, perpetuates or feeds the control attachment, thus creating a cycle.
We call this type of psychological attachment The Go-Along.
The Go-Along is a person that allows another person to control them by acting like they are fine with whatever the other person wants. This is a form of a control attachment. They require the other person to control them by not taking control of situations and not speaking up.
You can see how this attachment developed now. As a child, this woman was force to learn to go-along or else. Now she has carried this attachment into adulthood. Generally, she will find someone who needs to control because of their attachment type. It, inadvertently, becomes a codependent/mututalistic relationship with each person’s attachment getting fed.
However, it is a bad situation for both partners. We tend to see the controllee as the victim, but in reality both are the victims.
Both parties are not happy. Just like the woman, the man is put in the role of the controller both by his psychological attachment (The Craver, a deprivation attachment) from his childhood and her behaving as The Go-Along. If he is to keep feeding his attachment of deprivation, he needs to keep his wife resenting him to so he can stay deprived of a close relationship. If she is happy and doesn’t resent him, he won’t get to feel deprived any longer. If he stops controlling her, she won’t get to feel controlled anymore. Then what? Who are they if they are not victims? That is all they know. It is really sad.
What’s the solution? They are both miserable. Of course they would both like to have a great marriage. But their psychological attachments are more comforting and the cycle continues.
At some point, hopefully, they will say to each other, “This is no way to live.”
The husband might say,” I want you to deeply love me.”
And the wife might say, “I want you to deeply love me.”
But how can they stop this self-sabotaging cycle so they can really love one another?
The solution is that both parties need to recognize their attachment and make choices to end the behaviors and thought patterns that feed them. It requires retraining.
My husband, Mike Bundrant, and I have developed a program that teaches people how to recognize and end their psychological attachments so they can finally be happy. It’s called the AHA Solution.
I’ll briefly explain how it works.
Basically, we’ve developed 12 attachment types. (The Go-Along and The Craver are just two of them.) By completing a worksheet regarding a specific relational situation, you are able to identify which attachment type you are. (Most people find they are a few different ones depending on the relationship). Next, you watch the attachment video that applies to you. The video takes you through another worksheet helping you to resolve and find solutions to your attachments through a scenario. Then you apply the solution to your relationship at the times you’re attachment is activated.
There is absolutely a way out of it for the couple above. Their solution is that both people become of aware of their attachment and what it’s behaviors are. They begin to notice when they are about to have the negative behavior or thought and they make a conscious choice to not do it. It’s a little more complicated than that as you’ll see in the program. But that’s the AHA Solution in a nutshell.
It really does work. Our attachments aren’t always external. Many are internal. Many are the things we say to ourselves that keep us from reaching our goals. It might be weight loss, education, job promotion, etc. When we can see the source of our negative thoughts and behaviors we can start to take control of how we respond to them.
Life really doesn’t have to be so hard. When we can stop the self-sabotage it gets easier!
For more information on Self-Sabotage and the AHA Solution, click here.
To watch a free webinar on Psychological Attachments, click here.