Unconditional love and self-awareness
"I’m avoidant have been with my partner for the past 10 years (married for one). We have broken up too many times to count. I would dump him quite often in the first few years. He was the only person in my life to ever show me unconditional love. I was quite abusive. We were in that horrible push and pull cycle for a long time. Somewhere around the 5 year mark I broke up with him and he said ok and left. Stopped calling, stopped texting, just disappeared. I freaked out after a month and worked really hard to get him back. Started in therapy and really talking through my triggers and fears.
I wish I could say it gets easier but it hasn’t. The difference is I’m able to tell myself that my feelings in the moment aren’t rational. He’s not the reason I’m depressed, or don’t have my dream job. My life would not be better without him and it’s not my place to criticize him or try to change him. I think the biggest factor in my willingness to try to change is my sons. He has raised my sons from a previous relationship since they were babies. I provide for them and of course love them with all my heart but I’m not capable of bonding with them emotionally in the way he has. I want to give them a chance of growing up with a secure attachment style that I know I can’t give them. I acknowledge that most of my issues come from a very traumatic childhood and my if I break that cycle for my children I will feel accomplished. Also seeing them bond so freely and be so trusting has allowed myself to see my child self as deserving of love and that maybe I even deserve some love now in my current state.
It’s almost like having a mental illness. The feelings and fears are so real in the moment but if you can talk yourself through them, you realise your partner is a really great person who you love to the best of your ability and you have a lot to be thankful for. We have very strong chemistry and a great sex life and I know that helps him feel closer to me when I’m distant. We spend a lot of time apart and have developed hobbies and friend groups that keep us busy so that when we’re together it’s fresh and interesting and helps me not feel stifled or co-dependent. We both see a therapist on our own and are definitely working on those parts of ourselves. I definitely am more accepting and trusting of his love.
I don’t think there’s any one character trait that would work better or make a better fit for for an avoidant. I would say that being unconditionally loved has healed me in so many ways, but I put my partner through so much that honestly if he was secure in himself he probably would have left me for good years ago. So I’m not advocating for anyone to stay and be a punching bag. Ultimately it has to be up to the avoidant to be able to admit their shit and get help."