About Approach-Avoid Relationships

      Many survivors of low-nurturance childhoods experience cyclic "approach-avoid" relationships. They seek closeness and intimacy and then unconsciously pull back from it. This seems to be caused by each partner's conflicted subselves alternating between achieving intimacy and fearing (another) betrayal and agonizing abandonment.

      This false-self ambivalence can manifest as "fear of commitment," having affairs, "falling out of love," "getting back together again," a history of "failed relationships," aborted engagements, and divorces. Some adults and kids in approach-avoid relationships are so wounded they cannot bond with (genuinely care about) other people.

      Lesson 1 here is about assessing for psychological wounds and reducing them over time. Lesson 4  is about achieving satisfying relationships.