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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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how do you get close to a person with attachment disorders

Customer Question

how do you get close to a person with attachment disorders
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 7 years ago.
Hi Ron:
This will very difficult for you and for her. Likely the closer you get the more frightened she becomes. This usually is related to fears of abandonment and likely a traumatic (not necessarily abusive, e.g. parents death, divorce; or adoption.....) abandonment in youth.
If you want to try to get close, you will have to go at her pace. She will likely test you if she gets to scared. Try to drive you away to prove to herself that either you would eventually leave her, or after many tests , you are sincere.'
This is a tough fear and believe it or not, pushing you away means she likes you and indeed is getting scared (terrified).
If she has never dearth with this in counseling, it will be tougher. If the two of you could go to relationship counseling and discuss this, it could be a great help.
In the meantime, Ron, you will have to deal with a lot of push-pull and it will be irrational and hard for you. Make sure you really like her before either one of you has to go through this. Again, you will you have no control over the relationship. Even though you may feel this, you are making a decision every time you give her space, are patient with her, and go on her schedule. In short, you are in control of your decisions. It is important to keep this in mind a sometimes you will forget it.

REMEMBER, this is your life. Take care of yourself.

Best wishes,
Ed