4 Things Couples In The Most Healthy, Secure Relationships Do Differently

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couple smiling about to kiss

In the beginning of your relationship, you were swept off your feet and fell in love with your partner. Then, slowly, your relationship shifted and you began to have small disagreements and then larger arguments.

As your relationship challenges increased, you started to explore why you had so many issues and learned about insecure attachment style.

As a therapist for 30 years, I have witnessed how couples learn with compassion, understanding, curiosity, and patience to obtain clarity and move from an insecure attachment style to a secure attachment style.

Here are 4 things couples in healthy, secure relationships do way differently.

1. They keep their partner feeling safe and secure.

You keep your partner safe and secure, and take care to protect yourself and your partner from the outside world. That doesn't mean you shield them from the negative things that happen, but you do your part to ensure they feel protected.



RELATED: How To Immediately Tell If You Have A Secure Or Insecure Attachment Style

You don't put down, negatively label, or criticize yourself or your partner, and don't allow others to do so either. You stand up for them when the time comes.

For example, you lock your doors and windows because you want to protect yourself and your home. But the same is true for your relationship. You need to protect each other in order to develop a secure attachment.

2. They prioritize collaboration and cooperation.

You work together collaboratively and cooperatively to complete chores, handle situations, and manage your life and relationship. You know how to work as a team. And you don't "keep score" of who does what.

For example, usually a football team has one main goal and that is to work together to get a touchdown. They collaborate and cooperate to achieve that goal. You work together like a football team to collaborate and cooperate to get a "touchdown."



You realize that when you work together as a team, you not only have more time to be together, but you have a sense of accomplishment as well.

RELATED: The 12 'Commandments' Of Successful, Lasting, Happy Relationships

3. They co-regulate and co-manage.

You notice and attune to yours and your partner's cues and non-verbal communication. You are sensitive to what you and your partner need, and take care of those needs together.

For example, you sense that your partner is upset so you offer to listen, or you need some reassurance so your partner talks about your positive qualities. You take the time to support one another in the specific ways you need, rather than offering comments or concerns that have no depth.

Co-regulating is different from co-dependency because secure relationships are interdependent in healthy ways, not enabling unhealthy behaviors.

4. They are respectful, reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.

These ideas are foundations of relationships, but sometimes you may not know how your partner defines these terms. This makes it difficult to show that you are dedicated to upholding these ideals.

You can clarify what these ideas mean to your partner and yourself to make sure you are on the same page when it comes to these pillars of secure relationships.

Even if you have an insecure attachment style, it is never too late to develop habits and create a secure relationship.



RELATED: 7 Signs You & Your Partner Have The Healthiest Type Of Romantic Attachment

Having a secure attachment style can help you have healthier relationships.

If you're willing to learn about why and how you developed an insecure attachment style, you're beginning your journey and path to create a secure relationship. Because even though you might have an insecure attachment style, you can create a relationship that is secure, safe, and solid.

Usually, when you notice your style is impacting who you pick as a partner or the way you relate to your partner, you can reach out for help about your insecure attachment style to a mentor, clergyperson, therapist, coach or professional.

Developing a secure attachment style means learning how your primary caregiver may have (unintentionally) not connected and bonded with you. With education and assistance, you can connect in a more effective and healthy manner.

When you learn to create a secure relationship you will be calmer, happier, and healthier.

RELATED: 4 Unsexy Ways To Build A Rock-Solid Relationship

Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a licensed counselor, and a Certified Gottman Couples Therapist and PACT Level 3 who works with couples to develop more secure attachment styles for healthy, happy relationships.