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Attachment Marriage Is Just as Annoying as Attachment Parenting

by Ericka Sóuter on November 28, 2012 at 2:58 PM

coupleWe have all seen those clingy, hovering helicopter moms on the playground or at school drop-off. These are the moms who seem to spend every waking moment with their little ones. And every sleeping moment too, for that matter (i.e., sharing a "family bed"). There are so many of them these days, they've even coined a phrase to describe the phenomenon: attachment parenting. Well, looks as though that philosophy doesn't just apply to kids. There are plenty of clingy, hovering, ever-present spouses too. Welcome to the world of attachment marriages.

You've certainly spotted these pairs among your friends or neighbors. It's like they can't stand to be away from each other. Some people adoringly call them "inseparable", while those of us on the other end of the spectrum (the lovers of alone time) call it "annoying and needy." Well, there are some who believe that those married folks who subscribe to this never-ending couple time are more likely to stay married. 

According to a study from Purdue University, people in attachment marriages express more marital satisfaction. These pairings were labeled "secure-secure" attachment combinations. The "avoidant-avoidant" marriages were far less likely to live happily ever after because both sides' attachment needs were not being met. I am sure these guys are incredibly smart, but I am gonna call b*llsh*t on their so-called scientific findings.

That kind of relationship does not work for everyone. In fact, for some of us, that kind of bond would more likely kill a marriage. I have always relished moments of solitude, and by that I mean having time away from everything and everyone. That is not to say I don't love hanging out with my spouse -- I do. He is one of my best friends. We have a lot of fun together. I love being around him, just not all the time. So when we tied the knot, I was clear that there were times that I may want to go on a yoga retreat or a girls' weekend without him. Admittedly, this was a bit odd to him at first. He had grown up in a house where this whole attachment marriage notion was the norm.

I was astounded when I first met his parents. They couldn't stand to be away from each other. They had to sit next to one another in the car or at dinner. It would take a family emergency for one of them to travel without the other. In their union, there was no such thing as his and hers. They were one -- in every way. To me, that was bizarre. But they had the strongest and most loving marriage I had ever seen. Still, that just wouldn't work for me. I couldn't bear having someone hovering around me all the time. The fact that my husband respects my need for me time helps make our marriage work. And it goes both ways. I am not one of those wives who whines when he wants to go golfing or hang out with his friends. Besides, it's good to miss your spouse once in awhile.

Do you think attachment marriages are stronger?

 

Image via kevin dooley/Flickr

Filed Under: marriage

Comments

24
  • we2an...
    --

    we2angels

    November 28, 2012 at 3:09 PM
    Perhaps but I'd go nuts.
  • Jenni...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Jennifer Hauser

    November 28, 2012 at 3:15 PM
    It may not be best for you, and if that works in your marriage, then that's OK. But coming from an "attachment marriage" I'd like to say that, boy, you sure are missing out!
  • cryst...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    crystalmp

    November 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    I'm on the attachment end of that spectrum but I get enough alone time since he works out of town 90% of the time so when he is here we try to be together as much as possible. I don't know if we would be that way if he worked closer to home tho
  • xiolxuo
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    xiolxuo

    November 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    ^^ I agree.
  • dreamsky
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    dreamsky

    November 28, 2012 at 3:24 PM
    Ha ha ha!!! Come talk to me when you have kids!!! You'll be singing a different tune!!! I have an attachment marriage and attachment parenting. I hate being either without my husband or kids. We've been together since we were seventeen. Twelve years and our love and bond only gets stronger and our children love us for it. I want to see how many married women with children respond to letting hubby and them be apart.... And I bet deep down inside they have some how given up our find their husband a little annoying. Same with husbands.
  • Foley...
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    Foleygirl24

    November 28, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    um, you clearly have no understanding of attachment styles or what attachment parents/marriages even means. helicopter parents are not attachment parents, in fact, they are most likely the opposite. attachment parenting promotes independence of both the child and the parents, not the other way around. couples who are constantly together and can't go anywhere separately do not demonstrate what this study calls the "secure-secure" relationship. in fact, this kind of behavior would suggest that one or both of the spouses attachment needs are actually NOT being met. do a little research before you write an article like this next time. or maybe read one of Harlow's studies about what the different attachment styles actually are.


  • MsRkg
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    MsRkg

    November 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    i'm sure for some they work and for other's they don't. Hubby and I would not be one of those couples where an attachment marriage would work for us. We love each other to death, and we love to do things with each other, but we also value our independence and freedom at times too. If we spent every waking moment together we would probably drive each other bat shit crazy in a few years. I think the reason that our marriage thrives is because we each do things on our own and always therefore have some new adventure and experience and perspective to share with the other. To each their own though.


  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    November 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM
    Your idea of attachment isn't what the study was talking about.
    I am, for the first time, in an attachment relationship. Been with my current s/o just over 4 years, and this is the first time we've experienced this kind of relationship. He lost his job in september, won't be going back till january *layoffs*. So we had to readjust our lifestyle. I was used to being alone for 10-12 hours a day.
    Since we've had this time, we have mutually agreed that we are stronger than ever, and there will be no more regular overtime at work, no more solo weekend fishing trips, nothing is going to interfere with US now. Sure, there will be guys' night out, and my girl time. Of course we aren't up eachothers asses 100% of the time. But we have learned how to prioritize, be better partners, share more, and we won't give it up for extra money, or extended family, for anything.
  • dirti...
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    dirtiekittie

    November 28, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    meh, whatever works for others. i hate labels and trying to pigeonhole my relationships (be it spouse, children, whatever) so i don't care for the terms. but i'll say i definitely am more on the 'attachment end of the spectrum' and hubby and i couldn't be happier. but not because we're attached - because we love each other dearly and are determined to make our marriage a happy and loving one.


  • NoWay
    -- Nonmember comment from

    NoWay

    November 28, 2012 at 4:12 PM
    My parents are together almost all the time and they have been happily married for over 40 years. They are rarely away from each other for more than a day. My husband and I are also like this. We are not together ALL of the time, but we try to be together MOST of the time. It works for us and we are very happy.
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