How Childhood Affects Your Relationship
Although we have a choice in becoming the people, we strive to be.
Although we have a choice in becoming the people, we strive to be. It is without a doubt that our childhoods shape us to a certain extent. How we choose to react to different situations. And the way we express ourselves and our behavioral patterns are formed starting at a young age when we first begin to learn how to make sense of our immediate environment.
Marriage and family counselors Dr. Milan and Kay Yuccovic discovered that everyone has a particular love style based on their upbringing. A love style comprises our tendencies and inclinations of how we respond to our romantic partners. But by understanding how we love, we can learn how our love styles affect our relationships. Here are Dr. Milan and Kierkevick's five love styles.
- The Pleaser
To pleaser often grows up in a home with an overly protective or angry and critical parent. As children, pleasers do everything they can to be good and behave best. To not provoke a negative response from their parent. Pleaser children don't receive comfort. Instead, they spend their time and energy comforting their reactive parent. Pleasers are uncomfortable with conflict and deal with disagreements by often giving in or making up for them quickly. They usually have a hard time saying no, and because they want to minimalize conflict, they may not be truthful. And lie to avoid brutal confrontations.
As pleasers children grow into adults, they learn to read the moods of others around them to ensure they can keep everyone happy. However, when pleasers feel stressed or believe they are continuously letting someone down, they can break down and flee from relationships. Pleasers often spread themselves thin, trying to be everything to everyone when it's unrealistic. And instead of forming healthy boundaries for themselves, they focus more on the needs and desires of others. For pleasers to cultivate stable relationships, they must be honest about their feelings, Rather than trying to do what is expected.
- The Victim
The victim often grows up in a chaotic home. Victims learn to be compliant to survive by putting less attention on themselves. So they can stay under the radar. To deal with their angry, violent parents, victim children learn at a very young age to hide and remain quiet. Because being fully present is painful for them. Victim children often build an imaginary world in their heads to cope with the dangers they face daily.
Victims have low self-esteem and usually struggle with anxiety and depression. They may end up marrying controllers who mirror the same behaviors as their parents. Victims learn to cope by being adaptable and going with the flow. They are so used to chaos and stressful situations that when they experience calmness, they feel uneasy because they anticipate the next blowup. To cultivate healthy, stable relationships, victims must learn self-love and stand up for themselves when a situation calls for it instead of letting their partner walk all over them.
- The Controller
The controller usually grows up in a home where there isn't a lot of protection. So they learned to toughen up and take care of themselves. They need to feel in control at all times to prevent the vulnerability they experienced in childhood from being exposed in adulthood. People with this love style believe they're in control when they can avoid experiencing negative feelings of fear, humiliation, and helplessness.
Controllers don't associate anger with vulnerability, so they use it as a weapon to remain in power. Controllers have authoritarian tendencies but may also be sporadic and unpredictable. They don't like stepping out of their comfort zones because it makes them feel weak and unprotected. They prefer to solve problems independently and want to get things done in a particular manner. Otherwise, they get angry. For controllers to form stable, long-lasting relationships, they need to learn to let go, trust others and keep their anger at bay.
- The Vacillator
The vacillator often grows up with an unpredictable parent. As children, Vacillators learned that their needs aren't their parents' top priority. Facilities develop a deep fear of abandonment without consistent affection from their parent. But when the parent finally feels like giving their time and attention to them, vacillators are usually too angry and tired to receive it. As vacillators enter adulthood, they try to find the consistent love they were deprived of as children.
Vacillators idealize new relationships but grow dejected and doubtful once they feel let down or disappointed. They often feel misunderstood and experience a lot of internal conflict and emotional stress within their relationships. They can be compassionate and perceptive, which allows them to detect even the slightest change in others. And no one people are pulling away. To vacillate, to cultivate healthy, stable relationships, they need to learn how to pace themselves and get to know someone before committing too soon and getting hurt by their own expectations.
- The Avoider
The avoider often grows up in a less loving home that values independence and self-reliance. As children, avoiders learn to take care of themselves starting at a very young age and put their feelings and needs on hold to deal with their anxieties of having little to no comfort from their parents. Avoiders like their space and rely on logic and detachment more than their emotions. They get uncomfortable when people around them experience intense mood swings. To cultivate healthy, long-lasting relationships, avoiders must learn to open up and express their emotions honestly.
Which love style do you identify with? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.