Discussion Topic

Ambivalent Adults -Preoccupied Style

Posted on 09/27/08, 02:29 am
These individuals have a preoccupied state of mind with respect to attachment. They have over-detailed stories and continue to reexperience past hurts and rejections in a manner suggesting a lack of resolution. These adutls had parents who alternated between warmth and availability and coldness and rejection for no apparent reason. Ambivalent adults are bossy and controlling and do not like rules and authority. They are impatient, critical and argumentative. They like to "stir the pot" and often sabotage getting what they want. They also can be creative, exciting, adventuresome, and charming.

Ambivalent adults are up and down in relationships. One moment they might be available and the next rejecting. They love arguments and rarely get resolution on issues. They are over-close in relationships. Their needs are always changing, yet they expect their partners to know what their needs are and to meet them. They tend to want to control in a critical, demanding and volatile manner, yet rely on their partners to keep the family going. They are quick to blame others and can tantrum when they do not get their way. They might hit below the belt in a fight. They fight hard and play hard and are never dull, keeping their mates off guard with an unpredictable and charming nature. They need a grounded partner to keep them in check.

Showing 6 Replies
  • Reply #1 10/02/08  8:55am
    i am probably most like this one...although not quite as harsh....and i dont have borderline personality disorder either!
  • Reply #2 09/11/11  9:19pm
    Yes..I am not like this at all. I get very anxious in relationships and fear abandonment. I become preoccupied with cues of not being loved. I feel unloveable. I have learned how to not react to these feelings. But what I find is even if I don't react to these anxious feelings, my partner can sense my level of anxiety and it is offputting. The only thing that has helped me is mindfulness meditation.
    Yes often this is sadly misdiagnosed as Borderline Personality Disorder but it is not. The difference is that, unlike BPD, people that have anxious attachement disorder are high functioning in all areas but relationships.
  • Reply #3 11/13/13  10:17pm
    i am this type.. i just want to learn how to cope better and have a sense of normalcy. can anyone suggest any type of technique i can practice in between therapy visits. My therapist seems to think i have the behaviors and not the disorder…i don't know what that means. All i know is that this is something that describes me to a tee
  • Reply #4 06/14/14  4:21pm
    I have been treated for attachment disorder for the past few years. I have never been told that I have a particular type but this sounds like me. Maybe not quite as intense as this description. I am definitely not bossy. Well, maybe I am sometimes. I also have bipolar disorder. I am very lucky because my psychiatrist is able to do Psychodynamic therapy. This has helped me tremendously. My anxiety has gone down significantly. I have become better at having friendships even though I still struggle. I used to feel an empty emotional hole ... that I could never fill. It would sometimes go away when I was married and had girlfriends but that always put too much pressure on these relationships. I have been divorced twice and I still suffer greatly from desiring a relationship with women and having a hard time understanding the intuitive communication in these types of relationships.
    But, the Psychodynamic therapy has filled that awful hole. I don't even remember what it feels like. I just remember telling people I had it.
    This is such a crappy thing to have. I am very embarrassed that I have it. I would never tell anyone I know. It would be nice if this became a more active forum.
  • Reply #5 08/01/14  3:25am
    This is the most like me. I have not been diagnosed with attachment disorder however, I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder with anxiety. I thought I was suffering from separation anxiety because I am currently stationed with the army in Korea away from my wife and son. After reading this and doing some research I feel like I fit more into this category. I recently was put into a psychiatric ward after attempting suicide during a panic attack. My second day in the ward my wife separated from me. She said that our relationship has been too up and down depending on my mood, and most of our arguments are related to these types of reasons. I currently am getting help with a counselor and plan to bring this up in my next session. Are there any words of advice from anyone who is suffering from this and how I may be able to change these habits?
  • Reply #6 11/03/14  1:14am
    Hello Jessika,

    I realize this response is about 4 years past your original post date, but I wanted to add for future readers some information about how difficult it is to be someone with a preoccupied attachment style. I relate to this kind of relationship attachment style, and I can tell you that the description is spot-on. When I share this information with people, they are surprised. To some, I appear to be a calm, collected person with great self-esteem and that I have secure relationships. To men with whom I have tried to have relationships, I am exactly what this description entails.


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