10 Tips: Making A Relationship or Marriage With An Avoidant Work

I want to help her out because of the situation that she's in, but at the same time I view these videos as my diary. So even when I'm dead and gone my daughters can come back, I have three, and they can just look at my diary. So if they need any type of relationship advice I lay this out here for them. I lay this out here for my subscribers and also when I need to hear some of the things myself.

In today's video I'm going to give you 10 ways to nurture and make a relationship with an avoidant, work. I have an email from one of my subscribers, but I want to address this issue first, which is the comments section. I want to address the people who really feel like people shouldn't be trying to make relationships with an avoidant, work, but I want to give you guys a little bit of a story here. If you don't want to hear the story you can go ahead and skip towards the 10 things that I'm going to be talking about today.

I took a trip this summer to go visit one of my clients out in New York. I actually have VIP sessions and that was one of the VIP sessions. While I'm waiting at the restaurant for her to arrive I ended up striking up a conversation with a couple other ladies that were there. They had this really interesting accent and I asked them where they were from. They both said they were from Africa; one was from North Africa the other one was from South Africa. So I ended up asking them what the amount of languages that they spoke. The first one said that she spoke 11 and the second one said she spoke 9. This kind of blew my mind, cuz I'm like what are we doing here in America? We only know one language. We only know one way of communicating. Which essentially means that we only know one way to view life, and one way to speak and actually view things in a pretty concrete absolute way. When you know so many other languages, it really kind of opens up the palette for you as far as your way of seeing things. Like I'm learning Spanish, and in Spanish there's different translations, and there's different words for certain things, certain expressions. I say one thing in English and it means something totally different than in Mexico. So I take a lot of pride in being able to see my clients see things way different than what they saw when they started with me. When they come into coaching with me, they feel a certain type of way about the person that they're with and I think this is where we're going to start.

The very first one is, in order to make things work with an avoidant, you have to educate yourself and rule out some type of personality disorder. I'm often having to be the person to deliver the bad news of, I don't think that this person may have a certain type of attachment style that you're thinking. I think there's something different going on. I'm not someone to diagnose, but it definitely raises red flags for me when I see certain types of dynamics happening in that relationship. 

I'm going to back up though, because I want to talk a little bit about the email that I have. I'm going to read it out, it's really quick, it's only a paragraph, and what she says is what sparked this video today. I want to help her out because of the situation that she's in, but at the same time I view these videos as my diary. So even when I'm dead and gone my daughters can come back, I have three, and they can just look at my diary. So if they need any type of relationship advice I lay this out here for them. I lay this out here for my subscribers and also when I need to hear some of the things myself.

So what she says is [reads subscribers email] 

“Hi Court. After going through your comment section, I'm starting to feel hopeless about my situation, because I'm married to what I'm learning to be a dismissive or fearful avoidant. I'm 42 years old and he is 48. We have been together for eight years at this point and I'm starting to feel like I slept-walked through this whole relationship because it's just now starting to make sense to me. Every one of my friends are telling me I should just divorce him, but I don't want to give up on my marriage. He has a great heart and can be very loving. Any suggestions on how to make it work would be great.”

I already started with number one, ‘educate yourself and rule out any sort of personality disorder that could be an issue’. It could be something that's not even an attachment wound. This could be something that's deeper, darker, maybe even more sinister. So, educate yourself before you book a call with me, before you go so far down the rabbit hole of thinking that it just might be an attachment wound, because it could be something else, first and foremost. This can rule out all these other nine things that I'm going to list out. So make sure that you're doing your due diligence on that first. 

Number two, have a clear understanding of what their needs are. Let's be honest here, many adults don't even know what their needs are in relationships. They don't know what their needs are in life, period. Not to be pessimistic or anything like that, or to be negative, but that's just the reality. This is why Gary Chapman made “The Five Love Languages” book because he understood that there's not many people who truly take the time to meditate on themselves and understand what it is that they want in life or they need in life, to make them feel loved, to make them feel important.

Number three is, be patient. That will be a theme if you're in a relationship with a dismissive avoidant, and they are not taking the steps that they need to take to meet you in the middle. I view relationships with them as more like a tug-of war. The anxious people are usually the ones that's pulling more on the rope and the avoidant person is resisting. They're stopping themselves from being ‘drug over to your side’ if you will. You've been with this person 8 years, to the lady that sent this email, you've been with him for eight years. So I'm sure you've been extremely patient, and you understand now how he navigates his internal worldview in your relationship, so continue to be patient. For everyone else that is here because of their relationship with an avoidant, know that that's going to be something that you need to get used to.

Number four is, maintain your own autonomy and try not to shame them for needing theirs. What that means is, have your own life. Go out, spend time with your friends, spend time with your family. Make sure that you make routines for yourself and have your own hobbies. I know it's hard when you're in a relationship with someone and you're just in that honeymoon stage, and you're getting to know each other. It's very easy to lose your autonomy, because you just want to spend all of your time and your energy with that person, but try to maintain those balances. I'm especially talking to those people who are anxious preoccupied.

Number five is, don't take the rejection personal. Many people who are anxious attachers or even fearful avoidants, they take things that the dismissive avoidants do on autopilot, personal. For example, I had a client of mine who was starting to see this lady regularly and she was coming down to his house pretty often. He asked if she would want to leave an overnight bag there or if she wanted to use the washing machine. She declined and said ‘no I'm okay, I can do my my wash back at my own house’. He kind of took that personal and I'm wondering what's the reason there. Once we dug and got to the bottom of it, he was saying that he feels like this should be a natural step in moving forward in a relationship. Ganted, they had only been together for probably four months or so. I think it might have been four or five months, but he started to feel a certain type of way about her not wanting to at least leave an overnight bag there. I had to inform him that if this is an avoidant person, they move slower than you. So this is something that you can't take personal. It's not anything about your house, I don't think she's concerned about her clothes smelling like your apartment, or anything like that, this is just more of a comfort thing for her. When she's ready, she'll do it, she'll do this naturally, and it's like an innate thing that they feel they're ready for.

Number six I didn't know if I really wanted to put this one down, because I kind of felt weird writing it out. It's something that I see pretty often, but I didn't want to do it because I didn't want to belittle or make people feel as if they're children. What I said was focus more on the desired behaviors instead of the negative. This is almost like you're dealing with a toddler, or a child who hasn't really developed their emotions, or their self-regulation yet. So, whenever I've seen people do this in relationships with an avoidant, it goes a long way. The reason I put this down is because there was a scenario where I was actually coaching an avoidant person and what he told me was, he made himself vulnerable, he did something that he wouldn't typically do. I forgot what it was, I think it might have been something that was romantic and it wasn't really received the way that he thought it would be received. It was received the exact opposite and it validated what he was already feeling, it confirmed what he was already feeling. It confirmed to him that he shouldn't be doing these things in the first place. For him, he's thinking alright, this is vulnerable, this is something that she's always asked me for, and he did it and he felt rejected. So he's saying to himself, I'm never doing it again. I knew I was being silly for doing it in the first place, so I'm never doing it again. So I think it's important for you to focus on the desired behaviors. If he was to do something like that for you, praise it. Say “I really like when you do this. This makes me feel special. This makes me feel like I'm a priority in your life”.

Number seven, which is one that may be a little bit more difficult for people who aren't as emotionally versed as someone like a fearful avoidant. I think fearful avoidants are highly intuitive, they really are able to read people very well. They learn how to read when they're starting to dissociate. What dissociating is, is when they start to check out. When you're having an emotional conversation and you can just tell that their bandwidth is just running really thin. They're not able to make themselves present anymore and they're actually looking like they're ready to escape. Learn how to read that, have conversations in doseable segments I would say. If you know that having a 10-minute conversation about something that's emotionally charged is going to make them get annoyed or pull back, have it in 3 minutes. If you want to give them a call and say ‘hey do you have a couple minutes to talk’, and hold yourself accountable. Hold yourself accountable to those few minutes, don't go overboard, don't go over the top. When you start to see that they're getting short in their responses and they're not really there anymore, that's when you know that they're starting to dissociate.

Number eight. When you are able to have them open up or you do have that ability to be able to get them to open up, validate what they're feeling. Many times avoidants feel as if others aren't able to understand what they're feeling and what they're going through. So when they're sharing with you and they're opening up, validate what they're feeling. Don't offer advice, don't try to fix what they're feeling, don't try to make them feel better, just validate it. Shake your head, nod your head, ‘I understand’, ‘I hear where you're coming from’, ‘I totally agree’. Validate it, because what this does is it allows for them to feel more emotionally safe with you and then they'll want to share more.

Number nine, which is something that people don't typically do early enough, is have a clear understanding of what the relationship goals are. Meaning, if you want kids, if you want marriage, if you want to meet each other's parents within a certain time frame, make that known. If your relationship goals aren't in alignment, you have to be willing to walk away. No matter how attractive this person is, no matter how much you guys had this spiritual connection right away, you have to know that time is the most valuable thing anyone will ever have and we can never get it back. If this person isn't willing to meet you where you are, and at least align with you on these specific goals that you have that are deal breakers for you, then maybe this relationship just isn't the right fit for you.

And the last one, thank you guys for sticking around for all 10 of these. Consider seeing a therapist, a coach or a counselor, if you've exhausted all of the natural resources that you have. Like, you've read the books, you've had endless conversations, you talked to your friends and your family, you've actually set up date nights and they went well, but you're still having these certain things in your relationship that aren't progressing, that aren't reaching to the next level and you're starting to feel more like you're spinning your wheels in the sand, then maybe it's time to take that extra step and reach out to someone who's a professional.

So if you found this video of any value, please like, comment and share. You can reach out to me on my other social media accounts: Instagram is [iamcoachcourt] and Facebook is [coachcourt]. Thank you guys, and I want you to always remember, when you go be love, you'll never have to find it. Namaste.