I recommend couples stuck in conflict to read this book

Turning Away & Turning Against - both movements aim for emotional relief and emotional protection. Both movements can result in providing IMMEDIATE emotional relief or FAST emotional protection. BUT only short term. They do NOT solve problems.

'Turning Against' (verbal abuse, shouting and starting a fight) creates and deepens emotional distance.

'Turning Away' (stop communicating, ignoring, physical distance) postpones solutions and usually increases anxiety in the other.

'Turning Against' & 'Turning Away' usually show up simultaneously. When one partner tends to verbally attack, the other tends to dis-connect.

Or the other way round: The partner who tends to 'turn way' when feeling under pressure reinforces the tendency in the other to feel misunderstood, abandoned, overruled etc. ..

which usually results in even more 'turning against' and blaming, and complaints ...

which again pushes the other even further away ...

and the vicious circle goes on and on and on.

As long as a couple splits the two 'roles' between the two of them

- one being the one who is usually 'turning against' - seemingly owning all vulnerability and being the only one in need of connection ..

- while the other appears to be less (or not at all vulnerable and less (or not at all) in search for connection - because 'turning away' is associated with being strong and reasonable.

BUT .. both partners are EQUALLY vulnerable and EQUALLY in search and need of connection - maybe in different ways but not more and not less.

That's why both actions (turn away and turn against) are equally unfit to establish a solid long term base of emotional safety and therefore shared happiness as a couple.

I suggest any couple stuck in conflict to read Eva Zurhorst's book. It can provide new insights in the couple dynamic and it gives valuable inputs how to support the missing and much needed 'turning towards' and re-connection.

By the way ..

the 'turning towards' inputs in the BOOK support and suit BOTH needs - more we-experice and more me-awareness.

- for the 'turnig against' partner the need to experience more (also physical) closeness and having more dialogue and exchange is met - which then could support all additional personal efforts to feel emotionally safer and reassured.

- at the same timethe 'truning away' partner will be pleased to find invitations for getting and staying connected to ONESELF at every moment .. which serves the need of self-reflection and self-awareness.

A safe win for everbody.


by Eva Zurhorst

available in many languages, originally in German

"Liebe dich selbst - und es ist egal wen du heiratest"

For more on 'Turning against - away - towards' a concept developed by the couples researchers John & Julie Gottman - see (for example)

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