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How to best support my AvPD partner

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How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby Insom84 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:43 am

Hey All, My GF and I just started dating 3 months ago. She mentioned that she has AvPD but I didn't think much of it, except she's been withdrawing from me over the last month and this creates anxiety for me, which in turn leads to fights and that results in more withdrawal from her part...and so on this vicious cycle continues. Now before you guys advise me to move on from this relationship, I really like this girl and she is beautiful both inside and out and I really want to make this work with her.

We had a big fight a week back and since then she's not initiated contact but she replies to my messages. She's also going through an incredibly difficult time at the moment since her father is going through his chemo cycles. During this week, I read up about AvPD and also attachment styles and I realize that I'm the anxious attachment type; I tend to crave closeness and intimacy, and go into panic and overwhelm her when she withdraws. I've been learning some tools to be more secure and cope better with my anxiety. I feel like she is withdrawing from me and I'm afraid of losing her - But I know she's going through a lot...should I be giving her space for a while before contacting her? and if yes, how long?, or should I contact her and try initiate a conversation about us?

Thanks!
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Re: How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby lilyfairy » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:06 pm

Insom84 wrote: I feel like she is withdrawing from me and I'm afraid of losing her - But I know she's going through a lot...should I be giving her space for a while before contacting her? and if yes, how long?, or should I contact her and try initiate a conversation about us?
I would suggest maybe a "I'm here if you want to talk", or a "if there's anything I can do to help, let me know" type message. It gives her the option to reply if she wants to and with what she feels ready to share rather than being pressured to give bigger answers. Already being stressed by other things- like her father's chemo will likely be taking up a lot of energy as is- shutting down/shutting other things out may be a way of helping her cope.

Otherwise though, as much as you want to make it work with her, if she doesn't want to be involved/can't cope with the closeness, there might not be a lot more that you can do.
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Re: How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby Insom84 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:06 am

Otherwise though, as much as you want to make it work with her, if she doesn't want to be involved/can't cope with the closeness, there might not be a lot more that you can do.

This is a bitter pill to swallow, but I needed to hear that. Thank you
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Re: How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby d3xx » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:52 pm

Insom84 wrote:We had a big fight a week back

Avoidants just cant cope with conflict and judgement. If you really want this relationship, and you are strong enough, you must communicate without negativity and judgement. That doesnt make you a door mat. You can still disagree with her and express yourself. But if you do it with any anger or resentment she will withdraw.
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Re: How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby WinnieThePooh » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:35 pm

Insom84 wrote:Hey All, My GF and I just started dating 3 months ago. She mentioned that she has AvPD but I didn't think much of it, except she's been withdrawing from me over the last month and this creates anxiety for me, which in turn leads to fights and that results in more withdrawal from her part...and so on this vicious cycle continues. Now before you guys advise me to move on from this relationship, I really like this girl and she is beautiful both inside and out and I really want to make this work with her.

We had a big fight a week back and since then she's not initiated contact but she replies to my messages. She's also going through an incredibly difficult time at the moment since her father is going through his chemo cycles. During this week, I read up about AvPD and also attachment styles and I realize that I'm the anxious attachment type; I tend to crave closeness and intimacy, and go into panic and overwhelm her when she withdraws. I've been learning some tools to be more secure and cope better with my anxiety. I feel like she is withdrawing from me and I'm afraid of losing her - But I know she's going through a lot...should I be giving her space for a while before contacting her? and if yes, how long?, or should I contact her and try initiate a conversation about us?

Thanks!


People with AvPD may also want closeness and intimacy, but at the same time it scares them. Your own anxieties make things more difficult, but you also sound committed to deal with those anxieties so perhaps it may still all work out.

I think the best approach is to keep patient and be sensitive to how much closeness she can bear at any given time. If she is withdrawing, then that is what she may need at that moment, but she may get closer to you at some later time when she feels more comfortable. I think it is OK to stay in
contact with her. Having deep emotional conversations about your relationship might scare her off.
Maybe, one can find some fun activity together (go to the movies, dinner or whatever) that is relaxing and might help her feel more relaxed and help her distract from her other problems.
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Re: How to best support my AvPD partner

Postby Skog » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:13 am

projecting what my feelings would be on your GF -- I don't want "space" -- that reinforces my feelings of rejection -- I want my friend to keep making contact so I don't feel rejected and maybe I talk about something that's bothering me, or maybe that just helps me get over it and I can resume "normal" interaction without having to discuss why I withdrew
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