Relationships: Turning Toward or Away

I know relationships from both a work and personal perspective. What I want to share as a level-2 certified PACT therapist ( applies to intimate relationships with or without the influence of ADHD. PACT stands for Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (fancy, I know).

When a couple enters into troubled territory, its members can turn to each other for solace and connection, right? Even when the trouble is each feels hurt and misunderstood by the other.

Right? Yes, some couples can. The secure functioning ones. The ones who understand that their relationship depends on this.

Many couples, however, do the opposite. They turn away. Each member feels too hurt, misunderstood, blamed, and afraid. Afraid of more of hurt, more of the same. Too caught up with thoughts of how the other one should know. Should know what I’m feeling, what I want. My hurt and mind. So the members turn away from each other and toward others and other interests to meet his/her own needs. One goes out with friends. The other delves into a creative venture. One joins a club. The other travels alone. Again and again looking outside the relationship for more and more. Each, little by little, turning away, and forgetting how to turn toward, each other. Until…it’s over.

If this is your relationship and you want to turn it around before you and your lover/partner/spouse kill it, try turning toward. Start by doing this physically. Get face-to-face, eye-to-eye with your partner, close enough to see each other’s pupils. Hold for a few minutes. Keep your faces soft and friendly. It may sound simple but can be really hard for couples to do. So no judgments. Of yourself or your partner. Approach it playfully. Then rinse, wash, repeat, as Stan Tatkin, the developer of PACT, likes to say.

My hope is that, for each member, this may be a start to turning toward, and getting to know, the person you once loved fiercely and may find yourself loving fiercely again.  

One thought on “Relationships: Turning Toward or Away

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  1. Awesome post! So true, esp when it comes to communication. You have to be verbal and tell each other where your head is, don’t make them guess.

    Hi I’m Melodie and I’m 55 living with undiagnosed and untreated adult ADHD. I’ve had it as far back at I can remember but back in the day (when I was a kid (say 10 yrs. old) ADHD was not heard of. Then as we got older it was thought that only kids suffered with ADHD. By then we were Young adults so we missed out then as well. Our generation kinda got left behind and we add silently suffered in the backups until here recently. Anyway, the past four years I’ve been here I’ve noticed the symptoms are more magnified and get stronger every month it seems. If almost unbearable now and when the tornado of hyper mode hits, I’m really hurting just riding it out.

    Long story short, the sliding scale clinic I go to claims they don’t have funding available for testing and treatment of ADHD. They even told me rarely do adults get it. Well almost died my life bc I’ve researched like crazy and I know ALL there is to know about ADHD in adult women. So they either aren’t well educated there or else they just don’t care and it’s an excuse. Probably both, smh. 🙄
    I’m going to comment on your blog at I hope you will on mine and let me know how you like the site and the content❤️I will do the same. I appreciate you!
    Good luck 💚


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