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What Does A Healthy (Securely Attached) Relationship Look Like?

The goal of emotionally focused therapy is to create and/or revive the close bond between partners. We do this by making sense of the pattern that couples get stuck in and then helping each partner to find new ways of reaching to each other that draws their partner closer rather than pushing them away. This creates a felt sense of safety and security within the relationship.


While even the most secure of relationships can falter from time to time, in general, securely attached couples are able to:

  • Hold on to a deep sense that they are loved and valuable

  • Know from experience that their spouse is trustworthy and will be loving, supportive and responsive

  • Understand, make sense of and express their emotions appropriately

  • Make sense out of fights and get back on track when the fight is over

  • Emotionally connect during and after their fights.

This ability of securely attached love results in a felt sense of value and self- worth in each partner and an abiding sense and belief that our partner’s intentions are good. Securely attached couples can accept each other’s perspective and views each other’s emotions as valid. They also can quickly recover and get back on track after fights.

(Taken from Hart, Dr. Archibald & Morris, Dr. Sharon Hart, Safe Haven Marriage, 2003).

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