Attachment Stories in Marriage

Attachment is an emotional bond we feel with another person who responds to our needs. This begins as an infant as we attach (or fail to attach) to our caregivers then extends into our adult life, often showing up in the ways we relate to others. In today’s episode, Dan and Becky Allender are joined by Steve and Lisa Call from Reconnect Institute to examine how our attachment styles emerge within the context of marriage, how to identify and name those attachments, and how to learn and heal in our most intimate relationships.

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Episode Transcript:

Dan: There is nothing more fun than talking about marriage at least some days. And my great privilege is to be with my beloved wife, Becky. Hi Beck.

Becky: Hey, so good to be with you.

Dan: And dear, dear friends and colleagues, Steve and Lisa Call from Reconnect Institute. So fun to work with the two of you as well. So welcome.

Lisa: Thank you. Great to be here.

Steve: Thank you. Great to be with both of you. Really looking forward to this conversation.

Dan: Well, we’re, we’re going to jump into this topic, which sounds perhaps a little bit academic, but it really is and isn’t the role, the place, the power of attachment? One of the effects that Becky saw after a number of years of our marriage is that she suffered for a season of life significant struggles with asthma, but our relationship, not because it’s perfect, I can promise you that, but the relationship itself began to change.

Becky: Yes. So I could give away my asthma pills of, I don’t know, 15 years at least.

Dan: So when we begin to talk about attachment, we we’re talking about something that happens between two people, but in this case, marriage, that changes something of the nature of how we live, how we breathe about our bodies, about the very way that we actually take in the world. So we want to do the good work, this particular podcast of inviting you to understand better the category of attachment, but also to have a better sense of how that’s meant to grow in your marriage and what the fruits will be as you continue to do. So, Steven and Lisa, where do you want to go with regard to this lovely topic?

Steve: Oh, there’s so many different directions to go, and I love how we are already talking about attachment within marriage because that is our work. I think our work in this world is staying connected to the ways in which our relational style, attachment style, in our marriage is often not a mirror fully, but closely resembles our attachment experience with our own attachment figure. And that often is there’s so much language, so much literature, so many different resources with regard to attachment. I think it’s helpful maybe for us to be as intentional as we can about what do we mean by it, how does it play out in a marriage? And I think for us, one of the deep privileges of marriage, and maybe that’s our invitation for those that are listening, is that that marriage is meant to be an attachment experience. And that is part of the hope is the redemptive nature of marriage can be that our attachment experience can be maybe something a bit different than what it was in our own story, what it was in our own attachment experience. So I think that’s one maybe hopeful direction we could spend a little bit of time talking about is what was our own attachment story and then how does it play out in our marriage? What do we notice? What are we aware of along the way?

Dan: Well, and the category of attachment originally came with a psychologist by the name of Bowlby and further advanced through Mary Ainsworth through Mary Mains and others. So why do we all spend at least a few moments talking about? What do you understand attachment to be, particularly in the relationship between a caregiver, often a mother or a father and a child, but the same categories as you put it, so well, are resident and operating in every relationship, and particularly in the context of marriage. So what is attachment?

Steve: Well, I think of it, we think of it as it’s really speaking to the first few years of our life with regard to our relationship with our primary caregiver, what we call our primary attachment figure. The one that tended to meet the majority of our needs if our needs were met. And I think that’s what we mean by attachment is connection, relationship, but it speaks to the relational interaction the relationship with that particular attachment figure. And that I think if we can stay connected to that, it helps us make sense of, well, what do you mean by attachment in marriage? Well, our spouse is our new attachment figure. She or he becomes that attachment figure for us throughout the course of our life together. So attachment has this sense of relational component, this relational connection. And maybe it’s helpful just to also add that there’s two or three different variables in the way that we talk about attachment. One of those is attunement which we can come back to for a bit. The other would be the consistency of the attachment figure and then also the availability of the attachment figure. And those three variables components are, characteristics play such a significant role in how we see the world, what Bowlby referred to as internal working model. The sense of how do I make sense of the world? Will I make sense of the world by that early attachment experience? What was true for me or wasn’t true for me? How were my needs responded to? How did he or she tend to respond or, and stay and or become attuned or misattuned to the needs that I often had as a young child. So it carries into our marriage. And I think for many couples, that’s often… What? How could this be? How could Lisa, my interaction with Lisa actually be a reenactment of what was true in the early stories for me within attachment. And I think that’s where so many couples can get stuck is they’re often… What? This can’t be true. This can’t be a part of what we’re experiencing in this moment. It’s actually part of the story that I endured.

Dan: So Becky, what do you think of as attunement then?

Becky: Well, I was still with the other thought attunement. I think when I ask you to be attuned, you are very attuned and listening to me when I think of attunement as far as attachment with my primary caregiver. I think of a mother who is very preoccupied and very driven in other realms than motherhood.

Dan: And Lisa, I cut you off. So sorry.

Lisa: You were about to say. I was just going to say it. I think there were two really profound areas within our marriage that when we first began to explore this idea of attachment, and I think it helped us to really understand maybe where our frameworks are coming from and how they miss each other. And so it gave us a real profound understanding of why certain things are getting triggered, why certain things aren’t working, why certain conversations are leading us down that path again. And so there was this huge shift in being able to understand one another in a new way, but then also be able to have healing. And I think that’s the second category that came a little bit later, is that, wow, this new attachment figure can actually be healing in some of those areas. So there’s kind of two things for us, I think, where just first, there was that understanding of when I understand mine attachment experience and he understands his, and we understand each other’s that there’s a new understanding that’s created, but then also there’s a healing that can happen.

Dan: Yeah. Well, that process of attunement from my standpoint is do you hear and do you feel what’s actually happening in the heart, mind, and body of the other? And in that it, can you hold it on their behalf? Well, versus critique it, judge it, try to change it. That notion of containment that I actually hold my wife’s joy, her suffering in ways that nobody else has the privilege to be able to do. And that intersection between I feel, you see, you hear you, and I hold the dilemmas. We all know we fail. So almost all forms of attachment require some ability to repair, which often is just that simple phrase of I’m so sorry. Oh, damn, I did it again. Some ownership, some confession, and some level of grief in terms of the harm done. So as we think about attachment, they’re really the core components of any really good relationship. But I think what you’re underscoring is there’s something particularly between our core attachment history and our spouse that’s playing. And if you don’t hear the music from one world to the next, that music, that process is going to trip you up. So when you think about your attunement world, containment, attachment world from your childhood into now, your marriage, where has that taken you? Where has taken you all?

Becky: I just wanted to say in the beginning, our attachment styles were so perfect, but as we’re growing to be more mature believers in Jesus, we’re finding different snags, that because we’ve matured, like we’re calling full forth from one another in different arenas than were ever thought about for 45 years ago.

Dan: Yeah, bliss came in part because of a lack of knowledge and because of the wonder, the youthful wonder of the honeymoon period. But somehow, I love the way you put it. The more you mature, the more issues there are to be addressed, not the opposite.

Steve: So true. The more aware you become, we become, I think that’s part of the work in marriage sometimes is how do we react to the awareness? What is it with regard to the awareness of our own attachment story history and the way it gets played out in our marriage. And I think the way you both were talking about attunement is so helpful. I often think of it as like this. In the olden days when you had the radio and you could turn the dial and you’re tuning into it and there’s static, static, static, and all of a sudden there’s a crisp, and it’s clear that’s what attunement is, relationship. It’s being heard, being seen, being felt like exactly what talking about Dan. But for many of us, there was a consistent experience of misattunement that the caregiver just missed the cues for whatever reason that is. And for so many caregivers, attachment figures, it has to do with their own story as well. Preoccupied, distant, unavailable, whatever their own story is that contributed to our, whether that’s what we could call secure attachment or insecure. And again, I think it’s helpful in those two worlds that when we talk about attachment, the sense of secure is that the other is consistently available to us. Not always, but just it’s a consistent both in the needs being responded to, but also what you said, Dan, around repair, that the repair was a consistent experience if there was an inconsistent repair to the failure. That’s also part of what I think can contribute to the anxiety that we feel and the distress that we feel in our body, particularly with one another. And I know that’s true for us. Yeah. I had a mother that was unavailable. She just could not be present for so many various reasons. She had a father or oh, she had a father. I had a father. She had a husband that was so busy so preoccupied and focused and was required to be gone for just, I would just say years at a time. And so my mom was preoccupied. She wasn’t able to be present emotionally, and I learned how to become self-sufficient and not need. And so that has played itself out in our marriage so much as is that when Lisa’s unavailable, I go away, I shut down, I withdraw. I try to somehow make it on my own. And that’s where our attachment story is intersects. The past is always part of the present and especially within attachment. And often we’re just not aware of it or we choose to not be aware of it. And I think that’s true for you, that it’s a very similar, when I’m emotionally unavailable to you, what would you say happens to you for you?

Lisa: Yeah, I really feel it. And it was harder for me to sort of diagnose my own attachment because I felt like my parents were really there for me. And it took me a little bit longer to realize it was the emotional piece that was really lacking because they were very present and very involved in my life. But then I really did notice that there was this something missing in the emotional level. And so definitely plays out when Steve had become emotionally unavailable, and I would almost get to a panic feeling where I felt abandoned. I felt something more than what was actually happening. It felt very panicky. And so we began to walk that journey and figure out that my parents were there, but there was this emotional component that was very lacking and played right into our dynamic.

Dan: Well, when you both think about, and I’ll say all four of us, but when you think about the interplay between secure, insecure attachment, and generally research says, which I think is poo poo, that 65% of the human race is securely attached. I’m not going to prove that by anecdotal data that it’s not accurate. But that’s a very minimal sense. But insecure attachment generally is talked about in terms of distant attachment, where you have a caregiver who really literally turns away, who’s unavailable unengaged, not attuned, doesn’t provide much containment, or if the containment is there, it’s pretty rigid. Then you have very ambivalent attachment that is caregivers involved and then not involved. And you have a sense of presence and then long periods of absence. So you desire it, but you have to turn away because you’re not sure that the parent’s going to turn away before you do. And then chaotic attachment, which often comes when there’s severe addiction, mental illness violence, abuse of all sorts. And when you hear all that, how would you describe your attachment history and how does it play out in the context of your marriage?

Steve: I think those categories that you just shared are helpful because they’re rooted in these two almost variables of anxiety and avoidance that when we experienced a caregiver attachment figure that was unavailable, we learned to avoid. We learned to just dismiss the need that we have and we just have this sense of, I’m good. It’s not okay to need, it’s not okay to rely on the other. So there’s this predominant avoidance, and that is very true for me in our dynamic over the three and a half decades is I work hard to not need. So I avoid naming need, requesting, acknowledging, pursuing, because it was too much I would say grief loss, even as a child to bear the need not being responded to simply just not acknowledged. I think for many of us, that is a very key part of our story, is that we learned at an early age to not need because of our caregiver saying, however they said it, however they responded, something about the need wasn’t okay. And so we avoid it. And then the ambivalent piece is maybe sometimes my caregiver attachment figure responded. So maybe sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it isn’t. So there’s this ambivalence, move forward, move away, move against, move toward it. And I think that is a little bit true for you. And the way that we interact is sometimes there’s a caution to move toward what it is that you need from me.

Lisa: I love what Becky was pointing out at the beginning about the early stages of our relationship, because I also learned not to need emotionally. And so we were a great match at the beginning. We’re just having fun. We’re good. I don’t need anything. We don’t need anything.

Steve: You don’t need. I don’t need.

Lisa: It’s not that hard. And we had a good, I don’t know what, 8/10 years,

Steve: 8 or 10 months maybe.

Lisa: Then you have kids and things start getting complicated.

Dan: A little time difference, but that’s…

Lisa: Somewhere in there, somewhere in between, things got more complicated and you know, can only go so long without realizing, no, actually I do have some emotional needs and I do need to be noticed. And you do need certain things. So again, it get, as we begin to grow in our understanding of ourself and an understanding of our marriage, that these things became real roadblocks and real tripping up situations where we’re getting stuck,

Dan: Distant ambivalent is what I’m hearing. What you both have experienced, and what would you say dear about your…

Becky: Well I know, dear, dear. Well, I know I’m more avoidant, right? Or I’m ambivalent. So that’s why he works so hard. He’s getting healthier I don’t want that now so much, but, and you are more chaotic and also against, right? Yeah. You’re just chaotic.

Dan: Well, yeah, using Karen Horney’s category that I think it’s really, you tend to move away, which is often the…

Becky: Totally, especially for a nine.

Dan: Yeah! The effect of a distant attachment. Whereas I think my world was at best, the best of the days would’ve been ambivalent, but more often than not, with my mother’s mental illness, it was chaotic. And so that there was some stability because my father’s presence when he was there, provided at least a little bit of stability. But being around my mother primarily, it was crazy. So in that process, I think in terms of where it’s often occurred, I will have strong opinions, feelings, they’ll be vocalized. And they were often overwhelming, I think to you especially when you felt my criticism. And then she would shut down, and then it would be a stonewalling, and I would feel panic, just sort of this internal panic that then intensified the conflict. Thinking in some ways, much the interaction with my mother, things would be heated, screaming things being thrown I mean violent, and it would eventually resolve. But as I intensified you withdrew.

Becky: I didn’t act like your mom.

Dan: Thank God. But it also was confusing.

Steve: It was confusing that she would withdrew, that Becky would withdraw from you. In those moments. What would you guys say? Can I wonder just about the idea or the sense also of access, when you lose access, relational access with regard to connection or attachment, what would you say happens? And I think that’s what you’re naming or what you’re reflecting is also part of our early story is when we lost access, how did we cope? How did we bear the heartache of the other not being there for us?

Becky: Well, I think I learned to cope at a pretty young age because of my distracted mother. I think for us, I was pretty good as long as he was earning money and doing, passing his exams. But where I noticed I didn’t, not having you emotionally I wanted is when you were working with a small group of women involved in anti-trafficking around the world, and you were caring for them. Well, then I could see more than I could normally because I learned, I don’t know, I love his excellence and what he’s done, but I think I put up, I see that as good for both of us, but for me to really enter back in, I need to be angry. And that’s just what I’m sad to say. I’ve got to get to before I can really understand my own real desires.

Dan: And that has been a complicating, but even the ability for her to say that and for me to hear it and to know experientially anger is not a terrifying thing for me. That was part of the fabric of virtually every day. Now, I think in terms of our attachment history growing together. More attunement, more containment, more repair, like she’s angrier. And that sounds, I’m sure to some people like, oh, that sounds miserable. And it’s like, no, this opens the door to a level of engagement that we didn’t have before in part because of our different attachment structures, not actually having ground to really understand and honor and feel on behalf of the effect of the past on the present.

Steve: I think one of the things too that you named around chaos is that almost that fourth style of attachment around fear. Fear, it’s fearful, it’s a fear-based relational response. And for many of the people that are in our world, but I think many listening, it’s a familiar experience for them, whether that was their own story, their own experience of violence or abuse that carried into way in which they live in the world as an adult, that fear dominates. There is no capacity to trust what we are called or invited to trust the other that the sense of safety, there is no safety. And so it’s a lifetime, lifetime of work to cultivate safety. That because of that early experience around loss loss of privilege, loss of safety, loss of body in a way that was so dishonoring. And so I think that’s part of, for many adults that carry that fear, that heightened level of fear into their marriage that can create so much disruption for them.

Dan: Well, and fear for most people, at least that I’ve worked with so much more is fear of abandonment that you have turned away from me. What was true with regard to my world, though that was there very much with regard to my father, with my mom, it was much more the fear of being absorbed and consumed, consumed by this needy, empty, desperate at times furious presence. That constant sense of I’ve got to fill you. And I think in some ways, as you said for both of you earlier, our relationship worked really well because Becky in that season didn’t need much, and I was comfortable with not having to give much. So our relationship…

Becky: You were more than comfortable. You were overjoyed, but no, you did. I always felt that You gave me a lot. Totally.

Dan: So I’m grateful for both truths that there was a lot given, but you also know it was like a relief. Here’s a woman who doesn’t need much. This is a taste of Eden.

Becky: And I was committed not to nag or anything. So when you worked and preached at the church, you would read a whole Ludlum novel in a weekend. I’m like, I’m so good. Not asking a thing, even though we have a baby. Yeah, I saw that. That’s awesome.

Steve: Not needing.

Dan: So there was a problem starting to read around two o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, reading all the way through…

Becky: Yeah I wouldn’t go to sleep

Dan: ‘Till Saturday night, and then doing a little bit of slumber before I would go teach and preach in the morning. That

Becky: That was really a mess. Sorry.

Steve: That speaks so much though, to how we learned in our own story to cope within then and our marriage. When we don’t have access, when we can’t have need it, it sets us up. And maybe that’s part of the bind for many of us is the bind of marriage. Is that it earlier on, maybe sometimes it’s such a profound reenactment of what was in our own story, and now do we have the courage and the integrity even to imagine or envision something different between us? What is the hope of marriage? I think it is about the invitation for me/you/I/we to be what wasn’t true for our spouse.

Dan: Yeah. Well, that’s a lovely turn to begin to say what’s involved in growing attachment, and at least what we’ve been wanting for the hearer/listener to engage is until you name what’s actually been true, there’s almost no possibility of having that opportunity for intentional corrective engagement to change. But beyond that obvious, you’ve got to be able to name how you have been shaped within the world that was both very broken, likely beautiful, but still brought some degree of harm. What’s involved for you both for Becky and I and for the people that we’ve been privileged as therapists to work with? What’s involved in this transition to a deepened attachment structure?

Steve: Well, I think the major and our foundational shift potentially is what you’ve just named is awareness. We cannot change the dynamic or the interaction between us if we’re unaware, choose to be unaware around our own story. And it takes tremendous work, I think, for us to get to that place of what, what’s happening in my body? What’s happening in your body to be curious. I think curiosity is so essential too. Curiosity around story, curiosity around attachment. There was for us, I think in this last year, it was a pretty significant shift, I think relationally for us when Lisa, you became more aware of a particular story when there was conflict in your home and your mom would often go to the room and close the door. And that picture of Lisa being 6, 7, 8 in the hallway with the door closed has so profoundly shifted the ways in which I not always, but I think have been just a bit more intentional and not literally closing the door. There’s something about the access to that young part of her in that story that I don’t want to be the one that harms, I don’t want to be the one that reenacts the loss that she endured. And I think that’s part of our invitation both in our own marriage, is how will the awareness of stories shift or change a potential dynamic between us? And that has been, I think, a significant example, but it also took freaking courage for Lisa, for you to name that story, to share that part of her journey, the familiarity of the loss of access and how it got to that point.

Lisa: Yeah, I think just the framework of attachment is so helpful because I think in our mind, our false Eden way of thinking that marriage as we grow, it’s just going to get more and more peaceful or we’re just going to get more and more connected. And it’s really pretty much the opposite. And I that Becky was saying what’s healthy for her is actually learning to express my anger. It’s learning to have a strong voice that I didn’t have. And for me, what’s healthy for me is learning to be sad and not make excuses for it or judge it or try to make it go away. That’s something that…

Steve: To not be shamed for it.

Lisa: Not be shamed for it. And so that’s something that, and so it almost feels like going backwards in a way that we’re learning to have these childlike feelings that we maybe didn’t have. And so to understand that dynamic that no, this is actually, we’re actually growing. I’m getting angrier and sadder and it, it’s kind of a backwards, it’s like an upside down world, but there’s that vulnerability and that safety that grows just when we’re able to grow in that and express that and become who we actually were meant to be, that we had to put a halt on that we had to put a close that down, shut that down, that part of us, and we’re invited to actually be wholly who we are because of this model of attachment, we can understand where it’s coming from and we can understand where we’re going with it.

Becky: I just love what you said about we have to grow younger, something like that. We have to go backwards. We have to catch those places in our own being that were stifled or hurt at different young ages. And that sounds like such a simple phrase, and it is a simple phrase, but it’s meant everything to us. And it’s just still beginning to unfold more and more that it’s not like everything gets better, but it does get better. But it’s so much more to explore and be curious about and to be kind to Dan as well, kind to myself. And with that kindness, it’s just changing all the time. Just good and sometimes complicated.

Dan: And I think it’s so important to, again, go back to the fact that you, Steve, knew that there was something of a distant relationship between Lisa and her mother, but the story changed something in you. Can you put more words to that?

Steve: There was something about the story of picturing this young girl in the loneliness and not just being lonely, but lonely, that all alone isolated dark. And that picture is so vivid as we’re even exploring, talking about it now as if it was yesterday. And part of that is also the way that she was connected to the emotion maybe when you told me that, when you remembered that, when it was becoming more vivid for her. So I think for us, it has taken years honestly for us to maybe send some semblance of safety to be able to tell the story. And I think that is the work for many of us over the course of life is just going back to Bowlby talking about one of the characteristics is of secure attachment. Is this safe haven, the safety a child feels in the presence of the attachment figure, and how are we cultivating safety? So for Lisa to feel safe enough to tell me the story?

Lisa: And not only safety to tell it, but to even remember it. Yeah. Because we don’t remember these stories. We don’t just think, oh, when I was three, I felt like this when I was five. They have to be, it’s a safe environment. And then there’s curiosity and there’s wondering and there’s, I’ve noticed sadness is not very accessible for you. And you begin to have these conversations that create the safety in order to remember the story in order to be impacted by each other’s story. So a lot of people might be listening, going, God, I don’t even remember. How am I supposed to remember? And so that’s just a whole area of something that has to be cultivated.

Steve: But what is so hard about story too is also that we have this unspoken loyalty to what was. Meaning we can’t tell the other because it feels so disloyal, if you will, to the one that we were be attached to or connected to or, and so I think that’s sometimes the caution to even name tell reveal story is that there’s this profound sense of loyalty to, I can’t do anything about it. I can’t say anything about it. And that I think for both of us, that was a very significant part of how…

Lisa: I mean, even you’re sharing it now and I’m wanting to defend my mother, like she had an alcoholic father and she has a whole story of how she had to be and needed to be. And so it’s, we’re not here saying, oh, we’re going to go back and try to blame our parents for what they didn’t do. It’s just about being able to uncover what was actually true and actually how I experienced it.

Dan: It’s just so important to hear that until there is that attunement, that tuning in to what is felt. And thank God for what we now understand to be called mirror neurons, that when we enter the suffering or the joy of another, our bodies literally change. There is a neurological change with oxytocin particularly, but also cortisol rising in a level of life. So when we know facts generally, we’re not deeply moved, but faces, stories. So when you hear of a tragedy a plane that crashes, there’s grief just on behalf of humanity. But when you see the faces or hear a few of the stories, how did that person get on the flight? Just enough data to begin to feel the life that has been lost. That’s the core of being able to join one another in both grief and anger. A sense of, again, I have stories at Becky’s of being, finding more joy, literally playing in a closet than being around her mother. And that same image of, I don’t want to do something where she has to withdraw to a closet. And then to have a story that connects you, but also in some sense of the word, exposes you, connects you, but also gives you a sense of, this is not what I want to do on behalf of my beloved. I think those are key. Do we share stories? Do we actually feel and suffer the story? Do we explore more of the story and do so with respect and honor, not blame as you put it, so well, Lisa, but with a sense, again, of grief, but also of anticipation that we can actually grow in and through this to love one another more. I think that for us is one of the keys, is that we’ve begun over many years to hold one another’s stories with far greater care than we would have done in the past. Any final thoughts that you…

Steve: I love that part of what you just named Dan is the unwillingness to collude with harm. That that’s part of our call or invitation for one another is I don’t want to be, what wasn’t true for Lisa. We don’t want to reenact the harm. And of course there’s failure in that, and of course harm is remembered, and of course harm is triggered. But I think part of it is so beautifully said around the awareness of story, but how the story shapes us and changes us when it is named and when it is spoken.

Dan: Lisa, Becky, any final thoughts before we invite our audience to ponder and engage, and especially for those who are not married? So important to hear that a good therapeutic relationship is an attachment relationship. Good friends are a deep attachment. So this is a reality, uniquely true in the context of marriage, but not in one sense, isolated only in one’s marriage.

Becky: Well said. No, this was really fun. Thank you. Thanks joining us, Steven, Lisa. It’s really fun.

Lisa: Well, I would just say when we began to engage this in our marriage, that it really took a sharp turn and we just had more wholeness in our marriage, and I know you guys feel the same. When we began to engage in a different way, there was so much healing and so much openness, I think, and so much less defensiveness because it became more about understanding each other’s stories than just responding to each other’s inadequacies or shortcomings or whatever we saw them as before. But it’s almost like your eye shifts to see something that’s not just right in front of you, so much further behind, be beyond. And now you can just see it in a different light and you see that child likeness, you have that heart for it, and something really tender and kind shifted for us when we begin to look at it that way. So if people are listening and they’re wondering, I don’t know, this sounds hard or whatever, but the fruits are so worth it to just begin how uncomfortable and awkward it is to begin these conversations, that there’s so much fruit and there’s so much goodness and kindness in store when we begin on this journey, I think.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s one of the reasons why Becky and I have so enjoyed being able to co-labor with both you, Steve and Lisa, and your labor in and for the Reconnect Institute, the book Reconnect, and our Labor Together conferences, et cetera. If we didn’t do the work between one another as a couple, there would just be no way to be able to play together with another couple that’s not being able or not willing to engage the same realities. So I think it’s been, as we’ve seen how you’ve grown, I think we have grown, and I hope that that would be true as well. Vice versa.

Steve: So true, so true.

Dan: Vice versa. It’s the invitation to couples to begin to go. These are not categories for you to leave in your own thinking. It’s meant to be a conversation and not just a conversation between the two of you. This is conversations in your Bible study and your small group when you go out for a couple with another couple for dinner, maybe not the first conversation, but these are the things that will help one another make the move to enjoying not only one another, but ultimately the ultimate attachment presence is the presence of Jesus. And as we’re talking about attachment, it’s not a lot different to be able to say God’s attunement, God’s containment. God’s invitation for us to know repair is the context to be able to say, this is how we’re meant to live in all relationships. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you all three and four.

Steve: Oh, we’re grateful. Thanks for and inviting us. And so good to have a conversation with you both.

Lisa: Yes.