Attachment Styles in Divorce: Nurturing Emotional Well-being

Onward Staff
May 11, 2023
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Divorce is a significant life event that can have a profound impact on individuals and their relationships. One aspect influenced by divorce is attachment styles, which play a crucial role in how individuals form and maintain emotional connections. In this article, we will explore attachment styles, their relevance to divorce, and strategies for nurturing emotional well-being during and after the divorce process.

What are Attachment Styles?

Defining Attachment Styles

Attachment styles refer to patterns of emotional bonding and connection that individuals develop in their early relationships, particularly with primary caregivers. These styles shape how individuals perceive and respond to intimacy, trust, and dependency in their adult relationships.

Types of Attachment Styles

  1. Secure Attachment: Individuals with secure attachment styles tend to have a positive view of themselves and others. They are comfortable with both intimacy and independence, and they value open communication and emotional support.
  2. Anxious Attachment: Those with anxious attachment styles often seek excessive reassurance, worry about rejection, and exhibit a fear of abandonment. They may display clingy behavior and have difficulties with trust and self-esteem.
  3. Avoidant Attachment: Individuals with avoidant attachment styles often exhibit an emotional distance and a reluctance to depend on others. They may struggle with intimacy, have difficulty expressing emotions, and tend to prioritize independence.

Attachment Styles and Divorce

Impact of Divorce on Attachment Styles

Divorce can disrupt established attachment patterns and have a lasting impact on individuals' attachment styles. The experience of separation and loss can trigger feelings of insecurity, fear, and uncertainty, leading to changes in how individuals approach relationships.

Attachment Styles and Co-Parenting

Understanding attachment styles can significantly impact the co-parenting dynamic post-divorce. Different attachment styles may influence how individuals communicate, set boundaries, and navigate emotional connections with their co-parent and children. Recognizing and addressing these dynamics can contribute to a healthier co-parenting relationship.

Nurturing Emotional Well-being During Divorce

Self-Reflection and Awareness

Engaging in self-reflection and developing awareness of one's own attachment style can be transformative during divorce. This process allows individuals to identify potential triggers, patterns, and areas for personal growth. Seeking therapy or counseling can provide valuable support in this journey.

Communicating Openly and Compassionately

Effective communication is essential in navigating attachment-related challenges during divorce. Encouraging open dialogue, active listening, and expressing needs and concerns in a compassionate manner can foster understanding and create a more supportive environment for all parties involved.

Co-Parenting Support and Resources

Utilizing co-parenting resources and support networks can offer guidance and insights during divorce. Online platforms, parenting classes, support groups, and therapy services specifically cater to divorced individuals and co-parenting dynamics, providing valuable strategies for nurturing emotional well-being and maintaining healthy attachment relationships.

Seeking Professional Support

Therapy and Counseling

Therapy and counseling can be instrumental in navigating the emotional complexities of divorce and attachment-related challenges. Working with a trained professional provides a safe space to explore emotions, develop coping strategies, and foster healthier attachment styles.

Helpful Links

  1. American Psychological Association (APA):
  2. GoodTherapy:
  3. Psychology Today:


Understanding attachment styles and their impact on divorce empowers individuals to nurture emotional well-being during this challenging time. By cultivating self-awareness, promoting open communication, and seeking professional support, individuals can navigate the complexities of divorce and develop healthier attachment styles.

While divorce can disrupt attachment patterns, it also presents an opportunity for personal growth and healing. By engaging in self-reflection, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their attachment style and how it may influence their relationships. This self-awareness can guide individuals in making conscious choices to foster healthier connections with their co-parent and children.

Start managing shared expenses with your co-parent easily!

Onward Staff