Avoidant: How to Love (or Leave) a Dismissive Partner

Mailbag: “Avoidant”

I get a lot of good feedback on my attachment books, even seven years after publication. This one was really touching.

I hope you’re well.

I read your book, Avoidant. I normally don’t do this… I mean, reach out to people, like this. I am on the tail end of a short-lived marriage with a dismissive avoidant. The whole ordeal was an explosion of emotional dysfunction. I, at one point, had completely lost it. I was doing frantic things I never do, because of the trauma. Your book helped me more than any of the therapy (there was a lot of therapy) I went through. The analytic in me sent me into heavy research mode. Of course, I had to learn what was wrong with this man (in hindsight, that idea seems a bit humorous). I learned about attachment styles and somehow found your book. OMG, you were so on point. I mean, like an Exacto knife. You helped me find out what was going on with him, as well as myself. THAT part was the most beneficial. I learned that I have preoccupied tendencies, but my partner choices can tip me more. Anyway, you probably don’t want to hear all of my small explanations. Long story short, I really want to impress upon you how much your book mentally helped me. I don’t remember when I’ve been so in tune with a piece of literature. I bought and just finished reading your book Bad Boyfriends. More solid advice. I gave it to my 25-year-old daughter. I want her to completely bypass any of the poor companion options altogether.

Again, I am so grateful I came across your books. Blessings to you and your husband.

— [name redacted]