Why Secure-Functioning Matters in Partnerships

“Secure Functioning” is being in a relationship that is fully collaborative, fully mutual, + based on justice, fairness, and sensitivity.
— Dr. Stan Tatkin

The following is adapted from my studies with Dr. Tatkin and from attachment research.  

Secure-functioning relationships allow us to be the best we are individually. It does not mean that you will lose your identity or freedom.  In fact, you will have more, since trust is a guarantee you two make. Your relationship will become a place of support and love.  As well as a place to call home + restore life-energy. 

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  1. Securely functioning relationships provide safety, security, and mutuality you both create together. 

  2. They have the power to unlock joy and confidence that could not be achieved in a solitary form. 

  3. They operate via pro-relationship orientation over a pro-self orientation. By being pro-relationship you both are better resourced to achieve personal goals and common goals. 

  4. Secure-functioning looks like a “three-legged race.” If one partner goes down, both go down.

  5. You both understand the purpose of being together. Your deeper discussions will be important as the novelty and excitement of the courtship phase transitions into a sense of stability and permanency in the relationship. ***Remember, we are not necessarily wired for monogamy.

  6. Securely- functioning partners are interested in ways to uplift their partners and positively impact his/ her / their mood.

  7. They are aware of their partner’s vulnerabilities. With this awareness, you both have more agency with each other. If you two are skilled in avoiding triggering vulnerabilities, there will be less conflict and more harmony in the relationship. This in turn can provide more safety. 

  8. As partners you do not compete with anything or anyone for resources. Common Examples: work, in-laws, friends, sports, porn, or alcohol/drugs, etc...

  9. Secure folks remember that their partner is usually on auto-pilot and they are not intentionally being difficult - usually this automatic mindset is operating with a program from a childhood experience. As partners, you both need to be gentle with your understanding + soothing of each other.

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These nine habits, if practiced regularly, promote secure-functioning in enduring relationships. As you read through the list, did you find yourself reflecting on the habits you and your partner already share, or perhaps did you identify some new elements to implement into your relationship?  

If you are located in Baltimore, MD and are seeking couples work, please see the information below.

Until Then. Be Well. 

Susan


  Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.  Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s  PACT  approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.

Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and founder Space Between Counseling Services in Baltimore City, Maryland.  Susan works with Type A’s ---> Creatives as they balance schedules, stress, and the modern challenges of coupleship. Specializing in counseling for individuals and couples using Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps you move through the muck of life and into a life of purpose and connection.


Finding a therapist is no cake walk and getting a feel for fit is an important part of the process.

SBCS's currently welcoming clients in the Baltimore - Washington DC region to SCHEDULE your online complementary 15 -minute consultation today to ensure fit and pick to work with Susan, Marty, Brittany or Noelle. 


Meet Our SBCS Team

SBCS offers a team of professionals and interns who support clients each day in our Baltimore City / Mount Washington office space. 

We invite you to meet our team and discover our various specialties, which include individual + couples work. 

Our two clinicians and two interns spend numerous hours training: 

Just to name a few of our therapeutic areas of focus --> Trauma Informed, Attachment and Neuroscience based, LGBTQIA, Art Therapy, Couples Work featuring the PACT approach, Family Systems & Internal Family Systems, Brainspotting, and Afrocentric Approach.