Episode 14 – Attached

The way you relate to your husband now was more than likely a strategy you learned well before you felt the first flutter of butterflies as you two locked eyes across a crowded room. It’s not your fault that you’re relating to him the way you are AND your current strategy is 100% yours to lose or keep. 

Listen in this week to explore your attachment style and then use that information to help you better connect to your husband – and yourself.  

Mentioned in this Episode

Pinky and The Brain

A Taste of Trauma-Informed Coaching

Dr. Diane Poole Heller’s Attachment Quiz

Strange Situation Study

Bonus Resources

    • Check out the Defying Gravity Revolution – a Candice-led community of Bees committed to stop wondering if they married the wrong guy so they can enjoy the marriage they imagined when they said “I do.”
    • Grab your free e-copy of “Wife on Purpose” and the companion workbook HERE
    • Join the Bees for four days of totally free book club discussion and coaching sessions – December 5-8, 2022
    • This is your chance to get a no-strings-attached taste of what coaching is all about
    • If you’re a coach who wants to up the trauma-informed factor in your sessions and your business, join the Trauma-Informed coaching interest list HERE.
    • Follow Candice on Instagram and Facebook

Episode Transcript

‘s Up, Bees?!

You may or may not know this already and it doesn’t matter if you don’t because I’m going to tell you right now – I serve two distinct groups of people in my coaching business.

First and foremost, I’m committed to helping women stop wondering if they married the wrong guy. You already know that’s the work me and my Bees do in the Defying Gravity Revolution – together we create the marriage you imagined when you said, “I do.”

Because my mission in this world is to create more stable homes.

Which I think is accomplished less through the actual familial structure of the home and much, much more through the felt sense of security and acceptance between the people living and growing together.

Stable homes strengthen individuals, who then strengthen their communities, their countries and ultimately… the world.

I know that when I say all that I might sound a bit like The Brain from Pinky and The Brain on Animaniacs – remember that show?

It always opened with Pinky asking The Brain what they were going to do that night and The Brain always responding: “Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!”

And… now you know how old I am by the cartoons I quote.

41 next week thank you very much – and did you hear?

I’m hosting a book club birthday party to celebrate. If you wanna play, you just gotta grab your copy of Wife on Purpose and register to attend the book club chats.

It IS a two step process, so make sure you head to www.candicetoone.com/resources and get yourself set up. Get the book. Register for the chats. There will be all the sorting of sticky marriage situations + gifts and bonuses and new friends. Of course you want to be there. I’m looking forward to seeing you.

Back to the mission – my goal to create more stable homes, then communities and so on and so on. Stability at home comes from connection and trust.

I build that with my Bees first.


In another space – I also train coaches in using trauma-informed principles to create better, more consistent connection with their clients in session which leads to their clients achieving their goals quicker, in a more connected way.

Everyone wins.

My program for coaches is an Advanced Certification in Trauma-Informed coaching and quick side bar with anyone listening who IS a coach – because I know that most of you listening probably aren’t.

Here’s the side bar.

After we do the “Wife on Purpose” book club next week, I’ll be hosting “A Taste of Trauma-Informed Coaching” the week following.

“Wife on Purpose” Book Club is the 5th through the 8th. A Taste of Trauma-Informed Coaching will be the 13th through the 16th.

If you’re a coach of any kind – you don’t have to be Life Coach School certified or certified at all – you are invited to “A Taste of Trauma-Informed Coaching”. Head over to www.candicetoone.com/adv-cert-interest to get all the information you need to connect to those calls. You can also just go to candicetoone.com and click the “For Coaches” button across the top.

Now – back to the point of today’s episode.

Around here, we’re in the business of creating more stable homes.

Stability at home comes from a felt sense of connection and trust.

Today we’re going to use Dr. Diane Poole Heller’s research on Attachment Theory to take a closer peek at how your unique sense of connection and trust – especially in your early care-taker relationships could be informing the way you related to everyone else In your world now.

There is an attachment style quiz available on Dr. Heller’s website (www.dianepooleheller.com – I’ll link it in the show notes).

You can pause your listening now and go take the quiz if you like.

Just know that to get your results you will be asked to give your email address – which you can do if you want AND you don’t have to because it’s pretty easy to gage your style using some simple examples which I am fixing to walk you through right now.

You ready?


Think back to the last time you stubbed your toe. How did you respond?

Did you cry out? Look for someone to come help you?
Did you try to keep quiet and avoid eye contact?
How long did it take for you to recover?

There’s no right or wrong answers here – we are just using these examples to hypothesize about your possible attachment style.

Got an image of you with a stubbed toe in your head? Good.

Next, listen to these statements:

“You are an amazing wife. Your husband says the sweetest things about you. He told me
over and over again how lucky he feels knowing you accepted his proposal. Also, I’m so honored to spend these weekly chats with you. You specifically. It means so much to me that you’re here. I’m thrilled to have YOU as part of the Bee community.”

Check your body. Notice your stance. Scan through the thoughts running through your head.

Stubbed toe.

Flattering statements.

Hang on to your notes – mental or otherwise – around each experience while I review the four attachment styles. Then we’ll take a look at how each style is likely to respond in those situations so that you can better gage where you might land.

In 1969, John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth conducted a study they called the Strange Situation. It involved separating young children (usually around a year old) from their primary caregiver (usually their mother) for a brief period of time (maybe a minute or two).

They’d observe the child’s response to the separation and also the child’s response to the caretaker’s return to assess attachment style.

The babies in the study consistently responded in one of four ways:

1 – Noticed mom was gone and gets upset. Goes straight to her when she returns and is comforted with relative ease. This is called secure attachment: I like you around. I know you’re here for me and that things will turn out okay.

2 – Noticed mom was gone and freaks out. Very difficult to soothe upon mom’s return. Tend to cling to her for the rest of the time. This is called anxious attachment: I don’t know when you’ll leave again, so I’ve gotta hang on tight.

3 – Showed no obvious signs of distress when mom went absent and did not seek contact when mom returned. Might steal glances at mom, but didn’t go to her. This is called avoidant attachment: I know you probably won’t be there for me, so why bother reaching out.

4 – Noticed mom was gone, but couldn’t seem to decide whether to be upset or continue playing. When mom returns, child seems uncertain about whether to go to her or not. Sometimes the child would even reach out to her with their arms while backing away. This is called disorganized attachment: I want to be near you, but I’m not sure what to expect cuz you also kinda scare me.

Now… back to the stubbed toe and the flattering comments.

Here’s how each style might react to a stubbed toe:

secure: look to others expecting their comfort
avoidant: storm away to take care of themselves or keep quiet not expecting support
anxious/ambivalent: milk the pain and take a long while to move on or feel better
disorganized: long for comfort, but yell if it takes too long or doesn’t sit right

Can you tell where you tend to fall?

To make it even clearer, let’s look at the flattering comments:

“You are an amazing wife. Your husband says the sweetest things about you. He told me
over and over again how lucky he feels knowing you accepted his proposal. Also, I’m so honored to spend these weekly chats with you. You specifically. It means so much to me that you’re here. I’m thrilled to have YOU as part of the Bee community.”

secure might think: that’s so nice… I love him too and I really like Candice a lot

avoidant might think: this is weird and overboard, I wish she’d stop talking

anxious: tell me more, what exactly did he say, do you really know me by name?

disorganized: I know that I’m doing a lot of good things, so yeah… but if I don’t keep it up, or if she knew about that… then what? I want to hear more, but I also really need to change the subject.

Did you see yourself in any of those reactions?

Your responses to the flattering comments and the stubbed scenario are loose indicators of your likely attachment style.

Of course, nothing is set in stone – attachment styles are fluid tendencies not immoveable diagnoses.

Please promise that you only use this exercise to be fascinated by yourself NOT to lock yourself into any particular thought or behavior pattern for all of eternity.

Cuz again – expressions of attachment are fluid. We all go in and out of secure attachment in varying degrees.

Know that no matter your attachment style, you came by it honestly.

You developed it to ensure your greatest chance of survival given the caretaking style you were offered as a baby and small kid.

If your caretaker was unpredictable – sorta hot and cold – then disorganized attachment would be the most reasonable way for a you to adapt.

If your caretaker was busy or gone a lot or emotionally less available for whatever reason – it’d make sense for you to learn to avoid. No one was around anyway.

Good news is – Dr. Heller’s research shows that parents only need have “good enough” responses 30% of the time for the child to develop a capacity for secure attachment.

Just 30%.

So if you notice the pull to judge yourself as a parent or judge the way your parents treated you, this is my invitation to slow all that down. Maybe even stop it all together.

Not because I’m suggesting you let anything slide if you don’t want to – just because judgement rarely feels good to anyone and almost never produces useful effort in the world.

So come back to me and the goal of this episode.

We are here together figuring out your attachment style so that you can gain a clearer sense of what you might need to feel securely attached a little more often.

Eventually to your husband, but initially to you.

If you lean toward anxious attachment, look for ways to reassure yourself on purpose.

If you lean toward avoidant attachment, look for opportunities to engage with yourself and your experiences just a little bit more.

Regardless of your habitual attachment style, make an effort to gain a felt sense of what secure attachment is like – you can notice it in real life OR spend time imagining it to teach your body and expand its capacity to feel peace and love and acceptance.

Secure attachment is available to everyone AND it’s a skill.

Skills require practice. Repetition.

So set your goal to watch your attachment style play out – without wishing you had a different one.

Notice how your brain responds automatically and consciously give it other options to consider.

If your husband doesn’t text you back as quickly as you’d like (anxious attachment) – respond to yourself with kindness. Wrap up in a blanket if that feels good. Reach out to a friend. Consider the option to NOT judge yourself as “needy” and instead listen to yourself about why the timing is such a big deal to you as though you have a GOOD reason. Because you do.

Listening to yourself in that way increases your capacity for secure attachment – the sense that someone is on your side and in your corner.

That someone can be YOU.

And if you want – that someone can be ME and all the other Bees. To snatch a taste of what that might be like, grab a copy of my book: “Wife on Purpose” at candicetoone.com/resources.

Watch your email for a copy of the book + an invitation to register and join us for the book club chats STARTING TOMORROW.

We’re going to apply what you read in the book to your stickiest marriage situation so that you’ll have a LOT to celebrate with your husband for your anniversary in 2023.

Of course you want in on that. I look forward to seeing you LIVE tomorrow. Can’t wait.

But before we go for today, shout out to listener

Also, before we go for today, let’s get to know one of our listeners a little bit better. Shout out to JosieJoSmiles for listening AND leaving a review. I appreciate you.

You’re gonna want to follow this podcast right now. This is not another podcast where you’re going to get basic, not-always-helpful advice like “go on weekly date nights” or “don’t give 50/50, give 100/100”. Candice is an expert in this field with years of professional and personal experience that she draws on to somehow make improving your marriage fun to learn about and actually do. What she teaches is practical and actually works. She addresses nuances of the marriage relationship that aren’t usually talked about. Her coaching and teaching helped me go from wondering if I married the wrong guy to being so happy that I picked the husband I have and feeling more connected to him and myself than I hoped for. (PS: If you’re not sure where to start, I like episodes 5 & 6… so good.)

Thanks JosieJo! Glad that you’re enjoying the listen. Be sure to tell all your married friends so we can heal our marriages together.

And BEST NEWS – YOU won the drawing. Please email support@candicetoone.com to let Brittanie know which prize you prefer – a $250 Amazon gift card OR a private coaching session with me.

Congratulations JosieJo!

Choose courage, Bees and keep on flying!

Are you ready to have the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”?

Click below to get the FREE course: How to have the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”. You’re worth it and you’re welcome.

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I’m Candice.

I believe that every wife ought to feel cherished and valued. Appreciated and adored. I know we can make that happen. Even if it seems impossible to you. I’m a Master Certified Life Coach and I spend my days coaching women who are afraid in their marriages. You and I can work together to find a way for you to trust in your own decisions instead of constantly reacting to his. Now’s your time, Bee. How much longer are you willing to wonder and wait?