Attachment Mix Tape – Track #5 “You were always on my Mind”

ShareHi Everybody!

Last week a colleague sent me a link to a blog called “Must Be This Tall to Ride” https://mustbethistalltoride.com/. It’s written by a man whose wife divorced him to his great surprise. The blog is about all the relationship lessons and things about himself he has learned in the wake of this painful break-up. I’m so moved by his courage to share in this way and to look back at the ways he got stuck in a negative cycle with his wife where he ended up dismissing her feelings and causing her to feel unimportant and alone in the marriage. In my work as a couples therapist, I see this cycle on a regular basis. We call it “pursue-withdraw” – one member of the couple (the pursuer) when feeling a sense of disconnection does things – sometimes literally screaming and jumping up and down to get their partner’s attention and if it doesn’t work, eventually, they assume their partner “doesn’t care” and they give up and begin to detach. The other member (the withdrawer) misinterprets the pursuer’s attempts to get their attention as “over reacting” or being critical and does things to end the communication. Often if the couple isn’t fighting, the withdrawer feels relieved and thinks things are fine. Sadly, this is when the pursuer may be quietly starting to plan their exit.
It’s a very sad situation, as the withdrawer DOES care about their partner, but has no idea the impact of their lack of response! If a withdrawer could write an apology song to their pursuing partner, I think it would sound like the famous song, “You Were Always on my Mind”.

You Were Always On My Mind lyrics:

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
If I made you feel second best
Girl I’m sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
I guess I never told you
I am so happy that you’re mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me
Tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
And give me
Give me one more chance to keep you satisfied
I’ll keep you satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

You were always on my mind (you were always on my mind)
You were always on my mind

I’m adding this song to the Attachment Mix Tape as it so perfectly captures the internal world of withdrawers! The line repeated in this song, “you were always on my mind” hits the nail on the head. In a negative conflict cycle, withdrawers tend to keep their true feelings inside so their partner can’t see them. On the outside they look as if they are unaffected or “don’t care” about what’s happening with their partner. If you are a pursuer, it can be incredibly hard to believe that underneath dismissing or withdrawing responses, is an overwhelmed and defended person who values the relationship as much as you do. Both responses are valid ways of coping with attachment fears and needs, they are just different sides to the same coin. I hope this song helps build empathy for both roles in this very common relationship cycle!

To listen to some versions of this song, see the links below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9sRJ-eOHnc&feature=related
Elvis’ version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7f189Z0v0Y * my favorite! This performance really captures the emotion of the song!
Willie Nelson’s version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXB0ebsc-z0
Pet Shop Boys’ version (and great 80′s video!)

To check out the Attachment “Mix Tape” in progress on Spotify, click here: https://open.spotify.com/user/22bo4igxue27lbl3qjsrrhqxi/playlist/5annt8MmbhckEwuVk74XEp

Thanks for reading!  As always, questions or comments are welcome!

 


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