PODCAST: How We Love–Attachment Styles and Marriage with the Yerkovichs!

by | May 19, 2022 | Podcasts | 15 comments

Merchandise is Here!

How do our attachment styles–or love styles–affect our marriage?

This month on the blog we’re talking all about attachment styles. So often we think that our marriage problems are about communication, or habits, or normal conflicts. But what if they’re rooted in how we learned to connect with people?

And even more importantly–what if, by understanding our own love style, we can actually grow?

Today on the Bare Marriage podcast I was thrilled to interview Milan and Kay Yerkovich, the authors of the book How We Love!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

0:10 Announcments
1:25 Interview with the Yerkovichs
3:10 Explaining the origins
9:30 The 5 Imprints/Connectors
39:30 How Connectors Collide & How to work through things
50:40 Everything you can find at HowWeLove.com !

How We Love explains how our love styles impact our marriage.

Last week I wrote about our love styles, and so many of you told me you found this concept so helpful. So I know you’re going to love this podcast! It’s all based on the book How We Love:

How We Love by Yerkovichs

In the podcast, Milan and Kay walk us through what attachment styles mean, and then talk about what the five love styles are like.

They then show us how understanding our love styles can help us grow in our marriage, and can help us finally feel connected to our spouse. Plus we can put an end to all those recurring fights we so often have!

And you’re going to love their role play!

We also talked about what to do if one person wants to explore this and thinks it has merit, but the other spouse doesn’t want to look into it. So good!

Support this Podcast with Knix Bras!

I love Knix bras. Like seriously love them. They fit amazingly well; they’re so comfortable. They look better than my underwire bras, but there is no underwire! I bought three over Christmas and NEVER wear my underwire ones anymore.

I’m an affiliate for Knix, and when you buy their bras or underwear or clothing I get a percentage. I want to make enough to start paying to transcribe this podcast! And I’m only promoting stuff I absolutely love myself.

And Canadian buyers get $15 off right away!

Knix Bras

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

  • Knix in Canada and Knix in the U.S.  Canadian customers get $15 off right away! And these honestly are awesome bras, and you’ll love the leakproof underwear too.
  • The Orgasm Course! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss is about, and you wonder why everyone is having fun but you–then don’t miss out. You deserve more.
  • The book How We Love, plus Milan and Kay’s site How We Love, with so much information. There are quizzes you can take, courses you can sign up for, and more. 
  • My post on the 5 Love Styles
Podcast of the Yerkovichs How We Love

Do you know your love style? Have you found this discussion of attachment theory helpful for your marriage? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Elyse

    Oddly enough, How We Love was the first book I looked up on the Scorecard of Evangelical Books. I was confident it would’ve scored well had it been included. I’ve been listening to the Yerkovich’s for years and am so excited to see them on the podcast! How We Love was the first SAFE marriage book I had ever read (and I read a lot!). The first marriage book I had ever read (and took to heart) was Created To Be His Helpmeet… So you can imagine the transformation and freedom I felt after finding the Yerkovich’s and Sheila!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, we excluded it because it simply didn’t talk about sex. It met our criteria (as one of the top 10 best-sellers) but we excluded it for that reason. But I do really love it!

  2. A2bbethany

    I know I tend to be very passive aggressive when I’m upset about something. Because I try to not express my anger and wrath. as a vacillator, watching my people pleasing husband, struggle to create boundaries, is hard. Or apologizing for me to my family, to just keep the peace! We both need therapy and his new job will pay for it! We just have to wait 3months from June and then I intend on using that perk alot!
    Interestingly I used to feel nothing at all, and was concerned about being a sociopath. I prayed about it and since then have been deluged with powerful emotions. I feel everything deeply and sensitively now. And several times have realized family members were pregnant before they’d even told anyone.

  3. Phil

    Sheila – remember when I said my favorite Podcast was all of them? Well – I did miss maybe 5-7 podcasts last summer so I cant say I have listened to them all anymore but! This was my favorite Podcast ever! Super fascinating. I have never listened to one of your Podcasts twice but I will be listening to this one again for sure. I do have a lot of comments but will stick to just two: With regard to the comment made on no school to teach emotional intelligence. While I whole heartedly agree, there are places to learn it. This is actually taught in 12 step programs. At least that has been my experience. We call it taking an inventory. Any good sponsor should be well versed in this. The way it takes place is first they take your inventory – for example this is where you messed up this is what feeling you were avoiding etc etc. The point is that they are helping you see and teaching you at the same time. Eventually you grow up and can do it yourself and then go help others. I truly think everyone needs to do this in their lives to some point. The second place you can learn emotional intelligence is counseling. I have been going to counseling almost my entire life really. My very first counselor I saw through childhood and into my 30’s (even my wife went with me to see him a few times). He once Told me he he had a theory. His theory was that people should see counselors at minimum like they visit the dentist two times per year. Just to check in and look at yourself. I have learned so much about emotional intelligence from counseling. About a year ago I had a blow out with my wife. I have been in 12 step program for the past 19 years and I have been in counseling for twice that time. You know what? I have a lot of issues and quite honestly I am the primary problem in my relationship with my wife. However, in our 22 years of marriage she really hasnt talked to anyone and hasnt really done much work on looking at herself. Somehow I am the one who needs more counseling and needs more work. ? Hmm so just one person needs to look at themselves and do work? I THINK NOT. So I wait. And for sake of leaving some of the story out my wife started talking to a counselor sometime late last year I believe. Does my wife need some serious issue uncovered? Probably not. But I have felt rejected by trying to improve our marriage. I know there is more than doing the dishes and whatever other tasks there are to be done. And slowly I am starting to see the change. I have not really opened myself up to attempting to indulge yet. I will be getting this book The Way We Love but NOPE not going to ask my wife to read it. NOPE not going to give her another book from Sheila lol. It will be there for her to decide for herself. And maybe one day I will feel safe again to put the flowers back on the table and to buy her her favorite chocolates and compliment and encourage the way I used to. I hang onto hope Sheila. We have a good marriage. We have a good family and good kids and the fruit is being revealed. More is yet to come. 😀

    • Phil

      And I left out touch her the way she likes to be touched. This would be nonsexual touch. And I want to add – I didnt premeditate to remove these things as punishment. And sometimes these things still happen. Frequency has dropped significantly in the past 2 years. Thats just what happens on a one way street.

      • Viva

        Love is generous, Phil.
        Look at how God pours out blessings to us, even his life. You could call it a one way street.
        Withholding is the heart of abuse.

        • Phil

          Viva – I suppose I resent that statement. Withholding isnt and wasnt the plan. It has been a natural progression as a result. I dont even like it. An example is that I have been told why do I need to touch you because you always touch me? So yeah I withdrew. I have been chasing my wife since I met her. Its easy for her. So I am just to go on loving as you say and be ok with Mediocrity? Yeah – dont really like your comment – you can keep it. Thanks.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Yes, withholding can also be a protective measure and a boundary setting behaviour.

          • Phil

            And further – interesting: Your comment has the flavor of turning the victim into the abuser and after more thought it is clear you do not know what love is.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      More is yet to come, Phil! That’s awesome. And, yes, I really enjoyed talking to Milan and Kay. I hope you love How We Love! I did find it fascinating.

      And that’s really interesting about 12 step programs too. Makes a lot of sense, really.

  4. Jen

    I’m so excited to read this book. Attachment styles are proving to be a key area of recovery for us as we rebuild from 30 years of betrayal and compulsivity. My husband grew up in a highly abusive and chaotic home, and, of course, has the chaotic/disorganized attachment style. He was understandably scared of intimacy and had emotional anorexia from the horrific abuse he endured at the hands of a Borderline mother. He worked himself silly trying to show love to me (that was the only way to gain approval from his mom) while he was also managing his pain through sex addiction, non-sexual compulsivity, and perfectionism. The guilt of repeatedly breaking our covenant, along with the effort it took to hide the reality of his choices from himself, kept him even more distant. He says he desired closeness, though, and I witnessed this; he just seemed genuinely baffled as to how to get it.

    Guess what type I am? I am able to securely attach in many ways, but when I float into insecure attachment, I’m a vacillator. This definition really helps me understand all of the anger I’ve had at my husband all of these years (even though I just found out about the betrayals in 2020).
    I realized really early in our marriage that there was a problem, but I didn’t have words for it. God is now giving me lots of explanations for what was happening!

    My question is this: in the podcast Kay said that Vacillators blame the relationship for their bad feelings. How do you heal from vacillating when the relationship literally was the problem? I understand that I brought issues into our marriage as well, and I understand that the vacillator style would make our situation much more painful for me. But, as I heal, I can’t just say to myself, “Self, the problems you saw in your marriage were your insecurities popping up.” No, my husband literally betrayed me while telling me he was faithful and honest. For 30 years. And he ran from me emotionally. I was the one working for connection, and when he could manage it, he connected to the level he was able.

    We are working SO HARD to heal now. It took me about 18 months to accept that I had been in an unsafe, abusive, and neglectful marriage. Why am I staying? Because I’ve watched him struggle to change, and I saw this happening even before his confession – in fact, the confession surely came from a place of growth. (And we have an awesome licensed therapist. I’m safe).

    Blah, blah, blah. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Attachment styles are just another piece in this excruciatingly painful puzzle.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, it really is a painful puzzle! I think for me realizing I was a vacillator just helped me to see that I was putting way too much of my emotional safety in my relationship. And I had to pull it back. So in your case it’s not that the betrayal didn’t hurt, it’s just that it hurt you more than it could have otherwise. I’m glad you’ve got a good licensed therapist!

  5. Viva

    I believe that it is very important to not apply attachment theory or any other model to situations where abuse is present. Sexual betrayal, lying and other forms of unfaithfulness are not marriage problems or misunderstandings of attachment style.
    Understanding attachment style differences in a mutual partnership in which both people are committed to learning and growing is likely to lead to greater intimacy. The same knowledge discussed in a marriage where abuse (betrayal and dishonesty) is present is likely to be wielded by the abusive spouse as another weapon of oppression.
    No form of insecure attachment or past trauma justifies abusive behavior.

  6. denisse

    I know it is off topic but guess it will be easy to reach you since it is a recent post. Do you have a post or podcast about what to do when you have sexual desire but are single?

  7. Susanna H

    I liked this podcast but I felt the guests (and some of the comments here) are conflating some relational dynamics learned in childhood with one’s attachment style.
    Attachment theory, as we understand it up to this point, says that attachment styles are formed very early in life— the first 2 or so years.
    We go on to learn different ways of relating and can be affected for good or ill after that, but I don’t believe those relational dynamics are synonymous with one’s attachment style.
    People who are truly insecurely attached (no safe, responsive caregiver in early years) struggle to form and maintain relationships for the rest of their life. That’s not to say that no coping mechanisms can be learned and no healing can ever take place, but one doesn’t just “drift in and out of insecure attachment” as one comment alludes.
    I imagine the podcast guests actually know this, and are trying to speak broadly for a non-academic audience (of which I am a member! I haven’t studied this stuff either), but it feels irresponsible to suggest people from relatively healthy and happy families may be insecurely attached, when really we mean there are some communication styles or some unmet needs that manifest themselves in difficult relational dynamics sometimes.

    It is also irresponsible to just smile and nod when your guests say, “We don’t believe the research that more than 50% of people are securely attached.”
    As Sheila has reminded us many times, one cannot just “disbelieve research.”
    That part of the episode seemed proof to me that when attachment scientists speak of “securely attached,” and when the Yerkoviches speak of it, they mean two different things.

    I hope this doesn’t sound overly critical! I think understanding one’s past and family dynamics are hugely important! I enjoyed much of this material! So maybe I am just playing word games here, but I think defining our terms is really important.


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