We all have our individual attachment systems which become activated when we are under stress. when in a relationship, we tend to react to our partner's stress. One of the most common forms of attachment within a relationship is the avoidant-anxious couple where the pain of one partner draws in the other. The avoidant attached partner is drawn to how the other partner expresses how needed he or she is and carries the insecurity they both have. the avoidant partner becomes attractive because of the avoidant behaviour. they follow this pattern and avoid true intimacy because they are very insecure.
How does one handle this in a safe way? Make note of your emotional responses to stress. Be realistic and do not link stress to things that are not there. Talking therapy can help you recognise your attachment system and manage stress properly. Your inner child can be worked on. A good Therapist can help you unlearn unhelpful patterns and replace them with positive patterns. Such work is painful but healing does take place eventually. Look at it this way... You are investing in your future relationships so you can have a happy and fulfilling intimate existence with your partner.
Bowlby, J. 2014 John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy) Routledge
Gerhardt, S. 2014 Why Love Matters. Routledge
Bowlby, J. 2005 The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds Routledge