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  • Understanding the' Fantasy Bond'

    A “fantasy bond” describes an illusion of connection between a couple that is substituted for feelings of real love and intimacy.

  • How Do I Know if I Have a Fantasy Bond?

    The fantasy bond exists when the reality of a deep, loving feeling is replaced by a more robotic form of going through the motions of an intimate relationship. Many factors including childhood experiences, the repeating of past patterns and a fear of being alone can drive people to a fantasy bond.

  • The Fantasy Bond: A substitute for a truly loving relationship

    A fantasy bond is the antithesis of a healthy personal relationship where individuals are free to express their real feelings and desires. This destructive tie functions to perpetuate feelings of distrust, self-hating thought processes, and the inward behavior patterns that each person brings to the relationship.

  • Breaking the Fantasy Bond with Our Mothers

    As women struggle to become their own person, to develop their own identity, to feel confident in their personal and professional goals, and to keep passion and love alive in their relationship, they often experience a kind of anticipatory fear that their independence and sexuality will threaten the illusory connection with their mother.

A “fantasy bond” describes an illusion of connection between a couple that is substituted for feelings of real love and intimacy. Forming a fantasy bond is an often unconscious act of self-parenting and self-protection, in which two people become pseudo-independent, replacing the real relating involved in being in love with the form of being a “couple.” The degree of reliance on a fantasy bond is proportional to the degree of frustration and pain experienced in a person’s developmental years. In this section, you can learn why fantasy bonds are formed, what qualities make up a fantasy bond, and how to avoid falling into an unhealthy “bond” in your own relationships.

You Don’t Really Know Yourself

Examining the persistence of our negative identity My life’s work has focused on understanding resistance in psychotherapy and more specifically, on people’s fundamental resistance to the formation of a better, more positive image of themselves.  For the most part, they ...

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Aug. 15 – The Fantasy Bond

Many struggles we face in our current interpersonal relationships arise from a core defense formed in childhood known as the “fantasy bond.” As one of the central concepts of Dr. Robert Firestone, the fantasy bond describes an illusion of connection we ...

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Who’s the Boss in Your Relationship?

How common power dynamics destroy our closest relationships At a recent dinner party, I witnessed a group of friends teasingly ask one another who was in charge in their relationship. The question was meant to be playfully provocative, with most ...

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7 Behaviors That Ruin a Relationship

How can you avoid the patterns that destroy a loving relationship? The question of why love fades or why people grow apart in their relationships is one of life’s great mysteries. What prevents us from maintaining the passion, attraction, admiration ...

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Stay in Love by Staying Out of Fantasy

There may now be hard science behind the notion that true love can last a lifetime. A neurological study from Stony Brook University revealed that couples who experience “romantic love” long-term can keep their brains firing in similar ways to couples who ...

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Working with High-Conflict Couples

A CE Webinar with Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. – In 2004, a national survey revealed that “how couples argue was more related to divorce potential than was what they argue about.” As therapists, many of us observe this reality on countless occasions throughout ...

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Fantasy Bond

Film supplement to the book “The Fantasy Bond”. In this dynamic interview, Dr. Robert W. Firestone discusses his concept of the “Fantasy Bond” and its relationship to the neurotic process with Dr. Richard Sieden, suicidologist, and Barry Langberg, attorney. The ...

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