Trauma can negatively impact the brain of the sufferer. Sometimes preventing it from functioning, and responding to certain situations properly.
What's even worse is how it can also negatively impact your relationship with others. Unhealed trauma can present itself in relationships, in such a manner that it hinders the relationship's progress.
Victims of trauma are reported to experience a decline in relationship satisfaction. This is backed up by the inability to show emotions, and engage in sexual activity, intimacy, and communication.
Let's discuss some ways trauma affects one's relationships/love life.
Trauma can cause one to think low of themselves or feel worthless. You may find it difficult to be assertive, set boundaries, and confront your partner.
You could find yourself accepting and accommodating bad behavior, the bare minimum, and loveless acts. Trauma can have you feeling like you deserve little to nothing. It could cause you to stay in unhealthy relationships, all because you feel you aren't good enough. Or you don't deserve better.
As a trauma victim, you might be attracted to "bums". You might also date individuals for validation. Even blaming yourself for your partner's excesses of bad behavior.
Trauma can have you questioning everyone's motive, including yours. Believing your partner, or trusting them would pose a serious challenge for you. This can negatively impact your relationship.
You may be repeatedly searching for red flags or a reason to not trust your partner. Your judgment is tainted, making it difficult for you to make good decisions in the relationship.
Your inability to trust your partner will manifest into constant nitpicking, checking your partner's devices, and overanalyzing a harmless text or comment.
This problem can even prevent you from getting into a relationship at all.
Trauma can create an overwhelming feeling of loneliness in someone. This feeling can be so powerful, it would be almost impossible to connect with people. You could be in a room filled with people but you are overcome by a crippling feeling of loneliness.
This feeling would affect your love life as it would be draining to form a connection or bond with a potential partner.
If you are already in a relationship, problems would arise when you keep spacing out or fail to pay attention to your partner. This feeling can also prevent you from enjoying intimacy/sex with your partner.
Trauma can trigger a person's fight or flight response in the brain. However, when the trauma hasn't been processed or healed this response can over function.
An active flight or fight response (amygdala) will cause the individual in a constant state of anxiety, panic and fear.
This would cause you to be extremely defensive, and quick to anger. You could approach everything with a competitive mindset, by trying to be ahead. So you don't get hurt.
Overthinking and overanalyzing situations would put you at the risk of self-sabotage.
All thanks to trauma, one might be left feeling like nothing good can ever happen to them. You approach relationships or dating with this mindset. So you are never excited to meet a new person or go on a date.
You don't succumb to the sweet luxury of imagining something good coming out of meeting a new person. Instead, you succumb to negative thoughts about a new relationship or date without giving it a chance.
Trauma can have you grouping every person under one roof. You can catch yourself saying things like "all men or women are the same".
It can be quite difficult dealing with or dating someone with unhealed trauma. Some individuals are not even aware that their actions are a trauma response.
Being in a relationship with a trauma survivor can be quite difficult, to say the least. It is frustrating when you are unable to help your partner pull through or recover from what they've been through.
One way to help your partner and relationship is by going for Trauma-informed Therapy.
Trauma-informed therapy seeks an awareness of the widespread impact of trauma, recognizing its role in the outlook, emotions, and behavior of a person with a trauma history.
This therapy helps to uncover hidden trauma, and help the victim recover.
Trauma-informed therapy helps you and your partner learn to understand each individual’s story. You both learn how this story impacts the relationship, and how to process thoughts and emotions in healthier ways.
Asides from Trauma-informed therapy, here are other things that can help a relationship with a trauma survivor.
Communication is key in relationships, especially in involving a trauma survivor. Some sentences can serve as a trigger, so you both have to be mindful, to prevent triggering each other.
In tense situations that seem like they can escalate further, be willing to take a slow down. This will calm or diffuse the situation.
Constant reassurance also helps. Regularly reassuring your partner of their safety goes a long way.
Surrounding you and your partner with family and friends who love you both will also help. Find time to frequently visit or hang out with these people, to keep the environment and relationship surrounded by positivity.
You and your partner should also participate in fun activities outside of the relationship.
Take time to learn about trauma; its nature, and healing techniques. This can you and your partner become a more secure, and better functioning couple.
Dealing with trauma is difficult but dealing with trauma while in a relationship can be more difficult. It can also take an emotional toll on both parties.
However, with love, patience, and proper resources you and your partner can have a healthy relationship. All it takes is two individuals willing to put in the needed effort to make the relationship work. And the rest will be a piece of cake.
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