How Does Trauma Effect Relationships?
How Does Childhood Trauma Effect Relationships?
Past traumatic experiences can greatly impact the way someone behaves and responds in a relationship. Trauma can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, all of which impair a person’s sense of safety and security in relationships. When a person is feeling insecure in their relationship, they may respond as if they are re-experiencing a past traumatic incident, with fight, flight, freeze, or submit and collapse responses.
10 Ways Trauma Can Effect a Relationship
1. Difficulty accepting constructive criticism or feedback: Individuals with a trauma history tend to have low self-worth and feelings of shame, making them highly sensitive to feedback from their partner.
2. Pulling away or being overly needy: Trauma can lead to an insecure attachment and a fear of abandonment. Many respond to this insecurity by either avoiding or clinging to their partner.
3. Disconnected or numb during physical intimacy: Many trauma survivors find it difficult to be vulnerable, causing them to shut down or appear disconnected during sexual intimacy.
4. Difficulty feeling or expressing emotions: Trauma survivors struggle to identify and connect to their feelings which can caused strained communication.
5. Poor conflict resolution skills: Many trauma survivors avoid conflict or become overly reactive during arguments with their partners.
6. Difficulty trusting: Trauma survivors tend to be guarded and fearful of re-victimization, which creates trust issues in their relationship.
7. Choosing unhealthy partners: Trauma survivors tend to engage in a pattern of unhealthy relationships and may choose partners that resemble their past abuser.
8. Becoming overly dependent on partner: Some trauma survivors lack a self-identity and create a sense of safety by focusing on the needs of other people.
9. Confusion about the reality of the relationship: Many trauma survivors are confused and unsure if abuse really took place. This causes self-doubt and increased anxiety in relationships.
10. Negative expectations of the relationship: Traumatic experiences can cause a negative view of the self, the world, and others, leading to negative assumptions about one’s partner.
How Therapy Heals Trauma
A therapist can help you understand how past trauma is showing up in your present relationships. Through therapy you can:
- Develop healthier coping skills
- Learn to communicate your needs and emotions
- Understand your attachment style
- Strengthen self-worth
- Learn how to work through conflict with your partner
- Feel safer and more secure in relationships
- Choose healthier partners
Get Started with a Trauma Therapist in Tennessee & Georgia
I specialize in working with survivors of PTSD and Complex/Developmental Trauma. Contact me to get started with Trauma Therapy.
Online Locations: Nashville, Tennessee – Brentwood, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Sandy Springs, Georgia – Greater Tennessee and Georgia Area
Mailing Addresses: 1604 Westgate Circle, Brentwood TN. 37027 – 5887 Glenridge Dr. Sandy Springs, GA. 30328