Because survivors of complex childhood trauma can function with the appearance of normalcy in everyday life, especially if they are very talented, there can be such ambiguity in your experience. On one hand, your life can have the appearance of, or potential for, what others would call success. On the other hand, you are often simultaneously recovering from a storm, experiencing a storm, and watching new storm clouds gather. This makes it seemingly impossible to gain stability and traction in your life. Building a healthy bond with a trauma survivor means working a lot on communication. Grappling with relationship issues can heighten fear and may trigger flashbacks for someone with a history of trauma.

Expression of these emotions may also be compromised. This is often referred to as emotional dysregulation. Attachment style vaguely refers to the way you conceive relationships and the type of bonds you tend to form with other people. It’s based on the relationships you had with your primary caregivers.

Childhood trauma can have a profound impact on both individuals and relationships. However, learning how to help a partner with childhood trauma can give you an opportunity to support your loved one’s journey while strengthening your bond. By believing your partner, resisting the urge to fix them, maintaining healthy communication, and learning to not take things personally, you can create a strong foundation of support. However, it is also essential to take care of yourself through your loved one’s healing process in order to maintain your own well-being and allow you to better participate in your partner’s recovery. “Trauma affects the brain on a physiological level,” says Koerwer. This is why it’s crucial for people to be trauma sensitive in relationships — where we do a lot of interpersonal healing — but it’s equally important that everyone is doing their own inner work.

Gaps and inconsistencies are normal because trauma can interfere with memory. And people who seem good, loving, and harmless can be abusers. Do not try to rationalize away your partner’s painful memories to seek comfort in denial. If you find yourself wanting to disbelieve or minimize, examine that impulse. What does your partner’s experience bring up in you that causes you to react with denial? These may be issues that you need to work on for both your own benefit and that of your loved one.

Even avoidant trauma survivors, who by nature have an easy going and non confrontational way about them, can deploy an arsenal of blame when confronted. This is because they so easily feel criticized and threatened. The first anchor is being able to understand the nature of the issue. If you do not have at least a cursory understanding of trauma, you will likely weary yourself mentally, emotionally, and even physically trying to out fires, establish rhythms, and solve problems. Trauma issues in marriage need more than good communication skills and weekly date nights to solve the problem – though communication skills and date nights are important, too!

And when children are involved, divorce seems like more trauma being passed onto the kids and the cycle never really heals. Perhaps this family trauma has to heal over generations. It’s painful because I had a wonderful childhood and I loath the idea of creating trauma for my children when I know how to give them better.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) From Infidelity And Betrayal

Either way, he has value to your life and your journey. My anxiety has been triggered in the last 24 hours because I am picking up on less enthusiasm from his side about me. I want to have sex more often than he does, and he is less flirtatious with me over text than he used to be. In a deteriorating relationship, there will inevitably come a time when the damage has been done and nothing can save it.

How Does Developmental Trauma Impact Identity Formation?

This is called “splitting,” a symptom where you’re perceived as either all good or all bad. To manage it, they may need to make you the “bad guy” for a while. When you’re dating someone with BPD, there are times when you may go from being the hero to being the villain in their eyes.

Behaviors are driven by beliefs, and when we have Childhood PTSD, a lot of our beliefs came from trauma experiences. Trauma beliefs are cultural, they’re family-learned, and they’re reinforced by our friends . We usually know what we’re doing wrong, and we can try to make ourselves “act normal,” but this kind of symptom-fix is usually only temporary. Of the many miracles in my life, the one that changed my life the most happened on the day I stopped having crap relationships. At the time, I had no idea why the same old hurtful, humiliating problems kept happening.

The person outside of the primary relationship, who has been willing to be a co-betrayer, often feels that he or she has claimed possession of the infidel. That individual may not be willing to be dismissed and can become a deterrent to a relationship’s potential healing. If a relationship is wavering and the people within it are no longer as bonded as they once were, one or both of the partners may be searching for meaning outside the relationship. If those yearnings are not shared and the relationship goes unresolved, they are more likely to transform into actions.

Learn to be clear on the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Try not to settle for someone you can’t truly feel safe and comfortable with. Be patient with yourself and learn to trust and love again. But most important of all, learn to trust and love yourself. There is no doubt about it, being married to a survivor of complex childhood trauma is not easy. But it is possible to anchor yourself in the midst of the tumultuous waters.

If you are seeking professional advice for your circumstances, please reach out to a certified therapist. The only thing that can possibly change is your own tolerance and perception of them. When that happens, maybe you’ll think, “Oh, that’ll change” or “I can make them better”. Just as you shouldn’t expect a potential partner to fix you, you shouldn’t expect to fix them, either.