I’m catching up with clients after a short break and we’re already sharing lightbulb moments about the impact of trauma on relationships. I’m keen to share, especially as I’ve already got new couples reaching out for help after the first few months of the year have started to take their toll.
This is for you if you’re struggling with couple drama that leaves you feeling drained, frustrated and hopeless every time.
If you’re avoiding connecting with your partner fully because you fear that drama will plague your life again and relationships feel like one big risk.
Trauma can be insidious
Just because we can’t identify an isolated event, circumstance or incident that triggered our trauma it doesn’t mean that we haven’t internalised psychological overwhelm.
Never underestimate the power of the dark subconscious.
This is why I prefer to look at the quality of the emotional responses when you present for help in obvious distress and correlate the behavioural patterns that are causing such trouble – complex problems are never black and white.
It isn’t a competition
It’s impossible to measure and compare one person’s distress to another’s because we can only ever empathise with and try to understand one another’s experiences.
So don’t fall into the trap of comparison.
It’s too easy to assume a problem is either worse for ourselves or say it’s bound to feel worse for our partner as a result of what we/they have been through. There’s a risk this can push us towards ‘victim’ mode, compound psychological distress or emphasise vicarious trauma, which is an energy that erodes relationships because it means we’re simply unable to be our true selves.
Relationships are mirrors – and opportunities
I believe it’s ironic that we often find partners whose trauma responses play into our own – for example X withdraws and can’t connect when trauma surfaces, while Y desperately seeks reassurance and pushes forward against X’s withdrawal when her unmet needs send her into distress and overwhelm.
Result? Drama and suffering.
So many people see this as lack of compatibility and worry they bring out the worst in each other.
Please think twice before turning your back on love because of ‘the mirror’ in your life.
I prefer to see ‘the mirror’ as a synchronistic chance to explore individual and couple transformation within the container of committed relating. What a Cosmic joke that the very person who’s seems to challenge us to the core is the person alongside whom we have the potential to find deep healing. This is the kind of magic I absolutely love to facilitate and witness with the clients I work with.
It might seem scary and you may feel resistant to change, especially if traumatic relationship patterns seem to have followed you around for years. But I speak from personal experience too – the peace, relief, security and freedom we feel when we’ve worked through our trauma is well worth it.
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