Trauma and your relationship

Trauma refers to any event that can scar people. It leads to fear, confusion, hurt, and helplessness. Different people respond to trauma differently

Trauma refers to any event that can scar people. It leads to fear, confusion, hurt, and helplessness. Different people respond to trauma differently, but it does have a significant impact on one’s life.

The impact of trauma is not limited to the person who experienced it. Trauma has the ability to affect people associated with the person who underwent the harrowing experience. Since romantic partners share a close bond, therefore, trauma of one inexplicably has an impact on the other.

Trauma response

In light of any act of violence or abuse, or trauma of any other form, our bodies try to protect itself. It can lead to people having PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, which requires treatment from a Psychiatrist in Lahore.

Alongside affecting one’s sensibilities, trauma can also cause behavioral changes. Some people might become more aggressive, while others tend to become more dissociated and depressed. Trauma can also cause people to turn to different substances. 

Trauma and relationships

Relationships are affecting depending on the person’s trauma response. But some common issues that occur include:

  • Becoming distant
  • Lacking interest in sex
  • Becoming violent
  • Having anxiety
  • Not addressing issues
  • Stonewalling
  • Disengaging from the reality
  • Exhibiting aggressive tendencies
  • Refusing to share the pain
  • Becoming distrustful
  • Having depression
  • Becoming avoidant

Helping your partner with trauma

For the sake of not just your partner, but your relationship as well, you must take steps to help your partner through this difficult period in their life. Some helpful things to do include:

Educate yourself

Instead of making bloopers because of your lack of knowledge on the subject or taking offense when your partner does something on account of their trauma, educate yourself about the psychological impact of trauma.

It will allow you get better acquainted with their state of mind, make you more empathetic and regulate your response better.

Learn their triggers

Most traumas have certain triggers that can derail the person’s progress and cause them to feel react irrationally. As it causes them to relive and recall their trauma, avoiding triggers is very important.

Therefore, learn what your partner’s triggers are, and work on excluding them or doing your best to avoid them.

Be watchful of your conduct

You partner might do or say things that irk you or hurt you. Instead of then lashing out, and reacting immediately, take a step back from the moment. They are not intentionally exhibiting such a behavior but are also at the mercy of their trauma. Therefore, regulate your emotions and cut them some slack.

Be kind to them

Experiencing trauma of any sort is not easy. Only the person living with it can fully understand the extent of the impact that it has. Hence, try being more compassionate and kinder towards them. Understand that they have been through something very hard, and they need your love, support, and kindness now, more than ever.

Your patience will be tested, but remain steadfast

Even though trauma response can vary as per the extent of the trauma, but more often than not, it causes people to display a wide range of irrational emotions.

You must thus, learn to be patient. If you are not, their mental health will be further harmed. In extreme cases, it can also cause irreparable damage to your relationship.

Avoid unhelpful words

When one is undergoing trauma, the last thing they want to hear is are the cliché phrases meant to motivate the person. Telling them things were destined to happen or asking them to learn from the experience is not helpful; it irritates them and trivializes their pain.

Instead, give them the space to be honest with you. Let than rant, let them vent. Do not preach them. All they need is your support. 

Get them to visit a professional

Despite your earnest efforts, you cannot heal your partner. In fact, you should not even try replacing a professional. You can of course lend them support, but you cannot be a substitute for a mental health expert like Dr. Shehla Alvi.  Therefore, encourage them to visit the expert.

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