How to avoid trauma affecting your relationship

How to avoid trauma affecting your relationship

With Rois Ola

 

WE, at one point or the other, may have gone through one challenge or the other which is responsible to an extent on how we think and relate with others. Trauma at any age can have a profound impact on both individuals and relationships.

Learning how to help a partner with trauma can give you an opportunity to support your loved one’s journey while strengthening your bond. Do not try to fix them. Just try to understand how to help them, using healthy communication in finding out vulnerable things that can easily trigger the trauma. In the bid to learn and understand them, do not lose yourself or your identity, so that you yourself will not end up being   traumatized.

Relationships are formed every day, and they get broken every day. Relationships fulfil that need to belong, that need to have some form of human connection. In relationship, you not only give love, you are meant to receive it. Ideally, it is supposed to be a two- way thing. It forms companionships that shelter us from the tragedies of this world and circumstances in life.

The process of relationships can be difficult. This is particularly true when your partner has significant emotional challenges.

When your partner has endured trauma of any sort, such challenges can rise to the surface and shape both their experience of themselves and your experience of your relationship.

However, while trauma often presents its own sets of sadness and challenges, it can be the birth of a new dawn for you and your partner. There is a process to recovery, and if done the right way, it can enhance the love between you both. In addition, it strengthens that bond, if well nurtured to be everlasting.

There are few steps to take in ensuing traumas do not affect you relationship negatively.

They may appear difficult to do at a time, but with practice and a commitment to get things sorted, you can do it.

Believe in your partner

It sounds easy right? But this simple thing often causes issues amongst partners. Many people at times due to what they may have suffered may have a fear of being disbelieved.

Denial is a common response to the disclosure of abuse or any trauma deeply rooted and hidden in the life of your spouse. You have to do better by believing them. Treat them with respect even if you have the urge to not believe them. It is important to put those feelings aside.

Gaps in their words may cause some inconsistencies most at times may be because of the pain of the memories. Do not rationalize their pain away and this will do more harm than good. “I believe you” can be deeply empowering and it can be important to vocalize your belief in order to reduce their fears.

Believing your partner does not just mean believing in what they tell you about the events, but also the effects on their life. Believe your partner when they share their pain with you and how trauma has impacted their life.

Sometimes, you may not clearly see a connection between their traumatic experiences and their subsequent behaviour but try to trust their story unless if have reasons not to believe them

 

Try to cure them of trauma

Healing from a trauma takes time. It’s a process and a painful, time-consuming and confusing one. It is natural to want to cure them or find a way to fix them. Listen to them, validate their feelings, show them you are there for them. Just be present and patient, let them heal on their own. Give them the time and space to find themselves. Try to emotionally supportive as much as you can. Don’t use love to cover it all, face the facts with sympathy. Bear witness to their journey by being available when you can at the same time letting them be on their own terms.

 

Let communication lines be open

Trauma can have long lasting wounds, but communication helps a lot. It may be difficult, and at some point, there will be struggles due to wounded emotions like fear, shame and guilt.

For your partner, being able to talk about their trauma and its effects can be tremendously powerful and creating an environment in which that can happen is essential. Show that you are willing to listen and support and if they do share, a simple, “Thank you for telling me. I love you and I’m here for you” is often the best thing you can possibly say. However, your loved one may not be ready to talk about their experiences—in fact, they may never want to talk about their experiences—and that is okay too. Disclosure can be a complicated process and is not useful or emotionally safe for everyone in every situation. Accept and respect your partner’s needs and do not push them for information they are not prepared to offer.

Sometimes, things are easier said than done. However, in all, it is the effort and motive to help that count. Trauma can come in many forms, trauma from a bad relationship, from an abusive relationship, trauma from mother wounds or father wounds, sibling rivalry, all sorts can be experienced. The important thing is to be able to identify this pain point and know when to take action and how to support them. Believing that with time, everything will be okay. I wish you all the best.

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