The Toll of Trauma: How to Heal Your Relationship
When you’re in a relationship with a trauma survivor, there are many obstacles to overcome. Furthermore, it can be difficult to see someone you care about struggling with the impact of trauma or abuse. Still, it’s possible to have a fulfilling, loving, and healthy relationship.
Making your partner feel safe and letting them know they can trust you are the key components to healing your relationship after a traumatic event. If the trauma occurred before your relationship, don’t worry! There are still things you can do to let your partner know you’re there for them, no matter what.
How Can Trauma Impact Your Relationship?
How trauma affects a relationship depends on the type of event(s) your partner experienced. It could be anything from child abuse to a car accident. No matter the type of trauma, there are certain obstacles that usually affect relationships when one person has gone through something that incredibly impacting.
Some of the most common hurdles you’ll face from your partner include:
- Difficulty accepting love
- Emotional distance
- Constant doubt in your faithfulness
- Over or under-reaction to a conflict
It’s important to understand that trauma survivors need different types of support. They need to take care of themselves, and they also need certain elements from your relationship.
Let’s take a look at these two areas, and how you can be a supportive partner.
Self-Care for You and Your Partner
Trauma survivors dedicate a great deal of their energy to taking care of their emotional, mental, and physical health. Everyone has a different way of doing this. But, one of the best things a survivor can do is to have an amazing support system. That includes you, as their partner.
For some, professional help may be needed. Don’t ever force your partner into seeking out help. But, you can certainly encourage it in a positive manner. While you’re encouraging your loved one’s self-care, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
The toll of trauma on a relationship is taxing for both parties involved. Take time for yourself as needed to make sure you’re healthy and emotionally-prepared to support your partner.
How to Have a Healthy Relationship With a Trauma Survivor
There are many different ways you can be supportive of your partner after they’ve dealt with a traumatic event. A powerful way to support your partner is to educate yourself about the impact of trauma. The more you understand what your partner is going through, the easier it will be to heal your relationship.
Communication is the biggest key when it comes to improving your relationship with a trauma survivor. The right kind of communication helps to provide comfort. It can also help to restore a feeling of tranquility. That’s especially important when your partner is having a flashback or going through a rough time.
Bring your partner’s attention to the present when they’re struggling with something from the past. When you’re able to remind them that they’re currently safe and secure, it can help with certain “attacks” on their mind and can calm them quickly.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek out your own professional help. It’s not uncommon for partners of trauma survivors to need extra help, too.
Loving a Survivor of Trauma
Relationships are challenging, to begin with. When you’re in a relationship with someone who has been through a traumatic experience, it’s even harder. But, it’s not impossible to practice deep healing techniques.
If you’re still struggling with how to help your partner, or if your relationship is suffering due to trauma, feel free to contact me. Together, we can develop effective strategies for healing.