No one gets into a romantic relationship expecting things to go south. If you’re putting your trust in a romantic partner, experiencing emotional, mental, or physical abuse from them can feel like the ultimate betrayal. Depending on the situation and those involved, it can even be traumatic.
Relationship trauma occurs when any kind of abuse exists between a couple. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse are common factors that play into this type of trauma, and they can have long-lasting psychological effects. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common signs of relationship trauma and how you can overcome it to find freedom in your life once more.
Why Does Relationship Trauma Occur?
It’s impossible to determine why some people feel they have the right to abuse others, especially in relationships. But, there’s often a common underlying factor that comes into play with abusers. They want to gain power over their partners. That can be done through manipulation, physical force, or controlling behavior. Some of the most prominent ways in which an abusive partner creates a relationship of control include bullying, threatening, controlling finances, and the destruction of personal property.
Some forms of abuse aren’t always as easy to spot. For example, some abusers will use “love bombing” tactics to manipulate their partners. If your partner tries to influence your decisions by showing you constant love and affection, it’s not real love—it’s manipulation and control.
What Are the Signs of Relationship Trauma?
It’s not always easy to identify abusive behaviors in a relationship. However, even if you know you’re being abused, you might try to downplay it or assume you’re not being traumatized by it. That’s why it’s so important to understand and recognize the common signs of relationship trauma, including:
- Feelings of fear
- Getting startled easily
- Difficulty trusting
As you might expect, relationship trauma can severely hinder your day-to-day life. It can make you see things from a negative perspective, especially if you have a hard time trusting people. It can also impact future relationships. You might be hesitant to get involved with someone because of what you’ve been through.
When to Seek Help
There’s never a bad time to reach out for help if you’ve experienced relationship trauma. If any of the symptoms listed above are affecting your romantic life, friendships, career, or familial relationships, consider it a sign that you should talk to someone about what you’ve been through.
Additionally, asking for help can provide a sense of relief. You might start to feel safe for the first time in a very long time, and you’ll likely find that you have more support in your corner than you realize.
How to Heal
So, what kind of help should you be looking for? Relationship trauma can be overcome, but it’s not something that you should do on your own. One of the best things you can do is to reach out to a trauma-informed therapist. Therapy can help you heal by providing strategies that make it easier to take control of your symptoms. Some of those strategies include creating a safe environment, establishing boundaries, and practicing self-care.
Support from your family and friends is always important. They’ll be there for you to lean on, and they’ll hold you accountable when you’re trying to fight back. But don’t hesitate to talk to a professional to jumpstart the process and get to the root of your trauma. It’s not a quick or easy fix, and your relationship trauma likely didn’t happen overnight. However, it is possible to heal.
If you’re ready to get the help you deserve, feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.