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How Trauma Affects Relationships

Can the shadows of our past actually define the love we experience in the present? 

Listen to the podcast episode, or read below:



Have you ever sat down and considered how trauma impacts our relationships? 

“ Love is a beautiful puzzle. “

Just when we think we have it figured out, a new piece appears that reshapes the entire picture. This puzzle, with its intricate pieces, is deeply influenced by our experiences and traumas. 

Every scrape, 

every tear, 

. . . and every heartbreak leaves a mark, dictating how we love and how we want to be loved.


The Effects of Unresolved Trauma on Relationship

If we take a moment and think, our past is a silent partner in our relationships. 

It's the whisper in our ear when things get tough. Trauma, whether big or small, impacts how we connect with others. It's like an invisible filter, coloring our interactions and decisions. 

JM and Valerie's journey is an exemplary testament to this. From their survival mode to seeking validation, their past played an undeniable role.


The Stages Aren’t Linear

It's crucial to understand that these patterns don't follow a set path. One doesn't necessarily move from survival to acceptance, then validation, and so forth. 

It's kind of a ladder but disguised in a maze. . . 

There are detours, dead ends, and surprises at every corner. Some might find themselves swinging back and forth between acceptance and validation, while others might leap from survival directly to individuation assertion. The journey is deeply personal.


What Lies Ahead?

As we prepare to plunge into the collateral pattern of relationships, it promises to be an eye-opening exploration. These relationships, being more fleeting, offer a different flavor of lessons and challenges. 

They might be temporary, but they leave permanent marks on our souls. So, brace yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions and insights.


The Dual Sides of Relationships

Based on intriguing insights from therapist Carmen Lynch and Dr. Daniels from Sonoma State University, relationships can be lumped into two categories. For today, we're exploring this first - The Five Dominant Pattern Relationships:


The Survival Relationship

Imagine feeling lost without your partner, like a ship without its anchor. This is the heart of the survival relationship. It's not just about being emotionally attached but also about the essentials. 

Think of it as two people trying to find shelter during a storm or someone helping the other pay bills. 

Like Valerie recalled, a time existed where she couldn't even get up for school. She leaned heavily on JM. For her, survival was literal, and JM was her lifeline.


The Acceptance Relationship

“ Dreaming of a relationship where both laugh, trust, and wholly accept each other? “

This is the kind that most of us wish for.

JM vividly recollected living through this phase with Valerie. Even when she was struggling, in his eyes, they were a team. He supported her, believed in their bond, and saw through the tough times.


The Validation Relationship

This - validation !

It's like that little pat on the back we all secretly or (not-so-secretly) desire. Here, one partner seeks approval for everything. Be it their looks, intelligence, or even their hobbies. 

These are like those times when Valerie's calls to JM at work.

"Can I paint?" or "What do you want for dinner?"

She was always seeking that nod of approval.


The Scripted Relationship

Ah, high school sweethearts! 

They're like those couples straight out of a movie, living up to everyone's expectations.

Valerie and JM giggled at this one, reminiscing about their younger days.

 Remember 'Grease'?

 Yep, it’s that “you're the one that I want” type of love.

Individuation Assertion Relationship

A mouthful, isn't it? This type centers on personal growth and understanding. Think of it as two artists painting a joint masterpiece. 

They might use different brushes or colors, but they respect each other’s choices. It's all about appreciating differences, growing individually, yet together. 

Valerie feels they're in this phase now, and JM agrees. It's like they’ve evolved, applying all they've learned, respecting each other's spaces and still lovingly sharing a life.

As for the second, the collateral patterns, we'll save that juicy bit for our next read.


Final Thoughts

While understanding these patterns gives us a roadmap, the real challenge lies in navigating them. The beauty of relationships is in their unpredictability. Just when we think we've mastered the dance, the tune changes. But that is what makes it thrilling.

As our exploration wraps up, I've got a nugget to share: each of our journeys in relationships is unique. 

Like Valerie and JM, some days are sunny, and some are stormy. But isn't that the essence of love? Recognizing, accepting, and supporting each other through every pattern.

Speaking of which , if JM and Valerie's journey resonated with you, there's more in store. 

Ever wondered about temporary relationships? Those that flicker and fade? 

Well, that's our next stop. Learn about the collateral pattern of relationships and see how trauma can lead us into temporary bonds.

Together, let's continue to  unravel the mysteries of the heart. It will show a deeper understanding of the nature of relationships and how trauma plays its part. Be sure to tune in to “How Trauma Affects Relationships: Part 2” for more soul-stirring content.


So, are you ready for the next article? Just click here: How Trauma Affects Relationships: Part 2

It promises revelations, soul-searching questions, and perhaps, a clearer reflection of your own love story.

“ Remember, love is an adventure, not a destination. And You Create The Life You Want“