How Does Trauma Hurt Relationships? >>> Are Your Relationships in Trouble?

Are Your Relationships in Trouble?

Your relationships may be in trouble if they involve negative interactions more often than positive ones. John Gottman, Ph.D., a world famous marriage researcher, has spent 20 years studying thousands of relationships. He found people in happy relationships report 5 times more positive experiences with each other than they do negative ones.

Gottman found, after a fight or disagreement, happy couples “repair “the break and go on, rather than stay in the anger and hurt. He also found that expressions of disgust towards a partner are strong indicators that a relationship is in trouble.

Collected from the work of many therapists, the following lists offer examples of some very painful dynamics that can be found in troubled relationships of all kinds (not just intimate ones.) Often the dynamics are a result of patterns learned from role modeling in childhood, or developed in response to traumatic experiences.

Although many of these dynamics are fairly common, it may be disconcerting to see them in print, and to realize that they may be present, in one degree or another, in your relationships. Awareness is the first step to changing


destructive patterns: The lists are presented here to help you identify the problems and inspire you to make life-affirming changes. Positive change is especially important if you are now role modeling relationship dynamics for a child.

If the patterns you are displaying in your relationships are a result of traumatic experiences, or poor communication and relationship skills, you will more than likely need professional help to change them. You can take responsibility for your harmful behavior in relationships, and change what you are role modeling to others. Please note: If you are presently in danger, or a danger to yourself or others, please seek professional help.

Destructive Relationship Patterns

You are invited you to explore this site and learn more about how unresolved issues from your past may keep you from enjoying success and happiness now and in the future. We trust you will be pleased with the compassionate and effective care offered by our therapists. As caring professionals skilled in the therapeutic use of EMDR, we support your quest for health, happiness and well-being.

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