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What is a Trauma Bonded Relationship?

Trauma bonded relationships consist of:


Inconsistency

Chaos

Disruption

Invalidation

Push pull dynamic - This looks like ups and downs. One moment the relationship feels good and the next you are questioning your partner’s intentions. An example, he or she calls everyday for a week and suddenly stops calling appearing to have loss interest.


A key element in these type of relationships is this idea of, “Chasing the good days.”

By chasing the good days, the trauma bonded person feels as if the abuse or dysfunction isn’t that bad. The trauma bonded individual continues to chase and glorify the good days, while ignoring the bad. An example of cognitive dissonance.


The victim or survivor ( trauma bonded person), will over fixate on their own behavior, or on their partner’s behavior in order to keep the good days coming. This is manipulation, as the trauma bonded adult will try almost anything to earn the love of their partner just like they tried to earn the love of their parent or caregiver.

Recreating the dysfunctional dynamics from childhood in their adult relationship. It’s a pattern that has become a habit and possibly their relationship template.


Their ability to get their partner to behave in such a way, he or she may feel that good feeling again, becomes a focal point, for the relationship. Similar to an addiction. The addict will do anything to feel the high even at their own detriment. This is why these type of toxic relationships can be difficult to leave or resist. The “good feeling or treatment,” becomes addictive, because it is seen subconsciously as a reward rather than a right to be treated kindly, with love and respect.


This is rooted in hope. Hope to receive love, attention or validation. As a child hopes to win over their parent’s time, affection, attention and acceptance.


As an adult you are still trying to prove you are worthy of what you didn’t receive.


The core belief is love has to be earned.

Does this resonate with you?

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