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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Jones

How Trauma affects your intimate relationship?

It is no secret that relationships are not easy to start or maintain. One of the most common discussion topics amongst Black people is intimate relationships. It’s the centerpiece in most of the popular television shows, books, blogs, and movies we consume. Intimate relationships are also the core of a community. If we do not have two people in a healthy relationship, we cannot have healthy families, which leads to not having a healthy community.

Its also no secrete that many Black communities across the United States struggle to have intact households. Healthy relationships are essential. However, once one individual has expected trauma in a relationship it changes everything. One of the biggest issues that present itself due to trauma are limited expectations. These expectations are developed as a result to previous experiences. Therefore, if someone experience trauma in a relationship chances are they will develop limited expectations to protect themselves.

These expectations can be major or minor things. Either way they are in place, consciously or subconsciously, to insure harm will not happen. One of the more common expectations is what the other person is supposed to do or give the other. Many relationships now days are built on what one person can get from (out) of the other, instead of together. This is a dangerous commonality in the Black community. People are plotting in their relationships to reach maximum benefit.

These lopsided relationships are destining for disaster.

Another common barrier in relationships is intergenerational traumatic behaviors. It’s a common thought, that a person will marry someone who is like the opposing gendered parent. Rather true or false, we all have been in a relationship with someone who had similar characteristics as one of your parents. But what happens when these traits are traumatic.

Its also common thought, that children who experience domestic violence in a relationship have a higher probability of being in an abusive relationships themselves.

This is because the pain is passed down. The pain develops certain types of thoughts and actions. One being violence itself. Some people use violence as the only way to settle problems. This is because violence is an easy answer to problems. However, it is not the best.

In short, the things we experience develop our behaviors and decision-making. This is the essence of the classic Social Learning theory. We must be honest and aware of the things we are bringing into our relationships. Some people are unaware why they do what they do in their relationships.

When these behaviors are abusive the relationship must come to an end or have some sort of intervention. The best method to address this is to treat your trauma prior to engaging in a serious committed relationship. This will allow one to fully develop a healthy relationship.

Trauma is kryptonite to healthy relationships.

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