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PATRICIA MCTAGUE-LOFT, MS, LMFT, FAPA, SAP
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Posted on: June 3, 2021
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Here’s a statement that should make most couples smile (if not laugh out loud): relationships are hard! Yes, even good relationships require work. Beyond normal relationships, though, there are a variety of problematic relationships that can be toxic. One in particular is known as a “trauma bond.”
Writing for Healthline.com, Crystal Raypole points out that a trauma bond “develops out of a repeated cycle of abuse, devaluation, and positive reinforcement.” This cycle can be especially insidious because a person often wants to make excuses for their partner or immediately forgive the abuse, especially if they apologize or alternate the abuse with kindness.
Why does this pattern occur? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, trauma bonds can form as a result of an unhealthy attachment or dependence on the abusive person to fulfill emotional needs.
There are key signs to look for if you believe you might be in such a relationship. According to Healthline, look for the following characteristics:
Should you leave a relationship if you decide you have a trauma bond? It might help to answer this question a little more objectively by asking yourself: If a loved one confided in you about their relationship, describing in detail the cycle of abuse, would you advise them to leave?
Posted in: Marriage Counseling