How To Have A Relationship With Someone Who Has Past Trauma

Dating someone with PTSD is just like dating anyone else, but you just need to remember to keep an eye out for any warning signs or triggers so that you can help them as effectively as possible. And finally, people may choose to change their clothing choices, dressing differently than before experienced the trauma. Trauma can be emotionally and physically draining, so it is vital to take breaks and preserve your energy, so you can continue to be there for the person dealing with trauma.


Sometimes these actions are out of their control and they are just reacting to stress or bad memories. How they act and feel is not your fault, so don’t lash out at them in return. Just give them a moment to take a breath and calm down first, then you can attempt to talk about it with them if you wish.

Learn the Triggers

In those early days of dating, we didn’t sit down and have a formal conversation about post-traumatic stress disorder . But it soon became apparent that the challenges of our childhood were about to be outdone. Emotionally safe people create a safe space for thoughts and feelings. That safety is felt in their presence, body language, and “energy.” These relationships can help regulate your immune system through co-regulation.

Or, you try to replay and reframe the situation, but your efforts leave you doubting yourself. You may even attempt to navigate loneliness by seeking out a new partner right away. © 2023 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK. All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media.

Loud noises made it worse, like thunder, fireworks, or truck backfire. New research examines how porn affects women’s relationships. Your history and primary caregiver relationships may have helped shape your opinion of yourself. Overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, they often feel that the past heartbreaks are what were always in store for them, and they have finally come to take their toll.

The Antidote to Trauma

My perspective on PTSD has changed significantly as a result of our relationship. There are huge challenges, but there are also threads that come together to create a silver lining. When I see distress rising in his face, I can reach for his hand, but I remind myself not to feel offended if he stays silent. We’d run into someone he served with while deployed. As soon as we were alone again, Wayne would be unable to focus on our conversation, become visibly rattled, and wouldn’t want to talk about what was making him emotional. People with low self-esteem or low self-worth may believe that they don’t deserve better.

Trauma can lead to people feeling disconnected from themselves, their sense of self-worth, and the outside world. It can interfere with the establishment of connection and trust with other people, including those longing for intimacy. Trauma can make someone more emotionally reactive, insecure, and avoidant.

I let my fairy-tale expectations cause hurt and misunderstanding. I kept waiting for Wayne to emotionally open up about the trauma he had lived through. I made accusations about his lack of love when he didn’t. I held tight to assumptions that after just a little more time together, the nightmares would go away. Anna Aslanian is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the states of California, Florida, and New York.

If you notice signs of PTRS, or any other traumatic stress, in your romantic partner, it’s generally best to encourage them to reach out for professional support. Remaining vigilant to any possible threat can leave you constantly on edge, unable to relax or feel safe. This can make it difficult to maintain healthy routines, like eating balanced meals or getting enough sleep. People living with PTSD often shift between two different states. Flashbacks, memories, and intrusive thoughts bring the trauma into your conscious awareness, returning you to a state of crisis.

That can be hard if someone’s behavior hurts your feelings. If, for example, someone ghosts you after months of contact and you have no idea what went wrong, it’s pretty hard not to either take it personally or to write them off as a whackjob. But you’ll probably be a lot happier — and kinder to them when you pass on the street — if you assume that they aren’t being intentionally hurtful. That is not a free pass for trauma survivors to become abusers.

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