The Impact of Past Trauma on Current Relationships


How to heal from past relationship trauma? Our life consists of relationships: work, friendship, family, and romance. And very often, past relationship trauma affects our present relationships.

The Impact of Past Trauma on Current Relationships

How childhood trauma affects adulthood relationships?

Often this choice is made based on two states: conscious and unconscious. In the parental family, each of us forms a certain experience of intimacy. More precisely: a set of experiences that are called intimacy. Also, in early childhood, conditionally positive and conditionally negative are formed - collective images of those with whom we will feel good or bad in this proximity. These images are formed based on past experience. It can be a voice, gait, appearance, or character trait. And then we fall in love with a person with similar characteristics. The first choice is often unsuccessful, after which emotional trauma in marriage is formed. After all, we choose these people based on the experience of trauma that we want to complete.

For example, the boy had a cold mother, a victim mother who demanded a lot of attention and could not establish emotional contact with the child. Since it is important for a child to be in contact, he begins to take care of his mother unconsciously. And already in adulthood, for him, intimacy looks exactly like that. Other women are simply of no interest to him because he only knows this format of intimacy. In this relationship, he tries to fix what he could not do as a child.

And after several such unsuccessful attempts to build a close relationship, a person becomes traumatized from a past relationship and ends up with a psychotherapist. He gradually learns from what part of himself, from what period of childhood he aspires to this model of relations. There can be many childhood traumas that affect relationships. Getting out of this situation and treating trauma in relationships takes a long time. Here it is important not only to seek acceptance but also to begin to love, to realize and accept yourself, and to know what you want.

After that, a person begins to choose from the state of a conscious adult. And then, of course, finds other partners, entering into a more balanced relationship.

Of course, it happens that a person finds that same partner the first time and starts a relationship that satisfies him. This happens if there were no serious traumas and a lack of acceptance in childhood. When a person chooses from the conscious, he can opt for someone "inconspicuous" but with whom, in the end, a very good and lasting relationship will develop.

How does childhood trauma affect adulthood relationships?

The human brain is designed so that it displaces unpleasant situations and experiences from memory. Because of this, our unconscious contains unlived, unpleasant experiences that we want to avoid. For example, a child was very shamed by his parents. He had to become insensitive to his shame to stay in touch with the parental figures. He does this to survive, not to go crazy, and to maintain his integrity. It turns out that he will unconsciously avoid those moments in which he can be ashamed. And this intention persists when the child becomes an adult. In this case, the unconscious avoidance of shame will influence this person's life choices.

Emotional trauma from relationships is manifested in the fact that a person is not aware of his trauma/hunger/unlived feelings, and then this part of him, being in the subconscious, will influence behavior. For example, a man from his child's side will seek out an "accepting" woman for the role of a partner and expect unconditional acceptance from her. And then a grown man suddenly starts behaving like a little boy, completely unaware of it. After all, unconditional acceptance is often not as vital for adults as for young children who lacked this in childhood.

Usually, people lack recognition, love, acceptance, and attention. And further on, everyone can have their own form of this or that unclosed gestalt.

It is important to get acquainted with this hunger gradually: to realize what it is, what it is, and how it can be satisfied. Next, we find a partner with whom you can partially satisfy him. You can and should instruct your soulmate, “Listen, please don’t tell me this. It’s better with me this way” “I understand that you love me when you give me gifts. This is my love language."

But there is another important point. This hunger needs to be fed not only through relationships. Because there can be too much tension, you must satisfy your hunger in other places with the help of other people and activities. Each will have their own tools.

How to get over past relationship trauma?

Therapy helps to gain experience of what we did not receive in childhood. What it's like to be loved. How is it when you are accepted and appreciated? This is very slow and hard work. After all, only experience can close an unlived experience. That is why no books and lectures will help. You need a live connection with another person. In this case, with a therapist.

You can step on the same rake a thousand times, but until someone leads you to another experience, you yourself will not find it. This happens not through the mind, but through living, through bodily experience in contact with another person.

How does trauma affect relationships? Sometimes people gravitate towards complex, dramatic relationships with constant brawls simply because that's what intimate relationships look like to them. They do not know that a real strong family can be built on mutual understanding because they do not have such experience; they do not have an example lived on their own.

Therapy helps you get to know yourself. And this already leads to realizing hunger and understanding what suits a person and how he can and cannot be treated.

Childhood trauma and romantic relationships

  • The trauma of the rejected. Such trauma is caused by emotionally cold, critical parents constantly rejecting the child.


  • Lack of personal boundaries

  • The permanent feeling of uselessness and unimportance in life

  • Dissatisfaction with oneself, abandonment of one's needs

  • Lack of love, attention, care, difficulty in letting other people into your life

  • Trauma abandoned. Emotionally unstable parents, feeling that life is a treacherous, unmet need for security.


  • Desire to control life and loved ones

  • Feelings of loneliness and worthlessness

  • Risk of being in a toxic relationship

  • The great fear of losing a partner

  • In the relationship of hitting with complete loss of personality

  • The trauma of betrayal. A significant figure (father or mother) left the child, family, and lack of contact with him.


  • Feelings of resentment towards parents are projected onto a partner

  • Sticky or withdrawn in a relationship

  • Trust issues

  • Hyper-custody and partner control. Fear not quit

  • Toxic and strained relationships with the opposite sex

  • The trauma of the deprived. Overprotective parents deprive their children of the right to choose and independence.


  • Doesn't understand their wants and needs

  • Devaluation doesn't know how to respond to praise and compliments

  • In a relationship, they choose a rescuer who would cover their needs to shift the responsibility.

  • Problems with self-realization, constant doubts about oneself, one's abilities, and competence.

  • The trauma of humiliation (narcissistic). Critical parents, constant staring, comparison with someone, humiliation.


  • Establish yourself at the expense of others to raise your self-esteem

  • Deserving love, self-sacrifice all the time, trying to be good

  • Feelings of inferiority and doubts about their "normality."

  • Fear of showing negative emotions, denial, and rejection of their emotions

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