How has your past trauma affected your ability to build a healthy relationship?
When we experience trauma, our emotional response changes our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. And so we carry the “baggage” of our trauma into every aspect of our lives, including (especially!) our relationships.
Do you find yourself making the same mistakes in romantic relationships? Or falling victim to the same fears and insecurities? We fall into patterns of negative behavior because we are trying to protect ourselves from pain. These patterns – for example, jealousy, distrust, shutting people out – are likely rooted in past trauma.
In recent blogs, I’ve written about trauma and what it takes to heal and move forward. Today, I want to explore what those steps look like in the context of our romantic partnerships.
How to move forward and make new choices
Then, you must learn how to make choices outside of your trauma. You break free from those patterns of negative behavior when you make new choices that are not influenced by your fear or past trauma.
My coaching program is centered around the power of choice. At Monarch Life Coaching, “CHOICE” is an acronym outlining the steps for self-discovery and confident decision making. The “C” in “CHOICE” stands for “clarifying your mindset,” and it’s the first step on your journey to change.
This step is about clarifying what you want and need in life. You lay the groundwork for change and transformation by being honest about where you are right now, versus where you want to be.
And when it comes to building a healthy relationship, clarifying your mindset is about asking yourself, “What am I looking for in a partner?”
Visualize a healthy relationship
Often, we are very clear about what we don’t want in a relationship. This is not enough to break free from the cycle of trauma; in fact, our fears continue to fuel those negative patterns of behavior.
Rather, we need to be intentional about articulating what we want from a romantic partner instead. We need to stop dwelling on the broken relationships and trauma of our past, and visualize the happy, healthy relationships we’d like to build in future. Ask yourself, “Am I running towards something, or running away from something?”
How do we put this into practice? For example, maybe you’re tired of being in relationships with people who drag you down. Let’s flip this negative sentiment into a positive affirmation, something like, “I want to be in a relationship that makes me a better person.”
Now, you are looking for a partner who (1) supports you and builds you up, (2) encourages you to go after your goals, and (3) holds you accountable.
Ex. I’m frustrated by the lack of communication. VS. I want to be in an open, communicative relationship.
Ex. I don’t want to be blamed for my partner’s behavior. VS. I want to be in a relationship with someone who takes responsibility for their words and actions.
Clarify your mindset
The self-doubt and fear caused by your trauma will inevitably bleed into your relationships. You owe it to yourself and to your partner, or future partner, to heal from the trauma of your past.
Moving forward is about making new choices, and the first step is to clarify your mindset by visualizing the healthy relationship you’re after.
Are you ready to leave your baggage at the door and change your life for the better? Learn more about CHOICE coaching and schedule your complimentary session today.