Emotional sobriety: Signs of unhealed relationship trauma

If you’re coming out of a relationship with intense baggage and hangups, there’s a good chance you were in a toxic relationship and are suffering as a result. If not

Emotional sobriety: Signs of unhealed relationship trauma
  • PublishedJuly 5, 2021

If you’re coming out of a relationship with intense baggage and hangups, there’s a good chance you were in a toxic relationship and are suffering as a result. If not addressed, these traumatic experiences can manifest in future relationships.

The following are some of the ways in which unhealed relationship trauma manifests:

The tendency to want to fix others

People who have suffered relationship trauma may want to fix what they perceive to be broken or not working properly. In a relationship, such people may constantly feel that their partner or spouse needs to work on themselves for the relationship to work.

The problem with this is that the other person may not want to work on themselves- they may not even see a need to be fixed. Partners that are in a relationship with someone they perceive needs fixing are doomed to experience a failed relationship

SEE ALSO: Reasons your relationships don’t last


An addictive relationship is also known as codependency. Psychologists coined that word when they studied relationships in families of alcoholics and drug addicts. Today, codependency is also used to describe a one-sided relationship, where one person, the helper, finds fulfilment and purpose through being needed.

For many trauma victims, the relationship tends to be one sided and they have a tendency to find fulfilment in being needed by others.

External validation

We have all seen those people who find no value in themselves without being validated by others. They often feel like they are unworthy of love and often find value and self-esteem from their partner’s approval. This can be as a result of an abusive relationship.

Are you single shaming yourself? Here’s how to stop
Single shaming is when someone is made to feel lesser for not being in a relationship. Interestingly, individuals can also single shame themselves at the expense of their mental health and peace.

Hyper Vigilance

Hypervigilance is more than just being extra vigilant. It is a state of extreme alertness that undermines the quality of life. Those who are hypervigilant are always on the lookout for hidden dangers, both real and presumed. This can leave them exhausted as it interferes with interpersonal relationships, work, and your ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

Tolerance to abusive relationships

You have probably seen some of those people who seem stuck in violent relationships and just can’t seem to get enough of it?. They never leave their abusive partners despite being hurt daily. Well, this is a way in which unhealed childhood trauma manifests itself.

Difficulty setting boundaries

Partners with unhealed relationship trauma have difficulties in setting boundaries. A common difficulty with individuals after trauma is the inability to say no to others out of fear that by setting a limit the other person will react negatively with anger, abandonment, or even abuse. In turn, the individual focuses on pleasing others to the detriment of their own needs and wants.

In many cases, unhealed relationship trauma poses great difficulties for the victims to have healthy relationships. Apart from the signs above, others can be; feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, a need to prove themselves, fear of abandonment, people-pleasing, poor self-care and a tendency to attract narcissistic relationships.

Pastor T and wife Claudia open up on finding love
The former rapper and his wife share their journey in marriage and raising a generation of young people strong in faith.

Written By