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Navigating Relationship Triggers After Trauma

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Today, I want to focus on “Navigating Relationship Triggers,” at post-trauma as a topic that is quite universal but often gets swept under the carpet. After trauma, navigating relationship triggers is similar to tiptoeing through a minefield. However, I can assure you that mastering these triggers can significantly impact the development and maintenance of wholesome relationships. Flow with me as we unravel this together and figure out how to get through those tricky spots.


So, what precisely are relationship triggers after trauma? To put it another way, imagine them as tiny alarms bells that goes off on our minds and bodies whenever something reminds us of a painful memory from the past. It might be a certain word or gesture, smell, a sound, or location. Even in cases where there is no connection between the current circumstance and the initial trauma, these triggers have the power to bring us back into those states of fear, anxiety, or helplessness.

Triggers have one peculiarity – they are sneaky. They have the ability to catch us off guard when we least expect it, leaving us feeling confused, or even angry. Furthermore, if we’re not careful, they might ruin our relationships by leading to miscommunications, arguments, and hurt feelings.

The good news is that we can develop stronger, more resilient relationships by learning how to navigate these triggers. It all comes down to compassion – both for ourselves and for others, communication, and self-awareness.

Recognizing and acknowledging our triggers is the first step. This can be difficult, particularly if we’ve been attempting to bury or ignore them for a long time. However, the only way we can begin to understand why our triggers affect us in the manner that they do is by confronting them head-on.

Next thing to do, having identified our triggers is communicating our them to our partners or loved ones. Although this may make you feel scared or vulnerable, but doing this is crucial to developing mutual respect and trust in our relationships. If we don’t tell others what triggers us, we can’t expect them to know either.

Furthermore, it is important to listen to our partners empathically and without passing judgment when they do disclose their triggers. It is acceptable if we don’t always understand why something sets them off. What counts is that we acknowledge their emotions and extend our assistance in whatever way we can.
Another important aspect of navigating relationship triggers after trauma is practicing self-care. This entails establishing boundaries, prioritizing our well-being, and being able to step back when necessary. Putting our self first is not selfish; in fact, it’s crucial for maintaining our mental and emotional well-being.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that healing from trauma takes time. It’s acceptable that we won’t “get over” our triggers overnight in a miraculous way. The crucial thing is that we’re making an effort to comprehend them and handle them in a healthy manner.

And that’s it! After trauma, managing relationship triggers may seem like a difficult obstacle course, but it is completely achievable with a little self-awareness, honest communication, and a ton of compassion. It’s important to recognize your triggers, discuss them with your spouse, place self-care first, and allow yourself the time and space to heal at your own speed. You’ll be well on your way to developing stronger, more durable relationships based on a basis of genuine love, empathy, and trust if you have these tools in your toolkit. You are capable of this!

Adedeji Odusanya

Odusanya Adedeji A., is a Licensed & Certified Clinical Psychologist whose domain of expertise cuts across management of specific mental health issues such as, Depression, PTSD, Anxiety & Anxiety related disorders, Substance Use Disorder, etc


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