Understanding How Past Trauma Impacts Your Marriage

It’s no secret that marriages can be challenging. But if you’ve experienced trauma in the past, your marriage may feel like an even greater struggle. This is quite common, as it affects 70% of the adult population in the U.S.

The effects of previous trauma can linger long after the initial experience has passed, leaving a lasting impact on your relationship with your spouse or partner. Here are five ways that past trauma can affect your marriage.

Difficulty Connecting Emotionally

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event in the past, it can make it difficult for you to open up and trust your partner fully. This can lead to a lack of communication and connection between both partners, making it hard to build intimacy or establish a strong sense of emotional security within the relationship.

Increased Anxiety & Fear

Experiencing trauma in the past can lead to increased anxiety and fear that impacts how you view yourself and how you interact with others, especially those closest to you. In addition, feeling anxious or fearful all the time can make it difficult to move forward as a couple and create a sense of stability in your marriage.

Poor Communication Skills

Poor communication skills are one of the most significant issues among couples who have experienced trauma in their lives. When faced with complex emotions or situations, some may be unable to communicate effectively or empathize with their partner. This can lead to feelings of resentment and disconnection, which further complicates any challenges within the relationship.

A married couple dancing

Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Previous traumatic experiences could result in self-sabotaging behaviors such as withdrawing from relationships when things get tough or refusing help when needed. These behaviors are often unconscious but can create significant tension and conflict within a marriage.

Difficulties Establishing Boundaries

Experiencing trauma in the past might also make it difficult for you to establish healthy boundaries with your spouse or partner. Without clear boundaries, relationships become unbalanced quickly and prone to manipulation and unhealthy power dynamics.

Dealing With Trauma

Understanding how previous trauma affects your current marriage is key to working through any issues together as a couple. It is essential for both parties involved to recognize how their traumas are impacting their relationship so that they can begin taking steps toward healing together and creating a stronger bond between them going forward. Here are some ways to deal with previous trauma to live a much longer and happier relationship.


The first option is therapy. There are many therapies out there for dealing with trauma. However, if you want to deal with it together, great couples therapy can help you understand how to work through your trauma and help heal the wounds that were created in the past. The treatment includes dealing with the trauma from your past and understanding how it affects you in the present.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is essential for anyone dealing with traumatic events in the past. This could include activities such as reading a book, taking a hot bath, going for a walk in nature, engaging in yoga or meditation, or anything else that relaxes and recharges you mentally and physically. Regular self-care practice will help reduce stress and improve your well-being while processing past traumas.

Reach Out For Support

Reaching out for support is another critical step toward healing from trauma. This could mean connecting with people who have had similar experiences or joining support groups where you can share your story without judgment or criticism. It’s important to remember that nobody has to go through these experiences alone; there are always people who want to listen and help whenever you need it most.

Write Down Your Thoughts

Writing down your thoughts can be a powerful way of expressing your feelings without having to speak directly about them with someone else if you don’t feel comfortable doing so yet. In addition, writing in a journal allows you to get your emotions out safely without judgment from others which helps you make sense of what you’re feeling internal when dealing with traumatic events from our pasts.

Take Time To Reflect

Taking time each day to reflect on what has happened in your life over the years can be incredibly beneficial when trying to heal from trauma and understand how far you have come in healing emotionally and spiritually. Additionally, reflection allows an opportunity to look back at your progress objectively so that you can celebrate all the positive changes you have made while acknowledging any setbacks along the way, too, so that they don’t define you, moving forward into the future either way!

Trauma can be problematic for any marriage, but working through it is possible with the right tools and support. If you are experiencing difficulties related to past trauma in your relationship, seek professional therapy or other support to help guide you on your journey toward healing and more splendid happiness together as a couple.

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