Most relationships have to endure a history of trauma experienced by one or both partners and a current trauma(s).

Traumas include abandonment, neglect, abuse, rejection, control, accidents, assaults/attacks, catastrophes, infidelity, infertility, loss, relocation, birthing and becoming parents, substance abuse, chronic illness, eating disorders, depression, extreme emotionality, obsessions, PTSD, unemployment, disability. Some of these are symptoms of a past trauma, but when experienced in the present they create a current trauma to the relationship.

As partners experience their relationship and each other, they are affected by what is going on with each other. Partner’s personality, coping, expectations, visions, perceptions, needs who they are as people is largely composed and influenced by their history, and current context. Therefore, what each brings to the table has an impact on the nature of the relationship and therefore on the satisfaction quotient of the relationship.

When partners have unresolved past traumas, not only do these influence who they are as people and what they bring to the relationship, but they are bound to be symptomatic. These two factors are major sources of stress, tension, friction, and conflict in relationships. Partners with unresolved traumas are easily triggered and not fully present in their life and relationship. They also have a host of symptoms and additional stressors that manifest as a result. The current relationship keeps getting hit.

These are the couples that appear to walk around with a black cloud over their head when anything happens to them. They go from one problem to the next, from one crisis to another. The reason for this is that their inherent make-up, coping and relating are crooked attracting negativity and creating situations that are more of the same. They are in a negative cycle that is difficult to break away from.

When one of the partners is the one that is the most symptomatic, it doesn’t mean that the other partner is any less traumatized. It takes two individuals to have a relationship however that relationship turns out. Here the saying, It takes one to know one, fits well. Partners collude with each other to create their reality and their current context.

When one partner is having a real difficult time and appears to be carrying the brunt of symptoms (is less well functioning), this is a sign of unresolved past traumas and a sign for the need to have things change in the current relationship so that it is healing. Remember, our current relationship is a venue to our healing past wounds and becoming whole.

If one or both partners are not doing well, they are not utilizing the relationship well to serve its purpose.

Here is the opportunity to do something different. The signs are there – it is time for a change!!

Happy Changing!!!

Author's Bio: 

About Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT (Metropolitan MFT)
I'm the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC (Metropolitan MFT), a private psychotherapy practice specializing in working with couples. I help couples succeed at their relationship by assisting them get on the same page and deeply understand each other, repair hurts, create intimacy, stay connected, share passion, and tap into their synergy. I specialize in pre-marital, codependence, reactivity / anger, and infidelity work.