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It Wasn’t Love: 8 Signs Your Relationship Was a Trauma Bond


As a human being, at some point in your life, you get into a relationship. Not all relationships succeed, and when a relationship fails, you might ask yourself if it was really love. Is it love that makes you hold on to someone who isn’t good for you, or are you just under the influence of trauma? 

Trauma bonds are emotional bonds that arise from a recurring, cyclical pattern of abuse perpetrated by intermittent reinforcement through rewards and punishments. This is referred to as trauma bonding or traumatic bonding.

Here are 8 signs of trauma bonds that might help you with your future relationships.

1. You feel addicted to your partner, and you can’t go anywhere without them. Being without that particular person creates the fear that it might kill you. You can’t stay away from this person no matter how much they hurt you. Feeling like you need more of them can also be seen in trauma bonds.

2. You depend on them to stand, function, and breathe. You lose confidence in yourself. It is as if your partner completes you. According to your perception, only they can keep you up.

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3. You feel like you don’t actually like them after you take your time to think about them. But there is something inside you that makes you idolize their existence.

4. You might even try to change your partner, thinking that they might stop doing things to hurt your feelings. So you keep holding on to them, waiting for them to change. 

5. You get this confusing feeling that you wouldn’t want your children or those close to you to be with this person you’re addicted to.

6. You leave your partner and come back again, hoping that it will be different this time. But no matter how many times you come back, the same thing keeps happening over and over again. You fall for their sweet words instead of carefully looking at their actions.

7. Although you don’t understand the difference, a feeling deep inside you tells you that what you’re feeling is not love. The future you see with this person is only a fragment of your imagination. 

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8. You believe that the good outweighs the bad when it comes to your relationship, even though your relationship mainly consists of lows. These lows break your heart into pieces with every single day you spend with your partner.

Is it love or a trauma bond?

The intended fix can be validation, affection, or a temporary sense of security. The development of a trauma bond tends to be a progressive process. It is characterized by a period of passionate declarations of love and showering of affections. This is a love bombing stage.

Get professional help:

  • Explore factors that fuel the bond.
  • Set boundaries.
  • Learn how to build healthy relationships.
  • Confront self-blame and self-criticism.
  • Learn to care about yourself.
  • Seek consoling related to health symptoms from long-term trauma and abuse.

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