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My Partner Triggers my Trauma

Managing a relationship where your partner triggers your trauma can be a challenging experience. We all want to feel safe in our relationships and to be able to give and receive love. However, when past trauma is triggered, it can be very difficult to think clearly, manage your emotions and be loving.

Trauma triggers are very common and their severity can vary. Whether your triggers cause you to react harmfully, or to completely shut down, dealing with them takes time and patience.

This article is written to provide you with strategies to manage situations where your partner triggers your trauma. These strategies are designed to repair understanding and connection within your relationship.

Five things to do when triggered by your partner:

1. Communication is key

It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about how their behaviour or actions are affecting you. You may need to take time to identify what your triggers are and how they are affecting you. Ensure that you are not blaming your partner, but are providing them with ways to support you.

Your partner may not realise that they have triggering something from your past. By letting them know, you can work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

2. Understand your boundaries

If certain behaviors or actions keep triggering your trauma, it is important to set boundaries to protect yourself. An empowered boundary is a statement of what you are willing to accept or not accept. Here is an example if silence is a trigger for you, “I will not be guilted by silent treatment. I will leave the conversation and return when the person is ready to speak with me”. A good boundary puts responsibility and power into your own hands.

Setting your own boundaries is best done alongside communicating your needs to your partner. It can be difficult at times to identify what you need from your partner to feel safe. However, it’s important that you can communicate your needs. This includes needs that help prevent the trigger from occurring, and needs that support you to feel safe and loved.

3. Practice self-care

When something is triggering, your nervous system becomes dysregulated and it is difficult to think and act clearly. This is therefore not the best time to have a conversation with your partner. Take time for self-care first to regulate yourself. This can be done with your partner or by taking time for yourself.

When dealing with trauma triggers, it is important to prioritise your well-being. Practicing self-care involves engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as yoga, a creative outlet, spending time with friends and family and getting enough sleep.

4. Seek support

Working with a counsellor can help you to better understand your triggers and develop coping strategies to deal with them. This can also be a great opportunity to involve your partner in therapy sessions and work together to strengthen your relationship. You may also like to seek support through trusted friends or family members.

5. Be patient

Healing from trauma is a process, and it takes time. It is important to be patient with yourself and your partner as you navigate this journey together.

In conclusion, a relationship with a partner who triggers your trauma can be challenging, but remember that you are not alone. By communicating openly, setting boundaries, seeking therapy, practicing self-care, and being patient with yourself and your partner, you can work towards building a healthier and happier relationship.

Reach out to make an appointment with Matthew Vincent at Redlands Counselling Service for helpful, friendly, and non-judgmental couples counselling.

Email Redlands Counselling Service at or call 1300 241 667

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