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February 21, 2024
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February 21, 2024

Breaking the trauma bond

By Daniel Francis

I once met someone who I thought was ‘it’. From our very first interaction, it just felt right. I could not put my finger on what was so perfect about our interactions at the time, but it was only after the relationship all fell to pieces did I realise the trap I had fallen into.

I call it the trauma bond. If you look up ‘trauma bond’ on the internet you will see ‘Trauma–Bonded Relationships’, and it is described as a situation where someone feels a deep emotional attachment with their partner that causes them harm. This type of relationship typically occurs due to a cycle of mistreatment through abuse and positive reinforcement. When this occurs between partners it is coined a Trauma–Bond Relationship, however, I want to discuss a different type of trauma bond.

The trauma bond I underwent and that I am discussing is when you have two individuals who have gone through similar traumatic experiences who form a deep connection heavily based on their shared trauma.

When you meet someone who shares similar traumatic experiences to you it can feel like you now have someone who can best relate to you.

I have seen entire relationships built on the foundation of a trauma bond unbeknown to the couple. What may seem like a very insignificant detail can have ripple effects on a relationship.

The trauma bond in this context can create an illusion that you and your partner have a lot in common especially when you have not properly dealt with your past trauma. Also, if you have not identified how much your trauma affects what and how you do things.

What may feel like a perfect union on the surface may be a maelstrom of chaos under the surface. In my case, we moved so fast due to what we believed was a great connection but when the illusion began to dissipate and we looked at the raw elements of our relationship it was clear that we were not meant to be.

On top of this, if one or both partners are still heavily negatively influenced by their past trauma, you will find that there is immense turbulence in simple interactions like communication.

I noticed that the experience that I had was not foreign to people in my generation. It is pretty common. It makes sense as there is a stark increase in mental health issues with those in my generation. We are more sensitive to what we experienced in the past and some are better at dealing with it than others. What I learned from that relationship that I want to pass on to anyone who believes that they are in a similar situation, is that no matter how perfect the experience with someone may feel, always be patient.

Give the interactions time to breathe to see if it is real or an illusion based on infatuation or in this case an intense trauma bond. I know it can be easy to get caught up when you believe you have found someone who is perfect for you but time always tells all.

On top of this, we must take the adult responsibility of working on ourselves. No longer can we blame past trauma for our poor choices and behaviours in the present. We must acknowledge that our lives are our own and as such we are the ones who must take the initiative to better it, whether through speaking to someone, prayer, etc.

When things are done through God, you find that turbulence tends to be minute. I have always said that my generation needs to put God in the middle of our relationships, myself included. The further away we allow our relationships and experiences to stray away from God, the more turbulence we tend to experience.

This is a call to action to include God in your relationships, take responsibility for your trauma, and have patience in relationships.

Let us not get caught up in the rush of the moment.


Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.


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