7 mistakes people with unresolved emotional wounds make in a relationship

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

We all seek love and connection. Yet, it’s not always smooth sailing, is it?

Sometimes our past hurts intrude in ways we don’t realize, causing friction in our relationships.

Yet, all too often, we remain blissfully unaware of these emotional scars, despite their disruptive influence. Left unhealed, they perpetuate cycles of hurt, causing us to stumble repeatedly in our relationships.

But fear not; acknowledging these missteps is a crucial step towards resolution.

This article illuminates seven common pitfalls encountered by those grappling with unresolved emotional wounds in relationships.

So, are you prepared to unearth these missteps?

…let’s delve in.

1) Sabotaging the relationship

I remember my first serious relationship. It was going well until…well, until it wasn’t.

Out of the blue, I began to question everything. Was he truly committed? Would he eventually leave just like my dad did?

These thoughts consumed me, leading me to constantly pick fights and push him away. It was classic self-sabotage, a common mistake people with unresolved emotional wounds make.

Unconsciously, I was trying to protect my heart from the pain of another loss.

2) Not setting healthy boundaries

In my next relationship, I found myself swinging to the other extreme. Fearful of pushing him away as I had done before, I allowed him to cross my boundaries repeatedly.

I remember one incident clearly. He cancelled our date at the last minute for the third time. Instead of expressing my disappointment and setting a boundary, I let it slide…again.

I was so afraid of conflict that I let my own needs get trampled upon.

This lack of boundary setting is another common mistake we make when carrying unresolved emotional wounds. It’s born out of a desire to avoid conflict or rejection at all costs. But in the end, it only leads to resentment and dissatisfaction in the relationship.

3) Over-reacting to minor disagreements

Did you know that the brain can’t distinguish between physical and emotional pain? When we experience emotional distress, our brain triggers a similar response as it would to physical pain.

This is why people with unresolved emotional wounds often overreact to minor disagreements or criticisms. Our brains perceive these as threats, triggering a fight or flight response. The result? We either lash out or shut down completely, even when it’s just a minor disagreement.

This overreaction can create a lot of unnecessary drama in our relationships, making them difficult to sustain.

4) Struggling to trust

In the realm of relationships, trust is as vital as air. Yet, for those of us carrying unresolved emotional wounds, trust can feel like an elusive dream.

We’ve been hurt before. We’ve felt the sting of betrayal, the pain of disappointment. It’s only natural to guard our hearts, to build walls so high and strong that no one can breach them.

But here’s the thing. While these walls might protect us from pain, they also keep out love and connection. We become so focused on avoiding pain that we also avoid joy, intimacy, and the very essence of what it means to be in a meaningful relationship.

5) Falling into the rescuer role

I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog, the misunderstood. In my relationships, this translated into me always playing the rescuer. I found myself drawn to partners who were dealing with their own issues, and I took it upon myself to help them heal.

Looking back, I see now that I was trying to fix in others what I couldn’t fix in myself. My unresolved emotional wounds led me to believe that if I could just heal their pain, maybe I could heal my own.

But, as it turns out, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Getting lost in others’ problems only made me lose sight of my own healing journey.

6) Seeking validation

We all like to be appreciated and acknowledged for who we are. But when we have unresolved emotional wounds, this need can become a constant search for validation from our partners.

This incessant need for affirmation often stems from a place of insecurity and low self-esteem, which in turn is linked to past emotional hurts. We start believing that our worth lies in the hands of others, and when they fail to validate us, we feel dejected and unworthy.

But a healthy relationship is about mutual respect and love, not a constant need for validation. It’s about understanding that our worth comes from within, not from someone else’s approval.

7) Avoiding vulnerability

Vulnerability is scary. It means opening up, showing our true selves, including our flaws and insecurities.  

Dodging vulnerability is a classic blunder stemming from unresolved emotional scars. Instead of opening up about your fears or insecurities, you put up walls, shutting out potential connections. But guess what?

Embracing vulnerability isn’t just about healing; it’s about forging unbreakable bonds. Imagine confiding in your partner about your deepest fears, and instead of judgment, they offer understanding and support.

That’s the power of vulnerability—transforming mere acquaintances into lifelong allies. So, tear down those walls, embrace your vulnerabilities, and watch as your relationships flourish like never before.

Healing starts with awareness

As we wrap up this enlightening journey, let me leave you with this: awareness is your greatest ally on the road to personal growth.

By acknowledging these seven missteps rooted in unresolved emotional wounds, you’ve already taken a monumental leap toward healing and nurturing more fulfilling relationships.

As you embark on your voyage of self-discovery and healing, may you find comfort in knowing that every stumble is a stepping stone to resilience and every setback a chance for profound growth. Stay curious, stay resilient, and above all, keep loving fiercely.

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

Stay single until you find someone with these 7 awesome qualities

7 habits of slim people who never go to the gym