People often remain in abusive relationships because of ‘trauma bonding’ — here are the signs it’s happening to you

Have you ever wondered why some people remain in an abusive relationship?

It can be tough to figure out when you’ve never been in one.

Even for those involved in an abusive relationship, it can be hard for them to even understand.

Some people are lucky enough to escape. However, many others continue to stay in an abusive relationship without even knowing they are in one.

How could they not know?

Most people believe that abuse is only physical. But according to therapist Shannon Thomas, Author of “Healing from Hidden Abuse”, psychological abuse can often be worse as it slowly disintegrates the victim’s psychological wellbeing.

It can often start with small insidious comments and then become more frequent over time.

The problem is that narcissistic and abusive people are great at pretending to be an amazing partner. They’ll “love bomb you with affection” and then turn around and treat you like crap the rest of the time.

The victim believes that because their partner is a great person, it must be their fault when they get abused. They experience anxiety because they feel like the relationship could end at any moment because of their own actions.

This can easily lead to a never ending cycle of constantly try to win back the abuser’s affection, in a process called “trauma bonding”.

Why can this cycle continue so long?

It’s addictive. You’re abused but then you’re rewarded with love bombs when you do something right for the abuser.

This can really take a toll on your mental health as you can experience frequent bouts of stress and sadness when you’re being abused, but then elevated highs when you’re rewarded with good behavior.

The victim often doesn’t really know what’s going on, because manipulative tactics and intermittent love put the victim in a cycle of self-blame and desperation to win back their partner’s affection.

According to Psych Central, here are the signs you’re being psychologically abused in a relationship:

1. Your partner regularly doesn’t stick to their word. What they say and do are often different.

2. Many people comment that they are disturbed by what is happening in your relationship.

3. You feel like there’s no way out of your relationship.

4. You keep having fights and arguments with your partner with no real solution.

5. You’re often punished for doing ‘the wrong thing’.

6. You find it hard to detach from the relationship and focus on other things in life.

7. When you want to leave, you don’t act because you feel it may destroy you.

If you feel you’re in an abusive relationship, it might be time to talk with your friends and see how they feel about your relationship.

If they tell you that it’s in your best interest to leave, then you might want to consider doing so.

Thomas says that there comes a time when victim’s leave and during the grieving process they start coming round to the idea that they were abused.

They finally see the damage that was being done and realize that it wasn’t their fault.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.
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