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September 30 2022

Are Betrayal Trauma Symptoms Affecting Your Relationships?

Madison Scherner,

Meaningful relationships have their struggles. There are times when the struggles do not seem to have an end and that is something you want to change. When trying to make sense of the struggles in your relationship, you might be wondering if it may have something to do with betrayal trauma

When trust has been broken in key relationships it can cause betrayal trauma. Betrayal is a type of abuse that causes the mind and body to react to the trauma through various symptoms. The origins of the symptoms are not always clear but it is clear that the symptoms are causing struggles in your relationship. There is hope for healing together as a couple when there are symptoms that have a negative impact on the relationship. 

We will explore what betrayal trauma symptoms are and how those symptoms affect the betrayed partner’s relationship with loved ones and friends. 

Betrayal Trauma Symptoms

With betrayal trauma, there are different symptoms that affect a person’s feelings, their social interactions, their mind and their body. They differ from person to person and can include the following:

FeelingsSocialMindBody
Shame, guilt, and self-blame 

Depression

Loneliness

Anxiety 

Low self-esteem or self-worth 

Negative opinions about self and others

Unexpected mood swings

Challenges in regulating emotions
  
Intense grief and loss

A sense of inadequacy or embarrassment
Dissociation during times of stress

A disconnect from emotions 

Memory issues (e.g., distorted memories, false memories)
 
Overeating, substance abuse, and other dependencies
Paranoia

Hypervigilance

Isolation

Emotional numbness

Exhaustion

Numbness or inability to stay in the moment

Loss of identity

Negative body image

Reliving or dreaming about traumatic memories
Overeating or lack of appetite

Weight loss or weight gain

Insomnia or oversleeping

Elevated blood pressure

Irritable bowel syndrome

Muscle tension and tightness

Headaches

Aversion to intimate touch

Crying episodes

Vomiting
Hair loss

With so many symptoms that can be taking place within a person at once, it can feel like you are not in control and that life is happening to you instead of taking charge of your life. This has an immense impact on relationships.

How Betrayal Trauma Symptoms Affect Relationships with Loved Ones and Friends

Connection is so important to our well-being. We need close relationships and when we are traumatized it is hard to want to connect. This makes us feel like something is missing and that something is wrong with us. This creates a lack of communication in relationships. The relationship of those affected by betrayal trauma can experience many ups and downs. Since the betrayal is often produced by those closest to the person, it can be difficult to want to be close to anyone. The symptoms can vary and can cause challenges such as:

  • Concerns around Trust
  • Trouble Maintaining and Developing Close Relationships 
  • Challenges with Intimacy
  • Lack of Faith in your Own and Others’ Decision-making Abilities

What are some ways that you can think of that betrayal trauma is creating challenges in your relationship?

It can be easy to try to blame someone for the relationship struggles, especially yourself or the person who caused the betrayal trauma. However, this will not help. The most helpful thing will be to become curious about what is behind the struggles and work on finding options for addressing them

Options for Relationships Affected By Betrayal Trauma

When experiencing trauma, it is easy to see yourself in a fog. Emotions run high, and it’s easy to lose yourself in depression, anxiety, and other swirling emotions. From the outside looking in, betrayal trauma and any form of trauma can resemble various mental health disorders. Some of the main symptoms that your partners and friends may recognize are:

  • Repeated Trust Issues
  • Revictimization 
  • Lowered Self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 

If you or your partner is suffering from betrayal trauma, there is an opportunity for healing and growth. Ensuring your relationship has the right tools in the toolbox can be the first step in repairing your partnership.”

Dr. Gottman says that “happy couples turned toward each other 86% of the time, while unhappy couples turned towards each other only 33% of the time.”

How Does Bloom Support Trauma Healing?

One of the tools in your toolbox can be signing up to be a part of the Bloom community to have a wonderful support system as you heal from trauma so you can work on turning towards the relationships in your life and trusting in them instead of turning inward and losing connection. 

Sign up with Bloom’s free trial today.

About the Author