How may unresolved trauma affect my responses to my partner?

We all know what it's like to have our buttons pushed by our partner - s/he says something designed to get a reaction, I let it rip... If we're honest, we know just how to push our partner's buttons too when we feel so inclined. After all, we know them so well! 

Most of the time this is fairly harmless - part of what is normally an harmonious relationship. We may feel a little hurt or upset, but are able to let our partner know in a reasonably calm way and to accept their apology.

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Is unresolved trauma or grief affecting your ability to be present with your partner?

Are you and/or your partner dealing with unresolved grief or loss? Have you noticed how, if at all, this may affect your ability to be fully present with each other - here and now? It may be that you're trying to work through an issue that is quite ordinary but may be stressful to talk about - for example, negotiating who does what around the house, discussing differences in need for personal space away from each other.

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Coping with Xmas in the aftermath of traumatic grief or loss

We all love to spend Xmas with our loved ones - this may include family members we don't see much of at other times. For many of us, Xmas symbolizes a time when we connect and come together to express our caring and love for each other - celebrating our closest relationships. We may look over photo albums together, or have other rituals that help us to remember cherished memories of time together.

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"When lightning strikes" - coping with the sudden death of a loved one

It's hard to cope with the loss of a loved one in any circumstances. Even when that person is older, has perhaps been dealing with illness for some time, we can still feel unprepared for the actual event of their death. How much more shocking, then, when death strikes unexpectedly. One day, a person may be in seemingly perfect health, the next - they're gone. There's not been a chance to say goodbye, to complete any unfinished business we may have had with that person.

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When bad things happen to good people - effects on relationships

It's a wonderful thing in many ways, that as humans we are able to survive terrible things, even at a very young and vulnerable time in our lives, and grow up to be achieving, functioning people. Our bodies as well as our minds have some ingenious ways to ensure we survive and adapt in the most optimal way possible in any given set of circumstances.

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Creating non-violent relationships: is assertiveness the key?

It's sad but true, people who grow up in families where there has been violence are more likely to repeat the cycle of abuse in their own relationships. Often a victim of violence will ask the question - what is it about me that attracts abusive, violent partners? Perpetrators of violence will ask - if I don't use violence, how can I get my needs met? What sounds like two vastly different perspectives are, in fact, grounded in the same world-view: - violence is a part of the personality; either I am the type of person who attracts violence, or I'm the type of person who uses violence.

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Relationship breakdown and Post-Traumatic Growth

It is perhaps not talked about enough, but many people actually respond to distressing events by experiencing post-traumatic growth - that is, they may become stronger personally. They may say things like "I wouldn't ever have chosen to go through that painful break-up with my partner, but because of it, I have changed in some powerful and profound ways". I think an unfortunate aspect of being human is that we often don't make changes until the level of discomfort and stress in our lives, for whatever reason, compels us to do so!

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