by Noelle Christensen, LPC
Have you ever expressed your needs to your partner and been told “stop being so dramatic!” If so, it may have felt like the wind was knocked out of you. In fact, what you may have heard instead is something like, “What you are feeling does not matter to me.”
While it may not have been your partner’s intentions to shut down your feelings, the effects are nonetheless painful. You made a commitment to love and cherish your partner, through the good, the bad, and the ugly. At times it may feel that when you are trying to communicate, out of what you believe is a desire to make your relationship better, you may feel rejection and shame in return.
Trauma in relationships that results from pain, betrayal, abuse, and addiction is termed “relational trauma.” Relational trauma results in behaviors that can often be misinterpreted by others as dramatic. Words like codependence,...