Heartbreak

5 Things I Would Never Do In A Relationship — From A Trauma Therapist

Photo: Yuliya Yafimik / shuttersto
couple in a white bed snuggling their black cat

As a trauma therapist, I have become intimately aware of the duality of relationships. They either hurt us or heal us.

The ways that humans can hurt each other in relationships feel never-ending.

And as someone who has extensive knowledge of relational trauma, there are some behaviors that I can tell you for certain I would never do. 

RELATED: 5 Behaviors That'll Kill Your Relationship (Unless You Stop Now)

Five things that I — as a trauma therapist — would never do in a relationship

Something I need you to know before I get to the five things I will never do as a partner is that each of these things can be unlearned and healed.

This is what trauma work does. It heals you and your relationships.

RELATED: 30 Things People In Healthy Relationships Never, Ever Do

1. I will never call my partner crazy or psychotic

Nor will I ever say that they need help in an accusatory tone. I cannot tell you how damaging this is and the wounds it causes (but if you've had this said to you, then you already know how long those words stick with you).

I have a client who came into therapy because a friend told them that they need therapy. And while they initially thought this person was trying to be helpful, we discovered later they told them that to be cruel.

If you are saying that someone needs help while you're angry (even if it's true), you run the risk of them never seeking help because they are only hearing the venom in your words. When you call your partner crazy, not only are you gaslighting them, you're invalidating them and anything that they are trying to say to you.

Now imagine how much they want to open up to you the next time they need to share something vulnerable. Probably not much right?

Then you will wonder why they never talk to you. Hello, it's because you called them crazy or psychotic.

RELATED: 8 Toxic Phrases That Destroy Relationships In Seconds 

2. I will never put my partner down in public

This is true even if they are in on the joke. This is a small behavior that is brought up often in couple’s sessions and during sessions focusing on relationship trauma.

I have spent time around a couple who makes fun of each other mercilessly when they are around others, to the point where you can tell that they are using “jokes” to disguise that they actually just hate each other. This behavior will erode your relationship and create distrust and disdain in your partner.

No one likes to be made fun of, especially not in front of other people.

RELATED: 7 Signs Of Toxic Texting + Examples Of Toxic Texts You Do Not Want To Send

3. I will never allow them to support me financially

If this one surprises you, please know that financial abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse and that lack of access to money and financial power is one of the most common reasons women (and men, but more so women) will stay in abusive relationships.

If you have no money, no access to money, and no financial power you have significantly more barriers to exiting the relationship if you must.

In a country where the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is almost $1,300, then leaving an abusive situation can be almost impossible if you have no access to money and no income.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have seen couples in which one partner works and the other manages their household. And while it can work, it places the relationship on a slippery slope and it creates specific issues that must be worked through.

So while I'm not saying that you should never let your partner financially support you, I am saying that personally, as someone who has worked with dozens of clients who have a history of abusive relationships, I will always maintain control of my own finances.

RELATED: How To Know If It’s Financial Abuse Or Control Issues With Money In Your Relationship

4. I will never get married without a prenuptial agreement

The same holds true for buying a house or making another big financial commitment together. You may think I’m a hater at this point and that I don’t trust anyone, and I encourage you to keep an open mind as I explain why.

There are a few reasons I recommend this decision — if you have any kind of assets coming into a marriage, you want clarity on what happens to those assets if the marriage dissolves.

I know that a prenup feels unsexy and mean, but I promise you that having a plan if everything goes wrong will save you a lot of money and headache if things don't last.

Another reason is that when clients begin working on healing their trauma, they typically have done a fair amount of burying their heads in the sand and ignoring many realities about their life that they didn't want to see.

A prenup prevents that because you have to answer questions that are designed to help you think through worst-case scenarios. A prenup should feel like a win-win and like both sides are protected.

RELATED: Do Not Get Married 'Til You Figure Out These 4 Issues

5. I will never sweep things under the rug

Nor will I allow my partner to sweep things under the rug, either. This is a seed that will poison your whole garden, and not only will those things never go away, but they will also fester.

This isn't to say that you pick every battle and endlessly discuss every small annoyance. It's to say that when something is big enough that it's a problem, you choose to work through it.

Healthy relationships are not for cowards. They take work and refinement and the willingness to have hard conversations.

If you and your partner sweep everything under the rug, you are doomed because resentment, anger and tension will ruin the relationship.

RELATED: How To Recognize Signs Of Mutual Abuse In Your Relationship 

Amanda Chils is a licensed counselor, podcast host, business coach, and transformation expert. Through her courses and counseling sessions, she helps people heal trauma and get more intentional about their lives.

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