Marriage counseling can become necessary when a couple is in crisis and their ability to communicate begins to deteriorate. One of the many reasons this can happen is when one partner is suffering from past trauma and has a hard time expressing the needs and issues that arise from it.
Recognizing this failure in communication and its cause is key. The effects of trauma can manifest in many ways:
- Anxiety. Many sufferers of trauma also experience high levels of anxiety. This anxiety can come in waves or be ever-present. The individual can become irritable, anxious, and become easily startled.
- Depression. There are a variety of symptoms that come with clinical depression. Oftentimes survivors of trauma feel depressed and isolate themselves from friends and family. There can also be feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt.
- Addictive behaviors. Following a traumatic event, people can find ways to cope that lead to addictive behaviors. These manifestations vary greatly for each individual. Some people find ways to numb their feelings by turning to drugs and alcohol. Others find a sense of purpose in gambling or other vices.
- Flashbacks. Flashbacks can be triggered by a place, a smell, or some other sensation that gives the sufferer a reason to remember their trauma and can cause intense moments of panic or grief. Flashbacks can also come in the form of dreams and nightmares.
Trauma doesn’t just affect one person’s mental health, but it can also impact the mental health of their spouse. The friction stemming from unaddressed trauma can cause issues with trust, closeness, and intimacy. This disconnect can feel like the sufferer is pushing their spouse away when really they need to come together to address these issues.
Addressing these issues can be difficult for the survivor of trauma and for their spouse. People suffering from past trauma can benefit greatly from individual counseling. In some cases, it may become necessary for couples to seek marriage counseling to help restore clear communication about feelings and boundaries. It’s important to know that these are experiences that people have and that there is help. Contact us to take a step toward healing.