Guest Blog: Abusers and Traumatic Bonding-What You Need To Know
The below is a guest blog by
If some pairings are matches made in heaven, their counterparts are matches made in hell. Some relationships can be toxic, unhealthy, and abusive, yet an individual firmly plants their feet and settles into the relationship for the duration. Why? You have to wonder exactly what makes these people stay. Are they scared, do they lack confidence, or are they unaware that the relationship is venomous? Are they emotionally exhausted, financially unprepared, or merely accepting their fate? It is likely that combinations of these possibilities are accurate, but another key factor is associated with the concept of traumatic bonding.
Traumatic bonding occurs in relationships that are formed and shaped from toxic and abusive experiences. In these relationships, an individual remains loyal to their partner despite the fact that their partner is negative and disparaging. Trauma bonds are prevalent in intense conditions and relationships that sporadically cycle between pain and tranquility. Trauma bonds develop from powerful, intricate, and conflicting environments where a promise is made. Individuals stay in abusive relationships as they maintain hope that the promise will eventually be fulfilled. Manipulation is always a key element in abusive relationships and individuals tend to tolerate it, as they wait expectantly for the promise to be granted. People cannot see trauma bonds clearly while engaged in abusive relationships and can only see them when bonds are broken after departing the relationship.
Trauma bonds are comprised of polarizing aspects of punishment and reward. The abuse cycle will vacillate, switching from punishment and abuse to sporadic rewards of warmth and kindness. An intense connection results from the sporadic highs and lows while an individual simultaneously awaits the next high. Intermittent reinforcement, the expectant hope of something better, and awaiting the fulfillment of promises are factors that keep a person bonded to an abusive partner. Trauma bonds may be so strong that an individual may not even attempt to leave the relationship, or if they do, they may end up returning to it shortly thereafter.