How many of you have a friend who finds it too hard to get out of a toxic relationship? Or how many times have you wanted to leave a person but just couldn’t do anything about it? If you’re stuck in a situation like this, then don’t worry, you’re not alone!

So far, Bollywood movies have always been glorifying the idea of an abusive relationship with movies like Kabir Singh, Tere Naam, Aashiqui 2, etc, and mislead the generation into believing that a toxic relationship is real love and intense romance. As fancy as it might sound, this is a highly flawed notion prevailing amongst the millennials these days. 

In fact, if you could relate to the lyrics of the song, ‘I hate you, I love you,” by Gnash, then your relationship is not so romantic and lovey-dovey as it seems. There’s a possibility you are not just in a dilemma of loving or not loving someone but might be a victim to the concept of ‘trauma bonding’.

What Do You Mean By Trauma Bonding?

Trauma bonding means loyalty towards a person who is destructive. Normal trends in these types of bonds show a cycle of abuse followed by an intermittent period of love and reward. This pattern usually powers a very strong emotional bond which is hard to break. 

Such a bond often makes people wonder that they are “the one” for each other, little realizing that it’s making them a victim of trauma bonding. Ironically, people who are experiencing a “trauma bondage” never realize it but the ones close to them can clearly see that their peer is investing in a destructive bond based on abuse and destructive validation. 

Dr. Patrick Carnes defines trauma bonding as “betrayal bonds” where the victim is betraying themselves by not identifying the abuser and instead overlooking their manipulative behavior in the name of love. 


Read Also: How Is Co-Dependency A Plague To Romantic Relationships?


Trauma bonding is becoming more popular amongst millennials lately due to the rollercoaster hormonal ride it comes with. Youth these days look for scintillating experiences in their relationships and declare healthy relationships as monotonous or boring.

Thus, the idea of an unhealthy trauma bond appears attractive as it promises a turmoil of emotions which triggers a much craved hormonal rush. 

This hormone rush is so dominating that it overpowers all the abuse and destructive behavior coming along. Moreover, people feel a sense of validation after being loved by their abuser soon after an episode of violence. Such psychology makes the victim stick longer in the relationship and makes them always hesitant to give up (considering the slight possibility of love).

How To Identify A Trauma Bond?

A trauma bond is always visible to people who are not a part of it but is a herculean task when it comes to victim realization. Due to the enormous emotional investment, the victims of such a bond always confuse their instability with something special and rare.

However, if you think you are a victim of trauma bond or know someone who might be in the same, then here are some red flags you should watch out for.

  • A pattern of non-performance where a person promises you a lot of things but constantly lets you down with zero guilt.
  • You feel stuck in the relationship where you feel like you don’t even love the person anymore but still feel too helpless to leave.
  • All your close friends and family have already warned you about your unhealthy relationship and need you to break off from the same.
  • You know that the person is toxic and abusive at times, but you always look at the bright side of it and are living in the past of ‘good times’.
  • The relationship looks like an addictive drug. The more you want to not think about them, the more you crave their presence.
  • You feel protective about the person because of their “difficult childhood” or “past trauma” and feel a need to care for them.

What Do Experts Say?

Psychologists say that trauma bondings are an outcome of a long term emotional investment and it’s hard to break off from such a bond but it is not impossible. One of the first steps towards breaking away from such a bond is by realizing it. 

Recognizing that you are in a trauma bond and then accepting your reality breaks you off from the virtual bubble of your ideal relationship. It gives you a sense of reality and makes you look at all the existing red flags of the relationship.

The next step involves breaking off the pattern. Block all communication and give yourself time to introspect. Breaking off the destructive patterns might give you withdrawal symptoms but will be worth it. 

Next is to welcome the change and adapt the new setting, it might be hard to get back to a new healthy lifestyle as destruction is addictive but in the long run, the results will fall in your favor.

The journey of getting out from a trauma bonding is hard and creeping but the road to self-love and acceptance is even beautiful. 


Image credits: Google Images

Sources: Psychology Today, Medium, Psych Central

Find the Blogger: @ZehraYameena

This post is tagged under: trauma bonding, betrayal bonds, millennials, toxic relationships, abusive relationships, unhealthy relationships, emotional instability, codependency, obsession, toxic love


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