Common adult relationship patterns that come from childhood trauma

ByTapatrisha Das, Delhi
Nov 28, 2022 10:41 AM IST

From controlling partners to the ones who betray, here are five types of partners we seek when we carry our childhood trauma in adult relationships.

When we are born and brought up in dysfunctional homes, our bodies and minds get into the flight or fight mode always. Be it having a childhood trauma to grow up with, or our emotional needs being suppressed over time, we tend to reflect the same in our adult relationships later in life. The relationship lessons that we get from our childhood are the ones that we use later in life for all the future relationships to follow. However, when it comes with childhood trauma of having suppressed feelings, our emotions not getting addressed and many more, we tend to shut down. We also sometimes try to find partners for the adult relationships that reflect the childhood we had. In one of her Instagram posts, Psychologist Nicole LePera addressed this and wrote, “Who we seek as partners are subconscious manifestations of our childhood relationships with a parent. The subconscious mind is always looking for familiar patterns to repeat in an attempt to repair.”

Common adult relationship patterns that come from childhood trauma(gettyimage)
Common adult relationship patterns that come from childhood trauma(gettyimage)

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Nicole further shared insights on the kind of partners we look for, when we carry childhood trauma into our adult relationships:

Critical partners: With our parents bringing us up in homes where we never received appreciation, we tend to be comfortable with partners who are critical of us and make us work too hard for their approval.

Emotionally unavailable partners: With having parents who have been dismissive of us in childhood, we tend to be comfortable around people who do not should emotional availability and are self-absorbed in themselves.

Partners who need fixing: Having had a childhood with parents who never gave us reliability, we tend to look for partners who need fixing, who asks for all kinds of support from our end.

Dominating partners: This is another reflection of the childhood trauma. Having had parents who have been extremely strict with us, we tend to seek partners who are controlling or dominating in nature.

Partners who betray: With our parents having betrayed us in childhood, we tend to be uncomfortable in relationships where we know the partners are reliable.


    Tapatrisha is Content Producer with Hindustan Times. She covers stories related to health, relationships, and fashion.

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