We face different challenges and different things in our lifetime. These things, both good and bad, play a huge part in shaping our future and behavior.
These things can be a temporary reason for certain emotions and actions, but they can’t be an excuse to stay stuck in a self-destructive mindset forever. They can make an impact on the way we think and behave, but they can’t turn our life upside-down.
Well, they can. But, it’s our responsibility to make sure they don’t. It’s our responsibility to make sure to take back the power we have over those things and continue to lead a happy and fulfilling life.
Taking responsibility is the only path we can take toward overcoming the things that weigh us down. So, if you’re wondering whether your partner’s trauma can be taken as a valid excuse for his behavior, the answer is NO.
You see, it’s your partner’s responsibility to make sure his trauma doesn’t negatively affect your relationship. If he’s saying things like “That’s just the way I am” or “You know what I’ve been through,” you might want to rethink your decision to be with him.
Trust me, there are so many ways in which your partner could exhibit controlling behavior. He might demand that you call him whenever you leave the house, or even ask for his permission.
He might get upset whenever you make plans without him or make you feel guilty for spending time with your friends and family.
Or, he might even go as far as to go through your phone hoping to find proof that you’ve done something wrong. When you finally confront him about it, he might even try to make you feel bad.
He may play it down by saying something along the lines of “I couldn’t help myself, you know what I’ve been through,” or “I just wanted to know you were safe, I was worried because of my…”
Looking for excuses for his behavior in his trauma is a major red flag. You don’t want to tolerate someone’s abuse and bad behavior just because they’ve experienced something negative in the past.
This will never stop unless he takes responsibility.
Has your partner ever told you something like “You’re imagining things, I never said that”? Or maybe “Can’t you take a joke? Lighten up a bit!” Or even my personal favorite: “Why are you so angry, it wasn’t that bad!”
If the answer is yes… Your partner might be using his trauma as an excuse to gaslight you and manipulate you into thinking you’re just being paranoid. Whatever happened to him in the past doesn’t give him a pass to act like he’s always right.
It doesn’t give him the reason to act as if your concerns are irrelevant and crazy, as if you’re too sensitive and too emotional, as if it’s completely normal for him to make you question your sanity.
Trust me, he isn’t gaslighting you because his trauma made him depressed, irritable, and needy. He’s gaslighting you because he’s a manipulative jerk who isn’t capable of taking responsibility for his actions.
There’s nothing wrong with having certain communication challenges in your relationship. Some people aren’t good at expressing their emotions and they need a moment to figure out what they want to say (and how they want to say it).
But, if your partner is deliberately ignoring you, disengaging from you, or giving you the silent treatment every time you get into an argument… He isn’t doing that because of his trauma. He’s doing that as a form of toxic relationship punishment.
Does he refuse to answer your questions when you’re mid-argument? Does he walk away when he doesn’t know what to say? Or does he stop talking to you for a few days, waiting for you to make the first move?
Trust me, his silent treatment doesn’t have anything to do with his past trauma. Even if it does, even if it’s somehow connected to whatever he experienced in the past, it still doesn’t make for an excuse.
4. Verbal abuse
Here’s the thing: There’s a huge difference between an argument and verbal abuse. And you shouldn’t jump to put labels on your partner unless you’re 100% sure you know what you’re talking about.
Unlike a normal argument, verbal abuse comes out to play every single day. You can recognize it by frequent name-calling, humiliation, gaslighting, condescension, and degradation.
“Why do you always do that? You’re such an idiot!”
“Are you seriously going to eat that? That dress doesn’t even fit anymore!”
Or how about “It’s your fault, you made me angry!”
His trauma is no excuse for his behavior. Sure, his trauma might have made an impact on his behavior, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely fine for him to treat you this way. There’s nothing stopping him from speaking with a therapist and getting the help he needs.
You might want to consider removing yourself from the relationship if such behavior continues.
5. Physical abuse
Last but not least, your partner might manipulate you into thinking his trauma is a valid excuse to be physically abusive. Believe it or not, many victims of physical abuse don’t even realize they’re in an abusive relationship, and here’s why.
It’s incredibly difficult to understand the situation when your partner keeps gaslighting you into thinking you’re just being paranoid.
Comments like “I didn’t hit you, I barely even touched you,” and “You’re blowing things out of proportion, I didn’t even push you that hard.” There’s no excuse for physical abuse.
If he’s shoving you, holding you against the wall, smacking you lightly on the head, dragging you along the floor, or harming you in literally any other way – he is physically abusing you.
There’s no gray area. There’s nothing he can say that would possibly explain and justify his behavior. His trauma isn’t an excuse.
If he resorts to violence or hurts you in any way, you need to turn to a professional or someone you trust to help you remove yourself from the situation and end the relationship.