There’s a test I wish every person would take before starting longer relationships – the betrayal bond quiz. If I had taken the quiz early in my life, I believe it would have spared me years of grief, improved my marriage or made therapy efforts more focused.
To get through minor trauma (or emotional humiliation), our brain acts automatically to defend our ego and minimize the pain we feel. Beginning in childhood, these small moments begin to accumulate and stored in your memory. If there are consistent patterns of hurt/neglect, the built-up defenses may cause incredible anxiety as we move forward – and we may not be completely aware of why we feel the way we do in the present moment. The over- or under-reaction you have after hearing your spouse raise their voice, may in fact be a subconscious response based on years of being yelled at by a parent. I certainly never figured out the depth or extent of how this affected me, not for many years.
Stress brings all our defenses out in full force and oddly enough we may even be attracted to people or situations that bring this to a head. Repetition compulsion is a subconscious attempt to place yourself back into an uncomfortable circumstance – not to be tormented again but to resolve the fear or personal attack and to do now what you may not have had the power to do long ago. It’s often an unconscious method of self-help for your battle-weary defenses.
Take the quiz and find out if past betrayal is holding you back from reaching your full, intimate potential: