Couples Raising Children with Attachment Trauma: How Will Our Relationship Survive?
---Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP #Connections
Do you and your partner argue about your children? You are not alone. Most couples argue about parenting decisions now and then.
Are you and your partner raising children who have a history of attachment trauma? If the answer is yes, then you and your partner are much more likely to be experiencing conflict-- and a lot of it.
Here is why….
#1. Raising children with a history of attachment trauma is extremely stressful. Managing your child’s behaviors may feel overwhelming to both you and your partner at times. You both may feel worried and preoccupied with helping your child. Your support system may be lacking, because your extended family and friends don’t understand your child’s difficulties and don’t know what to do to help. The stress may leave you both irritable, and you may end up lashing out at one another. After all, you are only human.
. It is hard to carve out time to be a couple when you are raising a child with behavioral issues. You and your partner probably spend most of your time and energy taking your child to appointments and activities and managing behaviors. You may have difficulty remembering the last time you had a date night, and you may have completely forgotten what it is like to enjoy spending time together as a couple.
Tips that can help…
Find out what you each need from the other. Ask your partner what you can do to be more emotionally supportive, and then let your partner know what would be helpful to you.
Make a list of healthy self-care habits and commit to practicing at least one self-care habit daily. Show your list to your partner and invite your partner to make a list as well.
Seek expert help. Work with a skilled child and family therapist who can help heal your child’s trauma and strengthen the parent-child relationships.
Seek help for the parenting piece.
Seek parent resources. (Check out the parent tab at
) Find an expert in parenting children with attachment trauma so that you and your partner can stay on the same page.
Make time as a couple. Meet for lunch or coffee on your work breaks. Find a sitter and go out to dinner or take a walk. Write supportive texts or emails to one another during the day. Remember those qualities that drew the two of you together so that you can find them again!
Attend couples’ therapy. A professional can help you work through your disagreements and reconnect as a couple. It will be well worth the investment of time and money.
The relationship between the two of you is the foundation. Your children will do better when your foundation is strong.