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  • Betrayal Trauma & Sex Addiction

    The discovery of a partner who has sexually betrayed you is devasting – finding out that your partner is a sex addict is overwhelming at best. The partner of a sex addict experiences a shattered sense of self, like broken pieces of glass. Everything you believed about your partner, relationship, marriage, and being with a committed and faithful partner has been destroyed. The marriage vows of loyalty and faithfulness have been broken, and the knowledge that your partner has a sexual addiction is shocking at best. Your mind, body, and spirit have suffered a devastating blow and can leave you feeling that ‘I am not good enough”. Somehow, maybe it was my fault, and their avoidance, gaslighting, and defensive feeling as if you were going “crazy.” Only to discover that you have been manipulated and that your intuition was on point.

    The traumatic event of discovery can often have you feeling a whirlwind of the perception of the reality of your relationship and trying to wrap your mind around your partner’s sexual addiction and the deception and compartmentalization of these sexual behaviors. Often, this impact feels like a stone being thrown into the pond, with the circles of the ripple effect expanding into every area of your life and trying to make sense of these behaviors of dismissiveness, decrease or non-existence of sexual intimacy, less engagement with the children, and not being present in the relationship. The discovery is an extremely painful raw effect consisting of pornography, prostitution, online conversations, sexual pictures of women, webcam porn videos, and various sexual affairs with phone calls, sexting, and traveling for hotel sexual rendezvous.

    Partners of sexual addicts who experience Betrayal Trauma experience the destruction of the relationship and marriage as they once knew. Betrayal Trauma Symptoms are like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The discovery of addictive behaviors from your partner whom you trust and love can be one of the most painful attachment betrayal experiences. The betrayed partner can experience feelings of pain, uncertainty, anger, betrayal, and even detachment, which can be overwhelming, making it challenging in daily functioning.


    • Flashbacks, Intrusive memories, and thoughts
    • Hypervigilance and re-experiencing
    • Negative core beliefs: “I am unlovable,” “I’m not good enough,” “I am not beautiful.”
    • Nightmares and distressing dreams
    • Difficulty focusing and concentrating.
    • Difficulty remembering important things
    • Disconnection from others
    • Irritability, moodiness, anger
    • Depression and sadness
    • Anxiety and distress

    The discovery of their partner’s sexual addiction feels like they are living with a stranger who has a secret double life of pornography, sex workers, and sexual affair partners—the significance of learning manipulation, dismissiveness, and gaslighting. Even after the betrayer has committed to sexual addiction recovery and has ended the relationship with the affair partner, the damage of the aftermath is significant. The betrayed partner needs support in the process of self-care, healing, and recovery as a survivor to thrive in their life.

    A betrayed partner with hypervigilance may experience a trauma-trigger response by re-experiencing memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and rumination, which brings her back to the time of discovery. These emotions correlated with betrayal trauma need to be processed and integrated with the brain to bring healing. As a result, the betrayed partner may want safety, stabilization, and security to understand the sexual behaviors of their partner. They may demonstrate anger, irritability, emotional outbursts, crying spells, spacing out, defensiveness, wanting to know their partner’s location, and asking for more details and information. This can bring the betrayed partner back to ground zero upon discovering the betrayal.


    The therapist you choose needs to understand complex trauma, PTSD, and sexual addiction and how it impacts partners who feel like their lives have been turned upside down and everything they have ever known is now in question. A competent therapist who specializes in partner sexual betrayal and sexual addiction will support you in stabilization and safety when your world has been shattered and support you in taking each step in your healing journey. The therapist can provide psychoeducation in understanding trauma recovery and engage in a step-by-step process that helps you heal and not become re-traumatized from these events. They are, moreover, helping the partner understand the negative consequences and impact of sexual betrayal and the steps of repairing the shattered ruptures in the relationship, healing, and recovery, and rebuilding the connection and trust in the relationship.

    Partners and spouses deserve the opportunity to heal and restore a sense of safety, peace, and harmony, whether they decide to stay in the relationship or marriage. I am committed to helping betrayed partners work through these painful, traumatic symptoms and restore healing and hope after heartbreak. I can support you in the transformative process of healing, recovering, and overcoming trauma on your journey. You are not alone. Please reach out to me today to start your healing process.