Partner Betrayal Trauma

 

  • Have you ever found yourself searching for clues about someone else’s sexual behavior?
  • Have you ever felt confused and unable to separate what is true from what is not true when talking with your partner or spouse?
  • Have you ever made threats to others or promises to yourself (e.g., “if this happens again, I’ll leave”) that you did not carry out?
  • Have you often felt hurt, ashamed, or embarrassed by someone else’s sexual conduct?
  • Have you often lied to others, kept secrets, or made excuses to yourself about another person’s sexual conduct?
  • Do you normalize the addict’s sexual acting out behaviors (e.g., “All men view pornography” or “She just has a high sex drive”)?
  • Did you ever engage in sexual behaviors that you did not feel comfortable with or did not feel safe with because you felt pressure to comply?
  • Have you ever worn sexy clothes or changed your appearance to be more appealing to your partner or spouse despite the fact that it made you feel uncomfortable?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may be in a relationship with someone who is sexually compulsive.

Mark Falango + Associates offers a Partners Support Group to help partners and spouses recover from the trauma of discovery and disclosure enabling them to begin a process of self-care and a rebuilding of self-esteem.

For Partners and Spouses of Sex Addicts

The discovery of a partner’s sex addiction whether it be having affairs, compulsive masturbation, Internet sex, or soliciting prostitutes can be emotionally devastating. It has been likened to experiencing an earthquake or other natural disaster, only this one is man made. A partner of a sex addict will likely experience many after shocks following discovery or their loved one’s disclosure. Many partners state that after the discovery they feel emotionally unbalanced and feel they are going “crazy.” If you are a partner of a sex addict you may be struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Like all addictions, sex addiction is rooted in shame and many partners and spouses find themselves having to carry the shame. Many believe no one will understand the addiction so they keep the problem a secret. Keeping the secret and not seeking help or support fosters depression, anxiety, rage, and resentment towards the addict. Those partners who do disclose to friends and family are often met with encouragement to leave the addict. This plunges partners into further confusion as to what to do. Partners often feel no one can understand their conflict: “Do I stay or do I go?” “Did my partner act out because he doesn’t love me?” “How did I contribute to this problem?” “What do we tell the kids?”

Partners of sex addicts need, and greatly benefit from a recovery plan just as sex addicts do. Recovery is a challenging and difficult process: It forces partners and addicts to confront problems in their relationship. For many it may trigger unresolved trauma from their past. The good news is that creating a recovery plan, getting support, and entering treatment not only helps partners, it helps the addict’s recovery as well.

Mark Falango + Associates offers a Partners Support Group to help partners and spouses recover from the trauma of discovery and disclosure enabling them to begin a process of self-care and a rebuilding of self-esteem.