Finding out that your partner has a sex addiction not only changes the way you see your partner, it changes the way you see almost all of your relationships and the way you experience your own reality. People often talk about questioning their memories, feelings and even their sense of self once discovering they have been betrayed. This experience has been labelled as betrayal trauma, as the response is aligned with other traumatic responses.
Symptoms can include
Physical– jaw pain, weight loss/ gain, trouble sleeping, uncommonly low or high energy, stomach aches, joint pains, headaches, hair loss, acne
Spiritual– feeling disconnected to your beliefs and values
Sexual– intrusive thoughts of your partner’s betrayal causing you to freeze when thinking or engaging in sexual activity, feeling used or objectified, not feeling connected or that you can trust your partner sexually, feeling an uncommonly heightened sense of sexual desire for your partner after finding about the disclosure and then feeling nothing
Emptiness/ Disconnection– feeling like you have to pretend everything is ok when it is not, feeling like you go through life in a mechanical way or in a fog, feeling like you cannot talk to others about your experience, feeling outside of your own body, feeling like no one could understand what you’re going through
Loss of Self– Feeling like you are in pieces, or that you have lost a part of who you are, untrusting of your own thoughts or feelings, unsure if you are capable of trusting or connecting with anyone else again, feeling disconnected from your own experiences
How Can Therapy Help With Betrayal Trauma?
Working with people who have both suffered and recovered from betrayal trauma I want you to know that you are not alone and that recovery is possible. Therapy can help with recovering from betrayal trauma by:
- Learning about and creating emotional safety
- Processing the events of the betrayal
- Receiving support from a trained individual
- Learning skills that will aid in creating boundaries and aiding in communication
- Being connected to support groups and others who are going through similar experiences
- Creating a space that allows for a deep re-connection to yourself
Free Resources for Betrayal Trauma, Created By Mosaic Counselling:
It is recommended that you do not go through this healing process alone as part of trauma recovery is about connection to yourself and others. As a trained therapist in Toronto I have made betrayal trauma my speciality of focus. After working with people who have been impacted by their spouse’s sexual addiction for a number of years I wrote my master’s thesis on the experience of betrayal and the healing that can take place. Please do not hesitate to email, call, or message me with any questions regarding this topic. I provide individual and group counselling as well as workshops and trainings regarding this topic.