The Torture of Betrayal

by | Jul 2, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you still you reeling?  Perhaps your partner’s sex addiction shocked you at first and then left you feeling stuck, heartsick and ashamed.

Even now, you may be thinking, “It’s too much, how can things ever be right again?”

Such a violation changes you.

Whatever your partner did to cripple your trust — affairs, porn, strip clubs, prostitutes, or things you can’t stand to hear– represent the end of the relationship you believed in. You may feel dazed and detached. The world may seem scary and surreal.

Please know that you are not alone. Betrayal by an intimate partner is devastating. The trust issues it creates internally and in the relationship are often relentless if you don’t know what’s happening and how to find relief.

Are You Suffering these Common Effects of Betrayal Trauma?

The pain you’re in is frequently referred to as betrayal trauma or relationship trauma.

In fact, in recent years, research indicates that the signs and symptoms of betrayal trauma closely correlate with those of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

Similar symptoms include:  

  • Hypervigilance- feeling on edge, suspicious, and on constant alert regarding your partner’s behavior
  • Re-experiencing – reliving the trauma of disclosure or discovery
  • Avoidance – refraining from sexual activity or discussion with your partner
  • Withdrawal- feeling as if you want little or no contact with your partner
  • Mood swings- negativity, anger, sorrow are increasingly part of interactions with your partner or thoughts about your partner
  • Low self-esteem- you wonder if you weren’t “enough” for your partner (good enough, sexy enough, adventurous enough)

You are not alone or “going crazy.” Deep anxiety and upset are common. Moreover, the persistent sense that you are unsafe, unprotected, or unaware of so much is draining. It can strain your mind and emotions well after your partner’s disclosure.

These feelings are torturous because they affect your mind and body intensely. They can disrupt and disorient you as you try to cope with the realities of your relationship. If you’re alternately sleepless, sad, and angry, your reactions are quite normal.  Are you distressed or impaired in your everyday life? Professional guidance can make all the difference.

How Can You Find Relief from Betrayal Trauma?

The lasting impact of your partner’s sexual infidelity and acting out may feel like torture for you. But relief is possible.

Partners of sexually unfaithful people need time and support. Thus, don’t feel pressured to move on without processing this trauma. It is necessary for your health and wellbeing. Work through the impact and import of sex addiction before expecting trust and safety in the relationship.

Is your partner is committed to treatment? If so you may be able to recover together. There can be no more secrets on the part of the betraying partner. When you’re ready, you may seek couples counseling as well.

That being said, do accept, too, the ramifications if your partner is not committed to recovery. Relief and healing may not come inside the relationship. Therefore, recovery may only be accomplished by the work you do on your own.

Either way, you will greatly benefit from prioritizing self-care on every level. Consider yoga or meditation.  They help release the trauma-induced tension in your body. Also, investigate support groups in your community for added validation and support.

Finally, …

Facing betrayal and deciding the future of your relationship are significant challenges going forward.  Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time to move beyond the tortured experience. Seek the support of a trained and compassionate professional. It is a crucial step toward recovery and I’m here to help. For information about my services, learn more here: Get Started