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Partner Betrayal Trauma

Shattered by Betrayal? Deceived by someone you thought you could trust?

If you have just discovered your spouse’s infidelity, sexually inappropriate behavior, and intimate deception, you may be experiencing partner betrayal trauma. Whether you are still in initial shock or reality has already set in and you trying to figure out how to put your life back together, know that there is help and hope after betrayal.

Well-worn recovery road warrior and ready to go deeper? Time to focus on finding yourself, restoring your intuition, boundarifying yourself, using your empowered voice? Work with a team who have walked that path ahead of you.

Road Warriors

You have been on the recovery journey long enough to know that it will be neither short nor easy. You have accepted that this experience has changed you, but are determined that you will not let the pain you feel today define you.

You have accepted that there are no assurances that your loved one will do the work for the deep recovery changes that you know are needed, nor that the gains will be maintained once made.

You have decided you want a deeper recovery, regardless of your betrayer's actions. You realize you are on a higher journey to find the pieces of yourself that you thought were destroyed, claim your voice, and discover who you are now. You are on a treasure hunt, and the treasure you are going to recover is you.


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A collection of woman warriors

What do you pack for the journey?

If you don’t have it now, don’t worry. What you don’t have at the beginning, you develop along the way.

Your battle plan?

  • Grit
  • Tenacity
  • Boundaries
  • Courage
  • Vulnerability
  • Vision
  • Worthiness
  • Faith
  • Integrity
  • Values
  • Travelors on the road with me

Inspiration for the journey:

And Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

~ Maya Angelou

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Sex or Pornography Addiction?

You may already know or suspect that your loved one has a problem with sexual integrity but aren’t sure if it could be an addiction. Take the quiz to see how many commonly reported patterns associated with addictive behavior you can identify.

Does your spouse:

If your spouse exhibits many of these symptoms, their behavior pattern is similar to individuals who struggle with sexually compulsive behaviors.

shattered by sexual betrayal?

How many of the commonly reported experiences of Partners of Sex or Porn Addicts are true for you?

Do you:

If your spouse exhibits many of these symptoms, their behavior pattern is similar to individuals who struggle with sexually compulsive behaviors.

How Have I Been Affected by Pornography or Sex Addiction?

As a partner of a sex or pornography addict, you are likely devastated by your spouse’s behavior. You are on an emotional rollercoaster that fluctuates from shock, disbelief, numbness, anger, sadness, fear, and grief.

You may be tormented by images of what you discovered or even of what you only imagine your spouse did. Your sense of security has been shattered. Your ability to trust your spouse and, perhaps, your judgment and intuition are wounded. You have become preoccupied with emotional safety seeking, such as searching for evidence of what really happened and whether it is still happening.

What is Partner Betrayal Trauma?

Many partners of sex addicts experience a form of complex PTSD called partner betrayal trauma. This includes both shock trauma and attachment-based, relational trauma.

If you answer yes to a number of these questions, then your spirit has been negatively affected by pornography and sex addiction, and you can benefit from a betrayal trauma approach to your recovery.

Is there Hope?

Healing and empowerment are absolutely possible after partner betrayal trauma! Shattered hearts can mend – with the help of a team trained in treating partner betrayal trauma. Healing starts with accepting the reality of what has happened to you and beginning to grieve the loss of the life you thought you had, the one you planned to live, and the person you used to be. It starts with reaching for help.

Can Our Relationship Survive?

Yes! A relationship CAN survive pornography and sex addiction. If both parties receive help and live an active recovery lifestyle, you can develop a deeper, more fulfilling relationship. The most successful relationships are those in which the addict and partner participate in individual and couples-related therapy activities.

Group therapy, healing communities or faith-based support groups, and Twelve-Step programs can also be an essential source of support for you and your addicted spouse.

Choosing your Therapeutic Team Wisely

It will be necessary for your spouse to work with a therapist with specific training in identifying and treating the impact of sexual addiction, such as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. However, not all professionals trained in treating sex or pornography addiction have specific training in understanding partner betrayal trauma or experience in marriage or couples counseling.

You can seek a Certified Clinical Partner Specialist, Certified Partner Trauma Therapist, or certified Partner Recovery Therapist. Professionals with these credentials have had specific training on identifying and treating betrayal trauma, including its impact on your relationship. ERCEM-trained (Early Recovery Couples Empathy Model) professionals understand that your relationship itself had been wounded by betrayal and need a relationship guide with knowledge of both addition and trauma.

To obtain this information, you will have to ask about the educational background of the therapist you work with to guide you through your own healing and help rebuild your relationship. Ask as many questions as needed to determine who is the best fit for helping you and your relationship navigate the recovery process.

What Expertise Does the Intensive Recovery Healing Team Have?

Our team includes Certified Clinical Partner Specialists, Certified Partner Trauma Therapists, Partner Betrayal Trauma Therapists, Partner Recovery Therapists, Certified Sex Addiction Therapists, Early Recovery Couples Empathy Model Specialists, and Certified Disclosure Guide clinicians and coaches. We are trained to treat the betrayal trauma that partners of sex addicts often experience, as well as help your relationship heal.

If you want to learn more about our approach to working with partners, please contact us or check out the Partners of Sex Addicts recovery blog.