Partners of Sex Addict Counseling AustinBetrayal Trauma = PTSD

When the Sex Addict’s betrayal comes to light through disclosure the impact can cause an attachment injury, in which the relationship represents a source of danger rather than a safe place to go for emotional support. In a relationship with betrayal, the attachment bond is broken and the offended party suffers what is often called relational trauma.


Just like other trauma, the partner may respond try to get the addict to reconnect or push the addict away shutting the addict out so she won’t be vulnerable to be hurt again. Both the addict and the partner often experience deep emotional pain after the infidelity has been disclosed. Yet with all trauma and pain, it can be an opportunity for healing, growing, and resiliency.


For the offended partner, learning about her spouse’s or partner’s secrets is traumatic because of the lies that he/she has believed. Being lied to by the very person you love causes guilt and shame. “Why did I let myself get so deceived?” This is especially true when the lies and secrets have included sexual infidelity causing more damage because of the sense of betrayal.

When the addict has committed a crime, been arrested, and faces prison, just adds insult to the injury. Fear of being alone, financial security, or having it all become exposed to the public. There have even been cases in which the addict has lived a completely different life, with a separate family, children, and financial responsibility. There can be even more consequences due to the IRS charging the addict for back taxes.


It is understandable that the partner has deep anger and resentment due to the addict’s behaviors placing her and her kids in danger. Then there is the fear of being abandoned. The consequences of the addict’s behaviors may last for many years and cost thousands of dollars.

The partner of the sex addict needs support and our counseling center provides both individual counselors and partners of sex addicts group support. If you are the partner of a sex addict and recently discovered his betrayal or sexual behaviors, please contact our center today to setup an individual session for support. Don’t try to do this on your own.