What Is Partner Betrayal Trauma ™?
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ Definition:
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ is trauma caused by a partner's betrayal to their spouse or significant other. The betrayal can take multiple forms. It can be infidelity, sex addiction, intimacy anorexia, and the list goes on. Every person’s journey, as they navigate these waters, is unique to them.
There are so many factors that determine the level of trauma caused by betrayal. The uniqueness of the quality of your marriage, getting caught or disclosing voluntarily, the partner coming totally clean or dribbling disclosure, their response to heal or not heal, your trauma history, your resiliency factors, their economic situation and their own narrative, are all contributing factors on discovery day. That is why your discovery day, or multiple discovery days will be unique to you.
I have sat through many discovery days in my office when a betrayed partner receives the truth about the infidelity, sex addiction, or intimacy anorexia. The screaming, crying, yelling, and going blank are indelibly written on my heart and mind as I see them receiving the news of betrayal.
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ is a real trauma with a very real impact on the betrayed spouse's life. Trust has been broken and many times it has been broken multiple times over many years. The realization of this broken trust can have devastating effects. The trauma can manifest in various ways. There are six main components which make up the trauma. They include emotional, spiritual, social, physical, sexual, and financial betrayal. This means your recovery will look very different than someone else's.
Many of the effects of Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ will manifest prior to discovery day. This means that the treatment needs go much farther than just the immediate fixing of the situation. The end of the betrayal action does not end the trauma.
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What does Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ look like?
There are 6 major components of Partner Betrayal Trauma ™
Your past experiences, your memories, accomplishments, goals, and dreams shared with your partner form a strong emotional bond. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions tie into each of these things. The emotional betrayal trauma upon discovery of a partner betrayal is significant because it is as if your partner has disregarded all of these emotional ties. Emotional investment in a relationship is huge. You were fully committed to this relationship with your heart, mind, and soul. This is why this is such a huge factor in the betrayal and recovery process.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, an intimate relationship is a spiritual experience. Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ does not discriminate between religious or not, it can happen to anyone. I have worked with Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, Muslims, Agnostics, and people with no religious background. Your spirit defines the deeper meaning of who you are and your morals. Therefore, it is especially offensive to our spirit to be betrayed. This betrayal is amplified when it is done by someone with whom you are spiritually connected. This makes it difficult to find validation and acceptance when such a betrayal happens.
The social aspects affected when a partner is betrayed is often overlooked. Your relationship is a social unit on display for everyone. You go places together as a couple, travel together, enjoy the same events and gatherings, and often have the same friends. The betrayal on this aspect happens on external and internal levels. Internally, the betrayed spouse often wonders how much their friends and family know about what actually happened. (Sometimes they even wonder if their friends knew before them.) Furthermore, they wonder what their friends and family think of them now. This can be extremely damaging to a person's mental well-being. It is especially damaging when the betrayal happens in the form of infidelity with someone you knew on a personal level. Externally, the betrayal left you to fend for yourself. This usually results in avoidance behaviors. For example, you may not want to go out in public for fear of seeing someone you know because you might feel the need to explain yourself. They failed to protect you and displayed a lack of respect for your self worth.
Everything we do and experience affects our physical bodies. When you experience trauma, your body goes through the trauma with you. Your response to trauma and how you deal with it will have a different affect on each individual. The effects can be minor or extreme depending on the level and nature of the betrayal. Furthermore, the knowledge and method of discovery can play a role in the amount of physical trauma experienced. The physical effects will be different per individual, but Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ certainly will affect you physically.
Generally, the most intimate experience you can have with another human being is sex. Sex between a couple is sacred. The sexual betrayal part of Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ occurs when this sacred area is violated. Lines are crossed, boundaries are broken, and trauma is created. The response to sexual betrayal can be varied. As a betrayed partner, you may crave more sex in more experimental ways, or you may withdraw and desire less sex. There is an internal conflict created. Your sexual beauty and image has been betrayed and traumatized.
Finances are a huge component in a spousal relationship. Many couples merge their finances with joint bank accounts, budgeting, and saving. Financial betrayal results from those shared financial accounts and practices. Often times, there is an actual financial cost associated with the betrayal. Your partner may have spent money acting out on their addiction. Furthermore, they may have been spending time betraying you while they were supposed to be working. Many times their actions can result in job loss or significant lost income. This betrayal can affect you and your children for years after the activities.
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ Treatment and Recovery
It is important receive help for your Partner Betrayal Trauma ™. Your life has been devastated in ways you most likely don't even realize and your long-term emotional well-being is also at stake. Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ can result in depression, loss of self-worth, eating disorders, and general mistrust. It is important not to minimize your trauma or allow others to minimize it. This is a real trauma and it needs real treatment. Our counselors can help you recover from the PTSD caused by Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ by validating your condition and giving you real tools to recover.
Our Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ Treatment Programs
We use complete Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ recovery treatment programs called "intensives" and counseling sessions to validate your trauma, help you recover from the trauma you experienced, stabilize your emotions, and redefine your personal identity moving forward.
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ Intensives
The trauma from betrayal and broken trust runs deep. This intensive is specifically for you if you feel like you were betrayed. The trauma created by being betrayed by your partner or spouse changes you and your life. They were the most significant and important person in your world. They let you down. You need to heal, be validated, and empathized with as you recover from your unique partner betrayal.
Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ Counseling
Our Partner Betrayal Trauma ™ counseling sessions are for anyone working through being betrayed by a loved one. Betrayal is a process usually surrounded by lies, manipulation, and emotional abuse. It leads to consequences of broken trust, a lack of confidence in that loved one, and a reality where you question everything you know just to feel safe again. Our licensed counselors help you recover from the trauma of betrayal.