Betrayal Trauma, Infidelity & Sexual Addiction

Dr. Oliver has specialized training and expertise in working with partners who have experienced betrayal due to a spouse’s pornography use, sexual addiction or infidelity. The immediate and long term consequences of relationship betrayal can be overpowering and isolating for a partner who is faced with trying to understand a relationship that feels shattered and broken.  One study of women who had unexpectedly learned of their partner’s sexual betrayal reported that the women exhibited symptoms similar to those characteristically found in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These symptoms included emotional reactivity, hypervigilance, sleeplesness, obsessive thoughts, reliving of the experience,  anger, rage, sadness and isolation. Partners who have been continually deceived and told that their reality is wrong, paranoid or “crazy” understandably feel like they are going crazy.  All of the strong and frightening emotions partners have in the wake of learning of their partners infidelity, sexual addiction or use of pornography are normal reactions to the trauma of learning that the person that they love and trust has betrayed them. Sometimes partners wonder why counseling and psychotherapy is recommended for them when they are the innocent party.   It can be difficult to reach out or understand the need for professional help when you discover that you are living a life predicated on secrets, half truths, outright lies, infidelity and sexual addiction. You may be worried about yourself and your children. You may wonder if you want to salvage your relationship or whether it is possible for a relationship to heal after betrayal. Psychotherapy with a professional specifically trained in the treatment of betrayal trauma and sexual addiction offers betrayed partners a safe place to gain support, education and the skills needed to help them understand and manage the emotional, physical and spiritual ramifications of sexual betrayal and to begin to answer their own questions about what comes next.  You can heal from relational trauma and reclaim a life that is safe, stable and fulfilling.  If your partner is willing to get help from a highly trained and expert therapist you may be able to reclaim your relationship if that is your desire. The first step is to breathe and reach out for help, support and understanding.