“Why does this hurt so badly?” This is the question you may be asking yourself in the midst of suspicions or evidence of your husband or wife’s sex addiction. Your feelings of betrayal, anger and hopelessness all add up to relational trauma in the marriage. Your trust has been violated at the discovery of your partner’s secret life, and a deep wounding has occurred.
Most addicts leave marital damage on the battlefield of compulsion. However, sex addiction profoundly injuries primary relationships. Spouses, partners, children and friends may feel intensely stung by the lies, deceptions, and questionable actions made by the addict. The sense of loyalty developed in marriage relationships is unlike any other. Discovering that your partner has had numerous affairs, engaged with prostitutes availed themselves of internet sex, or participated in compulsive sexual acts is painful.
When we develop intimate relationships, trust is built, and safety is expected. We desire closeness and a secure foundation is built out of our shared affection. This bond formed in the intimate attachment is a healthy, natural occurrence that we learn early in life. When those bonds are exposed, trauma occurs in the wake of the betrayal and fear washes over. The emotions you are feeling now may include rage, hopelessness, and despair.
“WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? AM I STRONG ENOUGH TO COPE?”
This trauma hurts. You need hope, healing and a way of making sense to recover. Healthy boundaries must be learned and established. Your fears about the future are real, and you need some hope. It is a daily struggle, but can be both managed and overcome.