Trauma and Partners of Sex Addicts

Cynthia works from a clinical model based on addiction and trauma, giving partners impacted by the destruction of sexual compulsion and infidelity the opportunity to begin healing from intimate betrayal. Cynthia helps partners in moving through their grief and loss, breaking free from the bonds of trauma, and in regulating their emotions.  Partners learn to set healthy boundaries, while moving from a position of victimization to personal empowerment.

Cynthia provides a safe and compassionate environment that provides a path to healing that gives voice to the partner's truth as they travel on their own journey through recovery from trauma.

What is Trauma?

Sometimes called post traumatic stress disorder , we refer to the trauma partners of sex addicts experience as betrayal trauma. Symptoms may include intrusive thoughts, nightmares, huge explosions of emotions (overreactions to triggers or stimuli in the environment), hypervigilance, flashbacks or psychologically numbing out.  Betrayal trauma will impact one's ability to connect relationally in healthy ways and symptoms of trauma can become roadblocks to true intimacy.

The "Day of Discovery" is often initially traumatizing for partners of sex addicts.  The partner discovers that they have been living with a stranger, certainly not the person they thought.  This trauma can be repeated if the sex addict doesn't seek help as he or she will continue to lie and cheat and do whatever it takes to keep the addictive behavior.  This behavior has a purpose for the addict and must be replaced with healthy behaviors.  Even if the partner leaves the relationship or if the addict gets into recovery, the partner's trauma must be healed.  Left untreated, most partners no longer know what is real or what to trust, their whole existence can feel threatened and it becomes difficult to function fully.

Disclosure by the addict of his or her behavior patterns often leaves the partner's world shattered. The partner is still expected to continue in all roles which may include being a wife, mother and working professional.  Unlike most grief, such as death, partners do not get any "time off" from their responsibilities.  Just finding time to care for themselves when they have to care for others is very challenging.  What once was thought of as a safe place and committed relationship is now the person and place that has just caused more hurt than ever imagined.

Safety and support is necessary!  If the stress of the trauma is not resolved, the result can be physical illnesses.  Getting out of the relationship will not resolve the trauma.  You must resolve and heal the wound.  You must do whatever it takes to get the help and support you need to heal.

We cannot change the past, we can change our perception of it and our relationship to it--and that can change everything.  Mindfulness (of the mind) and compassion (of the heart) are powerful tools for transforming the pain in the past by learning to accept ourselves as we are in the present moment.


Cynthia can help you work through the following 5 Steps for recovery from sexual betrayal

  1. Understand how Sexual Betrayal Has Impacted You . Identify and evaluate any symptoms from sexual betrayal you may be currently experiencing.
  2. Determine the Effects of Earlier Traumas . Explore your unique history and how this new trauma of sexual betrayal may have collided with any prior wounds throughout your life.
  3. Learn about how Betrayal Trauma Effects Your Brain, Mind, Body, Spirit, and Sexuality. Reflect on how every part of your being may have been effected by your trauma. Learn how to better care for yourself.
  4. Take Steps Toward Relational Safety . Learn about important issues that must be addressed to rebuild trust and honesty.
  5. Step into Empowered Living . Learn and utilize practical tools for how to feel more empowered; including hope-filled ways of healing

What's happened to you is real. You deserve competent, compassionate, and effective care. You are worth it!