Understanding Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal Trauma Hurts!

When your partner’s infidelity is uncovered, you can’t help but experience that as a powerful form of emotional and psychological trauma. It feels like you’ve been hit by a truck – but emotionally rather than physically. You feel battered, bruised, and broken by the betrayal. If you are invested in your relationship, if you love and believe in your partner, then you are rightfully and understandably devastated.

It’s OK to Feel Crazy

If you’ve been cheated on and now you feel like you’re going crazy, you’re not alone. In fact, the rage, tears, fear, pleading, vindictiveness, and emotional instability you’re feeling are an inevitable and expected response to being cheated on. And this is not your fault.

Research shows that betrayed partners, after learning that their significant other has strayed, typically experience stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms characteristic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). And yes, PTSD is the same debilitating disorder we see in battle-scarred soldiers. Is it any wonder that you’re experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, hypervigilance, depression, mood swings, and an inability to focus on and manage basic tasks of day-to-day life?

You’re Not to Blame

Amazingly, your cheating partner might be pushing blame for the emotional rollercoaster you’re riding onto you. They might say things like:

  • If you weren’t so hostile, I never would have cheated.
  • I never know what to expect from you. It makes my life really difficult.
  • Why can’t you just forgive me so we can move on with our lives?

These responses ignore the trauma of betrayal. Your partner’s cheating has injured your ability to trust. You are finding it difficult to believe anything your partner says or does, and anything said and done in the past. And every time you find out another new piece of information, you experience the entire betrayal all over again.

Seeking Integrity Can Help

The emotional rollercoaster you find yourself on after learning about betrayal is miserable. It’s also normal. Try not to judge yourself about what you’re thinking and feeling. Instead, remind yourself:

  • You didn’t cause this.
  • What you are thinking and feeling is a natural response to the trauma of betrayal.

So please stop blaming yourself (and stop letting your cheating partner blame you) for the emotional rollercoaster you’re riding.

Free support for betrayed partners can be found on the SexandRelationshipHealing.com website. Low-cost online workgroups for betrayed partners are available at this link.

Speak with a Seeking Integrity Staff Member Regarding Treatment. Call (747) 234-HEAL (4325)
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