Especially for betrayed partners
For betrayed partners, you may...
...discover that your life is not what you thought it was.
...question what about your life is real.
...not know who your partner really is.
...not know what you should do.
...not know when to trust your intuition when it's telling you that something is wrong.
...feel like your spouse's infidelity and/or pornography use is about you or because you are lacking in some way.
Finding out that the person you trust the most is not who you thought they were, has betrayed you sexually, or has betrayed you in other ways is nothing short of traumatic. This is true regardless if it was solely porn, emotional or physical affairs, or other forms of acting out. As a betrayed partner your view of your life (past, present, and future) is brought into question as you try to determine what was real and what wasn't. Your nervous system is sent into overdrive as you try to seek safety and respond to the flood of emotions and triggers.
This trauma response in betrayed partners applies to both men and women.
Even if you have left a relationship with an addicted partner there is still a lot to heal. You may feel like people don't understand. It is a lot more complicated than relationships where couples "just grow apart". Betrayal trauma doesn't just disappear with a divorce. Pain that hasn't healed shows up in ways you least expect it. Be intentional about your healing just as you would if you were in a car accident that wasn't your fault. You still have to do the work if you want to fully recover and live your best life.