Trauma of Discovery or Disclosure
Discovering or hearing about a loved one’s inappropriate sexual or relationship behavior is devastating. You didn’t sign up for this pain! It’s normal to feel whatever you’re feeling, which usually is a painful mix of anger, hurt, fear and sadness – along with a good dose of disappointment, confusion or embarrassment.
It’s also normal to react in a myriad of ways. You might lash out in anger or withdraw in pain or try to be a detective and figure out exactly what you’re dealing with. You replay conversations and situations in your mind and reframe the history of your relationship.
Take the time you need to deal with the trauma of discovering your loved one’s acting out or the pain of hearing a disclosure. Unfortunately, unless the addict is getting appropriate help, disclosure is often unguided and incomplete, which only adds to your pain.
Reach out to safe people who can support you during this difficult time. Find a counselor who specializes in helping partners of sex addicts find their way through this maze of betrayal and confusion. Take comfort in the fact that your loved one’s acting out is not your fault. Be gentle with yourself.
When you’re ready, consider attending a Healing for Partners workshop to get the support, information, and direction you deserve.