There is absolutely nothing like discovering that a persons spouse or partner has been living
a double life. When a person learns of the sexual acting out that has occurred many people experience
what we understand to be traumatic symptoms. These include initial shock, disbelief, disgust, nausea,
and other physical symptoms, anger, and rage. People often experience shame
and live with the secret, separating him or her from sharing this information with others for fear of
their reactions, which leads to isolation for the betrayed partner. This is a pain that we are very
familiar with treating and there is a way out of the horror. There is no guarantee about what the addicted partner
may do, however the betrayed partner can certainly begin a pathway of healing.
We offer individual counseling, group counseling, and intensive programs for betrayed partners. Our
team has clinicians that are trained and experienced in several modalities of trauma healing, including
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), Internal
Family Systems (IFS), as well as experiential work. There is tremendous healing when one person shares
his or her experience of pain and betrayal with another person that gets it and knows that pain, and is met
with understanding, empathy, and care.
The betrayed person did not do anything to cause this, can not control it, cannot cure it cannot change it,
however he or she does have choices. Sometimes the person that has been betrayed is angry that he or she
now has to do this work, when she or he did nothing wrong. That is completely understandable. It can
feel like a punishment to the innocent party. While that is true, he or she did not cause this in any
way, and is not responsible for the other persons reactions, the betrayed person is injured by the
other persons behavior, and is now responsible to help him or herself to heal from the damage created.
We find that when both partners, the addicted and the betrayed, receive treatment, the family at large
benefits, and the coupleship has a greater chance at healing. Whether or not the betrayed partner
chooses to stay in this relationship, the effect of this type of trauma will not just go away. We are
trained at facilitating healing whether the relationship continues or not. Sometimes people find that
this is not his or her first abusive relationship, when that is the case, we look at underlying beliefs
that may cause a person to continue to choose a partner that is unhelpful and hurtful. This level of
healing can create a generational change in the family.