gtag('config', 'AW-11411846688');

Healing from Sex Addiction and Betrayal trauma

In the vast spectrum of human experiences, few things rival the complexities of sexual addiction and betrayal trauma. These issues are so intertwined, they cause havoc on individuals and relationships, often leaving a trail of confusion, pain, and shattered trust in their wake. Understanding these intricacies is crucial for those grappling with these issues, whether personally or in supporting loved ones through them. If controlling certain behaviors feels like an uphill battle, know this – our recovery plan offers both understanding and a clear way forward.

At Circles of Grace, we understand that the journey towards healing and recovery through sex addiction therapy is deeply personal and often challenging. Addressing unwelcome sexual behaviors isn’t easy; that’s why our tailored LifeStar Program exists—to guide individuals and couples toward healing together. We will be discussing this program in more detail below, but first we want to talk a little more about sexual addiction, what it is and what it isn’t. We are here to help and want to give you all of the tools and information you need along your journey of healing.

Know that you are not alone and there is help available

Unraveling Sexual Addiction

Sexual addiction, sometimes referred to as hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior, is a complex and often misunderstood condition. Contrary to common misconceptions, it’s not simply about having a high libido or enjoying sex. Rather, it involves a compulsive need for sexual activity that becomes a focal point of a person’s life, often to the detriment of their well-being and relationships.

Like other forms of addiction, sexual addiction can manifest in various ways, including:

  1. Excessive pornography consumption 
  2. Emotional and sexual infidelity
  3. Frequent casual sex encounters 
  4. Compulsive masturbation
  5. Illegal acting out
  6. Voyeurism

Individuals struggling with sexual addiction often find themselves trapped in a cycle of shame, guilt, and secrecy, unable to control their impulses despite negative consequences, and are often using sexual acts as a way to mask or manage deeper emotional pain.

The Impact of Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal trauma, on the other hand, stems from the profound breach of trust experienced when someone we love and trust engages in behaviors that violate the boundaries of the relationship. It can occur in various contexts, but it’s particularly poignant in the case of infidelity or sexual addiction within a partnership.

The trauma experienced by the betrayed partner is multifaceted and can manifest emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. Feelings of shock, disbelief, anger, and profound sadness are common, often accompanied by intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, and difficulty trusting others in the future

Complexities and Complications

What makes the dynamic between sexual addiction and betrayal trauma especially challenging is how they interact and reinforce each other. The compulsive behaviors of the addicted individual deepen the wounds of betrayal, exacerbating the trauma experienced by their partner. Meanwhile, the betrayed partner’s emotional distress can trigger further shame and secrecy in the addicted individual, perpetuating the cycle of dysfunction.

Furthermore, societal stigmas surrounding both addiction and infidelity can compound the challenges that are created by those who are facing these issues. Shame and fear of judgment often deter individuals from seeking help, perpetuating feelings of isolation and hopelessness. It is also important to note that sexual addiction and betrayal trauma do not exclusively affect people who are already in committed relationships. Addictions and trauma affect all people, regardless of relationship status. 

Seeking therapeutic help can also be challenging. It is important that couples and individuals find trained professionals that understand the complex dynamics of both sexual addiction and betrayal trauma.

Navigating Towards Healing

Recovery from sexual addiction and betrayal trauma is a complex and nonlinear journey, requiring patience, empathy, and professional support. Both individuals in the relationship must be willing to confront their own vulnerabilities and actively participate in the healing process.

Therapy, both individual and couples counseling, is often a cornerstone of recovery, providing a safe space to explore underlying issues, rebuild trust, and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Support groups and community resources can also offer invaluable solidarity and guidance, reminding individuals that they are not alone in their struggles.

Crucially, cultivating open and honest communication within the relationship is essential for rebuilding trust and fostering intimacy. This includes establishing clear boundaries, practicing empathy and understanding, and committing to ongoing growth and self-reflection.

LifeStar Foundations Group Program

For over 30 years, LifeStar of Salt Lake has provided a comprehensive and holistic approach to recovery from unwanted sexual behavior and betrayal trauma. Our group program is structured into three progressive phases, specifically designed to help both those who struggle with the addictive patterns and behaviors and the others who are affected by and experience the trauma of betrayal and disconnection in their relationships. Guided by our Trained Therapists, you’ll learn about the biological foundations of our behavior, why we behave like we do, and how to change your life. In a process that utilizes a unique curriculum, you’ll understand how recovery isn’t just abstinence, it is a whole new way of healthy living. In addition, we can help you overcome the negative impact of trauma on your life. The healing process starts with education and support to regulate emotion. Next, you’ll work on creating emotional safety through specific techniques you’ll learn from your therapist. Lastly, know that growth beyond the trauma is possible – creating a new balanced life with healthy living skills.