Partners of significant others often need support upon the discovery of infidelity or sexually compulsive behaviors in their primary relationship. Symptoms of PTSD and the effects of a betrayal trauma create a sense of confusion, shock, anger, and shame that often leave the partners feeling alone and isolated.
The goal for the partner support group is for these individuals to gain skills in order to address the difficult issues, including the grief and loss around the recent discovery of their significant other’s exposure of their compulsive sexual behaviors throughout their relationship history.
Betrayal and infidelity consists of keeping secrets about any sexual or romantic activities outside of the primary relationship. (Steffens, B., Means, M. 2009) proposed that betrayal is considered a relational trauma, resulting in a primary attachment injury within the couple’s life. One partner through an emotional affair, escorts, anonymous sex, or sexting has abandoned the support and care of the other based upon their relationship agreements.
Getting support is typically the first step for the partners, family members, and spouses of the partner who is sexually acting out. In addition to the group individual psychotherapy, treatment for partners is often recommended.