Unpacking Emotional Trauma: Understanding Infidelity PTSD

Idit Sharoni

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I'm a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in Miami, a relationship podcast host, and an educator. I help couples transform their patterns of communication and heal after infidelity. 

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The pain of discovery or disclosure. The broken life that comes with broken trust. The exhaustion and dread of seeking the truth. And the anxiety of not knowing the lover you thought you knew.

All of that is emotional trauma, and there is no shame in saying so.  

Yet, throughout the experience, the temptation to bury those emotions and reactions can be very real. The hurt, humiliation, and anxiety, can feel like too much to deal with. Especially if you’ve decided to save your marriage, especially if you face each other daily. The temptation to put your emotions aside and get on with life can feel like the better option. At first. 

However, if you’re like legions of other betrayed partners, you’ve likely discovered that emotional trauma, particularly infidelity trauma, doesn’t stay buried long. It shows up soon enough in other areas of a person’s life, relationships, and physical health. For too many, it shows up as infidelity PTSD.

Image of an upset woman holding a man's hands. Is your relationship suffering from infidelity? Learn how infidelity recovery in Miami, FL can help reconnect you and your partner.

Why Infidelity Recovery Often Means Dealing With Infidelity PTSD

Did you know that an affair could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder? It’s true, but so many couples completely miss the fact that marital betrayal can be considered a traumatic event. 

Infidelity hurts. It breaks the life a betrayed partner has known- just like a tragic event or a natural disaster. The pain is often so pervasive and the reality so unrelenting, that sometimes, the emotional and relational fallout can get “stuck” inside the mind and nervous system of a wounded partner who cannot express their traumatic experience productively. Instead of releasing the pain and upset, emotional healing is delayed. 

It’s important to seek support if you are hurting this way. Don’t have to beat yourself up or pretend that you are okay. You have a right to infidelity recovery and the kind of care and compassion that can help you feel better individually and as a partner. You are not alone. Couples  who seek infidelity recovery counseling in the United States and Canada benefit routinely from infidelity PTSD therapy and support. Read more about infidelity PTSD below and consider contacting a counselor too if you can relate and are ready to move forward.

What You Need To Know About Your Infidelity PTSD Symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD are normal in the immediate aftermath of infidelity. Some individuals may try to protect themselves by avoiding reminders of the trauma, thereby restricting their lifestyle to limit triggers.

Symptoms of  Infidelity PTSD symptoms include but are not limited to the following:

  • fear and worry
  • intrusive thoughts
  • trust and commitment issues
  • hopelessness
  • poor emotional regulation
  • heightened anxiety
  • irritability and anger
  • withdrawal 

If you are dealing with these symptoms, you may feel so uncomfortable that you use avoidance to cope. Perhaps you avoid talking about the affair or avoid interacting with your partner or others to prevent triggering an internal reaction. Yet, avoidance just manages to makes matters worse. Fear and suppression don’t heal. 

Taking measures to communicate and address the emotional gaps in your union can reduce the frequency and intensity of your symptoms. With that process begun, you can both start to heal. As a result, you’ll both feel more proactive and capable about designing a newer, stronger connection. 

Image of an upset couple sitting on a couch in therapy. Do you have PTSD from past infidelity? Learn from a skilled therapist on how you can best manage your infidelity PTSD with the help of infidelity recovery in Miami, FL.

Infidelity Recovery: What It Takes To Dissolve Infidelity PTSD

Is it true that some couples have a bigger uphill climb when it comes to the hurt partner’s PTSD. Of course. Yet, it’s important not to assume that you and our partner are one of those couples. Just as avoidance is counterproductive, so too is assumption.

To move forward, its key to note that infidelity PTSD only worsens if you feel left alone to manage dismissive or frustrated treatment from your partner. PTSD symptoms can become extremely difficult to resolve if “getting over” the affair, not healing from the affair, is your top priority.

Keep in mind that your relationship has survived disclosure of the affair, remorse, and transparency. To work through PTSD now requires trust-building. The best way to start that process is for the unfaithful part to pour all the energy they spent on deception into championing your marriage. As a betrayed partner, you will heal best when your partner becomes noticeably more honorable and attuned to you. Seeing your partner become more careful with communication, connection, and commitment supports trust and forms a new foundation on which to build a new life.

Give Yourself Time To Navigate Infidelity PTSD

It’s important to give yourself some grace as you navigate infidelity PTSD as well. You will undoubtedly vacillate between wanting your partner close and wanting them far away. That is completely normal. You may even outright reject your partner though, deep down, you want to make your life work. That is not unusual at all. Not knowing how to express your inner turmoil amid the intrusive thoughts and grief is not a cause for shame. It’s simply time to seek expert support for you and your partner.

Recovery from infidelity PTSD is not easy. You’re relationship is enduring a crisis. To keep your focus on healing as a unit, you need a therapist who understands. Some who can help you set goals for emotional awareness, safety, and recovery is paramount. The goal now is to overcome intrusive thinking with support and active awareness. Whether you’re seeking infidelity recovery counseling with Relationship Experts, in the United States or Canada, know that you don’t have to suffer and stuff your pain. Help and hope are available. A better relationship is entirely possible.

 

Image of a couple sitting on a couch smiling at each other. Discover how infidelity recovery in Miami, FL can help you and your partner reconnect and adjust with infidelity PTSD.

Begin Recovering From Infidelity PTSD With The Help of Infidelity Recovery in Miami, FL and anywhere else in the United States!

Embrace the healing journey together, forge a path to rebuild trust, and discover the resilience within your relationship. If you would like support in rekindling your relationship, feel free to learn more about my infidelity recovery program, where professional guidance and shared experiences empower you both to navigate the complexities of infidelity PTSD, fostering a renewed sense of intimacy and understanding. Take the courageous step towards healing as a couple, rekindling the love that binds you beyond the shadows of infidelity. My Miami, FL-based counseling practice would love to walk alongside you as you strengthen your relationship. To start couples therapy, please follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a free consultation to see if Infidelity Recovery is right for you
  2. Meet with a caring couples therapist for a 90-minute initial session
  3. Start overcoming infidelity PTSD, and enjoying your relationship!

OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED BY RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS

Our therapists at Relationship Experts provide a wide range of services to help you and your partner recover from whatever your relationship may be dealing with. In addition to helping with infidelity PTSD in our Infidelity Recovery Program, our Miami, FL-based counseling office offers many different services online throughout Florida, including Affair CounselingCouples Counseling, and Communication Counseling. We also offer online therapy sessions for couples looking to heal their relationship conveniently. Check out our blog for more articles like this! And for more useful relationship information, please visit my podcast!

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Image of an upset woman covering her mouth with her hands and looking down. Are you suffering from infidelity PTSD? Discover how a skilled therapist can help your relationship with infidelity recovery in Miami, FL!

I'm Idit Sharoni, your podcast host.

I'm an expert on relationships and infidelity recovery. I'm a licensed marriage & family therapist, a podcast host, and the founder of Relationship Experts  - a Couples Therapy & Coaching private practice.

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