Dr. Patrick Carnes, the guru of Sex Addiction states that, ‘exploitative relationships create trauma bonds, chains that link a victim to someone who is dangerous to them’.
Now, I disagree with the term ‘victim’, but that is just my own opinion. Clinicians use the term consistently to identify partners of Sex Addicts. But, semantics aside, the effects of living with a Sex Addict do have the potential to create a trauma bond.
This creates a situation where the partner of a Sex Addict continues to stay involved with a spouse or partner who betrays them even when it results in severe emotional pain and consequences.
Do these symptoms of Trauma Bonding sound familiar?Repetitive ‘no win’ arguments.Not recognizing the severity of your spouse or partner’s behavior that others regard as horrifying.Trying to convince family and friends that they are wrong about your relationship–that everything is ‘just fine’.Remaining loyal to someone you know has violated your boundaries.Keeping secrets about damaging or destructive behavior.Feeling closer to your Sexually Addicted partner or spouse because you feel that you can ‘help’ them.Allowing your spouse or partner’s ‘charm’ or status to cause you to overlook their bad behavior.The inability to detach from the Sex Addict even though your feelings toward them have turned negative.Missing a relationship with severe longing and nostalgia even though it was so awful that is almost destroyed you.A long history of overlooking lies, broken promises and infidelity.Remaining in a relationship with a spouse or partner who acknowledges no responsibility for their bad behaviors.
Living with or loving a Sex Addict changes us profoundly, and recovering from the trauma requires many years of counseling, support and reclaiming our power and self esteem.
Choosing to stay with a Sex Addict requires a huge amount of self control and the ability to set firm boundaries with well defined consequences. Our nurturing nature must be set aside for a more healthy attitude of expecting and requiring respect, accountability and honesty from the Sex Addict.
No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won’t make you cry. ~ Anonymous