Betrayal Trauma & Porn Addiction - How To Recover, Heal & Transcend
Written by Christoffer Nettelbladt on Jan 09, 2020

Feeling Cheated And Betrayed

It's what no one expect, to one day discover and unfold their partners secret and hidden porn addiction.
Now, an addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard to keep hidden for long, an addiction to pornography can be kept hidden in the shadows for decades. 
I sometimes get clients who have just unraveled a porn addiction which have been kept a secret within the marriage for more than 30 years.  

The sudden realisation of a partners betrayal and lies within an intimate relationship typically causes the betrayed partner to question everything. The relationship, them self,  their partner, their own safety and the ability to ever fully trust anyone again. 

The pain caused by the betrayal is felt on a very deep emotional level. What causes the deep feelings of betrayal and broken trust is of course the emotional cheating caused by acting out the addiction. But even more so the broken and demolished trust caused by the hiding, the lying and not sharing the struggles which causes the addiction.

It's the wounds caused by the broken trust which are the hardest to heal. 
It's common to feel like you don't know the person anymore. The person who you thought you shared everything with have kept this hidden in secret guarded by lies, while you trusted this person with your deepest emotions.

It can be very traumatising and sometimes the betrayed person start to question their behaviours and "gut feelings". Feelings of shame, regret, self doubt and much more. And so the betrayed person sometimes turn inwards towards them self and start to blame and question them self in ways like:
"If I only had been skinnier, richer, more supportive, sexier, had done or acted in this or that way".

For healing to take place it is fundamentally crucial that you understand: 

                                                             YOU ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THE ADDICTION

Allow Yourself To Greave & Focus On Your Healing

The discovery of an intimate partners porn addiction causes you to take a deep emotional hit. Your mind is haunted by the discovery which you might replay in your head again and again, your haunted by emotions like stress, anxiety, doubt, pain and fear.
How this play out and shows is very individual, some react outwards with anger, some turn inwards and emotionally freeze. 

There is no generalisation about how to react when discovering that the relationship you held dearest was full of secrets and lies.

No matter how your grief is showing and playing out for you, remember that you are entitled to your emotions and you must face and process them, they can not be ignored or not respected.

At this stage your partner will not be recovered and might minimise the problem and try to rationalise the situation, but it's important to understand it's part of the addiction and you must focus on your emotions and healing they are real and they need your attention.  

It is of tremendous importance that you do not attempt to go through this alone. The betrayal, grief and emotions must come to light and you need support upon which you can rely on and trust.
If you don't have people to go through this with or don't feel comfortable exposing this struggle to friends or family 
do not hesitate to seek professional help here.
As a trained professional who have been where you are and have transcended through recovery and healing I fully understand the magnitude of the battle ahead of you towards healing.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Is Possible

The harsh truth people who suffer from betrayal trauma and porn addiction is that it's very hard to find the much needed professional help, because traditional therapists do not understand betrayal trauma and porn addiction. Add to that the ongoing debate among therapists and psychology weather or not porn addiction and its harms exist at all.
And of course it does! Your struggle you are going through right now is real, the struggles of my clients who want nothing more than to heal from the betrayal and porn are real.
My own family had to suffer the reality of transcending my porn addiction and my wife's recovery through betrayal trauma it had brought upon her.

Identifying A Porn Addiction

The type of addiction which people typically have some understanding of or relation to is substance addiction where drug and alcohol are typical examples.

However the other type of addiction is far less understood and far more stigmatised. I'm talking about behavioural addictions. It is a type of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-substance-related behaviours despite any negative consequences to the person's major life areas such as physical, mental, social or financial well-being. Examples are gambling and sex addiction.
This is also where porn addiction fits in, it too is a behavioural addiction. It's also an extremely devastating addiction as it ties into the sexual behaviours and romantic connections with loved ones. It's also the addiction with the highest volume and intensity due to the fact that it's legal, cost no money and are constantly available in difference to all the other addictions which don't check of all those circumstances and are therefore naturally less intensity because they are far less available.

Below is a list of criteria which can help you determine weather or not your partner is at risk of being addicted to pornography: 

Hiding of the behaviour

Porn usage has caused damage to major life areas, and still engage in the behaviour

Expectations about sex are unrealistic and partner has expressed their discontent but the demands continue

Having a feeling take over you and you feel the need to go use

Being unable to be productive and focused

There is a desire to stop, but any attempt to stop is a failure and the behaviour continues

The usage is escalating, and or need more for the same effect

Depression and anxiety can also come with addiction

Inability to really concentrate and focus

Gets easily angry, and temper might have even escalated beyond yelling and partner may be punching, breaking, and throwing things in rage.

Obsessive thoughts about when and how to use

Loss of interest in sex, and/or are experiencing sexual dysfunction like delayed ejaculation, pre-ejaculation, erectile dysfunction.

Spending lots of money on acting out and getting into financial instability

Lost or weakened attraction to partner

Anxiety rises at the thought of being unable to use

All of the above does not have to be present and can be hard to judge as a partner, but identifying several of the above is an indicator that your partner is addicted to porn.

Like all other addicts, porn addicts are self medicating trying to deal with for example, anxiety depression and or a past trauma.

Many people claim porn is innocent, but when it get’s into higher usage, porn is damaging. It’s not only men addicted to porn though, there is a rise of women getting addicted to porn as well. Addiction does not discriminate.

What is absolutely crucial for you as a partner to understand is that YOU ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THE ADDICTION.
As with all other addictions the reason for porn addiction is always without exception to the rule found within the addicted person. Read this peace again and truly let it sink in because recovery from betrayal trauma can't take place without understanding, accepting and realising this.

Betrayal Trauma - What It Actually Is

It's the effect of being betrayed by someone you have an intimate relationship with. The similarities between betrayal trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress) are many. 

Typically my clients for betrayal trauma recovery have been lied to for anywhere between 3-30 years.

How Can You Tell If You Have Betrayal Trauma?

The traumatic chock of experiencing something as traumatic as exposing a porn addiction leading to betrayal trauma is recognised  by experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • ​Hyper-vigilance - This may cause a state of increased anxiety which can cause exhaustion.
  • ​Crying randomly or for prolonged period of time
  • Inability to eat or overeating
  • ​Flashbacks or night terrors
  • Extreme mood swings
  • ​Intense anger

Recovery + Recovery + Healing = Transcend

What I mean by this is that in order for recovery and healing to take place, nothing and no one can remain in the current situation as is.

Addiction recovery + betrayal trauma recovery + healing the relationship = transcend into a new foundation of boundaries, respect, trust and intimacy

There is no way to fully heal from the betrayal if the addicted partner isn't working through recovery to end the addiction. If the addicted person doesn't work through recovery its a shore fire way to undermine the work for the betrayed partner because the addiction will keep bringing new hardships and lies to the table.

If the addicted person works recovery and end the addiction the relationship will eventually fail because the betrayal isn't healed and the relationship doesn't have a new strong foundation to build from.

If both partners work their recovery, one from addiction the other from betrayal trauma then they work together to heal the relationship and forge new bonds to build a solid foundation and transcend from addiction and betrayal.

This is ultimately what it boils down to. both partners have to accept the current situation and take ownership for working recovery towards a porn free future.

The only path that is out of the question is the current one. recovery and healing must begin for both partners, weather you decide to give it a go with your own supportive network or do it with professional help is up to you.
It is however not an option to not take action right now against the betrayal and the addiction. Decisions about how to proceed must be made. 


Regain Trust

Crucial to establish trust again and form a foundation to build from it is important with disclosure as part of the healing process.

As important and vital as disclosure is to recover from the betrayal and to heal the relationship by reestablishing trust I do not recommend doing this without a professional who truly understand porn addiction and betrayal trauma.

It can't be done by simply winging it at random, or part by part over a longer period of time.

At Undisputed PRN Recovery this part of the process is carefully adressed in the most effective way to bring closure for you as the betrayed partner.

As we are all different the level of detail for the betrayed to get closure is also personal and must be respected for this step to have the desired effect.

Important to note is that disclosure is not to relieve the addicted partner of guilt, it's entirely to bring closure, accountability and sanity for you as the betrayed partner.   

Be On Your Guard For Promises Without Planning

Be ware of situations where your addicted partner might claim to have the situation under control and will make all sorts of promises without even be able to show or describe a plan for how to accomplish these lasting changes, without seeking professional help.

Porn addiction is like a mental web, removing one or a few strings have little to no long term lasting effect. 
Remember that the reason for the addiction is found within the addicted person. To accomplish a lasting sustainable lifestyle without addiction and without shifting from one addiction to another the reasons why the addiction is there must be properly adressed, healed and dealt with. This is best done together with experienced and trained professionals with personal experience with addiction. getting this part right is completely mandatory to have a fair chance of a future free from porn addiction & shifting into other destructive behaviours to numb or dampen the root cause of addiction.

What's next?

Now that you know that remaining in the current situation where the addiction and the betrayal is untreated is not an option, you have to make a decision and act on it.

My name is Christoffer rand I work specifically with couples who which to become porn free and transcend addiction and betrayal.

How does that work?

It starts with a 45min consultation where:
  • We pinpoint your current situation
  • Map out your goals and vision
  • Agree to take actions towards recovering and healing
If you feel that we are a good fit to work your recovery together we would during a 90 day plan, work addiction recovery for the addicted partner, work betrayal recovery for the betrayed partner and then start working towards healing the relationship by building boundaries, trust forgiveness and intimacy.

It boils down to either trying to carve your own path through this process, or walking a proven, simple and highly effective one.

I help couples & individuals to recover from pornography, sexual addiction and betrayal trauma
I’ve put together a free case study.

If you are serious about recovering from betrayal trauma and pornography this video is for YOU!

Watch the video & take the first step towards a porn free future.

Christoffer Nettelbladt

Christoffer Nettelblad helps people start their new life without pornography, sexual addiction & betrayal trauma.  He is an expert at helping people reclaim control of their life & help relationships reach their full potential using online methods while making it simple to understand.
If you're interested in starting your own new life without addiction, in control and thriving, then definitely reach out and request a free consultation today.
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