possible trigger: living with on going trauma and healing PTSD

I was hoping that someone may have personal experience and perspective on this. My question is , can you heal PTSD while living with a SA. I am working very hard at recovery but find that i am triggered by living with my partner who is an SA but is not making any concerted effort at treatment. An online course and a clean logbook (?). I find it very difficult to heal and am in and out of grief or numbness and hyper vigilance. Partner is trying but continues to lie, by omission and trying occupies a very different space to be committed to rehabilitation.. We live in different cities during the week and have given ourselves until the end of the year before taking final actions re divorce or staying together.

4 Replies

  • In my personal experience, no. The crazy rollercoaster of ongoing extreme stress was too much for my nervous system. My ex was a SA abusive narcissist -- he psychologically and sexually abused me. It was only when I limited my contact with him and was able to emotionally detached from the relationship that my chronic severe C-PTSD began to lessen. I can't even put into words how destructive he was to me. Horrible. Toxic. I felt trapped in the abuse and used to think that my only way out was to kill myself. I feel better away from him. SAs shatter lives and can be very emotionally/psychologically abusive. I understand the pain, grief, loss.

    Do you have a trauma therapist? Are you familiar with the trauma model for partners by Dr Omar Minwalla and Barbara Steffens? Are you a member of a support group for women partners of SAs?

  • Thanks Victoria, i have done a lot of research since March 2015 but not come across that model yet.I will definitely have a look. I have been seeing a psychiatrist for a few months but stopped as i ran out of health benefits for the year. I am not a member of a support group although i do follow marriedtoasexaddict.com. Dollar rand exchange rate is shocking so have not joined.I have not found any support groups in my area (South Africa) I am trying to heal myself partly because i have not worked at all this year(self employed) and partly because i do not really feel very social. I have however experienced immense value in Michelle Rosenthal,s Identity mapping course , it has been an amazing lifeline. I am however not able to conclude the final chapter and that i think is because i am living in a dysfunctional environment where i feel very vulnerable. Contrary to what i have said we have a peaceful home , it is not confrontational ,communication is of a superficial nature.The things i have discovered are however complex and soul destroying. I have never had a full disclosure and minimization, lies and omission rules. I realize that the last 23 years of marriage were mostly a projection of my own values and loyalties. My partner has lead an intricate double fantasy life with fascinations that i cannot come to terms with especially without disclosure.Dealing with an affair would have been much simpler. Thanks for the response.

    I will take a leaf from your book and check out the trauma model

    Many thanks

  • I am not knowledgeable about some abbreviations. What is an SA please. Then I can comment.

  • Hey Redgaurd, thank you for the reply. In my experience it is very difficult for people who have not experienced or thoroughly researched sexual addiction to relate to the trauma that a partner experiences. SA or sexual addiction is a compulsive and progressive condition much like alcohol or drug addiction that progresses in stages during which time the addict becomes increasingly detached from friends, family and the real world.It normally ends with severe legal, financial or personal consequences. It.It is not to be confused with a high libido.Betrayal , secrecy, shame and lies characterize sexual addiction. Acting out ranges through many different activities which we will not discuss here.It is a very difficult condition to detect and can be hidden for decades.The causes of sexual addiction range in individuals from genetic, childhood trauma or emotional neglect. Psychologists describe it as a need to self medicate emotional problems or escape emotional pain.Denial and minimization are trademarks of sexual addiction. Whatever the origins it can have a devastating effect on partners.Knowing something is off in your relationship without being able to put your finger on it.I Often put the lack of emotional intimacy down to stress and a demanding career.With discovery of long term addiction in a marriage, your past and future are ripped from you as you realize that your reality actually does not exist. You can never be the person you were before discovery but with hard work,therapy and time you could be better. Some lessons are not worth learning but life is simply not fair. Your core relationship, the individual you loved and trusted most to be the refuge from the world has hurt you more than anyone could and in your pain and trauma you cannot turn to them for support because they are struggling with far deeper issues and cannot be counted on to be honest or trustworthy .Without a full disclosure you face discovery in increments that keep you in survival mode if you have developed PTSD . Divorce may shield you from further trauma but sadly does not cure PTSD> Hope this gives you some insight.

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