Post Infidelity Trauma
This is what Post Infidelity Trauma Looks Like
Infidelity causes many of the same symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD and profoundly impacts day-to-day functioning, health and well-being (Coop-Gordon, 2020).
A study by Lonergan et al. (2020), suggests between 30 and 60 percent of betrayed adults experience PTSD, which in many cases requires psychological and/or medication intervention.
being on "high alert"
avoidance of places, people, connected to betrayal
Even just the suspicion of betrayal has a profound impact on a person's functioning. Suspicion of relationship betrayal is associated with depersonalization,
sleep disturbance (insomnia, nightmares), hypervigilance
(Dean 2011; Weigel & Strout, 2021).
Depersonalization: The state of feeling detached from oneself - some people describe it as an out of body sensation where it becomes difficult to determine what is real.
Hypervigilance: The state of highly elevated alertness where one is constantly perceiving and assessing for danger real or imagined.
Both traumatic stress reactions have a profound affect on functioning and quality of life.
Infidelity is associated with depression and high risk behaviors (Cano & O'Leary, 2000).
High risk behaviors include alcohol and/or drug use, eating disorders, retaliatory infidelity and unprotected sex (Field, et al., 2013) .
Infidelity is an Attachment Trauma
The human need for a secure bond continues from the cradle to the grave.
A relationship betrayal threatens the bond and sends your sense of security into a tailspin. A ruptured attachment bond can cause a multitude of neurobiological, physical and emotional stress responses.
Attachment Theory: There is a lasting need for psychological and emotional connectedness between human beings Greenberg & Johnson (1988). Through evolution, survival has relied upon a secure connection with others (Bowlby, 1983).
Attachment Injury: Dr. Sue Johnson (1988) defines an attachment injury as a specific relational event that violates one partner's trust and damages relational security.
The nervous system does not simply respond to traumatic events, but is primed to react to events that mirror a traumatic stressor or experience (Cozalino, 2002).
The physiological impact is only a part of this. Trauma is held by the body (Van der Kolk, 2015).
The Neurobiology of Trauma
Amygdala- almond shaped grey matter in the brain; controls fight-flight response - emotional activation - emotional memory.
Neuron - nerve cell that send and receives signals from your brain.