Question Link –
my partner is both an SA and PA and we’ve had an extremely rocky past. when it comes to his addiction, he’s done probably everything you could imagine.
lately, we’ve been doing really good and it’s terrifying. i’m waiting for some bomb to drop and my heart to be shattered again. i hate it because it’s hard to celebrate his success and it makes it extremely hard to be away from him because i’m afraid of what’s happening.
he recently started a new job and is working with a lot of women, and i’ve had lots of nightmares of him cheating on me and these have been massive triggers for me. he’s reassured me countless times every day but i’m still so painfully scared.
I’m truly sorry to hear about the distress and anxiety you’re facing. As the lead therapist at Karuna Healing Counselling Services, I can offer some guidance based on the experiences of individuals who have been in similar situations.
- Trust After Betrayal: Trust, once broken, can be incredibly challenging to rebuild. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared and apprehensive, especially given your past experiences with your partner’s addictions. The emotional wounds from past betrayals can resurface, even when things seem to be improving.
- Trauma and Triggers: Your nightmares and the anxiety you feel when he’s away are manifestations of trauma. It’s your subconscious trying to protect you based on past experiences. Recognizing these feelings as trauma responses can help in addressing them.
- Open Communication: Continue to maintain open communication with your partner about your fears and insecurities. It’s essential for him to understand the depth of the emotional pain and apprehension you’re experiencing.
- Couples Therapy: Consider attending couples therapy together. A trained therapist can provide guidance on rebuilding trust, managing triggers, and establishing healthy communication patterns. Therapy can also help in understanding the depth and nuances of sex and porn addiction, and how they can impact a relationship.
- Individual Therapy: It might also be helpful for you to seek individual therapy. A therapist can work with you to process the trauma, develop coping mechanisms, and cultivate self-care strategies.
- Setting Boundaries: While your partner’s recovery is essential, so is your well-being. Discuss and set clear boundaries to ensure both your emotional safety and his continued recovery. These boundaries can include periodic check-ins, transparent communication about his work environment, or even continuing education about addiction for both of you.
- Support Groups: Consider joining support groups for partners of addicts. Being around individuals who understand your pain can be therapeutic and can provide a safe space to share and learn from others’ experiences.
- Self-Care: Lastly, ensure you’re taking care of yourself. Engage in activities that bring you peace, joy, and relaxation. Prioritizing your mental well-being is essential.
Remember, your feelings are valid. It’s okay to feel scared and apprehensive. While celebrating your partner’s successes is important, it’s equally crucial to acknowledge and address your feelings and concerns. At Karuna Healing Counselling Services, we emphasize the importance of holistic healing, and we’re here to support you in your journey.