When a woman experiences relational betrayal by her partner, she will often suffer from Betrayal Trauma. Similar to Rape Trauma Syndrome and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Betrayal Trauma is serious and can be debilitating.
Betrayal Trauma is Caused By Abuse
Betrayal Trauma is caused by abuse. When a woman suffering from Betrayal Trauma is told that she her condition is caused by her partner’s “addiction”, her suffering is greatly minimized: she is a victim of abuse, and must be told the truth.
Often, women suffering from Betrayal Trauma have recently gone through the “discovery” phase of learning about their partner’s use of pornography, infidelity (virtual, physical, or emotional), or other secret sexual acting-out. This behavior is abusive and causes Betrayal Trauma.
Betrayal Trauma Manifests in Physical Symptoms
Women suffering from Betrayal Trauma will experience it in many different ways, no two women will have the same experience. However, below is a list of some common symptoms of Betrayal Trauma.
Common Physical Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma
- Lack of appetite/Constant hunger
- Difficulty sleeping
- Nerve pain
- Autoimmune disease-like symptoms
- Panic attacks
- Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
- Tremors, Shaking, Shivering
- Unexplained Fever
- Unexplained joint pain
- Pelvic/sexual pain
- Constant infections
- Migraine and/or tension headaches
- Muscle pain/weakness
Betrayal Trauma Manifests in Emotional and Mental Symptoms
Many women find that Betrayal Trauma shows in their emotional and mental states.
Common Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma
- Panic/Anxiety attacks
- Suicidal ideation
- Inability to focus
- Reliving traumatic experiences (flashbacks)
- Mood swings
- Intense emotional outbursts
Betrayal Trauma Victims Can Heal: Safety First
For victims of abuse to heal, they must first separate themselves from the abuse. This is a difficult reality, but absolutely necessary. Through appropriate boundaries, women can protect themselves from abuse and begin the process of finding healing. Safety first, support, and self-care are the necessary means for every victim to find peace and healing for herself and her children.
BTR.ORG Supports Victims of Abuse
And remember, you are not alone.