Reboot Nation Forum > Partners of Rebooters and Addicts

Ex-partner of sex addict trying to move on...

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OverLabyss:
Hi all,

I've never posted here before but wondering if anyone was a former partner of a sex addict and could offer some advice from their experience of moving on. A year post-discovery our relationship broke down, so it's not like it ending was a huge shock in itself, but it's still been stressful for me with having to move house, and pushing back deadlines etc.

I knew the end of the relationship wouldn't mean I'd be fine right away, any break up takes time to get over, and I don't know if it's made worse because I'm really stressed with work at the moment, but I find myself still experiencing the symptoms of 'trauma' I'd been working hard in therapy to combat over the last year. Things like vivid dreams about my ex-partner's addictive behaviours, being triggered because I got honked by some men in a van and it sent my mind into this internal dialogue spiral about objectification of women, porn, sex workers etc. For the time-being I still live a few streets from my ex while he relocates, and earlier I saw a woman walk up his street who I decided looked like his ex, someone who he had inappropriate contact with during our relationship. I even changed direction to watch where she was going for a minute... mad behaviour.

I'm just so upset with myself that I'm still experiencing this anxiety in such a bad way. Maybe I'm just still so stressed with everything that it's getting the better of me. I stopped seeing my therapist because I couldn't afford it, it felt like the right thing to do, and I thought maybe I would try therapy again in the future if I felt I needed to, once I'd given myself some time and space, but two weeks later I'm already thinking I need it!

Has anyone else been through the break up and has any advice for helping move forward? I'm just doing everything I can... eat well, sleep well, exercise etc.

Thank you


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Loleekins:
Hi Over,

There's a post on this board about CASRD. It might do you some good to look into it. Partners (and ex partners) of the sexual behavior disordered are understood to have complex trauma. What you are describing is that. Flashbacks, dreams, being triggered by seemingly trivial events, etc.

I'm a former partner. I can tell you it gets easier as time puts distance there, but it never really goes away. At least it hasn't for me. My D-day happened at the very beginning of 2015. I deal with trust issues now. It's incredibly hard to trust that any man isn't hiding some type of double life.

There's a lot to get over. Intimate betrayal by a partner typically involves lying, gaslighting, manipulation, table-turning, victim blaming, undermining, and repeated violation by acting out. These things go on as long as the relationship. For some of us that's years or even decades. That's a whole lot of damage done!

Be patient with yourself. It sounds like your wounds are deep. Look into complex trauma, perhaps it will help you understand a bit better why you are still reacting in the ways that you are.

Best to you.

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