If you’ve endured infidelity in your relationship, you know one thing. Life and love are never the same. The world feels confusing and you struggle to find your feet even though the bottom has fallen out of everything you’ve known about your most significant connection. What you are experiencing may be PTSD after infidelity. Often, post-traumatic stress is linked to an affair’s aftermath.
For the betrayed, there is too much unknown. The lack of control is too unnerving. The humiliation of discovering all of the associated lies and secrets hurts too badly. Intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and hypervigilance can arise and persist, despite their efforts to move forward. This is betrayal trauma.
That’s when the support of an affair recovery expert therapist can help.
PTSD and Infidelity: Why Might A Hypnotherapist Help?
My podcast guest and colleague on my team of experts, Dr. Yael Haklai-Neagu, is uniquely qualified to help us answer that question. A licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Yael specializes in couples therapy, relationships, and affair recovery. As a certified hypnotherapist, she supports recovery from relationship trauma, specifically PTSD and infidelity.
Dr. Yael aids relationship partners in navigating the deep crisis and loneliness of infidelity. Relational circumstances can keep people suffering silently. Emotional pain and anxiety are too often hidden or suppressed.
As Dr. Yael helps couples reckon with the state of their lives, changes- or shifts- occur. Via hypnotherapy, she aims to be supportive and helpful as they rebuild their understanding of themselves, their partner, and of the way they connect to everyone in their lives.
Facing the aftermath of betrayal is often traumatic. Discouraging feelings, panic attacks, and intrusive thoughts can get in the way of healing. Hypnotherapy is often a highly effective way to soothe these symptoms. As participants perceive and relate to their thoughts and feelings differently, managing life in comfortably and productively feels more possible.
To benefit optimally, it’s important to recognize and lay aside preconceived notions about hypnosis. Responsible hypnotherapy is not mind control. The approach simply helps you break through your own internal resistance to healing. Hypnotherapy opens the mind. You can then freely and productively connect with your therapist. You always retain control and the ability to offer input.
PTSD and Infidelity: How You Can Start To Recover
To heal from post-traumatic stress following infidelity, you must acknowledge all that has happened to you.
- First, notice and pay attention to your symptoms. Accept that they are a result of the trauma only. They do not represent your resistance to healing.
- Second, accept that you may feel “stuck” in intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks. You may even blame yourself or fear the PTSD symptoms are interfering with your healing.
- Third, recognize that everything you’ve known about love, trust, and your support system may no longer exist. At least, not the way you knew them. When everything is different, the crisis is real. It affects all parts of your life. Thus, your internal reaction is completely legitimate and understandable.
What is the result of such distress?
You struggle to learn how to just “be” again. To experience and acknowledge infidelity as trauma is to recognize your response as justifiable. You then get to be a hurt human doing your best to manage.
Yaell asserts that trauma symptoms fade if you and your partner heal appropriately. However, when your healing is interrupted or stunted, it is crucial to seek help. A trauma-informed therapist should be your priority.
Also, combining the expertise of coordinating therapists is ideal for sorting out recovery obstacles. In other words, a hypnotherapist who blends their individual approach with that of a couples’ relationship therapist ensures meaningful, lasting headway for their patient.
PTSD and Infidelity: How the Mental Shift Happens
Healing is often a cooperative effort. Reframing your thoughts and automatic, internal responses is tough work. There is no shame in needing the support of a therapist to ensure solid change. A therapist can help you see that ridding yourself of your painful emotions is not helpful. You will benefit more from the following:
- Be curious about your symptoms.
- Explore your emotions and your needs.
- Use the resulting knowledge to relate differently to your experience.
Why do these three tasks make a difference?
Think about it: do you push away anxiety, anger, stress, sadness? Most people do. Why?
Because it’s natural to avoid difficult emotions. We try to get rid of them, we resent them. We push away what feels intrusive, uncomfortable, or even painful to us. Yet, the more we try to push them away the more we wear ourselves out. And what do we usually have to show for it? More anxiety, anger, stress, and sadness. So much so, that such emotions become even more immediate and overwhelming.
Dr. Yael maintains that letting yourself explore unwanted emotions is actually a good thing. She notes that it helps to get curious about your internal messages. She encourages anyone suffering from PTSD and infidelity to pay attention to how their minds and bodies inform them about their emotional needs. Learning to connect to those uncomfortable moments can connect you to your deeply-held wants and needs as well.
Shifting Mentally Means Seeing Emotional Discomfort in a New Way:
- Don’t let unwanted emotions organize your thinking and being.
- Do let unwanted emotion be a guide toward exploring and reconnecting to yourself.
To test this idea, ask what your mind and body are telling you when you’re stressed. What do you need that you are not consciously aware of?
To be clear, this is not pressure to fix yourself. Yael sees this mental shift as a productive shift toward self-respect. Respect for your symptoms, your story, and your future.
It can be freeing to know that what you view as intrusive or a roadblock to healing need not be resented or dismissed. Shifting your thinking about your trauma symptoms and negative emotions may reveal new options, paths, and perspectives for healing. Then, new information regarding your needs and wants can help form a fresh, mutually satisfying, post-infidelity connection with your partner.
Finally, do remember to be kind to yourself! Yael implores you to trust the process. Patiently allow internal change to occur. Reach out for support, explore, heal, and grow comfortably aware. You deserve it.
READY TO START AFFAIR RECOVERY?
Are you ready to rebuild trust and heal the wounds in your relationship? Take the first step towards betrayal trauma and reconnect with your partner on a deeper level. Join our supportive community at Relationship Experts, where you’ll find guidance, resources, and a safe space to navigate the journey toward healing and restoring your relationship’s foundation of love and commitment. Follow these three simple steps to get started:
- Schedule a free consultation or call our office at 305-507-9955 to ask about Affair Recovery
- Meet with one of our skilled affair recovery therapists for your first session
- Begin healing your relationship with your partner!
OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED BY RELATIONSHIP EXPERTS
Our therapists at Relationship Experts provide a wide range of services to help you and your partner recover from infidelity. Our Miami, FL-based office offers many different services online throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and worldwide besides Surviving Infidelity, including Affair Recovery Program, and Remorse Blueprint E-Course. We also offer a free Masterclass for couples looking for the secret to healing from infidelity. Check out our Podcast for more articles like this!
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MORE BLOGS ABOUT BETRAYAL TRAUMA
Click here to read a recent blog post about betrayal trauma and what to do when Betrayal Trauma leaves you questioning the essence of true love