Partners of sex addicts report symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder in a mental health crisis known as betrayal trauma. Behaviors that constitute sexual addiction include viewing pornography, a behavior often claimed to affect no one but the user. This article presents an analysis of 1,191 qualitative responses to an item on the Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA), with particular emphasis on respondents’ self-reported disruption to relationships outside of the marriage/romantic relationship (e.g., with their children, employers, friends) following discovery of betrayal. Phenomenological analysis was conducted on participants’ responses to determine if other relationships are/are not being significantly affected. Seven themes of disruption were found, including impairment to functioning, difficulty fulfilling roles, preoccupation, loss of identity, shame, getting stuck, and moving on. A discussion is included on the implications of these findings, including the implications for therapists who work with sex addicts and their partners and recommendations for policy changes.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Williams, Laurel Kaylee, "The Experience of Sexual Betrayal Trauma: A Qualitative Analysis of Responses from the Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA)" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8557.
betrayal trauma, sex addiction, relationships, parenting, pornography, infidelity