Can Marriage Recover from a Cheating Spouse?
In The Trauma and Mental Health Report titled Love Is War: Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder,
the term PISD or Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder is defined as a parallel disorder with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because they both share the stress and emotional turmoil that is re-experienced through flashbacks, painful memories and nightmares often resulting in physical consequences.
Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD) mimics Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in four ways.
- Like trauma victims, flashbacks of even previously assumed benign events of defensive answers, late nights at work, or text messages from unknown friends become possible deceitful acts.
- The PTSD symptom of avoidance of painful memories followed by emotional numbing show up as a post-infidelity stress disorder symptom when the rage and despair of the initial shock of discovering the infidelity is followed by an emotional hollowness with pleasurable activities losing their appeal and even withdrawal from friends and family.
- The PTSD symptoms of hyper-vigilance and insomnia can arise from infidelity. Sleep patterns may become erratic, concentration becomes a challenge and work performance and family life are affected.
- Physical consequences can lead to stress cardiomyopathy with symptoms of chest pain and even the sensation of having a heart attack.
Because of the similarities of the symptoms of PTSD and PISD counselors are beginning to use post traumatic stress disorder counseling techniques to help those clients who have experienced infidelity build their self-esteem and confidence in dealing with the betrayal and even the loss of the relationship.
Individuals can recover from infidelity. Couples can recover from infidelity. Marriages can recover from infidelity. Children can recover from infidelity and grow up as members of healthy families. None of these results come without a significant investment of time and effort. A professional counselor can guide you out of this dark place where emotions of rage, shame, depression, overwhelming powerlessness, victimization and abandonment fill your days and nights and into a new world where partners can be trusted, the world is a safe place, the future is predictable and you do have a sense of control.