Much like a soldier returning from battle, spouses who have been betrayed in relationships often suffer the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recent research shows that support groups are a vital element of PTSD recovery.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms as result of your spouse’s betrayal, you may be suffering from PTSD:

  1. Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections or dreams of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions.
  2. Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes,including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated).
  3. Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  4. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  5. Irritability or outbursts of anger
  6. Difficulty concentrating
  7. Hyper-vigilance

Common responses to traumatic events include:

  1. Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
  2. Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
  3. Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
  4. Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  5. Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
  6. Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
  7. Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.



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