Physical Impact of Relational Trauma

It can be helpful to understand the impacts that a partners sexual addiction, also understood as a relational trauma, can have on our physical body. Knowing that we experience trauma in our body can help shed some light on what is happening as well as help us heal. Research shows how the brain responds to trauma and that in turn the brain sends signals to our body often impacting our day-to-day functioning.

The people who have talked about the physical effect of a sex addiction have mentioned numerous experiences. Below are some quotes from partners of sexually addicted individuals that reflect how they have been impacted physically.

Headaches

Being tired, headaches, and I clench my teeth a lot so I get a lot of headaches because I was having a lot of bad dreams about it [the addiction]. I would wake up just with clenched teeth, just headaches, just tired.

Jaw Pain

Im very convinced that its related to this but Ive been having problems with my jaw… just trouble eating, sometimes the pain limited movement and I think that would be very connectable physical symptom.

I have had a lot more headaches, started clenching my teeth in my sleep, sometimes during the day, just depending on what were doing and whats happening.

Change in Appetite

I start putting on weight and its because its my way of trying to deal with this, his addiction.

Near the end I had hardly much of an appetite. Its just severe stress.

These are just a few experiences that some people have shared. Your body may be responding differently. If you are interested in more information about how the body reacts to trauma I would recommend the following book The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Klok, M.D. Although the book does not directly talk about the impact of sex addiction it does providea comprehensive look at trauma and the body.

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*Quotes are taken from It’s a Very Silent Pain: A Phenomenological Study of Women Who Are in a Relationship With a Sexually Addicted Spouse

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