Grief also has the ability to impact our emotional, physical and spiritual well being as a reaction to our loss. Grief and loss of this nature is dependent on the most important adult attachment you may have thought you had in your existential reality. Even though it is not a death of a loved one, it may feel like the death of a dream and what you thought you had.
A bond was formed in your primary relationship as partners and there is an internal injury, losses that are experienced as safe and secure attachments, and the most important intimate relationship you thought you had.
“Attachment injuries” are related to the bond that was formed which Barbara Steffens refers to as “Relational Trauma:” “This occurs when one person betrays, abandons or refuses to provide support for another with whom he or she has developed an attachment bond.”
Wherever you are in the grieving process, take time to feel and experience the losses you have and are experiencing. Know that you are not to blame for the addiction and the losses that have occurred as a result of the addict’s acting-out behaviors. However, it is still painful, and brings on the grief process.
Take a pad of sticky notes, and for each loss you have experienced in the relationship with the addict, write out and place the sticky note on a wall. This exercise will take time and you may want to do this with your therapist or as a group exercise. Allow your self to notice and experience what comes up with each loss. Stay with your experience as much as you are able. As you become aware of your feelings, notice how much you can experience. What is manageable and tolerable? How long you are able to stay in a functional range with out the threat of shutting down or going into a place that is uncontrollable. Slow down and be aware of what comes up for you. Do you have the ability to stay connected to your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and behaviors, even if it was for a brief moment? Notice how it feels to write out the losses. Place them on a wall, and pay attention to any sensations in your body that you may experience. With trauma, it’s easy to disregard these sensations and feelings, and focus on the cognitive thoughts that keep you in your head, and not the integrated whole self. Your recovery, in the aftermath of a discovery/disclosure is to take care of your needs and take the time you need to get the help as you move into your healing process
 Steffens, Barbara and Means, Marsha. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. (Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press, 2009).