A bond formed between two people that our in relationship,where love,support,and commitment are the key components, and an internal rupture occurs, a loss that is experienced as an attachment injury in one of the most important intimate relationships you have.
“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 experienced. Know that you are not to blame or responsible 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 up loss,abandonement, rejection,and grief.
Allow yourself to notice what comes up with the experience. Stay in the experience as much as you are able without going into the overwhelm, loss of self, a sense of detachment. As you become aware of your feelings, thoughts and sensations, notice your ability to stay with the experience.
What is manageable and tolerable? Slow down and allow yourself to be aware of what comes up. Do you have the ability to stay connected to your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and behaviors, even if it was for a brief moment? This is mindfulness, presence of self and here and now.
The ability to stay with your experience and expand your awareness, grows your brains fibers and connectivity. We have a more integrated relationship with mind and body. Daniel Segal has captured the essence of what is a necessary function for more attunement and resonance with mind-body connection, he uses the acronym SNAG, stimulate, neuronal, activation, and growth. Mindfullness and intentionality is a presence of self. Take time to know yourself and make sense of what your experience is. Be mindful of your minds ability to heal and stimulate neuronal activation and growth.
Use this workbook as a journal to be authentic with your feelings and thoughts. Find a place where you can be comfortable and feel safe to journal what the experience was like for you. Take a moment to check in with your body.
Take the time to notice where in your body you feel the grief. See if you can be aware of where that is; shoulders, stomach, chest or any other area and notice what the sensation may be. Stay with it long enough to be curious about it. The sensation might be achy, tight, tense, trembling, fluttery, pounding, throbbing or clenched. It’s your body’s expression of your feelings.
Bringing yourself into the here and now will heighten your present awareness and maintain the ability to stay in your functional range. Try wiggling your toes, rotating your wrist, tapping or rubbing your arms and legs. Becoming more aware of your own system enlarges your tolerance level to engage in
 Steffens, Barbara and Means, Marsha. Your Sexually Addicted Spouse. New Horizon Press, 2009. Richard Blankenship, Barbara Steffens, and Marsha Means write extensively about relational trauma and the attachment wounds in sexually addictive relationships.