Below is an excerpt from Spouse of Sex Addicts, Hope for the Journey, Francoise Mastroianni
“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 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 the grief.
Take a pad of sticky notes and for each loss you have experienced in the relationship with the addict, place the sticky note on the wall. This exercise will take time and you may want to do this with your therapist or as a group exercise. Allow yourself 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? 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.
The “felt sense” is a sensation in your body and not the same as a feeling. It’s experienced as a physical sensation such as a pounding in your heart or twitching in your gut when you are feeling sad or upset about something. I want to take all precautions as I assign these exercises, mainly because you are likely to be alone doing the assignments. My hope is that as we move along you will have a growing capacity to tolerate the activation that comes up and the tools to deactivate the negative energy. Most of the exercises are experiential and meant to be shared in a safe group setting. There is healing in numbers. Thoughts, feelings and stories are validated as we share our most vulnerable self. If you are not able to get through this on your own, call on a safe person for help. If you are in a group, get each other’s names and e-mail addresses and support one another wherever you are in the process.
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
 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.