If you are reading this, you are probably a wife who has just discovered her husband’s sexual disloyalty and she has been told she is experiencing Betrayal Trauma.
I sadly welcome you to our support and training services.
Perhaps you would like a simple introduction on a scientific level of what your brain and body are probably going through.
Here we go…
In a world where commitment, trust, and faithfulness form the backbone of our relationships, a betrayal, especially one of a sexual nature, can be incredibly painful and life-altering.
Discovering a spouse’s sexual disloyalty is often an enormous shock to the system, a deep and intimate violation that can trigger a cascade of emotions and physiological reactions. It’s a wound to the soul and mind, an experience so profound it has a name: Betrayal Trauma.
First, know that it’s okay and common to feel a whirlwind of emotions. It’s normal to ebb and flow between surges of disbelief, anger, sadness, or even numbness. These feelings might be intense and confusing, but they are part of how your brain is designed to respond to the traumatic event.
Betrayal Trauma is a form of trauma that arises when someone we depend on or trust significantly violates our trust.
It’s akin to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition often associated with life-threatening events or physical harm. Like PTSD, Betrayal Trauma can lead to symptoms such as reliving the traumatic event, struggling with intrusive thoughts, and experiencing heightened emotional arousal (more on this later).
When your sense of safety and trust gets shattered, you will probably experience waves of fear, uncertainty, and a feeling of violation that goes beyond words. These feelings are validated by numerous studies that have shown that a partner’s infidelity can indeed trigger trauma symptoms similar to PTSD.
Betrayal can alter the course of your life, extinguishing the dreams and hopes you shared with your spouse. It can cause you to question your future, your relationships, and the life you built together. This disruption to your life’s trajectory can also contribute to the trauma.
Intrusive thoughts and memories can be particularly distressing, with moments of the betrayal replaying in your mind against your will. This is a common traumatic response, a signal from your mind that it is trying to process the event. You may also find certain triggers—such as sexually suggestive images or places—that evoke anxiety or remind you that your spouse’s actions are especially painful.
However, within this storm of emotions and thoughts, it’s crucial to remember that you are not alone. Thanks to the words of the prophets, we have the advantage of being aware of the Holy Ghost and his ability to walk with us through this storm, providing comfort, guidance, and strength during these trying times. The Spirit can help illuminate the path towards healing, even when it seems shrouded in darkness.
Unfortunately, it will be wise to remember that the adversary, Satan, is likely to try to exploit this vulnerable time, exacerbating your pain with tormenting thoughts and amplifying your trauma. We will help you understand and respond well to these attacks while being receptive to the Holy Ghost (as you are striving for) help.
In the face of such hardship, developing empathy towards yourself is essential. Self-compassion can be a soothing balm, reminding you that it’s okay to feel hurt and it’s okay to take time to heal.
Seek support from trusted loved ones, therapy, or counseling. These can provide crucial outlets for you to express your feelings, navigate your emotions, and learn strategies to cope with your experience. It’s important to remember that the actions of your spouse reflect on them, not on your worth or value.
Finally, take care of your own mental and emotional health.
The WORTH Group is designed specifically to help you with this process. We will help you learn how to practice a new level of self-care, be it through meditation, prayer, physical activity, or simply doing something you love. This process has to become about you and your healing.
The journey through Betrayal Trauma is a difficult one, but remember, like many women before you, you are about to discover that you are stronger than you think. You can learn to navigate this storm. We have worked as a team for almost 20 years now to provide you with everything you are going to need. Please be at peace. You are with good and smart people now.