The emotional pain that comes from sexual betrayal is indescribable. Research shows that around 69% of spouses experience relational trauma after the discovery of their spouse’s sexual addiction or betrayal. The marital relationship often forms one of the deepest attachment bonds. The more intimate the relationship, the higher the intensity of fear when there is a threat or loss of connection. This type of fear is referred to as “fear of abandonment.” The reality is this type of experience shakes the very core and foundation of the relationship and the identity of the individuals involved. There is hope of healing and recovery. However, there are a number of things to consider on your healing journey. Be patient with yourself – you will need time and space to take care of yourself. You will need safe people around you to talk with, open your heart to, and know that it will remain confidential. A place you can be raw and not judged. As you walk through this journey, there are a few signposts I would encourage you to consider.
- The first signpost is to realize the importance of appropriate disclosure. The trust rebuilding process begins with truth as the foundation. Open and transparent confession is critical. At the same time, there are details and specifics about the sexual acting out that require discretion and counsel when considering how to appropriately share.
- Affair Recovery Guide: This article provides general information as well as a few disclosure guides that are helpful to consider as you decide what information is appropriate for disclosure.
- The second signpost is to understand and educate yourself on betrayal trauma.
- Trauma Podcast Episodes: This series of podcasts provides important information on understanding trauma.
- Betrayal Trauma Assessment: This free assessment is designed to help individuals identify symptoms common to betrayal trauma and and provide clarity about how severe of symptoms may be present.
- Coping With Emotional & Psychological Trauma: This site provides information and ideas for individuals experiencing emotional and psychological trauma.
- The third signpost is triggers. The journey toward healing can feel like a territory full of land mines. It is beneficial to understand what triggers are and how to walk through them in a healthy way.
- What I’ve Been Learning About Triggers: This is a short blog post on important considerations when you are triggered.
- Triggers: This 10 minute video provides helpful considerations in understanding, identifying, and sharing triggers with your spouse.
- Triggers & Trust: This 15-minute video provides understanding for how triggers can affect the trust rebuilding process and considerations to keep in mind so that triggers do not derail the healing journey.
- The fourth signpost is to understand sexual integrity issues and sexual addiction.
- Understanding Addiction: This series of articles provides an overview of addiction from a Christian perspective. It helps readers to understand what addiction is, the responsibilities of the addict to seek help, and the ways that family members, friends, and churches can help.
- The fifth signpost is to learn how to set healthy boundaries.
- The sixth signpost is to understand what forgiveness is and what your spouse can do to earn your trust.
- Shedding Hurt Podcast Episodes: This series of podcast episodes focus on dealing with hurt and forgiveness.
- Forgiveness Biblical Principles: this series of articles provide an understand of what forgiveness is, what it isn’t and how to do it.
- Joseph – Rebuilding Trust: This document outlines the principles we can learn from Joseph’s life related to trust-building in relationships.
For Further Information:
Video Series by Dr. Sandy Wilson
In this video series, Dr. Wilson shares her personal story of dealing with sexual betrayal. Additionally, Dr. Wilson shares insights she has learned both personally and professionally as a counselor.
This site has information about building healthy marriages. Also, there is helpful information about recovery from affairs and how to affair-proof your marriage.
Bloom On-line Community
This website contains online video courses and community support for women healing from the trauma of sexual betrayal.
This is a course that walks through recovery of sexual betrayal. It consists of a series of video sessions on relevant topics from the initial discovery to forgiveness and rebuilding trust. The course curriculum was put together by a couple that has walk through sexual betrayal.
Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed
Author: Debra Laaser
For women who have been sexually betrayed by their husband, whether by addiction to pornography or affairs, this 256-page book will provide support and strength. The author shares her personal journey through betrayal and shares insight from working with hundreds of hurting women in similar situations. Women will find guidance and practical tools for dealing with the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual implications of sexual betrayal.
Hope After Betrayal: Healing When Sexual Addiction Invades Your Marriage
Author: Meg Wilson
This 160-page book will provide comfort, encouragement, and spiritual insight for women who have been sexually betrayed by their husband. The author shares her personal journey through betrayal along with other examples and Scripture. The end of each chapter includes thoughts and questions for journaling as well as Scripture for meditation.
Author: by Shelley S. Martinkus
This is an excellent and comprehensive resource for wives to go through after sexual betrayal. It is designed to be completed in a group setting. However, it could also be completed with a mentor.