Sharing your story isn’t always safe

I’m struck by the number of women suffering from betrayal trauma who choose to share their story with people only to be hurt by these people who they were going to lean on as a support system. Instead of receiving support, they instead feel judged and misunderstood. To be fair, most of these loved ones do have the woman’s best interest at heart and their intentions are to protect the woman from further harm. But sometimes their words can cause more harm than good. I often hear women tell me that their friends or family will question why they don’t just leave him, clearly he’s a cheating and perverted jerk. What these well-intentioned people fail to understand is that the sexual addiction took hold long before this husband met this wife. His addiction is likely rooted in childhood trauma. Yes, his behavior devastated his wife. I won’t argue or defend his behavior. Most wives are completely unaware of their husband’s behavior until they catch him in the act. To them, there is so much confusion about the man he presented himself and the one he was those he acted out with. They’re in absolute shock and denial.

When you’re suffering from betrayal trauma, it makes senses that you would share your situation with those closest to you. Be careful though. As you research and come to understand this new world of sex addiction, you’ll find that most people who aren’t exposed to this addiction don’t get it. They only know your husband hurt you and he’s at the bottom of their list. Be mindful who you tell and what details you provide because you can’t take it back and you will likely need to interact with these friends or family for a very long time. If your marriage withstands this situation, you might have some very uncomfortable gatherings in your future. Your best bet is to find a community of other wives and partners who’ve been through this addiction. Groups like Pure Desire, COSA, and S-Anon can guide you. You can also always talk to a counselor who understands the dynamics of betrayal trauma. If you live in northern Colorado (Fort Collins, Windsor, Greeley, Loveland) and would like to talk to a counselor who specializes in sexual addiction and betrayal trauma, contact Mending Hearts Counseling at 970-545-1111.

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Windsor, CO

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