Betrayal - Where Trauma Hits Home
Has your life become a nightmare of pain and confusion? Do you feel shattered, crazy and obsessive? Emotionally defeated and spiritually depleted? Have you been deceived, manipulated and betrayed by the person you love most? Have you been pushed aside (or perhaps you've stepped aside?) so that the person you love can get the help he needs? Have you been told it is all your fault by your spouse or untrained professionals? Are you feeling helpless, vulnerable, desperate and alone?
These are common emotions and experiences faced by women (and some men) who have experienced sexual and relational betrayal from their closest, most intimate partners. Here at CORE, our deepest passion is to help women (and some men) traumatized by their loved ones’ sexual, emotional and relational infidelity—compulsive behaviors that range from porn to prostitution, from sexting to full-blown emotional and sexual affairs.
If this is where you’re at, let’s start with this very important point: YOU ARE NOT ALONE — and you don’t need to suffer in shame or silence for one more heartbroken moment. You might be surprised at how many others share your experience—and what an inspiring community is waiting to embrace and encourage you on the other side of your isolation!
We’re guessing you also need to hear this statement: THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU. There is hope for you as an individual, and there is hope for your deeply wounded relationship.
If we didn’t believe in hope for our clients, we wouldn’t be doing this work. Period.
Betrayal is Trauma
Here at CORE, we know that sexual betrayal is traumatic; treating these issues from a trauma-informed perspective is precisely what we’re trained to do best. Our therapists and coaches have dedicated their lives to helping individuals traumatized by their loved ones’ sexual, emotional and relational infidelity—compulsive behaviors ranging from porn to prostitution, from sexting to full-blown emotional and sexual affairs. In the past, the term “co-dependent” was used to label the partner of an addict. Now well-educated addiction and recovery specialists understand that these behaviors demonstrated narrated in the face of relational trauma are acute survival and trauma responses to living with an addict, not an addiction themselves.
Relational trauma is created when repeated and intense betrayal breaks the bond between two people in a committed relationship. Relational trauma leads to confusion, pain, anger, humiliation and feelings of worthlessness and mistrust of others, Over time, trauma victims adapt themselves (often unconsciously) to survive within this stressful new reality. The trauma becomes compounded each time the betrayer actively or passively blames his partner for any aspect of this situation, such as (a) causing the need for sexual acting out, (b) defending the betrayer's own abusive psychological deceptions used to deny, hide or protect his secrets, and (c) blame-shifting criticism onto his partner, in order to deflect from the shame he perpetuates with his behavior. Because traumatized individuals are often inclined to blame themselves in the first place, this dynamic often reinforces feelings of self-loathing, embarrassment, humiliation and worthlessness—the kind that often keep couples stuck for a very long time.
In most cases, couples can’t extricate themselves from this dynamic; it requires intervention from someone else to help them break this cycle.
What Is Relational Trauma?
Women at Risk
Within these dynamics, there's a gender-based pattern we simply can’t ignore. As long-time veterans within this field, we observe that wives and mothers usually put their husbands and children first. These choices are both instinctual and honorable. However, they also place women at exceptionally high risk for relational trauma to go undiagnosed and untreated, often for years, decades or entire lifetimes.
Here at CORE, we will never judge you for making the best, most well-informed decisions you’ve made every step of the way. We’ll also seek to help you recognize moments and crossroads where YOU can reach out and make your needs an important priority, becoming your own best friend, advocate and hero. We’ll help you to strategize ways you can care for yourself without sacrificing your loved ones, and to internalize a truth that we hold on your behalf: that loving your family begins and ends with self-love for YOU.
Trauma Can be Treated and Healed
CORE's therapy intensives and related programs are based on protocols designed to help you stabilize your current crisis, process what has happened, then decide which steps you want to take next. We do this through providing education, assessments, therapeutic interventions and community connections, offering you the tools you’ll need to heal and grow through this season of your life. We help betrayal trauma survivors to:
Create emotional and physical safety for yourself and your family
Reduce the overwhelming symptoms of your trauma, including anxiety, pain and depression
Clarify what is happening in your family
Understand infidelity, compulsive sexual behavior, sex addiction and intimacy avoidance
Understand betrayal trauma, sexual trauma and generational trauma
Learn to separate fact from fiction, and learn to reconnect with your own intuition
Determine if you want to stay in this relationship—and if so, how to renovate it from the inside out
Explore, discover and embrace your own internal sense of emotional resilience
Function more effectively in every area of your life, both within and beyond this crisis
Grow healthier and happier in all your relationships—with or without one who betrayed you
Reclaim and revive your own authentic self