Societal Betrayal Part I
With all this pain and confusion, where can women turn when in need of support in such an isolating and shame evoking experience? Who can women turn to in the aftermath of their betrayal?
If you have experienced intimate partner betrayal you know first hand how deep the cut of this particular trauma is. It is unlike other traumatic experiences because your partner, who is your safety net and and emotional regulator has deceived, lied, and kept you in the dark about their secretive sexual acting out behaviors. The person who you once thought would keep you safe from danger, suddenly has become the most dangerous person in your life. Confusion, disbelief, shame and isolation are common feelings resulting from betrayal. With all this pain and confusion, where can women turn when in need of support in such an isolating and shame evoking experience? Who can women turn to in the aftermath of their betrayal? Many partners experience an outpouring of support and positive regard from their loved ones and/or community in the aftermath of disclosing their betrayal. It is a gift to have the space to share about the betrayal without judgment. However, this is not always the case as sex addiction still has a toxic cultural view to it. In fact, many still do not have the resources or information to fully grasp how sex addiction is well, an addiction. Not to mention, some do not believe sex, porn, and love addiction are real. Some may unknowingly confuse infidelity with addiction. In infidelity, there is not the same extent of compulsivity to the acting out nor is there as deep of a deceptive repetitive behavior. In sex addiction, when someone is engaged in that level of secretive and deceptive behavior they are probably trying to find a way to deal with their trauma and or uncomfortable feelings. The way this manifests is through secrecy, regulating themselves through validation of sex. Choosing to act out is a preoccupation around not feeling pain or seeking validation in an unhealthy sexual way and is almost always rooted in some type of trauma, and that is why it is an addiction that results in infidelity but is more than ‘just’ infidelity. This societal lack of awareness on such an impactful topic leaves betrayed partners without enough support or resources. In addition to the partner in your life who has betrayed you, society may be doing so as well without even knowing it.. Some ways this plays out is when partners reach out for support to people who do not have knowledge about sex addiction or are misinformed about what this addiction is really about. As a result, society can leave betrayed partners feeling more isolated.
Stay tuned for part II of this blog post which will launch on 5/16
Sending light, Desiree Nazarian
To learn more about Seen Therapy or receive immediate support email email@example.com or call 1-800-607-7922 to speak with a therapist who specializes in partner betrayal.