Whew! Interesting article — I have some thoughts. As you mention there are all kinds of betrayal – from small to large. And likewise there are all kinds of reasons for betrayal that range from spur of moment impulse, accidental, slip-up, selfish, to calculated. And the level of trauma resulting from the betrayal varies as well.

The bigger the deception and the deeper the betrayal, the worst the trauma. After sitting with women who have suffered years of sexual betrayal by narcissist or sociopathic husbands, I’ve seen the deep damage left behind. Does each of these women need to own her part in the relationship failure? Most had no idea they were being deceived. Hard to take responsibility for assuming all’s right in your world when that’s what you’re being deliberately told and sold.

I get your point regarding some types of betrayals, (car, financial, normal issues many couples battle), but sexual betrayal trauma is different. When the partner is intentionally keeping a separate secret sexual life, then the assumption of “it takes two to tango” is no longer applicable. Now the partner is being blamed for a sophisticated type of abuse that has been designed to keep her in the dark while disregarding her safety. It’s a severe form of abuse.

Omar Minwalla, Psy.D. has been conducting research into this topic. He writes, “Partners often present with a set of symptoms that match symptoms similar to rape trauma syndrome (RTS) and complex post-traumatic-stress disorder (C-PTSD), including psycho-biological alterations, re-experiencing of the trauma, social and emotional constriction, constant triggering and reactivity, significant anxiety, emotional arousal and hyper-vigilance. Sex addiction-induced trauma is a highly specific type of trauma that involves nuanced symptoms that can include fear and panic of potential disease and contamination, fear of child safety and potential of child molestation, social isolation, embarrassment and shame and intense relational rupture and attachment injuries.”

Please don’t lump this group of individuals who are trying to find their way out of incredible pain and betrayal as just one more person stuck in a poor-me mentality. Their trust in the world and in themselves has been shattered. They are trying their best to heal and move on.

Thank you. — Kerry

Written by

Psychologist/Author. Quora & Medium Top Writer. Mom of three, Autistic woman, Relationship expert kerry@kerrymcavoyphd.com

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