What is the least addressed topic when dealing with sexual betrayal? The topic that is often left completely out of couple’s therapy? The topic that often gets almost no focus in addiction treatment? The topic that betrayed partners can hardly find a book or article about? You got it. It’s sex.
Despite the fact that the betrayal is sexual in nature and cuts to the core of trust and intimacy in the relationship, almost no one is talking about or focusing on the ways in which sexual betrayal impacts the sexual relationship of the couple, but even more specifically the sexuality of the betrayed partner.
This leaves betrayed partners without a clear direction and path for healing the sexual wounds created by sexual betrayal. Even worse, it leaves betrayed partners in silence about this very personal and very sensitive topic. What I have found in seventeen years of working with betrayed partners is that everyone has a sexual story. Often that story is riddled with questions, confusion, shame, and pain, all of which are for the most part contained within the person in silence as they have had no safe and trustworthy place to open the door and speak about all that they hold within themselves.
Each partner who has been cheated on and betrayed sexually has been wounded in the area of their sexuality. Most of you have seen this graphic below before. This is the model of Complex Betrayal Trauma that I have created, and you will notice that one of the three types of injury that combine to create Complex Betrayal Trauma is a sexual injury. This sexual injury is defined as the impact to the betrayed partner’s sexuality resulting from the cheating individual’s pursuit of sex either inside the relationship, outside of the relationship or both.
The Center for Relational Recovery offers a quarterly intensive called SEX AFTER BETRAYAL: RECLAIMING YOUR SEXUAL SELF. If you’re interested in learning more about your sexuality and how to reclaim your sexual-self, schedule a call to see if this 4-day intensive workshop is right for you.