A Couple’s Guide To Conquering Betrayal w/ Dr. Stefanie Carnes
Episode 225 •
October 26, 2021
About Episode 225
Experiencing sexual betrayal is unique. Finding out your spouse has been unfaithful or sexually acting out outside your marriage bed is soul-crushing. Is there hope for those experiencing betrayal trauma? We have Dr. Stefanie Carnes, President of the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals, on the podcast today to give us guidance for conquering betrayal in a marriage/relationship. She walks us through disclosure, rebuilding trust, and how to heal relationships after sexual betrayal.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Stefanie (and, of course, Trevor & Nick). The empathy piece seems to be one of the hardest parts of helping addicts “get it.” Most have never learned empathy because we’ve lived in a state of “Emotional Coma” for a lot of our lives, certainly in our addiction.
Linda J. MacDonald in her book, “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” (HIGHLY recommend this book!) puts it this way:
“In my office, some betrayed spouses describe it this way: “It’s as if he threw a grenade through our living room windows and blew our house to smithereens. Yet he stands outside complaining that we are crying too much, scoffs at our missing limbs, and ignores the blood all over our clothes.””
It’s a good word-picture. When the betrayed spouse uses word-pictures it can be really helpful to the addict to engage with the spouse with empathy. Lynn had the wisdom to use an incredible word-picture with me early in our Restoration that really helped me grow in empathy for what I did to her. It holds a prominent place in my own testimony.
Really, really GREAT podcast. Thank you!
Greg, thank you for your kind words! And thanks for the book recommendation. We’ve seen fruit in the word pictures as well. Empathy is such a huge piece for both spouses working through the difficult work of recovery!
We recently listened to Dr. Stephanie’s podcast and got a lot out of it. We just had one concern, when she was talking about the fact that new research is showing that couples heal better if they work together on it, you just blew right on by. We realize that your groups aren’t set up to operate that way. But we are an example of the fact that it can work. My husband can not read because of his dsylexia, he is in a seven pillars group, but no one in the group is interested in helping him and you do not have any resources to help him. So I read him his book and write down his answers, so as his wife I know everything in his book. Then when I complete my Betrayal and Beyond lesson I read that to him and tell him my answers. We have a policy that we are not allowed to correct or judge one another’s answers. This in my husbands councilors opinion is speeding up his recovery progress because we are working as a team, as God intended, and we have no secrets. I know from talking to other wives that sometimes their husbands book being kept a secret from them creates a trigger as it is just more secrets! We can testify to the fact that it can be done as a team effort. So please be open to someone sharing this idea. Thank You so much for this ministry. Curtis and Debra