I'm Pam, and I created this website as a resource for women and men, who have been betrayed by their spouses, through deception and sexual infidelity. My hope is that if one person can learn from my own failures and eventual victory over the trauma of betrayal, then my own suffering and pain has meaning.
I am not a therapist, or licensed professional. I am more experienced in sexual addiction and betrayal trauma than any one person ought to be.
I've lived it.
But I am winning the battle, every day, and I'm better for it. Don't lose hope. Victory is yours, if you work it.
A word of encouragement: My husband is a recovering sex addict. I am a recovering betrayed spouse.
I love my husband with all my heart, and it wasn't just learning about his deceptions and sexual betrayals that hurt, traumatized and shattered me, it was also how it affected all other areas of our life together. Like most of life - it's clear now - but it wasn't then.
At times he could be very sweet and loving, the funny, silly, protective guy I fell in love with, but other times, he was distant, cold, angry, resentful, judgmental to the point of being toxic. There were even questionable behaviors where I suspected he was cheating on me. But I could never really prove it. The suspicions started increasing more and more as the years went on.
I knew he had a lot of trauma in his early life, and I justified his behavior and at times, I even excused it because of his past. I suffered silently, knowing each episode would pass, but wondering when my own tolerance would break.
There were 5 major "discovery," and "recovery," attempts over our 29 year relationship, as in "husband admits he has a problem with unhealthy lust and wants to change". The last discovery of mine was the bottom line for me.
But because I'd been in some sense of, "recovery" myself from his prior relapse and betrayals, I knew how to jump into action myself this last discovery. I could see where I made mistakes in my own self-care, ignored red flags and dropped my boundaries too soon. I knew that it was all boundaries, or nothing. I gave myself strong boundaries of self-focus and self-care.
I expressed my new boundaries to my husband. They weren't ultimatums or commands. They were choices and information about how I would respond, based on his choices. . He could choose his addiction and face some large losses, including losing access to me, or he could choose recovery with me for a lifetime. A lifetime of recovery lifestyle. No half measures.
He was able to embrace his recovery more fully this time because he knew his addiction would have no quarter with me. Because of my recovery work, I don't worry about tomorrow. Today he is fully recovering, as I am too, and I'm grateful. Our relationship recovery work has been fruitful and gratifying. We have never been more intentional, protective and honoring of our relationship.
I've never seen my husband more happy, more at peace. He keeps telling me every day how thankful he is to me, that I brought him his rock bottom with my own recovery, mercy, compassion, and especially enforcement of my boundaries. My boundaries were a gateway to recovery, that he could choose to accept, or deny.
The best thing I've learned is, no matter where my spouse is his addiction, I can't approach my own recovery trying to do it myself, just managing my own thoughts or even just prayer alone. It doesn't work. And expecting myself recover and heal, just because my husband is sober or in recovery, without any action on my own part, was harmful to myself, and denying the wounds that needed tending.
I don't tell others how to recover - I share how I recover. There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program. What worked for me, may not be right for you. You get to decide what is right for you.
I had to work a program of structured healing and recovery from the trauma, ideally, getting in with a betrayal-trauma trained therapist or coach who specializes in relationship betrayal and felt heard and validated.
I joined betrayal trauma support groups led by women trained in betrayal trauma and felt the pressure of isolation ease.
I did workbooks like Facing Heartbreak, and learned about the depths of addiction and trauma, and learned new insights I could adopt as my own about the feelings in my body, and my emotions, pain which I have found immensely helpful in understanding that his addiction has zero to do with me, and other workbooks like Journey to Healing by Marsha Means. Especially helpful was Dr. Sheri Keffer's, Intimate Deception. I wish I had that book on day one, and I would not have felt so "crazy".
I prayed. I journaled. I sang. I cried. I punched my pillow. I screamed. I sat in nature and let it envelop me. I did some things that were unhealthy. I picked myself up and gave myself grace and then set my sights on doing things that were healthy. I took things one day at a time.
Twenty-five years of educating myself on the effects of sex addiction, trauma, and the causes of addiction, has put it on my heart to walk with other women in this and help them understand they are NOT alone, this is not about them, and they can heal from the incredible deep betrayal and the trauma it causes.
I don't have all the answers and what's right for me, may not be right for you. But I can share what I think were huge mistakes, and maybe, save you some grief - at least, that's my hope.
I had to unlearn everything I ever believed about sex, about "love", about marriage, about addiction and learn a new language, and learn a new language of mercy and compassion for myself, and my husband.
If I'm not working a program to recover from my husband's behaviors, I'm working a program of unnecessary isolation, fear, and constant pain.
You can do this too - you're not alone, you're worth it, so please work it, because it works!
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