Factors Contributing to Attachment Shame Part 2: Am I Staying Stuck or Am I Stuck?

This week we are going to look at a second key issue that can create attachment shame: staying as a choice or staying because you are stuck.

Read More

Factors Contributing to Attachment Shame, Part 1

Looking at attachment shame helps us understand more about the dynamics of attachment ambivalence and the all-too-common dance of connection and disconnection. But it does not help us answer the core question that betrayed partners wrestle with: What does the betrayal say about me?

Read More

Attachment Shame and Relational Connection

This week we are going to look at the other side of attachment ambivalence – reaching for connection with the cheating partner – and the way that connection can also create feelings of shame.

Read More

Musings on the Sex after Betrayal Intensive

In June we held the first Sex After Betrayal: Reclaiming Your Sexual Self therapy intensive at the Center for Relational Recovery. It was a transformative five days of learning, growing, stretching, hoping and risking. As we wrapped up our time together and I reflected on all that had happened, there were several things that struck me. Below are some of my musings as a result of spending time with the amazing group of women who participated.

Read More

Attachment Shame and Disconnection

This week we are going to look at the attachment shame that is felt when relational disconnection happens.

Read More

Attachment Shame

One of the most common questions I hear from betrayed partners who have decided to try and stay in the relationship with the cheater is this: “What does it say about me?”

Read More

The Cycle of Ambivalence

Most betrayed partners caught in the instinctual imperative to restore a sense of safety – either through relational connection or relational protection – will experience this tug-of war as a cyclical dynamic that they rotate through over and over again during the initial aftermath of betrayal. This cycle can happen multiple times in one day and can also be experienced as smaller cycles happening within larger cycles. Here is what the cycle looks like.

Read More

Understanding Attachment Ambivalence

Attachment ambivalence is about our core need for relational safety and security from the very person who has erased our sense of safety and security. When we experience separation from safety, we are compelled to focus all of our energy and resources on restoring safety. That is how significant it is. It creates such a negative chain reaction inside of us that we experience it as traumatic.

Read More

Healing the Sexual Injury Caused by Betrayal, PART 4

We have spent the past several weeks looking at how sexual betrayal impacts the betrayed partner’s sexuality. I hope these posts have been helpful and that as you have read through them you have recognized yourself in some of the topics and felt both validated and supported in your exploration of this issue. This week, rather than focusing on the problem, I want to discuss what you can do about it.

Read More

The Impact of Betrayal on Partner’s Sexuality, PART 3

This week, we continue our discussion by focusing on the impact of betrayal on sexual self-esteem (especially body image issues). As women, we are socialized to be dissatisfied with how we look and to wage a war of dissatisfaction on our bodies from a very early age. When you pile sexual betrayal on top of this, the self-doubt or body-insecurity that already exists is put on steroids.

Read More