WHY CHEATERS CHEAT PART 3: SEXUALIZED DEPENDENCY NEEDS

One of the most compelling issues underlying infidelity is the way in which cheaters’ self-perception and feelings change in the moment of sexually acting out. As a result, one of …

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Why Cheaters Cheat, Part 2 Understanding the Arousal Template

WHY CHEATERS CHEAT PART 2: UNDERSTANDING THE AROUSAL TEMPLATE Author, speaker, and educator Patrick Carnes, PhD, defines the arousal template as “the total constellation of thoughts, images, behaviors, sounds, smells, …

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WHY CHEATERS CHEAT (HINT: IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SEX)

One of the biggest questions haunting betrayed partners, often for months and even years after discovery of the betrayal, is why. Why did he cheat? Why did she have that …

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As Summer draws to a close…

Hello from the beach!! It has been several weeks since a new blog post has posted to PartnerHope. I have been taking September to have some much needed R&R at …

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Culture-Based Attachment Shaming

Part of the attachment shame that partners experience comes from living within a culture that denies the significance of their attachments and the level of negative impact that results from severing them.

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Factors Contributing to Attachment Shame Part 2: Am I Staying 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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Attachment Shame and Disconnection

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

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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