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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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.

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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.

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The Impact of Betrayal on Partner’s Sexuality, PART 2

Last week we started looking at how sexual betrayal impacts a betrayed partner’s sexuality. We discussed the loss of sexual desire, the loss of one’s sexual voice and power, and using sex to emotionally caretake one’s partner. This week we are going to look at falling into the trap of using sex as a form of control – as a way of managing the cheating partner’s behavior.

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The Impact of Betrayal on Partner’s Sexuality, PART 1

This week we want to turn our attention to the negative impacts these dynamics create for betrayed partners. Each partner experiences the impacts of sexual betrayal in different ways, but almost all partners report some degree of damage. Let’s take a look at some of the common ways a betrayed partner’s sexuality can be impacted by sexual betrayal.

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Duty Sex and the Cycle of Dread, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago (sorry about the brief hiatus!) we started a discussion about sex that becomes an obligation and evolves into a cycle of dread in the relationship. …

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Duty Sex and the Cycle of Dread, PART 1

This week we are going to focus on an issue that can be caused and/or exacerbated by betrayal but can also be present without the experience of betrayal. This is the issue of “duty sex” and the cycle of dread that can develop around it in a relationship.

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When You Become an Acting Out Partner But Don’t Know It, PART 2

The simple truth is that sex addiction does not just disrupt sex. It disrupts all aspects of the relationship. When sex addiction hijacks and distorts the sexual relationship, it is accompanied by emotional and relational dynamics that are also damaging to the relationship and the betrayed partner.

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When You Become an Acting Out Partner But Don’t Know It, PART 1

When most people think about sexual compulsivity/addiction, they think about the ways in which someone is being compulsive outside of his or her primary relationship. And for many sex addicts, this is the way that compulsive sexual behaviors manifest. However, some sex addicts are compulsive with sex inside their relationship, seeing their partner as another source of the sexual high and the emotional escape provided by that high.

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