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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. …
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.
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.