Quote of the Day

“Become intimate with your fears. Listen to them. Sit cross-legged. Give them your undivided attention. Offer them comfort. Offer them rest.”

– Nayyirah Waheed


Our fears don’t go away.

We can’t just push them down inside.

Pretending they’re not there is never going to work for long.

They always re-emerge.

They keep resurfacing again.

They follow us around

They won’t be silenced or snuffed out.


So why not turn and face them.

Let them speak up.

Say their piece.

Remember: They’re just worries.

Red alerts.

Anxieties.

They’re trying to protect you.

They don’t want you to be harmed

So let them know they matter.

Listen.

Take them seriously.


And as you start to do this, you’ll experience a peace.

Their message may be valid and the danger might be real.

But now that you have faced them, you’re not fighting with yourself.

You’re in this thing together.

And together you are strong.

Betrayal Trauma: Living with the Scars

Trauma affects the entire human organism … After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system”.

There’s a lot of pressure when you learn about betrayal, to work hard on your healing, and to move on with your life.

But you’re not the same person, and the scars don’t disappear.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that progress can be made. But trauma leaves an imprint on our body, mind and brain. It changes our neurology and physiology.

In “The Body Keeps the Score” Bessel van der Kolk describes some changes that occur when a person’s traumatized, and is later diagnosed with PTSD. Some of these changes include the following:

1. In a person unaffected by PTSD, the hormone cortisol sends out an “all safe” signal after a threat or danger has passed. This doesn’t happen with PTSD sufferers. This is because the latter’s stress hormones do not return to base level after the threat or danger has passed. Instead, the person continues to experience severe anxiety. They remain agitated, they cannot relax, they remain on guard, and they tend to react disproportionately to minor or neutral stimuli.

2. A person with PTSD is primed to react to anything that might signal danger, many months and years after experiencing the trauma. This is true, even when the person has told their story, and has worked on their healing with a therapist. For as Bessel van der Kolk states:

Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way the mind and brain mange perceptions. (As a consequence of trauma, the person) remains hypervigilant, prepared to be wounded at any time.”

3. In ordinary everyday life, both the right and left sides of the brain work together. However, trauma temporarily deactivates the left side of the brain. This means that whenever the traumatized person is triggered, the left brain blacks out, and simply ceases to function.

At the same time, the right brain continues to feels the strong emotions related to the original traumatic experience.

Unfortunately, because the left brain cannot function when it’s triggered, it cannot distinguish between the past and the present. Thus, the person feels as if they’re trapped in the past, reliving emotions which are scary and intense.

Knowing the above, which is based on trauma research, can help relieve the pressure to “hurry up and heal.

We need to recognize these facts, and to practice self-compassion … Because experiencing betrayal is a life-changing event.

That is, the impact is profound, it affects our chemistry, and it’s very difficult to make a full recovery.

*Quotes are from Van der Kolk, B. (2015). The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. London: Penguin Books.

Some Questions to Consider if You’ve Been Betrayed


It’s difficult to know what’s the right thing to do after you’ve learned that your partner has betrayed you. Should you try again, or should leave and walk away? Not all relationships can (or should) be saved. And deciding the right course is extremely difficult.

Really, this is a decision that only you can make. And it’s wise to take your time, and decide what’s right for you. Don’t let your friends and family influence you too much.

So, what sorts of things should you take into account? Below are some questions that might help with this decision:

1. Is your partner willing to do the work you view as being crucial for recovery (both his recovery and your recovery)?

2. Do you feel he really ‘gets’ how hurt and traumatized you are? Does it upset him to see the pain suffering he’s caused? Or does he seem detached, and unaffected by your feelings?

3. Actions count much more than words. This is absolutely crucial. What exactly is he doing to show he’s different now? What steps has he been taking to deal with the temptations?

4. Do you feel this Is this enough? What else would help to rebuild trust?

5. Do you still want him in your life? This is a really crucial question. Even if he works on changing you might feel that it’s too late. Perhaps you can’t respect him after everything he’s done.

6. Do you enjoy his company? Would you miss him if you parted?

7. Can you imagine being close and intimate again? Perhaps you cannot picture having sex with him again.

8. What are the benefits of staying in the marriage? (You have a history together; your lives are deeply intertwined; you want to stay together for the sake of the children; you want to stay together because you actually still love him, and so on.)

9. What are the benefits of leaving the marriage? (You don’t have to deal with trust related to him possibly betraying you again; it would be easier to deal with all the fall-out on your own; you don’t want to be with someone who hurt you so badly; you would rather start again with someone else, and so on.)    

10. If you look back at your life 10 years from now, what different scenarios can you envisage? Which of those is the most likely to be the real scenario? Which would you choose, and why? Do you want to take a risk, and why? Do you think it’s wise to take a risk, and why?

Other readers may be able to add some other questions that could help you decide the right pathway for you.

But whatever you decide, please be kind to yourself, and make sure that any boundaries are respected and adhered to.          

You are not Alone


Betrayal … The details of our stories might be different but the pain we experience is the same.”

Sometimes we feel so isolated and alone.

Cut off by our pain.

Left to cope, all on our own.

But always remember you are not alone.

It is true – your experience is personal and unique.

But we get what it is like, for we understand that pain.

We have walked the road you’re on.

We have stared into the night.

We have felt the walls close in.

We have cried out in despair.

We know exactly how it feels when your future disappears.

When the past is all torn up.

And your truth become a lie …

We are here, and we care.

Please believe you’re not alone.

Don’t give up. You are strong.

We are with you on the road.

Living in an Age of Anxiety


Anxiety is an urgent, deafening thing. No matter how many logical reasons you have to remain happy or positive, when it is present, you can hear nothing else.”

– Beau Taplin

Overwhelming feelings of anxiety are a normal response to being betrayed.

Out of the blue, it grips your heart. Time is suspended. You’re frozen to the spot.

You can’t think straight for your mind is in a fog. The adrenalin is racing, and you find it hard to breathe.

All the “what if” situations are racing through your mind. Catastrophic situations that would blow your world apart.

“I wonder if he’s lying? Is he lying to me now?”

“Is there more than he has told me? Will I ever know the truth?”

“Will I ever really know him?”

“Will he ever really change?”

“Is this one big delusion?”

“Was I stupid to have stayed?”

Once again you’re panic stricken, and you can’t just shrug it off. You had trusted him completely. Look where trusting him has led …..

And you know that he could do it. He could gaslight you again. He’s an expert in deception. He could hide the truth – for sure.

Round and round, you go in circles. Fear is rushing through your mind. Cutting out deep grooves and channels.

This anxiety is hell.   

Boundaries 101


“She set her boundaries and rebuilt her life.”

What might healthy boundaries look like to you, if your partner has betrayed you in the past? Perhaps it includes some of the following:

1. Having your partner or spouse see a counsellor or therapist?

2. Requiring your partner or spouse to have an accountability partner?

3. You being the one who has administrative rights for the family computer?

4. Having all the passwords to his laptop, phone and other devices?

5. Having him remove all dating apps, and close down any accounts he has with companies like Ashley Maddison?

6. Being able to check his messages and texts anytime you want to?

7. Having access to all bank (and credit card) accounts – and going through statements together each month?

8. Having him accountable for his time so you know where he is, who he is with, and what he is doing, anytime you are apart?

9. To break all contact with (including ‘unfriend’) anyone he has previously dated/ had a relationship with?

10. For him to tell you if someone from a previous relationship ever tries to contact him again?

There are other boundaries you might want to put in place, specific to your partner, or to your relationship. Feel free to include these in the comments below.

Also, you will want to think about the way you’re going to respond if these boundaries and broken, and especially more than once.

The key thing is: you absolutely need to feel safe. Otherwise, that sense of trust can never really be rebuilt.

So don’t be hesitant to ask for what you feel you want and need. For having boundaries is crucial when you’ve been betrayed.

Boundaries are crucial. They are at the heart of every healthy relationship.”

“First, Do No Harm”


Doctors everywhere uphold the Hippocratic Oath:

Primum non nocere: “First, do no harm.”

And when you’re offering up your body into someone else’s hands, and trusting them to treat it with great tenderness and care, then “First, do no harm” makes perfect, rational sense.

For you’re making yourself vulnerable, and taking a great risk. Their actions and decisions can have life-changing effects.

Of course, doctors are just human, and they can’t fix everything.

But saying “they won’t harm us” is a crucial starting place.

How else can we feel safe, and freely trust ourselves to them?

What About Other Relationships?

Perhaps we should adhere to this in all relationships. It’s easy to do harm, and wound – quite unintentionally.  

And where this matters most is in our close relationships, especially with our spouses, or with those who share our lives.

We’re trusting them with everything – all aspects of our health, our reputation, self-esteem and, yes, our peace of mind.

This isn’t a small matter; we are taking a huge risk.

But we believe they’re safe, and they would never injure us.

The Impact of Betrayal

And that is why betrayal feels like twisting in the knife. We offered them ourselves; we offered everything we were.

How could they be so cruel; how could they trash this sacred trust?

We thought they would be faithful; that they’d love and care for us.

Primum Non Nocere

If only – like physicians – they had taken seriously the fact that we had trusted them when we had tied the knot.

If only they had cared enough to put our welfare first.

If only they’d been guided by the the Hippocratic Oath, and acted on the principle: “First, do no harm.”

Quote of the Day


Trust me when I say that I know how it feels to cry in the shower so that no-one can hear you.

And having to wait for everyone to fall asleep so you can fall apart.

For everything to hurt so badly that you can’t see a way out.

I know exactly how it feels.

But I also know that there is always hope and that the tide always turns.

Hang in there, and know that you are not alone.”

– Ella Hicks


Beautiful words.

Take them to heart.

Hold on to hope.

You are not alone.

Welcome Home


For every person who might reject you if you live your truth, there are ten others who will embrace you and welcome you home.”

When tough stuff happens – the really tough stuff – you can’t, and you shouldn’t have to, shoulder it alone.

You need other people.

You need to find your tribe.


But if your partner has betrayed you, or he has a sex addiction, then where can you turn for understanding and support?

Society will judge you.

You know that for a fact.

It doesn’t really matter that you’re reeling from the pain.

The world is cold and cruel when it learns you’ve been betrayed.  


So now you have to hide because you can’t cope with the shame.

The shame that’s undeserved – because it’s not your fault at all.

You truly are a victim.

But everyone will talk.

You know they will be ruthless.

They’ll tear your life apart.


But there are other people who truly understand.

They want to hear your story.

They get what you’re going through.

They know what it is like to feel unfairly stigmatized.

To feel you have a secret.

A wound you hold inside.


Betrayal’s isolating.

It takes away your voice.

Don’t let it hold you captive.

Don’t let it silence you.

It’s safe to take a risk when it’s a member of your tribe.

Lay down the shame.

You’re home now.

Relax in our embrace.

He Loves Me; He Loves Me Not

When you love someone, you protect them from pain. You don’t become the cause of it.”

You were right to want the person you loved to care for you, and protect you from harm.

That is the very essence of love.

You trust them because you think they are trustworthy.

You think they are safe.

You think you matter to them.

You think your well-being matters to them.

Your happiness.

Your emotional, mental and physical health.

You think they care about you in the same way you care about them.


Real genuine love is gentle and kind.

It is loyal.

Steadfast.

Faithful.

True.

It doesn’t injure.

It doesn’t destroy.

It doesn’t gaslight.

It doesn’t deceive.


So weep for yourself, and weep for your wounds

And weep for the trust that was trashed and betrayed.

Let the grief you express be the start of your healing.

This is the way you must love yourself.

You must deeply and tenderly love yourself.