Sex is Emotional Bonding Expressed by Physical Bonding Sexual activity without Emotional Bonding is Sexual Abuse
When sexual activity takes place without previous, deep, emotional bonding, then those important needs are not met. This longing to be loved as a whole person, safe in the trust and respect of the other person, can be recognised in the lyrics of the song released by Bread called, "Look What You've Done."
What Have You Done to Me? To Us?
A betrayed and extremely distressed partner will often report being offered the following words from their spouse in an attempt to explain or justify their sexually disloyal behaviour.
"Oh, it didn't mean anything. It was only sex."
"It wasn't REAL sex."
"It was only fantasy. It didn't really happen."
""Nothing happened. It's no big deal."
"What's the fuss? I'm still here."
It's exactly this kind of reaction you have that makes me do it."
"You're acting like I had an affair when I didn't."
"Every man does porn. It's natural."
"I'm just looking. I'm not touching. What's the problem?"
"Looking is natural. I wouldn't be a red-blooded man if I didn't want to look."
"You're not the only woman on earth. I've got eyes."
"I might be married, but I'm not blind."
"What's wrong with you? You're just jealous of a pretty girl."
"I'm only looking at those videos so I can learn how to please you better."
"If you watch it (porn) with me, I might get more interested in you."
"Well I'm not getting enough from you, so of course I'm gonna get it somewhere else."
"It's your fault. You just let yourself go and you're a turn off to me."
"If you'd lose weight/get your xxxs done, I might not have to look at these others to get what I need."
A person who proffers these excuses is trying to justify their betrayal. They are attempting to shift the to blame onto the betrayed spouse and to avoid taking responsibility for their own choices.
These excuses/justifications all stem from the false belief that sexual activity can be separated from an emotional connection without causing harm to those involved.
This is one of the most dangerous beliefs to marriage relationships and that is why it is projected continuously onto our society by the Porn Merchants. Their monumental Sexual Abuse Industry would crumble if that foundational lie was exposed.
If a man is content to have sexual connection with only one woman for life, he has no need for prositutes and porn peformers.
If men chose to be sexually exclusive to one woman, the mega-giant, super-rich Porn Merchants and the Sexual Abuse Industy would go bankrupt!
Marriage and sexual exclusivity is the #1 ENEMY of the Porn Merchants and the Sexual Abuse Industry.
Understanding the Betrayal
It's not only women who are betrayed. Many men also experience the trauma of betrayal from women in their lives, but since statistics reveal that men become addicted to or suffer compulsion to porn use at a rate 3 times that of women, we will discuss the situation in the status quo. It is not our intention to suggest or imply that ONLY women are betrayed as we know full well that is not the case.
Your partner has betrayed you and you're hurting more than ever before. And you know that no amount of apologies and promises to 'never do it again' can never restore your marriage to what it was before - where trust was a given and fideltiy wasn't doubted. You'll never again be able to comfort yourself by thinking that, 'no matter how many lovers came before me, when my husband/wife met me, I'm the last. He/she saved the best till last.'
No, that dream has been demolished. That security has been swept away as if you were submerged and drowning in a flash flood. You can never forgive and you can never forget. It simply was inexcusable. Your partner tries to justify the infidelity claiming, 'It was only sex,' or 'I didn't want you to find out,' or 'it meant nothing,' But for something that 'meant nothing' to him/her, it sure means something to you. You can't even be the same person you were previously. And it's pretty clear that you weren't 'good enough' to keep your partner satisfied. What do you do when you've been told loud and clear that 'you're not good enough?'
It's even more devastating when you learn later, when all the nasty truths leak out, that you weren't good enough perhaps for several decades of your marriage. The betrayal started just after you were married, or just after you became pregnant, or even began before your relationship started and just continued right through your marriage as if loyalty to you meant nothing to your partner. The betrayal on this level is devastaing.
You try to find something safe to cling onto. You try to console yourself. You try to comfort yourself by telling yourself that it can't get any worse now. That last 'news' must be the final shock, the last stab of the dagger to the heart, but it's just the beginning. Your spouse sporadically confesses more incidents of betrayal - more horrendous details than you ever imagined. And it comes as a suffocating realisation that this pain won't ever end, and it can get worse.
You truly wonder if your body and mind can survive the pain. You lose weight. You can't eat. You can't breathe. You can't function. You know that even if you could physically get control of your body back, the pain won't stop even if you were able to leave the relationship. You can't put this pain into the back of your mind because it's too overwhelming. Nothing will stop this pain. It's like your own private, hell on earth when you've been betrayed by the one who was supposed to protect, cherish and love you. No-one can be there with you. You can't tell anyone else but you need to get any emotional support. You can't discuss it with your partner, because he says, "Get over it. I already apologised." Or he might say, "I don't want to bring it up anymore," or "You just want to make me feel guilty and rub my nose in it." Or he might actually care, but just not know what to say to help you feel better. You don't want anyone else to know because you want to protect your partner's image which is ironic as he didn't think about protecting your image or your marriage. It's not going to help you if others think poorly of your partner but you're desperate to share your pain and to receive comfort from someone who truly loves you. If you talk about it to others, there is a strong chance that they will also be angry with your spouse and put pressure on you to leave him/her - and you're not sure you want to do that yet. It's a very lonely place in the pits of betrayal and your mind is tormented.
You always said you'd leave if your partner was unfaithful and betrayed you, but now it's happened, you just want it back the way it was before. But your partner can never give you that again. If your partner is apologetic and promises to 'get help' you are thrown into a difficult place. To give your partner 'another chance' is to expose yourself to further risk of being betrayed when he/she 'relapses,' but it's also supremely difficult to try to figure out how to cope with the horrendous pain of the betrayal on a minute by minute basis while having to live with your partner and with the insecurity of not knowing if he's going to 'relapse' and hurt you again. After all, you didn't realise he was cheating on you before, so now you have to become hyper-diligent and it stresses the life out of you.
Resentments don't heal. Revenge doesn't heal. Anger doesn't restore happiness. That doesn't mean you have to 'try not to be angry.' It doesn't mean you can't express your anger and emotional agony - in fact, it is necessary to have your agony validated and to hear your partner's earnest remorse for their betrayal before you can forgive. Forgiveness means you give up your 'right' to get even, to hurt back, to take revenge. It means you choose to go to the next level of emotional maturity and have compassion and pity on someone who has fallen so badly.
You draw boundaries to protect yourself from further injury. You evaluate whether you believe recovery is possible and whether you even want to be part of the recovery process. You would need to see real evidence of your partner's emotional understanding and a genuine expression of grief when he realises how deeply he has injured you. It is vitally important to keep your composure. Gather the information you need, analyse the information. Express your pain in a dignified, confident, even in a matter-of-fact manner. If you can't do this without collapsing into hysteria from the pain, you will be ineffective and even worse, you will supply your partner with the desired justification to use against you as a way out of assuming responsibility for his actions. Many times, it is easier to write down the pain, write down the options and have a plan organised. The expression of pain, the proposed options and plan must be respectful to both parties. If the betrayed wife feels entitled to emotionally 'beat the stuffing' out of the husband, because her pain makes her feel justified to be abusive to him, then a discussion is pointless. If the wife's goal is to let her anger erupt onto her husband, she has an abusive goal. He abused her, so now she feels justified to abuse him. This is nothing more advanced than the Old Testament principle that Jesus spoke against. "An eye for an eye" doesn't work. If the whole world practised 'an eye for an eye' then the whole world would be blind. Recovery indeed involves expressing our deepest pain, but both parties are entitled to do so - but only in a respectful manner. The focus must be on finding out what caused the original relationship to deteriorate, not on finding fault with each other. Constructive action seeks to find if there is an agreement that both parties find sufficient value in the other partner as to want to build a new relationship. The old relationship was destroyed by the betrayal. Many betrayed partners are helped when their partner expresses a hatred of their addiction/compulsion and they too long to be free of this curse. If this is the true position of the disloyal spouse, the betrayed partner can sometimes feel that it's a partnership whose common enemy is porn addiction and they will fight together to get the enemy out of their lives and build a new relationship on freedom. This reformation can only occur when complete honesty is permitted between both parties.
Dealing with the Pain
A betrayed partner's pain has the ability to destroy the chance of rebuilding the relationship. Betrayal of intimate trust causes a cataclysmic response that feel almost impossible to contain and control. The injured partner might behave in desperately unhelpful ways as she struggles to cope with the pain, rejection and endless other emotions. This seeming lack of control does not mean that she has lost her mind. She is simply unable to process her emotions calmly because there are so many emotions being experienced all at the same time and each thought causes insecurityand instability on so many different levels. When the injured partner expresses her emotional agony, she needs - she NEEDS - to have that pain validated. She needs to hear, "I'm so incredibly sorry for the horrendous pain I've caused you. I'm so sorry I ever got involved with xxxx. I hate it so much now. It cuts me so deeply to see your agony. I promise you never have to fear that I will hurt you like this again. I will never betray your trust again. I'm so sorry." Repeat at every outburst. Validate the pain. Take responsibility for your actions that caused the pain. Console and show empathy for her pain. Reassure her of your loyalty, your hatred of porn/prostitution. Be trustworthy - do not lie ever. Be honest. She needs to be a partner in the relationship's recovery process. She was injured when her partner isolated himself from her so he could participate in his addiction. That needs to be reversed and she needs to be welcomed back into the private areas of his life. Closing her down, refusing to listen or to validate her pain or mocking her display of grief and anguish, will only encourage the outbursts to escalate - but not forever. Eventually, most unvalidated, injured partners will stop trying to express their pain. They will stop trying to be understood and validated. They will begin to withdraw and block the other person's access to their injured soul.
The betrayed spouse needs to have the validation and reassurance repeated. This will put healing on the fast track because it builds trust. Show you are trustworthy and that you care about what happens to her. Don't ever say, "Trust me! You should trust me by now!" If she doesn't trust you, there is a good reason for that attitude. She did trust you once and you abused her trust. No normal person is going to trust you again without sufficient and copious evidence that proves you have changed and are now not a danger to her emotional security. Your response should be again, validation and reassurance. Many wives suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of relationship betrayal. They are not going to be able to 'just get over it.' That takes copious amounts of expressed validation, empathy, remorse and patience for the rebuilding of trust.
Alternatively, if you choose to deny her pain, belittle her when she can't hold her composure, withhold reassurance, allow her to wonder if you really do still enjoy porn, if you ignore her etc and healing will never happen as trust will never have a chance to be be formed.
Of course, empty words are not going to permit healing to form if in fact, the addicted partner is still hankering for porn/prostitution. If he needs to go to phone meetings to learn how to understand how he became addicted and how the recovery process can occur, then he needs to be actively demonstrating that he is doing everything he can to restore trust so the relationship can recover as fast as possible.
The addict's his wife NEEDS to be a full partner in the joint recovery process. It is not just his recovery that is important. The relationship needs to be built by two healing partners. The wife needs to recover from the trauma of betrayal. She needs to understand the science of sexual abuse and sexual compulsion as much as her husband does. Their mindset must be together we will fight against the common enemy. Together the partners need to be willing to examine in stark honesty their emotional needs.
The Healing Process Begins with Education
Learning can be overt or covert. It is well known that people are influenced both on a conscious level but also subconsciously using advertising by those who want to manipulate them into becoming customers of their particular product. The practice of using NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) to anchor prospective customers to their product, is well recognised as being used by large companies though many people might consider it unethical. NLP is also used by males who try to anchor prospective sexual conquests to them during 'dating situations.'
Subliminal education occurs through all and every avenue of society. Porn advertises its lies on the TV, internet, movies, posters, on the beach, in the church, in the shopping centres. Porn's classroom is everywhere and its principles are compulsory and intentionally unavoidable.
The porn merchants 'educate' people to believe that sexual abuse is normal. Because we live in a thoroughly pornified society, we can't avoid listening to, viewing and learning the gospel of porn. By being involuntarily immersed in our sexualised society, people become convinced that being sexually stressed all the time, is normal. Men and women absorb porn's gospel and soon live according to its mantra. Being hypersexualised is normal and those who feel sexual stress simply suffer from a naturally high libido. Sufferers are convinced that they are constantly sexually stressed and uncomfortable due to natural causes - their genetics - but that there is no cure. They just have to treat the symptoms. Like any other illness, they have to treat the symptoms and not cure the source of the disease. The "naturally super-ultra-high libido" excuse is the lie that gives the porn merchants incredible power over their congregations. So, the porn merchants continue, it is not their super charged 'stud' that is the problem. Their porn customers are not at fault. The real problem is their customer's partner.
The partner is not sexy enough, not adventurous enough, not as highly sexually charged - they have a low libido (which in reality is most likely normal).
Another lie that makes the porn merchants extremely convincing is the lie that 'all men do porn' and that 'all men think about having sex all the time.' While many men (and women) struggle with sexual compulsions, they most often have become hypersexualised by repetitive visits to porn sites and prostitutes. The more the sexual behaviour is practiced, the more addictive it becomes. (See Dr Tim Jennings video on The Chemistry of Sex on this website to learn why this hypersexualised condition occurs in normal men and women, as a response to sexual activity outside of a permanent, committed, loving and emotionally intimate relationship). These men and women do not know the truth about becoming hypersexualised or how that process occurs. People typically believe they are just super unlucky to have a 'naturally' high libido. The man who supposedly has the extra high libido, is instructed by the porn merchants that he just needs to have sex more often but when his partner complains about having sex so frequently, the man thinks he is entitled to turn elsewhere to satisfy his urges and compulsions.
The falsity that convinces men that they are just highly sexed, is the most powerful lie taught by the porn merchants to their oblivious students.
Healing can only begin when the truth is encountered. The truth is the only power that can set porn's victims free. The truth about porn is that:
People can become hypersexualised but believe that they suffer from a high libido.
Hypersexualisation is a genuine condition where the neurotransmitters in the brain become unbalanced and the effect is felt as a compulsion to engage in sexualised behaviour.
Hypersexualisation is a reversible condition (approx 3 weeks) and the 'libido' returns to normal ie. the sexual stress is relieved and the person can become trigger-free after about 3 months.
The process of reversing hypersexualisation requires that the person change his/her thinking about porn. Porn must be recognised as being sexual abuse and no longer a piece of chocolate cake.
Porn must be recognised in all its ugliness and in all its forms. All porn is violence. Those who are disrobed in public are violated. Their dignity is violated. Their privacy is violated. The uniqueness as a person is violated. The process of disrobing prisoners of war is undertaken to achieve those same ends.
As the mind has to be renewed with the truth, (that all porn displays are sexually abusive), so too the eyes must be taught to look away from porn. This can be difficult habit to break for the first few days but it will become normal with practice.
Whether porn is walking down the street toward you, porn should make you feel uncomfortable. A stranger wants to arouse you sexually. She/he wants to try to cause your body to respond to them, but they have no intention of forming a friendship with you or getting to know you. They want the power hit of your sexual response to them. It's a use. It's sexual abuse. She's not hot. She's manipulative. The lady wearing the porn outfit might not want you to know it, but she is trying to manipulate your sexuality. The man who flirts with you might not think you're a nice person, but he more than likely just wants to find a way to use your body. Guard your mind against being used.
Guard your eyes against allowing the porners that opportunity to sexually abuse you. You don't have to look and you don't have to appreciate being visually raped. You don't have to give your attention to sexualised displays. You do have to recognise sexual abuse. You do need to break the habit of looking just because someone strips off their clothes. Everyone deserves and is entitled to their intimate privacy. Pornified ladies often don't understand that concept but you need to have a firm grasp of it. Respect human dignity and refuse to sexually abuse anyone with your eyes and your mind.
Curiosity is what caused many men to progress from 'soft' porn to illegal porn and to abuse children. The person who wants to be free of addiction, must learn to resist looking at those scenes that are designed to sexually excite him/her. Learn to recognise porn as sexual abuse. Learn to resist being used by those who want to wield their power over you by receiving a 'sexual power hit' from your gaze.
When both partners learn about the science and chemistry of normal sex and can contrast it with sexual abuse addiction, and they understand the process that will accompany withdrawal from the addiction, they are better equipped to fight the enemy together. Porn is the enemy. The previously pornified person needs to convince their partner that the porn that interested and consumed him/her before, is now repugnant. It really helps to build trust with your partner if you verbally express your disgust of porn on every occasion. Every single time. Every single time that porn is forced into your eyes or mind, express to your partner how much you hate it and how you are disgusted that it is thrust into your vision without your consent. Relate to your partner how you have no sexual response to the images presented to you and that you do not appreciate getting visually raped by people trying to get a sexual hit off you. Reassure your partner that you have a changed mind. Every single time. Do not think that you can stop providing your partner this reassurance. You can't. She/he needs it.
Until the previously pornified partner can convince their partner that porn is repugnant to them by objecting to it at every incidence without fail, it will be extremely difficult for the betrayed partner to feel any compassion, understanding or forgiveness of the deep injury done to her/him.
When the partner realises that the change has occurred in the previously pornified partner's mind, then he/she will be able to allow her/himself to begin to trust again. She/he will begin to feel more secure with her partner.
The partner will still feel the pain of the betrayal whenever the incident or addiction is mentioned or discussed. The pain will always be there, however, it helps to overcome that pain with the truth that the man/woman who is now in the marriage/relationship is a NEW person.
When old memories rise up, put them to the reality test. "The old hypersexualised, deceptive, dishonest, disloyal person hurt me. The new person is trustworthy, honest, loyal, porn-free, not hypersexualised. This new person is safe. In fact the new person is safer than any other prospective partner in this pornified society. My new partner has retrained his/her mind. She/He's reclaimed her/his own true mind. He has made a huge change in his thinking. She/He has learned so much. It cost him/her a huge effort. She/He has done well and I respect him/her for it."
When both partners realise that the previously unfaithful partner has truly become a new person, (begins to think in a new and healthy way) then the relationship dynamics will change. A very flimsy strand of trust will develop very slowly, but that is the process. It starts with a very injured and frightened, insecure partner daring to try to trust someone who has hurt them worse than anyone else ever has in their life. The (betrayed) woman's instinct is screaming at them to run away. Girlfriends are telling them not to stay and questioning if them as if they are fools! "Why would you stay with him, after he's betrayed you? I wouldn't stay with him! No way. I'm no fool. If he messed around on me, he's gone out with the trash." Support your partner with lots of verbal reassurance because there is a lot of other advice being given to leave the relationship.
Be faithful because no relapses are to be tolerated. If the previously pornified spouse returns to porn/affairs etc, it's over.
If you have been betrayed, please research Betrayal Bonding to ensure that you are not making poor decisions. A description of Betrayal Bonding and the trauma it arises from might be helpful. If you have endured trauma, or are trying to deal with it currently, then speaking with a qualified counsellor or therapist about your situation is usually a positive action that you might consider taking if you can do so safely. If you can't trust your partner, you don't have a healthy relationship. If you have suspicions and evidence that your partner is not worthy of your respect, then it's reasonable not to trust them.
Joyce M Shore writes the following statements which we extracted from her Consent Awareness website: "A victim’s choice to remain in a toxic, harmful relationship can result from the chemistry of human bonding....It’s the chemicals in our brain that make us feel compelled to forgive, love and trust. Some people have too little. They’re called psychopaths. Some people have too much, and are easily embroiled in harmful relationships. The exploitation of trust can cause a Betrayal Bond. When a person is faced with cruel behavior, their brain chemistry can kick into high gear, causing them to fight forcefully to retain the relationship. It’s that person’s totally unconscious auto-response to betrayal. In fact, the more harmful the trauma they experience from their romantic partner, the more intensely their brain’s chemistry will work to keep them attached." "Ok! Enuff with the victim blaming! How to spot a betrayal bond." Joyce M Shore, originally published on October 10, 2015, republished 23 December, 2018https://consentawareness.net/2018/12/23/ok-enuff-with-the-victim-blaming-how-to-spot-a-betrayal-bond/
When you love someone, you desire to communicate that love to the person you love. Your desire to let the person know you love them, motivates you to demonstrate your love.
Sadly, after being together for some length of time, the desire to express that love tends to fade. Love not expressed dies. We all need to be continually reminded that we are loved and valued. This is so much more important when a person you loved and trusted has betrayed your trust and spurned your love.
Healing after betrayal is possible, but the relationship will never again be as it was prior to the betrayal.
The person who betrayed the trust of the partner and severed the relationship must realise the extent of the damage that has been done to their partner. The betrayed partner must be given opportunity to express their deep pain. The pain needs to be heard and validated by the other partner without justification of 'if you had been more sexy, I wouldn't have had to do porn' type excuses. There is no excuse for doing porn and there is no justification for betraying your spouse. The betraying spouse had other options and the most logical and healthy choice would have been to seek help.
Listen to the betrayed partner's expression of pain
Validate the betrayed partner's pain
Make a genuine, heart-felt apology for causing the pain
Guarantee that there will never ever be any further betrayal
Demonstrate love and compassion for the betrayed partner
Ensure that trust is restored by practicing keeping trust
Never say, "Just let it go. Stop bringing up the past. Stop criticising me. Get over it. You have to keep bringing it up to make me feel bad. Quit attacking me. I said sorry, so you should never mention it again. " Your partner will interpret these irritated statements to mean, "I don't care about your pain. It's no big deal. You are a nasty person for attacking me."
When pain rises to the surface and the partner mentions the pain, go through the pain with him/her and validate the pain, apologise again and guarantee there will never be any other betrayal again. Continue to demonstrate that you have changed and are not able to be trusted again. Continue demonstrating that you are keeping trust. Keep reassuring your partner of your love and express how valuable he/she is to you.
There is no short-cut to healing, but love, when expressed, does heal.
As usual, the only answer is Love. The Creator is Love. (Religions are not Love). It's so hard to believe, but Love can mend a broken heart and fill it with joy again and renew relationships that were once torn apart by betrayal and infidelity. Love is the healing balm to the wounds of both partners' hearts.
If you have been betrayed, there is hope. When you are ready, we can help.