When a woman suffers a relational betrayal at the hands of her partner, she will experience betrayal trauma. 

Betrayal Trauma, like Rape Trauma Syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a serious condition that affects women’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

Betrayal Trauma is Caused By Abuse

Because the relational betrayal is often discovered after some kind of sexual infidelity, women are usually told that their diagnosis of betrayal trauma is a result of their partner’s sexual acting-out, or “sex addiction”. However, trauma is the result of abuse, not addiction. 

Infidelity (virtual, physical, and emotional), pornography use, masturbation, and all other sexual acting-out behaviors are abusive toward a partner. So, women who have been betrayed have been abused. 

Minimizing Betrayal Trauma Makes Victims Feel Crazy

When therapists, clergy, even family and friends, minimize the realities of betrayal trauma by calling it a result of “sexual addiction” rather than abuse, they inadvertently

a. enable the abuser to keep abusing


b. perpetuate abuse toward the victim themselves, by forcing her to accept a reality that simply isn’t true.

When a victim is force-fed a false reality, she will feel crazy. That is the nature of psychological abuse.

No, You’re Not Crazy: You’re In Betrayal Trauma

Victims of abuse who are suffering from betrayal trauma regularly ask the question, “Am I crazy?” These women are victims of chronic gaslighting, lying, manipulation, and reality-distortion. They have usually been sexually abused, covertly raped, covertly physically abused, financially and spiritually abused, and deeply emotionally abused by their partner.

Tragically, their abusive partners are often so good at hiding their abusiveness by lying and manipulating, that the victims are constantly grasping at straws trying to answer the questions:

  • What is happening to me?
  • Why do I feel so awful all the time?
  • Why am I always trying to be a better wife and mother, but always feeling like I fail?
  • Why does my body hurt every day?
  • Why do I think about suicide?
  • Am I crazy?

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Abuse

At BTR, we understand the pain and grief of the process of accepting that you are in an abusive relationship. You need support. Join the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Support group today and receive the community, validation, and support you need as you begin your journey to healing.

Tune in to the free Betrayal Trauma Recovery podcast for support as you listen to fellow victims tell their stories of survival and triumph over abuse.

Remember, you are not alone.

9 Steps Checklist

The checklist we wish EVERY WOMAN experiencing betrayal trauma had

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