Healing & Growing Through Grief

Healing & Growing Through Grief
2 Hour Class
Led by Coach Rae 
REGISTER – Saturday 1PM Eastern (USA)
The group will start as soon as it fills. 
Limited to 12 participants (minimum 6)

For women reeling from sexual betrayal, grief is a frightening, confusing and unpredictable process. Grief involves “feeling our way” through the evolution of its pain and trauma, facing losses that are immeasurable, irreversible and indeterminate. Some women heal alone in the aftermath of relationships that don’t survive, while others seek to heal in close proximity to their sexually addicted loved ones. Both realities create complex internal and interpersonal dynamics—the kind that can be difficult (sometimes impossible) to navigate alone.

The good news is, you are NOT alone! In this group, Healing and Growing through Grief, Coach Rae will explain why sexual and relational abandonment triggers such an acute and unique grieving process, teaching participants to:

  • Recognize and identify a grief response when it happens, using the unique and effective “SWIRL” model—along with its easy-to-remember visual and verbal cues.
  • Utilize this recognition to (a) improve self-awareness, (b) increase self-compassion, (c) accelerate your healing from sexual/relational abandonment, and (d) advance the process of resolving your betrayal trauma.
  • Initiate a SAFE, strategic plan for detailing the damage, making peace (or making progress) with those losses, and engaging an intentional period of grief recovery. 
  • Learn to leverage your grief responses into an internal advantage, using them to motivate, fuel and facilitate deep, lasting and meaningful post-traumatic growth.

This group is designed to ask and answer YOUR tough questions about grief, grieving and betrayal trauma. Here are some popular questions asked by Coach Rae’s clients:

  • I think what I’m feeling is grief. But how do I know for sure? 
  • Are these feelings “normal?” Or am I overreacting?
  • Why do I miss him, even though he abused and abandoned me?
  • My husband, family and friends don’t get me. Am I resigned to grieve alone, invisible and isolated?
  • Am I strong enough to tolerate an intentional grief process or intensive grief retreat? 
  • What if I “open Pandora’s box” and discover I can’t survive what comes flooding out?
  • Is grieving necessary? What if I’m NOT grieving, but feel like I should be? 
  • Will grief actually help me? Or will I risk getting stuck in my pain from the past?
  • I thought I was done grieving! So why do I still get hit with these waves of it? 
  • I’m grieving, but not healing. Am I doing something wrong?
  • My grief is unpredictable, striking at the most confusing and  inconvenient times. How do I handle THAT?
  • Is grief recovery truly possible?
  • Is there a point when grief becomes unhealthy?
  • How do I grieve the bad stuff without losing the good stuff?
  • This pain feels like death, but it also feels different. What’s up with that?

After the group, you’ll leave with three of Coach Rae’s favorite takeaways:
    • Top Ten Tips for Healing and Growing through Grief
    • Top Ten Quotes about Loss, Grief and Healing
    • Top Ten Reasons Why Grief is a Good Thing—Even Though it Feels TERRIBLE!

Testimonials From Past Participants

“Coach Rae helped me realize how important it is for me to let myself feel all the emotions associated with the grieving process, including RAGE. I have denied myself that emotion for too long, and during this group, I finally gave myself permission to feel angry about my divorce and process that anger in healthy ways.” — Participant, Healing and Growing Through Grief

“Coach Rae’s group helped me to see a tunnel of light in my long journey toward healing after a heart-wrenching divorce. The grief tools she introduced are helping me to accept and process important emotions, including some I’ve needed to validate for a long time.” — Participant, Healing and Growing Through Grief

“You’re an angel to do such needed work. Thank you for your time and efforts. They are appreciated more than words can express. Again, thank you!” — Participant, Healing and Growing Through Grief

“Coach Rae’s coaching style brings compassion and love into a difficult environment. She is well-versed in the topics she presents and emphasizes safety as her foremost concern, providing practical tips and tools that allow me to grow, heal and move forward.” — Participant, Healing and Growing Through Grief

Can A Narcissist Change? What To Look For When Assessing Your Safety

Can A Narcissist Change?

After seven years of trying to help my husband overcome his lies, pornography use, and abusive anger outbursts, he was arrested for assaulting me. After his arrest, I came to realize that the way I needed help to approach the situation in a different way. With assistance from trusted and experienced women, I was able to set and hold the boundaries I needed to hold to bring peace into my home and create a sanctuary of safety for my children.

For me, the only was to stay safe from my husband’s narcissistic behaviors was to set a no contact boundary, while I waited to see if he would do the extremely hard work it would take him to change.

At Betrayal Trauma Recovery, we believe that everyone can change. The scriptures are full of examples of Christ’s miraculous healing, and we feel that God’s power is still available to all.

Narcissists Can Change

Through my own experience talking with women affected by the narcissistic abuse behaviors all over the world, I found that these behaviors are correlated with pornography use. Men who betray their wives and families with lies, pornography use, infidelity and abuse are not safe enough to be in a healthy marriage.

I believe that anyone, regardless of their past or mental health diagnosis can surrender themselves to God’s will and follow God’s teachings. Our online community can be a support and resource to you as you learn to set boundaries to keep yourself and you children safe. Women in our community are learning to set boundaries with the help of a professional to stabilize their situation. I believe that God has directed you to this site, so that you can get the support and help that you need.

Traits Of A Narcissistic Personality

In a nutshell, someone who acts like a narcissist is unable to interact in the world in a healthy, loving way. They have no sense of self – so they must obtain a sense of self from others. This leaves them open to behaviors and choices that aren’t good for them or their marriages.

God asks all people to center their lives on Him. In God’s words, whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it (Matt 10:9).

Husbands who behave like narcissists are so hell bent on finding their life, through the eyes of others, they refuse to be honest with themselves about who they really are and instead focus only on their outward appearance. Similar to the pharisees and sadducees in the bible. This type of behavior can be correlated with pornography use – they want to appear as sheep, while they are ravening wolves inside.

If he were to truly be honest with himself and others, he would admit the lies he tells himself and others, his unquenchable lust, his pornography use, his compulsive masturbation, his constant desire for the praise of men (especially when it comes from a beautiful woman), and admit that anger and jealously in his heart toward his fellowmen.

This makes husband’s with traits similar to narcissism dangerous to their families. They are unable to have integrity because they refuse to tell the truth. The truth is, a husband with narcissistic traits is a son of God who is living far below his potential and needs to change in order to feel God’s love in his life and be able to have a healthy, happy family. The truth is, the most loving, compassionate way to serve him is to set boundaries to keep yourself and your children safe.

Narcissistic Behavior In Sex Addicts

The narcissistic behaviors correlated with pornography use are: 

  • Lying
  • Lusting
  • Pornography Use
  • Masturbation
  • Cheating Emotionally & Physically
  • Gaslighting
  • Explosive Anger
  • Property Damage – punching walls, throwing things
  • Physical Intimidation – yelling and spitting right in your face
  • Hiding 
  • Being Secretive
  • Obsessing About Perceived Slights

Narcissistic Abuse Relationship Pattern

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is described by some as crazy-making. Christians often approach it by forgiving, serving, and looking for the good in someone. Forgiveness, service, and focusing on the positive are beautiful gifts from God to bring us peace. In the context of someone who is lying, emotionally and physically unfaithful, and abusive – the most loving way to serve them is to set and hold healthy boundaries.

Ignoring lying, pornography use, masturbation, and abuse is not God’s way. God’s way is to distance Himself from these activities to keep Himself safe – from all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is outstretched still (Isaiah 6-9).

The scriptures repeat over and over that when man offends the spirit, the spirit removes itself. Why? Because the spirit has boundaries! And you can too.

Setting Boundaries With A Narcissist

Setting boundaries is an extremely difficult, scary experience. Seeking support when setting boundaries is essential. Because many people don’t understand our husband’s ability to manipulate others, to put on the perfect mask, it’s difficult to receive helpful support sometimes from friends or church leaders. My husband was able to abuse me by proxy through our church leader, therapist, friends and family.

There is hope. The Betrayal Trauma Recovery team is here to help you set and hold healthy boundaries that are consistent with your values. Even if it feels like your whole world is falling apart, you can find support and love through a sisterhood of women who have been in a similar situation to you.

Our APSATS coaches are specifically trained to help you gain safety and stabilize your situation, so that you can begin to heal your home from the chaos created by your husband’s lies and compulsive sexual behaviors. APSATS is the only certification available that focuses specifically on the trauma experiences of wives of sexual addicts and the behaviors associated with sexual addiction.

Only God knows your situation exactly. Only He can provide the answers and peace you are looking for. But our APSATS coaches can guide you and support you as you seek God’s miracles in your life.

What To Expect From Betrayal Trauma Recovery Services

How Do The Coaching Sessions Work?

Betrayal Trauma coaching sessions are live, one-on-one calls with a trained APSATS coach.

All of the calls take place on Zoom – it’s an app you can download onto your phone. When you schedule, you’ll be emailed a link. At the appointed time, just click on that link. 

What To Expect From Your Betrayal Trauma Recovery Coaching Experience

The process of healing is a process. Many of us took years to understand that the conventional therapeutic approaches were not helping us. Our trauma was often exacerbated by the harmful advice of professionals who didn’t understand our situation. That’s why we’re here. Because when we were at the end of our rope and had nowhere else to turn, we found a model that works for us.

All of the coaches at Betrayal Trauma Recovery utilize the APSATS’ Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model (M-PTM), equipping us to support women through three distinct phases of healing from betrayal trauma. With this unifying foundation, we collaborate to provide our BTR clients with a sense of safety, consistency and predictability. 

So, what CAN you anticipate when working with any one of our BTR coaches?

In EVERY single session, expect your coach to:

  • Provide a safe space to process your trauma, experience compassion, and receive validation for everything you’re feeling and facing.
  • Help you regain your own strength, clarity and sense of direction.
  • Support you with absolutely NO AGENDA of her own—offering instead only patience, empathy, and tools to help you uncover your own truth, for your own sake.

In sessions during your first phase, Safety & Stabilization, expect your coach to help you:

  • Identify your most urgent needs.
  • Assess your network of “safe people,” those upon whom you can lean for support.
  • Work toward stabilizing your relationships, specifically in terms of emotional, mental, physical and sexual safety.
  • Learn techniques to ground yourself, especially during moments when your trauma is triggered.
  • Recognize your most frequent or significant triggers, then create healthy boundaries to remove, reduce or respond to them.

In sessions during your second phase of your recovery – the Grieving & Processing phase – expect your coach to help you:

  • Accept yourself and where you’re at within the process of grief and recovery.
  • Articulate the specific things you’ve lost, in relation to sexual abandonment, addiction and/or abusive behavior.
  • Recognize the different ways grief manifests within survivors of betrayal trauma.
  • Experience and process the pain in healthy (versus harmful) ways.
  • Leverage the grief to move yourself through the trauma and toward long-term healing.

In sessions during your third phase of your recovery – the Rebuilding & Reconnection phase – expect your coach to help you:

  • Reclaim parts of yourself you’ve lost through your experience of betrayal trauma
  • Reorient yourself within a new, post-traumatic reality
  • Reconnect with others—often in new ways, supported by new boundaries and new priorities
  • Rebuild the kind of life you want to live moving forward, with new convictions, purpose and passions.

Bottom line? WE GET IT. As women recovering from betrayal trauma, we balance a strong need for predictability (no more surprises, please!) with a sense of cautious openness to whatever comes next. That’s one of the reasons you can email any of our coaches. 


Coach Sarah & Coach Rae

What Makes BTR The Best Healing Option For Abuse Victims?

Coach Kim is APSATS trained, and talks about how addiction behaviors are often consistent with narcissism behaviors and what to do when you recognize them in your husband. 

What Came First The Narcissism Or The Addiction?

We often wonder if narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is associated with addiction, especially in regard to sex addiction because so many pornography / sex addicts exhibit behaviors consistent with narcissism.  

The definition of NPD from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the go to guide for medical and psychiatric professionals, states “Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a cluster B personality disorder defined as comprising a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”

Grandiose, self-centered, exploiting others, need for attention, and a total lack of empathy. Know anyone like that?! As much as we would like to make a NPD diagnosis, we need to leave that up to the folks with an MD or PhD at the end of their name.

How Does Being With A Husband Who Exhibits Behaviors Similar To Narcissism Make You Feel?

Imagine, you have your first child together. Your focus is, as it should be, on keeping this little miracle alive on very little sleep. But your husband starts coming to bed later and later. He is not supportive, he seems very angry with you, and when you asks why, he talks about his needs aren’t being met. 

You begin to think it’s you, the weight you gained, you can’t spend as much time with him. You begin to work on dropping the baby weight. A few weeks into working out he watches you changing and says to you, “It’s like you’re not even trying.” You are left with no self-esteem, unwanted, and unloved.

A few years have gone by and taken its toll. You are isolated and lonely.  He doesn’t touch you tenderly and you are unable to do anything right in his eyes. One New Year’s Eve, you beg him to be more affectionate with you, that you need to be touched. Defensive and angry he says, “When you can learn to communicate better, then maybe.” At a complete loss, you can feel any hope you had slip away. You are not worthy, you will never be enough. There is no empathy.

These types of examples are common in men who use pornography and men who exhibit behaviors similar to narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissism Can Be Difficult To Detect In The Beginning Of A Relationship

It’s subtle and as time goes by their mask of “normalcy” begins to slip away. By the time you become aware, his hate, spitefulness, and passive aggressive nature have crept into your entire marriage and it will take a huge shock to your system for you to begin to see that this wasn’t your doing, it wasn’t your fault, you ARE enough, and he is the one who is NOT WORTHY of you!

That shock to your system can come in many forms, but the most common is finding out, after putting up with all the pain and hurt he has caused, that he has been lying, manipulating, gaslighting, and possibly risking your life by acting with other people. He thought he was smarter, that he deserved and was entitled to do what he wanted. His narcissistic brain created lie after lie to villainize you and to justify acting out. He will use those lies and even tell you those are the reasons he cheated time after time, after time. “Well, if you had only ______, I wouldn’t have ______.”  The narcissistic addict’s go to line.

What Else Have You Felt In A Relationship With A Man Who Exhibits Behaviors Similar To The Narcissist? 

Narcissists cause a lot of damage. The emotional abuse alone is soul sucking. You have now been sufficiently shocked into your new reality. You can see him for who he is. Whether the addiction caused the narcissism or the narcissism led to the addiction. Here you are. Now what?

What do you do when you’ve hit your limit, when you’re ready to no longer allow the treatment he has so steadily inflicted upon you? 

The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself Is To Begin Taking Care Of You! 

Put yourself first, ahead of him. It will be difficult, but remain strong.  

Checklist For Healing From Narcissistic Abuse & Betrayal Trauma

  • Seek out an APSATS therapist and or coach who specializes in dealing with addiction and narcissistic abuse, talking through your experience can be incredibly healing. As you work through your emotions and experiences it will help you become stronger.
  • Schedule regular appointments with an APSATS coach to create boundaries to protect yourself. If he chooses to cross your boundaries, you don’t have to think of a consequence on the spot, you will have them ready. Having boundaries will not make him happy, but remind yourself they are in place to protect you.  
  • Support groups are also incredibly beneficial. Talking with others that have similar life experiences is cathartic. It helps to know you are not alone and that you will heal with time. Betrayal Trauma Recovery has a secret Facebook group. If you would like to be added to our secret Facebook group where women are interacting, friend Anne on Facebook, and then send her a private message and she can add you to the group.
  • Self-care is so incredibly important. This is your “me” time. Find what brings you peace and happiness in the chaos. Taking a  long, hot bath with a good book? Grounding yourself with a walk in nature? Kickboxing? What works for you? Take some time to find yourself again. 

You’ve been through a lot. The pain can be palpable, but you are stronger than you know.

Take the time to heal. Do what you need to get to where you want to be. You’re ready for the next chapter in your story. 

Schedule an appointment with Coach Kim or one of our other APSATS coaches today to get insight into how to set boundaries to keep yourself safe from behaviors similar to narcissistic personality disorder.