Betrayal
Trauma
Recovery

Betrayal Hurts, But You CAN Heal

by | Abuse Literacy, Boundaries, Self-Care

You’ve heard on the podcast people talk about a post-betrayal transformation. That’s what God wants for us. He would like us to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes into strong, powerful women.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

When women experience betrayal and abuse they may experience devastation, excruciating pain, and confusion. Sometimes this leads to a faith-crisis. Religious or not, faith and hope can help you in your journey to healing.

Anne shares on the BTR podcast her own experience of clinging to faith and hope to guide her through the long and difficult road to healing. Listen to the podcast and read the full transcript below for more.

Betrayal Is Rejection and A Form of Widowhood

This is a woman who is grieved and forsaken. Through no fault of your own, your husband has rejected you.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

The pain of betrayal is deep and long-lasting. Utter rejection and often abandonment may leave women feeling like they have been widowed.

Acknowledging and accepting difficult emotions as you process trauma will help you to get on the road to healing more quickly than stifling or minimizing the intense feelings that accompany betrayal. Let yourself experience grief. Have patience with yourself as you work through sorrow, anger, and fear. You will get to the other side.

Hope and Faith Can Help Victims of Betrayal

We may be “widows”. But all of it will be made right somehow.

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Whether you are religious, spiritual, agnostic, or atheist, hope and faith can help you work through trauma and begin healing.

  • Hope and faith in yourself, that you will get through this
  • Hope and faith in the future, that things will get brighter
  • Hope and faith in family and friends: that you will have the support you deserve
  • Hope and faith in justice
  • Hope and faith in your legacy: that you can break the cycle of abuse
  • Hope and faith in other victims, that we will heal together

Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Betrayed Women

At BTR, we understand the deep agony, grief, and anger that women experience after betrayal. Support, safety, and self-care help victims to find the peace that they seek.

The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in every time zone. BTRG offers victims a community of loving and supportive women who understand betrayal. Join today and find the support, validation, and love that you deserve.

Full Transcript: 

Anne:  Welcome to Betrayal Trauma Recovery. This is Anne.

Today I’m going to read from Isaiah.

Now, I know some of the listeners are not Christian. But I’m a Christian. So I’m going to speak from my own experience. I hope this still brings you hope.

Scriptures Can Help Us

This is from Isaiah Chapter 54:4-17

4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

I’m going to say that one more time. I shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

God Can Lead Us

10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.  

We Are One In Christ

I love Isaiah. I’ve always loved Isaiah. I wanted to cover just a few of these scriptures. This brought me so much peace this morning as I was studying.

First of all, growing close to God is so important. It’s important because He’s really truly the only person that can help us through this mess that we didn’t cause. During this season of thinking about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and about our Heavenly Father, God, who loves us and cares about us and who gave us the gift of his Son. I want you to know that he loves you. He cares about you.

I believe that through the scriptures and through prayer that all of us can find comfort. I do want to say that there was a 9-month period where I read my scriptures and I prayed that I felt hopeless. I felt despair. I felt awful. But I continued to pray. I continued to read the scriptures. I continued to obey the commandments.

Faith Can Help You Heal

I think it’s imperative that during this trial that is of no fault of our own that we obey the commandments ourselves because the commandments protect us, and God makes us promises when we do that.

The parts that really stand out to me are Isaiah 54 verse 4: and thou shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

Meaning, we may be widows. But all of trials that go along with that will be made right somehow. Which by the way, I have not seen in my own life yet. I don’t even know what that means. But it does bring me peace that here a prophet talks specifically about that.

And then in verse 5 he says: For thy Maker is thine husband;

I’ve been thinking about all of the things that I wish I had a husband for. To protect my family. To provide for us. And I realized that God can be that person for me during this time of my widowhood. That I can have a provider and a protector. That if I turn to God and trust him, he has promised me those things.

God Never Rejects Us

Verse 6: For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused.

So, he’s saying there: this is a woman whose husband has grieved, forsaken, and rejected her.

And then in verse 7: For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

I think that small moment for me was 9 months long of praying and getting no answers. Praying and getting no comfort. I remember going in my closet and just bawling. The pain was so excruciating. It was an awful time. Now I do feel his peace.

In verse 8 he says: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee.

His Mercy Carries Us

Then in verse 9 he talks about Noah and how the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth. I think this is an interesting verse to put here because the plague of abuse and pornography is similar to the flood that Noah experienced. It is everywhere. It touches everything.

And then he tells us in verse 10 that the mountains shall depart, and the hills will be removed. Meaning huge big things will happen in our life. Huge changes. Serious, serious stuff, that will harm us perhaps. That will hurt us.

(Verse 10 continued) but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed. We are promised God’s peace as we turn to him, and one of the blessings of obeying the commandments is peace.

Then, in verse 11 He says: O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. And that is how I was for 9 months right after my ex-husband’s arrest. I was completely tossed and afflicted. But He says: I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

You’ve heard on the podcast people talk about a post-betrayal transformation. That’s what God wants for us. He would like us to rise like a phoenix out of the ashes into strong, powerful women. Women who have more-or-less stared Satan down face-to-face and held strong and stood for truth and righteousness.

God Sustains Us

And then in verse 12 he says: I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. I have no idea what that means, but I assume that it’s wonderful things and blessings coming to us.

And then 13: And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

(Verse 14) In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Verse 14 is really important because we have all felt oppressed and we have felt the terror of seeing our families completely ripped apart.

Then he promises us:  15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: (Meaning your enemies) whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.

16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

Faithfulness Can Help Us Heal

This reminds me of a time when I was writing in my journal and I was really worried about what my Ex was doing, and I was terrified. I prayed and then I wrote an answer to the prayer, and the answer that I got was that God is in control of everything and Satan exists to provide opposition in this life so that we all have trials and we can learn and grow.

He is also there to destroy people who destroy themselves through their own unhealthy actions, which is sad. People have the consequences of their actions. When they continue to do those things they are harmed by them. I think that is what this means by: I have created the waster to destroy. Meaning people who harm other people eventually are harmed themselves. So, a Christian version of Karma perhaps.

And then God ends with verse 17: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.  

Sisters, we are called upon to be like the Israelites. I am hoping that as we create a healthy army of women who can set boundaries and stand for truth and righteousness. That we can walk through the Red Sea on dry ground.

Freedom From Fear Can Be Ours

Together we can release ourselves and our children from the bondage of unhealthy behaviors and of abusive behaviors. We can really truly establish peace in our own families. This is what God wants for us.

I don’t know what form that will take. If it will take a no contact boundary or what type of boundary to free us from the bondage of our husband’s sins, if you will. But I do know that as we take 1 step at a time toward peace through setting boundaries, through obedience to the commandments, that God will bless us. God loves you.

Jesus Christ is my Savior. For those of you who aren’t religious or those of you who aren’t Christian, I love you. I care about you. We are all in this together regardless of what religion we are. Regardless of where we are in the process. As we hold hands together and support each other in righteousness or emotional health, we will walk through the sea of sadness and of terror on dry ground. We’ll make it to the other side.

Know that I love you and pray for you. And until next week, stay safe out there.


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7 Comments

  1. Rhonda

    Anne, THANK YOU for this! I cried through nearly the entire podcast, especially as you read the scriptures from Isaiah. I’m currently in a difficult place in my head …my husband is 67 and we’ve been married nearly 40 years (I was a naive baby bride of 17). He has had a sexual addiction for about 55 years. He’s been in counseling and sex addiction recovery groups for about 10 years. We went through a year long therapeutic separation. Afterward it seemed for the first time he was in REAL recovery. However, I recently made a new discovery after several months of having him back home. I am devastated and feel like this is the most traumatized I’ve been throughout this process, even though the behavior wasn’t nearly as “bad” as what he had been doing for so long. I think it’s the lying and hiding while insisting and acting like he’s sober for the first time that has made this discovery so much worse. I know you understand the depth of pain, sorrow and overpowering anger. I haven’t even been able to really pray. I feel like there is just no hope that we’ll ever have a real, connected relationship. But because of illness and tight finances I also feel stuck in this marriage. I have good therapeutic support but still feel myself sinking. This scripture and what you shared resonated deeply with me as I do feel like a widow of sorts, and identity with the “wife who married young only to be rejected.” The assurances you talked about and read were balm to my soul. I will be listening to this over and over. God bless you and I pray you have a meaningful Christmas.

    Reply
    • Anne Blythe

      Rhonda, I’m so glad it was helpful! God bless you:).

      Reply
  2. CJ

    I too, like you Rhonda, married just out of highschool and was very naive. He was going to be my “knight in shining armor”. One year into our marriage I discovered a pornographic magazine in my husbands briefcase. I was devastated to say the least. Over the next 44 years I would find other evidences of his sexual misconduct and when I would confront him he would always deny any misgivings. I felt guilty for my suspicions and wanted to believe that he was telling me the truth but evidences proved otherwise. After the first discovery I began the downward spiral that the “fear of rejection” can catapult one into. I developed such habits like hyper-vigilance by looking for evidence of any ‘misbehavior’. I hated the person I was becoming. Over the years I began to isolate myself from friends, family and even shunned the fellowship of women’s church groups etc. in order to ‘monitor’ my husbands behaviors only to later realize that whenever I was in the hospital for numerous surgeries he would use those times to endulge and ‘act out’. Needless to say, after years of mistrust, lies, deceptions and gaslighting, I came to an emotional crisis about 15 years ago. I found myself feeling angry and bitter as I began to realize that this was my true reality and he wasn’t going to stop doing the things that brought me so much pain. His compulsive (and quite possibly ‘addictive’) sexual behaviors has, quite frankly, cut me to the core and left me feeling hopeless and lifeless. Then one day in 2018 I stumbled across a youtube video talking about “betrayal trauma”. LIGHTBULB! I was finally able to give my years of torment and pain a face and a name. Omg! You mean there are other women out there suffering with the same symptoms of PTSD as me? What a blessing it has been to know that I am not alone in this scenerio of life. With that said, Rhonda, you are NOT alone! And anyone else reading this…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God is with us-EMMANUEL is with us in our quests for peace and healing. Unfortunately, lack of finances keep me from being able to afford council through ministries such as this but I am deeply grateful for such platforms where we can share our hearts. I hope I have brought you some encouragement. At this writing, I am in my own apartment and supported by a separation stipend. Although loneliness knocks constantly at my door, however, for me it is better than being in an emotionally and psychologically abusive toxic environment. I pray courage, wisdom, peace and healing to you, Rhonda, and to anyone else reading this letter.

    Reply
    • Anne Blythe

      CJ, I’m so glad you found us! God be with you!

      Reply
      • TERRI L HOEPER

        I am just now hearing this although the holidays are long past. Great scripture to share for those of us struggling in painful, rejecting relationships. Big hugs to you Anne. Thank you for sharing this. Rhonda & CJ, God bless you both.

        Reply
  3. Ruby Fowler

    1985″ l held this book in my heart, always felt it was written to me. And here you are, The Women” who know me.

    Reply

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