Betrayal Trauma Recovery Checklist
⃞ Because lies, manipulation, gaslighting, emotional abuse, and narcissistic traits are common for users of pornography, begin to think about what it means to be emotionally safe. Get educated by listening to the Betrayal Trauma Recovery (BTR) podcast. Consider sharing your situation with safe people. Someone who tells you outright or implies that there is something (anything) you can do to change your husband or “help” him is not safe. "What did you do to set him off?” is a typical statement from an unsafe person.
⃞ Determine your level of emotional safety. Establish a support network. Identify the safe people you can rely on. Schedule a support call with a BTR APSATS Coach to determine your next steps, based on your individual situation. Join a The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Club for access to six APSATS facilitated group sessions per week.
⃞ Avoid attempting to find the cause of your husband’s problematic behaviors. It doesn’t matter to you if his behaviors come from shame, trauma, a personality disorder, or an addiction. You didn't cause it, and you can't help figure it out. What matters to you is that your home is emotionally safe - right now. Your husband will need to be 100% honest with you and everyone else, stop his problematic behaviors completely, and make restitution in order to be a safe person - regardless of the cause. Trying to “help” him figure it out while the problematic behaviors are still present will only keep you in harms way.
⃞ Couples therapy is not advised in this circumstance. Only be in contact with your husband’s C-SAT therapist to report specific problematic behaviors. In cases involving porn use and abuse, there are not two sides of the story - there is only truth. Emotional abuse is not a communication issue. Pornography use is not a couples issue. You can help a therapist or church leader determine the truth of the situation, as many porn users minimize their behaviors. However, if a therapist or church leader doesn’t seem to believe you or makes it a couples issue rather than hold the porn user / abuser accountable, it's advised that you seek help elsewhere.
⃞ Read / listen to the following books & podcasts:
- Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens & Marsha Means
- Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
- Daily Wisdom For Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
- When Love Goes Wrong: What To Do When You Can't Do Anything Right by Ann Jones
- How Do I Know If He’s Really Changing? by BTR Podcast
- Where To Turn When You Need Help For Your Husband’s Lies, Porn Use, Emotional Abuse by BTR Podcast
- 15 Facts About APSATS Coaches by BTR Podcast
⃞ Begin to think about boundaries. The most common boundaries are:
- Abstinence from sex
- Opting out of conversations
- Sleeping / living in separate parts of the house
- No contact
*BTR does not advocate for divorce, but helps clients establish emotional safety in whatever form that takes.
⃞ Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, OB or midwife to be tested for all STD’s, even if your husband tells you he’s only used pornography. Get a full panel STD workup every year with your annual physical.
⃞ Consider maintaining the boundary of sexual abstinence until you feel completely emotionally and physically safe. BTR recommends holding appropriate boundaries until your husband
- Has completed a therapeutic polygraph, in conjunction with a C-SAT led full disclosure
- Is honest, humble, willing to submit to the recovery process
- Is accountable for his infidelity (meaning lies, porn use, and masturbation) and emotional abuse (meaning lies, manipulation, gaslighting)
- Has made restitution for his lies, infidelity, and abuse
⃞ Make a daily self care plan. Focus on meeting your own emotional and physical needs. Get the nutrition and sleep you need. Get the support and love you need to feel safe from your support network. Step outside and take a breath of fresh air.
For support with this checklist, and for groups about the different topics on this check list, visit our Services Page.