What is Betrayal Trauma? What You Need to Know
What is Betrayal Trauma? What You Need to Know

When a woman experiences relational betrayal, she is suffering from Betrayal Trauma. Learn about the symptoms of Betrayal Trauma and how to find safety.

When a woman experiences intimate betrayal, she may experience Betrayal Trauma. Betrayal Trauma can be a profoundly serious and debilitating reality for many.

Betrayal Trauma & Emotional Abuse

A partner’s intimate betrayal (including secret pornography use) is often the tip of the iceberg. Emotionally and psychologically abusive behaviors, including:

  • Gaslighting,
  • Manipulation,
  • Financial secrecy,
  • Sexual coercion,
  • Spiritual abuse, and
  • Coercive control

are also present – and deeply harmful.

why abuser gaslight

Betrayal Trauma Manifests in Physical Symptoms

Women suffering from Betrayal Trauma will experience it in many different ways, no two women will have the same experience. Below is a list of some common symptoms of Betrayal Trauma.

Common Physical Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite/Constant hunger
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Nerve pain
  • Autoimmune disease-like symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea
  • Tremors, Shaking, Shivering
  • Unexplained Fever
  • Unexplained joint pain
  • Pelvic/sexual pain
  • Constant infections
  • Migraine and/or tension headaches
  • Muscle pain/weakness

* If you are experiencing physical symptoms, please seek medical care. Medical care is an essential pillar in the self-care that will help you heal from Betrayal Trauma. 

Betrayal Trauma Manifests in Emotional and Mental Symptoms

Many women find that Betrayal Trauma shows in their emotional and mental states.

Common Emotional and Mental Symptoms of Betrayal Trauma

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic and/or Anxiety attacks
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Inability to focus
  • Hyper-alertness
  • Reliving traumatic experiences (flashbacks)
  • Terror
  • Mood swings
  • Rage
  • Apathy

* If you are experiencing these symptoms, please seek appropriate care. Emotional and mental care is an essential pillar in the self-care that will help you heal from Betrayal Trauma.

BTR.ORG is Here For You

The devastation and grief that accompanies betrayal trauma can be overwhelming. Victims deserve support, compassion, and understanding as they navigate this painful new reality.

BTR.ORG is here for you – whether it’s Anne’s reassurance on The BTR.ORG Podcast, or the professional guidance of our BTR.ORG Coaches, we will be with you every step of the way as you work toward healing and peace.

Our BTR.ORG Group Sessions are always available to you – attend a session today.

And remember, you are not alone.


  1. Patty Huckstadt

    Thank-you for sharing this, Ann. It really resonates with me. I am a Christ Follower/Christian, and I have to keep reminding myself that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.

    I have actually experienced , in my own life, on more than one occasion,what your story teaches…….let go and let God! It’s true! Once I finally reach the point where I cry out, “God, I can’t take this anymore,” that peace that passes all understanding begins to wash over my soul.

    One of my favorite hymns is “Be Still my Soul.” It begins with these words; “Be Still my Soul, the Lord is on your side….” Perhaps you know this hymn. If not, I urge you to Google it; the lyrics are so amazingly comforting.

    A sister in Christ,

  2. Carolina

    Explains my week.. and it resonates it with being good shepherd week (Oh How He runs after us!)

    • Anne Blythe

      I’m so glad it was helpful to you!

  3. Ellen McElroy

    Thank you Anne for sharing this. It helped me to realize that I need to remember to relax and know that the healing will come. God is giving me everything I need, I love the part about floating and relaxing and not pushing God away with all my thrashing. Thank you so much for that. I’m learning how to relax again. I’ve gotten my guitar out and begun to play again. I’m remembering there were things I liked to do. I’m getting creative again. I’m remaking my life with the things that make me me! It’s a process and I’m Grateful for it. Some things you can see in no other way. I may not have realized how much of myself I lost over the years of dealing with his addiction had it not all come to a screeching halt. I’m Grateful for the lessons I have learned and the Truth I now see. It’s a difficult journey. He is 3 months sober today but still out of the house going on 6 months now. I’m not willing to go back to the life we had or anything resembling it. Recovery is possible and I’m holding out for a life of recovery that I’ll live with or without him.

    • Anne Blythe

      Ellen, I’m so glad you found us, and that the podcast was helpful. Hugs!


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