btr.org - Betrayal Trauma Recovery is an online, daily support group for victims of emotional & psychological abuse and sexual coercion. Join a live session today. For women experiencing pain, chaos, and isolation due to their husband’s abuse: lying, gaslighting, manipulation, porn use, cheating, infidelity, emotional abuse, and narcissistic abuse. Codependency or labeling a woman as codependent is a form of victim blaming. Pornography addiction / sex addiction are a domestic abuse issue. Narcissistic abuse is not a communication issue. We help women who are in a relationship, separated, or divorced navigate to recover and heal by establishing safety through boundaries. If you suspect your husband is a narcissist, a pornography addict, or emotionally abusive, this podcast is for you. Every woman on our team has experienced abuse and betrayal trauma first hand. For past podcasts visit our website: btr.org
Psalm 82 Initiative Is For You
Have you been betrayed, emotionally abused, and abandoned? Disbelieved, dismissed, and even shunned? Then the Psalm 82 Initiative is for you.
Tom Pride, founder of the Psalm 82 Initiative, meets with Anne Blythe on the free BTR podcast. Together, they take a Biblical deep dive into supporting and freeing emotional abuse victims. Read the full transcript and listen to the free BTR podcast to learn more.
Psalm 82 Initiative Helps You Identify Abusive Relationships
Identifying abuse can be difficult. Clergy, therapists, even the legal system, dismiss abuse victims if there aren't signs of physical battering.
How can women accurately identify abuse if they bear no bruises?
Tom Pride shares four components to identifying abuse:
* Isolation * Deflection * Manipulation* Intimidation
Listen to the podcast episode to help you determine how much these four components of abuse are affecting your life.
Psalm 82 Initiative Helps You Identify The Elements of Abuse
Women are empowered when they become educated about emotional abuse. The Psalm 82 Initiative clearly delineates the four components of abuse:
* Entitlement* Control* Coercion* Compliance
When victims understand and accept that they are in an abusive relationship, they can hold tightly to the truth.
Psalm 82 Initiative Empowers Women To Live In Truth
When I can tell myself the truth, and I can stand on the truth for myself and say, "this is what is real, this is what is happening." I am standing in the truth. When I am confident that I am dealing with the truth, now I'm free to tell others the truth and I'm going to have that confidence that I'm going to say, this is my reality. You can believe it or not, but this is the truth. Then I have a different relationship with the world outside of me. I don't need them to validate the fact that I'm telling the truth. I am telling the truth. Then I can tell the truth to myself about the abuser. This person is not the loving person that I thought he was. Now I can tell myself the truth about my circumstance, and then once I can tell myself the truth about my circumstance, and I'm confident in the truth that I'm telling myself about my circumstance, now I can tell the world around me about the truth of my circumstance and I'm standing on a solid foundationTim Pride, Founder of the Psalm 82 Initiative
Abusers condition victims to live in fear and lies. Embracing and living in truth helps victims find safety.
Psalm 82 Initiative Encourages Victims to Prioritize Safety
Your safety is more important than anything. Prioritize your safety above all. Safety isn't just not being physically harmed. Safety is emotional, mental, spiritual, and sexual comfort. You deserve safety.
You can prioritize your safety by setting boundaries. Some examples:
* I only speak to and spend time with people who respect me.* I do not engage in sexual contact unless I feel completely safe.* I do not speak to abusive people. * I call the police when I am stalked, harassed, or terrorized.* I report crime, including marital rape.
BTR Is Here For You
As Anne says, "Hope and help are possible." You can heal. You can experience safety and peace again. You deserve love.
You don't have to do this alone.
4 Behaviors of Pornography Users
Do you suspect that your partner is using porn? Have you discovered pornographic material on his phone or computer? These 4 tell-tale behaviors of pornography users will validate you and help you understand how his behavior is harming you.
Tiffany Barnes join Anne Blythe on the free BTR podcast to share her insights and experience regarding the ways pornography users abuse women. Read the full transcript below and listen to the free BTR podcast for more.
Pornography Users Gaslight Victims
Gaslighting is a universal tool of abusers. By distorting the victim's reality, porn users can avoid accountability and shift blame onto the victim.
Gaslighting is also known as crazy-making.
When Tiffany would confront her abusive ex-partner about his pornography use, she was gaslit:
He just tried to make me feel like I was being crazy, and I did. I questioned it a few times; am Icrazy? Is this just me being ultra-paranoid or something?
Pornography Users Attempt To Normalize Their Porn Use
Often, pornography users employ tactics to make their sexually depraved behaviors appear normal to avoid accountability and make the victim feel "prude", boring, or immature.
Some of the ways that pornography users attempt to normalize porn are:
* "Hiding" pornographic material in plain sight* Calling pornographic material "art"* Saying things like, "Everyone does this"; "I'm a guy, that's what guys do"; or "No other woman would have issues about my porn use."* Saying that they use pornography to help the marriage/relationship become stronger* Blaming the victim by saying things like, "If you would have sex with me more, I wouldn't do this."
Pornography is NOT a healthy and natural piece of human sexuality: it is abuse and exploitation. When victims can ground themselves in this truth, their partner's manipulation won't work any more.
Pornography Users Dehumanize Their Partners
Many women report being photographed, videotaped, or even live-streamed by their abusive partners. Women are sexually coerced, degraded, and physically harmed when phonography users demand sexual contact.
Pornography itself is objectification: selling women's bodies for money. When men choose to view pornographic material, they are by default objectifying other human beings. This rarely stays compartmentalized.
* Pornography users dehumanize their partners by:* Fantasizing about them* Asking them to perform sexual acts that the victims are not comfortable with* Asking victims to view pornography with them* Demanding or guilting partners into having sexual contact* Filming, photographing, or otherwise sharing sexual photos of victims, with or without consent
Pornography Users Sexually Coerce Partners
Any time a man has sexual contact with his partner without fully disclosing his sexual history, including pornography use, he is guilty of sexual coercion.
Healthy sex is consensual. Women cannot give informed consent when men withhold key informati...
Emancipate Yourself From Emotional Abuse
Please say this out loud: I deserve respect, safety, and love. I deserve to be treated with kindness and gentleness.
It may be scary, it may be a long and difficult road, but you can emancipate yourself from abuse and begin your journey to healing.
Tiffany Barnes, a leader in the victim-advocacy community, joins Anne on the free BTR podcast to share her heart wrenching story of literally emancipating herself from her abusive parents, and then emancipating herself again from her abusive boyfriend. Listen to the free BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
What Does It Mean to Emancipate Yourself From Abuse?
At BTR, we advocate for safety above all else.
When women choose safety and actively create a protective barrier between themselves and abusive behavior, they are emancipating themselves from abuse.
This can mean initiating a no-contact boundary, filing for divorce, separation, or setting boundaries within the relationship if they decide to stay.
Does It Feel Too Scary or Difficult To Emancipate Yourself From Emotional Abuse?
You're not alone. Many women experience debilitating trauma when they even think about setting boundaries to separate themselves from abuse.
Why? Because abusers condition victims to feel powerless, worthless, and trapped.
I had to go through two years of lots of therapy to get myself right to the point that I could just even look in the mirror and not be disgusted at myself and feel like an unworthy person.Tiffany Barnes, founder of Share
Finding The Strength To Emancipate Yourself From Abuse
It may feel overwhelming, frightening, and devastating. But you can find the strength to emancipate yourself from abuse.
Many women weigh their options, putting others' needs before their own need for safety. Some of these include:
* Wanting to spare their children the trauma of divorce and its aftermath* Wanting to avoid financial hardship* Wanting to "keep the peace" by "letting it go"* Fear of the abuser's retribution against self or children
Abuse teaches women that they are not worthy of safety, kindness, or respect. Women will hold tight to everyone else's "needs" because abuse has conditioned them to do so.
Will It Hurt My Children IF I Emancipate Myself From Abuse?
Mothers worry that separating themselves from abusive behaviors may harm their children. This is understandable, divorce, separation, and other safety boundaries may feel disruptive and traumatic for children.
However, no matter what the circumstances, if their mother is being abused, the children are also being abused - even if the abuser never lays a hand on them. Simply existing in a space where abuse is present is detrimental and harmful to children.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Helps You Emancipate Yourself From Abuse
At BTR, we know that safety looks different for everyone.
3 Ways To Process Trauma With Art
Feeling stuck in betrayal trauma? Learn the 3 ways to process your trauma with art.
Kirsten, a member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community, rejoins Anne on the free BTR podcast to share how creating art has helped her to express and process the trauma that she endured after betrayal and abuse. Listen to the free BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
Why Process My Trauma Through Art?
Emotional abuse and betrayal victims experience a wide range of painful emotions:
* Grief* Anger* Fear* Terror* Loneliness* Numbness* Sorrow* Rage
And even more. These feelings can be overwhelming and difficult to bear if victims are not able to express them in healthy ways.
Further, abuse victims may replay abusive episodes or traumatic moments in their minds over and over, or they may come out in nightmares.
As victims give these feelings and experiences an outlet, they are able to begin the journey to healing.
Ways To Process Trauma With Art: Self-Portraiture
Kirsten shares how she frequently creates self-portraits as a way of expressing her own trauma.
Perfectionism is not required as you process your trauma with art. When victims create self-portraits, they are able to express emotions, particularly traumatic moments in time, and even the physical and sexual pain they may have endured.
Your self-portraits do not need to be professional-grade. Many victims enjoy creating self-portraits through:
* Photography (using your phone is just fine!)* Drawing with pencils and crayons* Play-doh or clay* Graphic art
Ways To Process Trauma With Art: Symbolism
Perhaps approaching traumatic memories or intense feelings may feel too overwhelming to tackle head-on.
Instead, victims can use symbolism to represent the trauma they are expressing.
Kirsten shares that she uses symbolism regularly in her art; things like wedding rings, a yoke, a dirty nightgown, and even a halo are used to convey the depths of her grief and pain.
Ways To Process Trauma With Art: Use Your Dreams
Many victims experience vivid dreams, nightmares, and night terrors during and after abuse.
If you are struggling to express your trauma through art, try painting, drawing, or collaging your dreams.
When you wake up, jot a few notes about what you dreamt and then use the colors, phrases, and objects that you remember.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Helps You Process Trauma
At BTR, we understand that trauma can feel like drowning, like being lost in a dangerous place, like being completely isolated. We are here to help you process your trauma and ultimately experience the peace and joy that you deserve.
The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group meets daily in multiple time zones. This support group offers a safe space for victims to talk open...
3 Ways Your Husband Is “Meatloafing” You
Does your husband promise you that he will do anything to help heal your marriage from his abuse and betrayal? Then when you tell him what you need, he refsues to do it or simply ignores you? Kirsten, a courageous and delightfully witty member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community shares the three ways your husband is "meatloafing you". Read the full transcript below and listen to the free BTR podcast for more.
What Is "Meatloafing"?
Betrayal and abuse victims may ask their partner to honor their boundaries, live up to requests, or honor ultimatums. When abusers do not follow through on their promise to do "anything" to help create safety, they are "meatloafing" the victim. The term was coined by Kirsten from the famous Meatloaf song, "I Would Do Anything For Love."
"Oftentimes the offending partner will profess with all kinds of words all the things that they’re willing to do. 'I feel so bad, I’ll do anything I can to fix this'; but when they are actually put to the test by a boundary or a task that has been set by the offended partner they refuse to engage, they refuse to follow through and so that just goes to show you that the old adage that you watch their feet and not their mouth is definitely true.Kirsten, member of the Betrayal Trauma Recovery community
Your Husband is Meatloafing You When He Refuses To Follow Through on Simple Tasks
Paying for something (Anne shares a story of an abuser refusing to pay for his daughter's lost earing), cleaning up after himself, honoring sexual and physical boundaries, keeping confidences, showing up for appointments... the simple requests that many abusers refuse to do, claiming it's on "principle" are signs of meatloafing.
When an abuser promises his partner or ex-partner that he will help her heal, he is offering to fulfill his duty to live amends. This means that reasonable requests should be honored.
When an abuser refuses to honor those reasonable requests, he is basically saying, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that simple, easy, honorable thing you have asked me to do."
Does Your Husband Call You "Controlling"? He Is Probably Meatloafing You
When women set boundaries they are not being codependent or controlling. They are looking for safety and they are looking for truth.Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
A clear sign that your abuser is meatloafing you is that he says or implies that you are controlling. Abusers and their enablers regularly label safety-seeking behaviors and boundary-setting as "controlling". This comes out in statements like:
* "When you ask me to do things you remind me of my mom."* "I was going to do that but now that you're asking me I just want the freedom to do it in my own time when I'm ready."* "Why do you always make the decisions for our family?"* "Why are you asking me to do that when it's something you know I don't want to do?"* "I'm not going to do that on a matter of principle."
When Your Abuser Makes Grandiose Promises, He Is Meatloafing You
A man in true recovery shows his honesty, integrity, and commitment to change through serious lifestyle changes. He doesn't make over-the-top promises only to break them days or weeks later.
I’m a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse, But They’re Calling ME Crazy
When women find the courage to speak out about the narcissistic abuse they have endured, many find that they are immediately buffeted by family, friends, clergy, social media personalities, and their abuser. They are told that they are crazy, overly emotional, and even abusive.
Jennifer joins Anne on the free BTR podcast to empower women to identify and seek safety from the misogynistic scripting that is keeping them in a harmful and abusive situation. Listen to the free BTR podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
Why Does My Narcissistic Abuser Call Me Crazy?
Disturbingly, many narcissistic abusers employ the abusive tactic of “turning tables” on the victim. This means that they gaslight her into believing that she is the problem in the relationship. This “table turning” is not only perpetrated by abusers, but by their flying monkeys (friends, family, and others who enable the abuser).
Abusers may blame women with phrases like:
* Why do my habits affect you so much?* You’re the controlling one.* If you weren’t so ____, I wouldn’t _____.* You’re always overreacting.* You’re such a sensitive person.* Why are you so jealous?* You always get like this when you’re on your period
But What if I Actually Am the Abusive Narcissist In My Relationship?
The table-turning and gaslighting can be so insidiously effective, that many women often believe that they are the narcissistic abuser, rather than their abusive partner.
“If you’re thinking, ‘Am I the narcissist?’, take a step back and take a deep breath and think about your intention for safety, peace, and truth.”Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
Often, the “abusive behaviors” that narcissistic abusers accuse their partners of, are actually safety-seeking behaviors.
Perhaps you have checked your abuser’s phone: that was not to control or harm him, but to secure the truth about his behaviors, because he won’t tell you the truth. Perhaps you have reacted to his infidelity with anger, intense sorrow, or even rage. These are normal human reactions to betrayal.
Abusers will use your healthy human behaviors to make you believe that you are actually abusive and crazy.
How Can I Stay Grounded In The Reality That I’m Not Crazy?
If you are seeking safety from abuse, chances are that you will be called crazy by your abuser, his family, and his other enablers. This is understandably devastating. But you can find peace in the assurance that seeking safety from abuse is the exact opposite of crazy. Harming and betraying someone that you supposedly love? That is crazy.
You can stay grounded in reality by:
* Joining the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group* Journaling and practicing mindfulness* Working one-on-one with a BTR coach* Repeating truthful affirmations to yourself, like, “I choose safety for myself because I am worth it.”