Have you experienced virtual or actual infidelity from your spouse or partner? Have you felt like your life was shattered or that your emotions were overwhelming or even felt numb? These are normal feelings to experience as a result of betrayal from a spouse or partner.
Recovery from sexual betrayal is possible and Betrayal Trauma SOS offers validation, breaks through isolation and offers many resources.
Betrayal Trauma SOS host Jeni Brockbank is vulnerable with her own story, validates what others are experiencing and offers many many resources so that others can find their own recovery fit.
Join Betrayal Trauma SOS each week so that you can add to your recovery, or find healing that works for you. Many episodes include a meditation.
Betrayal Trauma SOS; your heart can beat again after betrayal.
Episode 18: What Is Sex Addiction + Horcrux Theory
Sex Addiction Edition of the Betrayal Trauma SOS Podcast
What is sex addiction and might you or a loved one be struggling with sex addiction?
In this sex addiction podcast episode, we will take a whole body approach. Let’s discuss how sex addiction affects people physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’ll even share my horcrux addiction theory.
What is sex addiction?Why is it important to be informed about sex addiction? Is sex addiction legit???? Learn how sex addiction affects the user physically.How can sex addiction affect the user emotionally?Learn how sex addiction affects the user spiritually.Sex Addiction Horcrux Theory
Key Quotes from this week's episode:
Fight the New Drug says that, “ Porn happens to be fantastic at forming new, long-lasting pathways in the brain. In fact, porn is such a ferocious competitor that hardly any other activity can compete with it, including actual sex with a real partner. That’s right, porn can actually overpower the brain’s natural ability to have real sex! Why? As Dr. Norman Doidge, a researcher at Columbia University, explains, porn creates the perfect conditions and triggers the release of the right chemicals to make lasting changes in the brain…. Repeated consumption of porn causes the brain to literally rewire itself. It triggers the brain to pump out chemicals and form new nerve pathways, leading to profound and lasting changes in the brain….”
Neurosurgeon Donald Hilton challenges the idea that drugs are only things that you can purchase: “Why is it that some consider adrenaline and dopamine to be drugs if drug companies produce them, yet they will not acknowledge these same chemicals to be drugs if pornography stimulates the brain to produce them?”
From Fight the New Drug, “The rise in porn-induced erectile dysfunction is something to be alarmed about. Frequently watching porn can lead to erections which can increasingly ONLY be induced by hardcore pornography. That’s not healthy.”
The following is from a Brannon Patrick Instagram post, “Addiction is a deathless death, it numbs the pain and the joy.”
The following is a quote from Clay Olsen, who is the Co-Founder & President of Fight the New Drug. Clay says, “Having a healthy perspective of yourself, and a healthy amount of self-esteem and confidence is very important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall. The fantasy of porn tends to take away from that and give consumers the idea that they’re not good enough exactly as you are. We fight against that, and we fight to say that you are worth loving, and you are good enough.”
From the book Love You, Hate the Porn by Mark Chamberlain and Geoff Steurer they say, Pornography’s “ultimate price: When he’s going to it, he’s not going to her.” The same can be said of women and can be reworded, “when she’s going to it, she’s not going to him.”
Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD speaks to Youth and Parents about Pornography and its impact on the Brain
Brain, Heart, World (3 online videos)
Is Addiction a Choice Or a Disease? Therapy Brothers podcast
Brannon Patrick Instagram Post about how Addiction Isn’t Just Compulsive Behavior
Episode 17: Working Through STRONG Emotions
Working Through Strong Emotions is something that everyone has to deal with at times. For those of us who deal with betrayal trauma due to the sex addiction of a loved one we often times have an added struggle.
Emotions! When betrayal trauma hits, emotions can be all over the place.
“traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past us alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hid from their selves." Besel Van Der Kolk
As we can see with soldiers, how we deal with emotions can easily and understandably swing too far one way or the other. It's like a pendulum. We can go too far one way and too far another. The hope is that we can learn to be more centered.
Emotions aren’t bad or good, they just are.
From the website Thought Catalog, this quote is by Anna Gragert “When I started going to therapy, it was pointed out to me that I label my emotions as either “positive” or “negative.” In response to positive emotions, I push myself to stay on the train of happiness. As for negative emotions, I tend to push them away and feel as if I caused my own demise. Obviously, this is not healthy, but I feel that a lot of us tend to do this. We do not want to deal with painful emotions, which is why we throw ourselves into our work or paste a fake smile upon our faces.” (Thought Catalog post written by Anna Gragert)
Have you ever had someone tell you, when you are in the middle of severe emotional distress, things in an effort to help that go something like this,
“You can choose happiness right now!”
“It's alright, you just need to keep going.”
“You need to focus on positive things.”
“Just be positive.”
“You’re so lucky that _________ didn’t happen to you.”
And more. Might I suggest boundaries with those who have yet learned to "mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." That's from Mosiah 18: 8- 10. (Take what you like and leave the rest.)
In case it’s validating for anyone, I’ll link a Hope Works Video: titled Mourn With Those That Mourn to see healthy ways of addressing someone going through hard things.
Another valuable resource might be Episode 4 of the Betrayal Trauma SOS Podcast titled: Why Your Story Matters and How To Safely Share it.
Likewise though, we can also apply toxic positivity to ourselves. We might expect that we should be to a certain point in our healing, or we might think that we should not feel something in particular. It's easy to undervalue the impact of our experience and/ or what we think the effects of betrayal trauma should be.
Can I suggest that we take out the “I should’s” and seek for acceptance of what is. This is brave to face.
Emotions need to be honored. In this episode I discuss a personal story of how I had no tears after our formal disclosure and how honoring anger was key to my healing. (Listen for the full story.)
My 5 Basics For Handling STRONG Emotions are:
Episode 16: How To Help a Loved One With a Sex Addiction
How To Help a Loved One With a Sex Addiction
We can't "fix" our loved ones, but there are things that we can do. A few topics that we will discuss in this Betrayal Trauma SOS podcast episode are:
1- Learning About Sex Addiction
2- Keeping things shame free
3- Setting Boundaries
4- Strengthening Intuition
“Intuition is not a single way of knowing - it's our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we've developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith and reason.” Brene Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (affiliate link)
Betrayal Trauma SOS Instagram post regarding porn being a needle
Betrayal Trauma SOS Podcast episode 8: Intuition You Were Right and You Knew It
Betrayal Trauma SOS Podcast episode 11: Boundaries When Your Spouse Has a Sex Addiction
Betrayal Trauma SOS Podcast episode 13: The POWER of Surrendering
Episode 15: Raising Porn Addiction Resistant Children
Have you wondered how to teach children about pornography? Me too friend. This week's podcast episode is all about raising porn addiction resistant children/
This episode stems from a question from last week’s Q & A: “Hi Jeni! I have a question for you: how do you raise sex addiction resistant children? I think about having kids and I worry about them suffering from the same demons that my husband does. I worry about them picking up not safe emotional habits.”
I want to say thank you so much for this beautiful question. I have many of the same concerns and am actively looking for ways to help my 6 children with these very things. Basically, I’m in the trenches with you.
What does porn do to children’s brains?
Neurosurgeon Donald Hilton says this: “Our brain cells change with learning. Addictive learning sculpts the brain in a very damaging way and we can become very set in certain behaviors and tastes.
When there is a reward like pornography, that's a specially powerful printing process. The brain doesn't forget that. A 12- year-old who sees hardcore porn is going to say 'Wow that was amazing'.
Sometimes children may be frightened, but the fascination overcomes the fright eventually.
One thing our brain wants is novelty, change. It wants a different face, a different body shape. Boys, and increasingly girls, are struggling with porn. They literally surf for hours looking for the perfect clip to m********e to.
There is a lot of scientific evidence that sex can, and in particular Internet porn, be addictive. It's like a blackjack game, it's a different set of cards every time.”
The thing is, it's not IF children will see porn, it's WHEN.
In a talk titled "A Sin Resistant Generation" by Joy D. Jones, she talks about a critical understanding when she says, “We must understand our—and their—divine identity and purpose before we can help our children see who they are and why they are here. We must help them know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.”
We discuss Rat Park in today's episode as well. We talk about the ROOT of addiction, which is lack of connection.
How do we make it safe for children to share their feelings in our home so that they can ultimately connect in healthy ways with others.
This week we also discuss the skill of making feelings safe. In regards to this, we discuss the following quote from Katy Willis, “When I finally learned that each one of us has the right to feel and that we can validate the other person without also having to validate the drama, the distortions, the story… it has completely changed the way I approach others.”
Something else that we can’t miss in this process is how do we talk to our children about sex and sexuality? Of course this is incredibly personal per family but I’ll share what we are working on.
We'll additionally talk about:
Talking about sex in age appropriate ways
Taking shame OUT when talking about sex to children
How to talk about sex frequently
When Talking About Pornography, here's a few things that we teach our children:
1- Name it (That's pornography)
2- Crash (Turn off any devices, close a magazine, etc.)
3- Tell (Talk to a trusted adult- like a parent)
4- Recognize that no matter how it made you feel, you aren’t bad. Take the shame out.
What To Do When Your Child Tells You That They’ve Seen Porn
If one of my children comes and tells me that they have seen porn,
Know that there are many levels of porn use and it doesn’t mean that they are addiction. Of course, it doesn’t mean that there’s not addiction. Staying cur
Episode 14: Q&A- Helping Children With a Parent's Addiction, Shame, What To Do When Addicted Spouse Is In Denial
Episode 14: Q & A
I appreciate all of the questions submitted for this Q &A episode.
In this Betrayal Trauma SOS podcast episode, I answer your questions about:
If I am still married to the person who betrayed me.What the lines are for staying with your spouse after betrayal.How to tell if an addicted spouse is being honest or not?How to raise children who are resistant to sex addiction?Can I ever recover from betrayal trauma?Is there a way to keep from running?Can I forgive myself for betraying my spouse?
I greatly appreciate the thoughtful questions that were submitted for this Q & A.
Divorce by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Addiction Recovery Program Step 8: Be Firm and Steadfast
The Body Keeps the Score by Besel Van Der Kolk (affiliate link)
(8)Betrayal Trauma SOS podcast: Episode 8: Boundaries When Your Spouse Has a Sex Addiction
UCAP Presentation- Betrayal Trauma, Hope and Healing: How Do I Find My Way Out? Sherie Christensen
(7) Episode 7: I Am Sacred
(11) Episode 11: Boundaries When Your Spouse Has a Sex Addiction
(13) Episode 13: The Power of Surrendering
Brene Brown: 3 Things You Can Do to Stop a Shame Spiral (Oprah’s Lifeclass)
Episode 13: The POWER of SURRENDERING
The POWER of Surrendering outcomes when your loved one has a sex addiction.
Feeling weighed down? Do thoughts of your loved one's addiction consume your thoughts? I relate. Let's explore how to function from a place of peace in this week's episode: The POWER of SURRENDERING.
NOTE: Next week I will be doing a Question and Answer episode. I welcome recovery and/ or personal questions regarding my own recovery by contacting me on Instagram, Facebook, or from the contact tab on the betrayaltraumasos.com website. I certainly don’t have all of the answers but can offer what I have learned as well as consult with others who are farther ahead in recovery. I do pledge confidentiality and anonymity.
I have definitely tried to control my husband’s addiction. For the first 17.5 years of our marriage, I thought I was being a great wife by almost never withholding sex, and oftentimes offering it more often. Imagine my shock as we sat in a formal disclosure with our therapist to learn that not only had I not controlled his addiction with sex, but I also made it worse. With eyes wide open that I was truly powerless, I was able to make better choices and set better boundaries. Episode 5 titled: You Can’t Fix Sex Addiction With Sex goes into more detail about that issue if you’d like to check that out.
WHY do we try to control? That question carries with it heart-wrenching answers.
The why is important and too often we focus on the resulting behaviors without looking deeper. When we don’t look at the why, it is easy to start living in a breeding ground for shame. The why helps us to stay curious and to be gentle with ourselves as we strive to change our shape.
Motives for control might include financial repercussions, a desire for connection, the desire to not suffer heartbreaking consequences, to rescue our loved ones and more.
I truly thought that I was controlling the outcome of my husband’s addiction, but in all reality, it was not true. I had zero power and in the process of trying to control, I became miserable.
Here’s a question for each of us to consider: What would life look like if we could let go of control and really live life again? What hobbies might we take up, what friendships might we cultivate, and what would our homes look like? It’s lovely to dream sometimes. It is possible to live the dream and to find power in surrendering.
From the book Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins, he says this, quote “the more you pull on the rope to hitch yourself up to where you want to be, the more frazzled it becomes. Possibly, you might be wondering, “Isn’t there an easier, better way?” Are you willing to let go of the rope?”
What’s the solution then? How can we live life more fully? What can we do to no longer live in fear? What can we do to let go of our frayed and frazzled ropes?
One tool that can be helpful in recovery is that of surrender.
Letting go of the rope looks different for everyone.
For me, surrender is more of a process and is a continual effort. I’m learning that when I can identify the roots of fear, I can identify what to work on surrendering the outcome.
The Process of Surrender
Doesn’t the thought of living in peace sound lovely? *sigh* I agree. To live in peace is a strong desire of mine, but how do we do that? How do we achieve that level of serenity? How do people actually surrender?
Oftentimes it’s easy to get lost in the big picture of our situations.
In this episode, we'll discuss the song "The Next Right Thing," from Frozen 2 as it relates focusing on the next step instead of the overwhelming big picture.
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Just found your podcast from listening to you on rise up restored... this is a great resource! Thx
This is such a great resource!! So much empathy and compassion. Her voice is like heaven!
This podcast has so much to offer.
I think that this podcast is a great tool for anyone that has suffered or is currently suffering through betrayal trauma. The host is very real and very vulnerable in sharing her own journey through betrayal trauma. I also love listening to the hosts voice, she is soothing and relatable. I would recommend this podcast to anyone that has suffered from betrayal trauma.