Betrayal Cycles

Some women who read this will feel better than others. Sometimes it will depend on how many betrayal cycles they’ve been through.

This is what I mean by “betrayal cycles”:

At first, a woman may not know about his porn problem. She may wonder, but she may not know for sure. If he does have a problem with sexual activity outside the marriage, he will probably feel ashamed and will hide it.

Then she finds out.

Now, the way she finds out can cause more damage; more detailed information can damage her further, but usually she asks and eventually he answers with the truth, or she stumbles on irrefutable evidence.

But he immediately promises he’ll get better, and in that moment he may be completely sincere.

So she believes him. For now, she may actually feel the experience has brought them closer.

This is betrayal cycle #1.

Since porn can be so difficult to stop (see footnote A), he may eventually relapse, and because he gave his word, now he feels even more ashamed, so may continue to hide it.

Then she finds out. Again, the way she finds out can cause more damage, and again he sincerely promises he’ll get better. She still may be hopeful, but a little less so this time.

This is betrayal cycle #2.

By now, she may be much more alert and may ask about it, but this time, if she finds out he’s relapsed again, the pain may cause her to react with anger.

And even when the anger comes from a righteous place, he usually responds with defensiveness or impatience. By now she may not be able to believe his promises, which only angers him more, but even still he says he’ll get better.

This time she may not be sure she can believe him.

This is betrayal cycle #3

Over and over this can happen, with both of them showing more and more emotion each time.

Just One Aspect:
You may have been through one cycle. You may have been through too many to count, but something to know is the amount of betrayal cycles is just one way to gauge the impact of all this.

How you found out, what you found out, if he dumped too much detail on you, if he’s resistant to give you any detail, how he’s acted since, if he’s apologized, if he’s sought recovery, if he slips back into old mindsets, if he’s defensive, impatient or angry… those also determine the how much damage is done to your heart, mind and trust.

Many things factor into the overall trauma you experience, but the amount of betrayal cycles is one of them.

How about you?
How many betrayal cycles have you been through? If you write your story, it may be helpful to outline the betrayal cycles you’ve experienced.  If you’d like to work together, feel free to send it to me: lori(at)pornpainhealed(dot)com.

Footnote A: We’ve heard several addicts say, “I kicked my cocaine habit (or heroine habit… or both). But this porn habit… I just can’t kick it!”

Comments 11

  1. My story
    We came home from a woderfull holiday in 2012. I had put on about 10 kilos but couldnt seem to lose it. By the the September he had become a little distant. We didn’t have sex untill we were on holiday a year later. Then when we got home nothing. He would come home from work and sit on his office playing cards then have a shower, have dinner , do some family tree.9oclock go to bed. Then go to our sons house on the weekend renovating. He hardly spoke to me. So i thought it must be my weight gain. So i tryed another diet. This time it worked i lost 10 kilos. in 9 monthsI was feeling great and looked pretty good.But still nothing from him . It just got worse so i thought he must be having an affair. So i asked him if he was he said how could i think such a thing. He said i wasnt interested in sex first i new about it as it was Nov 2014 and nearly 2 years that he had shown any interest in me. I cheked his Email account . Face book nothing. It wasnt untill 3 months later i was able to chek his history . After lerning a few computer skills. It started in July 2012. It gradually built up to a daily .thing it was on his desktop lap top ipad and phone. I just lost the plot and lost more weight ending up at 47kilo . He has never admitted he had or still has problem. He told me he has stopped . But he hasnt. I can see what he is doing as i have linked all devices to my phone. So at the moment he goes for about 3 months then he starts again.I have told him how it makes me feel i had a brakedown in 2016 and saw a counselor . Had a cancer scare luckily it wasn’t. I just don’t know what to do. He now tells me he loves me ever day buys me flowers. I’ve given up talking to him about it as it is making me ill and it gets me nowhere. Nick

    1. Post

      Oh girl, I am so sorry this is happening. I thought it was me at first, too… and that can be really rough.

      I am glad you’re getting distance since he’s lying. It’s my prayer God will orchestrate things so he HAS to face what he’s doing.

      If you need to reach out to me, feel free to contact me at lori{at}pornpainhealed{Dot}com. I’ll see it in my inbox and be able to get to it more quickly during the work week.

      Either way, I wish you all the best in your healing.

  2. I feel like my cycles were more like degrees of disclosure. I first found out about a “little,” then weeks later found out there was more to it, then weeks later found out there was much more to it, and then even more, and then realized my husband would tell a blatant lie right to my face. Each time I was more deeply shocked & more deeply wounded.

    1. Post

      Hello again, Esther Faith,

      That kind of “drip fed discovery” is incredibly damaging to partners… and then to have subsequent lies on top of that?! Wow! But since our paths have crossed a few times, I can tell you, you’re one strong woman! I find myself thinking of your situation often, glad you have such a strong faith and peace… despite this past. It’s admirable!


  3. Hello.
    I’ve finally confronted him. He was defensive and VERY ANGRY. Told me he’s never had a woman understand him or sexually satisfisfy him and that’s why he watches porn, for 25 years!!
    Tells me I’m his everything. He’s been married twice with multiple girlfriends in between.
    Tells me he’s trying. I’ve noticed some of his porn apps are deleted. Now he’s adding apps about how to improve your sexual relationship with your wife.
    Still uncertain and on guard.

    1. Post


      It’s wisdom to stay on guard… especially given the new apps he’s installed. It wouldn’t be a healthy thing (for either one of you) to replace the porn with you.

      And the anger is incredibly common. I’d say 98% of our male clients, even most of the quiet ones, become explosive when she finds her voice.

      So yes, proceed carefully.

      I’m praying for your situation,

      1. Thank you.
        He insisted he’s stopped. I can’t help myself but continue to check his phone and iPad. It’s still there, but hidden.
        Our sexual relationship has always been challenging and now looking back, I think I know why.
        He’s always hidden his phone or iPad from me to a point of physical violence.
        Getting exhausted.
        Says he’ll try. But zero communication to keep me included.
        Then I find it in his iPad.
        I don’t believe he recognizes how this affects me.

      2. Post

        Agnes, thank you for sharing some of your story with me. You words on “physical violence” bring to mind the image of a drug addict fighting for his substance. I wish that hadn’t happened to you, and I agree with you: I also don’t believe he recognizes how this affects you. All the best to you as you move forward in life.

      3. Thank you Lori,
        I see the apps, but no change in his behaviour… ie) suggestions on improving our relationship.
        We rarely are intimate, maybe once a month.
        When we are, it’s quick and about him. No foreplay… etc….
        I’m exhausted at the thought of bringing up the issue. I’m struggling with depression and anxiety over another personal issue and am unable to work. I stay alone in our house all day and obsess over my issue and his porn addiction.
        Not sure if or how to approach him anymore.

      4. Post

        I am so sorry to hear this! My first thought for you is to consider getting counseling–or at the very least make it a point to get out there an live each day. Being in your house all day and obsessing will really wear you down! (I know it’s easier said than done, but a doctor can help–check with them to see what can help. The first step is scheduling an appointment and putting it on your calendar.)

        I hate the thought that the depression has gotten a big enough hold on you that you’re stuck in the house all day. This makes me sad. You deserve SO much more, so please go for help.

        I will be thinking of you (and sending up prayer.)

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