Societal Trauma (Whose Insecurity?)

There is such a thing as the “societal trauma” I’ve seen play out in my own life and in the lives of others.

The typical situation a woman relates to me involves someone’s impatience/harsh words regarding her response to her guy’s addiction.

It reminds me of the three “friends” who came to Job, telling him all the ways he was ‘doing it wrong.’  But Job stood in what he knew was true.

Probably the most recent time I’ve experienced this was when someone told me my issue with my husband’s addiction must be because of my insecurity… and how his wife was completely secure with herself to the point of going to strip clubs with him.

Because I knew the guy, I answered him. I answered him directly and succinctly.

(Funny thing: The next time we got around them, his secure wife showed exactly how insecure she really was. Maybe I’ll share the details in group sometime, but I thought it was interesting and was glad God confirmed my gut feeling.)

Anyway, when I’ve gone through this type of situation, I had to understand lots of unaware people will an opinion on what I should and shouldn’t be doing… and I had to get distance from people who would be demanding like that.

Later I learned this:

The betrayal trauma experts (who know how women are further injured) is that it’s best to go at the woman’s speed in order to not traumatize her further–even if it’s not what the helper would do, or within the timeframe the helper would do it.

Well when we have a whole society that gets impatient with our healing (possibly because they’re insecure about their own hidden actions), it can traumatize a woman further–especially if it’s coming from someone within her community.

Societal Trauma is real and it’s something to guard against.

For You:

One of the quickest ways to begin healing from all sorts of trauma is by telling your story.

Have you had an experience with this type of trauma?

Feel free to share your story below. (Don’t worry about someone confronting you out here. I control which ones get posted, and will not allow someone to violate your vulnerability.)

Comments 6

  1. Wow, go with a husband to strip clubs? My first reaction to that was that she probably was not “secure enough” to go, but that she was so insecure she felt like she couldn’t say “no.” Especially not, “No, and if you continue to go, there will be no more ‘us.'” Not many people know about us, but my mother keeps saying things like “When are you going to get happy again?” and “God can forgive anything. I keep praying He will change your heart.” I only gave her minimal information–no details–so she is, as you said, “unaware” of what all is involved in sex addiction and the trauma the spouse experiences.

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      Yup… same thing I thought. But there is a group of women in society that fear what will happen if they’re not the ‘cool’ girlfriend/wife anymore. I’m not sure if she is in that group, or that she’d own it if she is, but most ‘cool’ girlfriends torture themselves after marriage if they really have a problem with it.

      To me this is like them betraying themselves. : (

      Again, not all women are in that group. Some are truly okay with his interest in other women. Two have told me they “prefer it because then he won’t be crawling all over me at night.”

  2. I am so traumatized that I cannot rest my stomach is always churning and I’m on the brink.
    My husband came clean, did the program and has not
    Relapsed for a year and 3 months now. I am still triggered a lot and suffering even with his remorse and renewal of commitment.
    How do I release the pain and trust again? I dont know I’d I will ever truly feel safe again.

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      I am so sorry you’re going through this! In 20+ years of looking at the issue, what I’ve found is this: “It’s one thing for a man to get free of porn. It’s another thing entire to heal the relationship.” (The latter takes more work on his part.)

      Consider having him reach out to my husband ( who runs groups to help guys with their sobriety and in rebuilding the trust.

      OR do a quick search on my blog for “Betrayal Pain” for articles that can help you start making sense of what you’re feeling.
      Your Pain:
      I’ve heard therapists say it can take some time for the wife’s pain to heal.

      From what I’ve seen, it takes a steady walk on his end (where he doesn’t go back to his old ways of being) for you to start trusting again. But this CAN help you heal. Even then it can take a year or two of steadiness. So keep reaching out and turning to your own safety net for support.

      But no matter what he does, your pain CAN heal, nonetheless!

      If you have nowhere to turn and need some additional support, feel free to contact me directly: lori{at}pornpainhealed{Dot}com.

      1. Hi Lori,
        Thank you for your thoughtful response. I have read your info and it is helpful especially with me not feeling alone. He has made so many positive changes, paying attention, being affectionate, kind and thoughtful of anniversaries and special occasions, as well as just day to day. I see massive, real change. I told him that I do forgive him and that it will take time for me to recover and heal from that trauma. I also let him know that I don’t expect that he will never be tempted and that I know its a life long commitment and process for him. We have been praying regularly which also is helping tremendously!
        He seems to occasionally hide other things now, like some drinking ( lying about the amt by hiding- on a couple of occasions) . I worry that he will transfer that issue to another place when times get stressful. BTW he doesn’t] normally drink a lot and that hasn’t been a big issue for him or us) I told him that by doing that he undermines the trust we have built back. I want to keep moving forward but occasionally feel triggered and tripped up either by him, or regular life ( going out / watching TV, etc) , spending time on line ( he’s done well with that but just the fact of him being on line raises my stress even when its benign!
        Why does he do these things, know they aren’t good or helpful??? I guess I am struggling to find a balance of living in the world and not being an anxiety ridden mess. I have let go now of a lot and worked on finding peace in the true changes and love he is showing me, much more consistently now.

        Building positive loving rituals has also helped a lot. Thank you for your help and you articles on this topic!

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        You’re welcome for the articles.

        It’s so encouraging to hear a guy having so many positive changes!

        And I’m with you: I’d rather not see him replace one addiction with another. I’ve seen that happen sometimes, and I think it’s because the foundation of a porn addiction is an arousal addiction.

        And when we see that some parts of him haven’t changed (like with the extraneous surfing, because we know it’s a ‘gateway drug’ of sorts) it can still trigger us.

        The guys need to learn to lead bigger lives, which is why my husband is starting something new to help the guys in the ‘in-between’ like this–because that ‘in-between’ can be difficult for the wives.

        And, keep up your positive loving rituals, and the healing will continue.

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