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What is “His” Role and “Her” Role in Rebuilding Trust?


In Episode #193, Mark & Steve talk passionately about a super-crucial part of addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing—rebuilding trust! This episode was created in answer to the following situation sent in by a sex/porn addict actively seeking recovery and yearning to rebuild trust with his partner— "Hello, I have been listening for a few months now and have a question. A little back story, I have been as far as I know addicted to sex/porn for most of my life (about 30 years). Until recently when I have been trying to do something about it by understanding it and the underlying issues. About two three years ago is when I had an affair (no sexual contact, but flirting and hiding everything). Wife found out about it and it’s been downhill ever since. We have not gone to therapy. We have gotten some books and have been listening to your podcasts for a little while. I feel I have made some improvements personally as a result. I guess what I am trying to ask is, when or how long does it take being faithful, open, honest, and committed to her for her to start to trust again? I know that it may take the rest of my life for that to happen. I am in desperate need of help and I don’t know where to go. I do not know who to talk to and I don’t know how to talk to her. My work has a chaplain service, and I talk with them usually every Friday, but I don’t know if it is helping or not. I do not believe that it is helping her at all. I do not believe that she talks with or to anyone about this." Rules for Rebuilding Trust: - The betrayer is optimally the one leading the charge. It is their primary role to lead out in:

  • Providing accountability about the past.

  • Providing ongoing transparency in all current and future situations.

  • Cultivating, practicing and expressing empathy for the pain of their betrayed partner.

  • Creatively and proactively pursuing both AMENDS and a COMMITMENT–BASED PLAN going forward for how they will go about enacting all of the above.

What can the betrayed partner do in the rebuilding of trust?

  • Crazy hard, but being open to the fact that trust is not “all or nothing”—looking for small areas where trust CAN be built. Trust is a “trajectory.” But even in so-called small things, "trust but verify."

  • Active steps to find and catalyze healing on your own end (EMDR, therapy, working a 12-step program, Dare to Connect, etc.)

  • Although trauma is a one-way street, healing in a relationship context is a two-way street.

  • He can hurt you, but he cannot fix you.

  • This is good news–your recovery doesn’t have to be completely dependent on him, particularly from an individual side.

  • When it comes to your own personal healing, you are in the driver's seat!

Our whole focus in D2C this month is how “Boundaries” are essential to rebuilding trust. One essential component in recovery and healing is a clear division of response-abilities and roles in all aspects of the relationship.



Learn more about Mark and Steve's revolutionary online porn/sexual addiction recovery and betrayal trauma healing program—"Dare to Connect!" You have live access to Mark and Steve in 3 one-hour sessions every week—addicts, spouses and couples! And live support groups on weekends, facilitated by Mark and Steve! To try a free, 2-week trial, visit—daretoconnectnow.com

Find out more about Steve Moore at: Ascension Counseling

Learn more about Mark Kastleman at: Reclaim Counseling Services



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