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Debra Wallace

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Maybe you’ve been hesitant to join a wives care support group?

After I discovered sexual betrayal in my marriage, the last thing on my mind was joining a group!

“Who would ever want to sit in a circle, share their sad story, and listen to other women sharing their sad stories?” was my thinking. “How depressing is that? After all, isn’t my husband the one with issues? Why would I need a support group?”

After attending a Wives Care group, my thinking changed. Would you like to know why?

Here are my “Ten Reasons Why a Support Group Helps You Heal From Betrayal”. 

1. VALIDATION – Helps you discover you are not alone, decreasing isolation and shame. Upon first discovery, it’s hard to know who you can trust to share your story. Feelings of shame may keep you in isolation and secrecy, yet talking about it would bring relief to your soul, meeting the longing for someone to tell who would validate your feelings and understand your sadness and despair. Meeting other women who’ve also experienced betrayal allows one to realize you aren’t the only one it’s happened to. You will feel validated in your pain.

2. FRIENDSHIP – Creates connection with others, helping you to experience increased social networks and friendships. It provides a sense of community while walking through this valley. There is a bonding among women who share similar painful circumstances. When betrayal is the common denominator, we experience a “me, too” moment. We empathize and are able to comfort one another, with the same comfort we receive from Jesus. We heal in relationships. The gift of new friendships can be the source of unexpected blessings at this time. Some find new lifetime friends in a support group.

3. SAFETY – Allows you to find your voice and provide a safe space to share your story. (Provides safety, empathy, validation, and support.) Confidentiality is key among those attending a support group. We need a safe place to lay our anguish down, and assurance  our story will not be the source for gossip, (as it could be among friends who simply do not “get it”) bringing peace and relief. A support group helps us to find some sense of trust—even though we’ve recently experienced a crushing blow and are left wondering if we will ever trust our spouse again.

4. RESOURCES – Shares information and resources. Betrayed women long to understand reasons for what just happened to them. Although not everything has an explanation, women in support groups have and receive a wealth of information to help them process pain and begin the healing journey. Books, videos, articles, podcasts and names of counsellors (with a trauma-informed approach) are shared so women can heal most effectively.

5. TOOLS- Empowers you. You will learn to be assertive and set healthy boundaries. Most women are at a loss about what her next steps should be after the discovery of betrayal. Wives Care groups introduce the need for safety, self-care, healthy boundaries, and many topics to put wives on a path of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual healing and wholeness. As you heal, your worth and God-given value are realized—worth more than rubies! Self respect returns as healing begins, establishing your true worth as a Daughter of the Most High King. 

6. FAITH – Helps you rediscover hope and points to the true source of hope, Jesus. After betrayal, we are often left hopeless and helpless. We may be having a crisis of faith—which is NORMAL—and have additional feelings of guilt because of our questioning God’s part in all of this. Hearing stories of God’s faithfulness to others—whether or not a marriage survives—brings hope to those full of despair. God’s promises of abundant life, and examples of women living it, give hope to those who need it most.

7. SELF-AWARENESS – Provides increased self-awareness, gained insights. As healing begins, a woman realizes there may be issues she is responsible for. Taking a look at ourselves and addressing problem areas that we need to work on is key to becoming whole again. Being able to take responsibility for our own actions shows us we are imperfect, and may need to ask others for forgiveness, as well as make changes in our behaviors to become more Christlike. Other women encourage us in this process and give us courage to move forward with a new outlook. We learn to live day by day, living in then present moment.

8. PROCESS – Provides a guided process for healing. Topics addressed in groups are the key areas of healing to help a woman move forward while processing feelings. Anger, grief and lament, self-care, identity in Christ, boundaries, triggers and grounding, are elements regarding betrayal trauma needing to be addressed. Each topic addressed guides a woman as she perseveres, regardless of her circumstances.

9. SUPPORT – Helps provide coping skills and offers accountability. As each woman is allowed to share and “check-in” she may discuss her feelings, ask for feedback from peers, or request accountability for future actions. Tools to help cope while riding an “emotional roller coaster” provide safety, sanity, and stability. Knowing she has friends to encourage her without judgement, who hold space for her, is priceless.

10. RESILIENCE – Moves one from a victim identity into a survivor/overcomer. (You WILL breathe, laugh, trust, and hope, again!) Understanding that she has been victimized, but also realizing she cannot remain in the victim mentality indefinitely, shows her she can move forward with courage as she heals. The ordeal betrayed women go through is difficult, no doubt, but peace, hope, and joy can be found again. Women realize they are stronger and more resilient than they think!

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