by Debra Wallace
Wives Care Assistant
Maybe you have 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?”
But 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":
A support group helps you discover you are not alone by 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 have also experienced betrayal allows you to realize you aren’t the only one this has happened to. You no longer feel invisible in our pain. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
A support group 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 groups who share similar painful circumstances. Pain has a bonding effect. 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 during this time. Some even find lifetime friends in a support group. Proverbs 18:24
A support group allows you to find your voice and provides a safe space to share your story. (Group offers safety, empathy, validation, and support.)
Confidentiality is key among those attending a support group. We need a safe space to lay our anguish down, and assurance that 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. John 14:27
A support group 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 receive a wealth of information to help them process the pain and begin the healing journey.
Books, videos, articles, podcasts and names of counselors (with a trauma-informed approach) are shared so women can heal most effectively.
A support group 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. Isaiah 61:3
A support group helps you rediscover hope and points to the true source of hope, Jesus.
After betrayal, we are often left feeling 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. 2 Corinthians 1:10
A support group 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 the present moment.
A support group 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 and processed. Each topic guides a woman as she perseveres, regardless of her circumstances. James 1:2-3
A support group 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 who come alongside to encourage her without judgement, who hold space for her, is priceless. 2 Corinthians 13:11
A support group moves a woman from a victim identity into a survivor/overcomer. (You WILL breathe, laugh, trust, and hope, again!)
Understanding you have been victimized, but also realizing you cannot remain in the victim mentality indefinitely, shows that you can move forward with courage as you heal.
The ordeal betrayed women go through is difficult—no doubt—but peace, hope, and joy can be found again.
You will realize that you are stronger and more resilient than you might think! Romans 15:13
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