Based on your responses, your results show that you’re in

Phase Three: Resolution

In this phase of healing, the direction of your marriage and your future is becoming clear. 

You’re stepping out of the uncertainty of whether you want to stay in your marriage or it’s time to be done—and unless something dramatically changes—you have a good idea of where your marriage is headed. 

There are three tracks in this phase:

 →  Redemption: Your marriage is healing

 →  Stagnation: You’re staying, but your marriage is not healing

 → Divorce: You’re taking steps to separate or dissolve your marriage 

Click which track best describes where you’re currently at in regards to your journey. 

Back view of thoughtful woman walking

01

Redemption
track

02

Stagnation (roommate) track

03

Divorce
track

01

Redemption track

Your marriage is healing and you’ve decided that staying in your marriage is the right decision for you. Your husband is doing the work and you are cautiously leaning back in.

But that doesn’t come without mixed emotions. You may be feeling hope, excitement, and relief, mingled with fear as you lean back into your marriage. 

The risk of staying feels strong and after protecting yourself for so long, the shift to being vulnerable again feels scary.

You may be asking yourself…

And, guess what…

→ You’re not alone. So many wives have been in your shoes and said or asked these same things.

This period of time is one of transition.

In this tender, vulnerable time, it’s OK to take a baby step forward while letting your husband know it doesn’t mean that everything is OK. 

Talk to him ahead of time and let him know that you’re choosing to be vulnerable but that it’s scary. 

It may feel that you’re going back and forth for a while as you test the water to see if it is genuinely safe.

It is also okay to let your guard down, celebrate, and enjoy each other. This is what you have both been working for…and it’s complicated.

02

Stagnation (roommate) track

You’ve decided to stay, but your marriage is not healed – and you’re not sure if it ever will be.

You may have spent time, money, effort trying to repair your marriage—and are angry that it all seems like a waste.

You may feel trapped. You want to protect your kids but feel like you’re sacrificing your soul in the process. 

Or perhaps you’re staying because you can’t support yourself and don’t have a degree or a career (and kicking yourself for depending on your husband too much). 

ALL these feelings are 100% normal. 

But I want to reassure you: you can heal – even if your marriage doesn’t.

His betrayal does NOT define your past, your present, or your future. 

No matter what, know that you don’t have to walk this journey alone—and healing is 100% possible.

You may be telling yourself…

And, guess what…

→ You’re not alone. So many wives have been in your shoes and said or asked these same things.

This period of time is one of transition and requires defining what healing looks like for you.

→ Be gentle with yourself.

The past may feel unresolved, and there’s so much disappointment for the present and future. 

It’s essential to be kind to yourself right now. There are many legitimate and honorable reasons to stay even when you know things aren’t great. 

→ Keep going

Don’t let your soul die here. Don’t give up on healing. 

Sometimes it can feel that because your marriage has stalled, so has your healing. But that doesn’t need to be the case.

There’s still so much growth and healing available for you—even if your situation doesn’t change.

03

Divorce track

You are moving towards divorce (or permanent separation), and the grief is real.

You may be struggling with shame or feeling like a failure that your husband didn’t do the work to repair your relationship. You’re also worried about what divorce will do to you and your kids.

You may also have anger that after EVERYTHING he put you through, you’re the one who had to make a choice to file for divorce.

Plus, it’s easy to compare yourself to others, particularly those whose marriages made it. 

ALL these feelings are 100% normal. You’re not crazy!

You’ll make it through.

His betrayal does NOT define you. 

No matter what, know that you don’t have to walk this journey alone—and healing is 100% possible. 

You may be feeling like...

And, guess what…

→ You’re not alone. So many wives have been in your shoes and said or asked these same things.

This period of time is one of transition and requires defining what healing looks like for you.

→ Grieve

Even though the marriage is over, it’s important to grieve to not carry the pain forward in life. The grieving process IS the healing process. 

Honor your emotions and feel ALL the feelings bombarding you, including anger and sadness. 

Grieving can be as simple as starting to take notice and name the emotions when they come up — without shaming yourself for feeling the emotion. 

→ Stabilizing

Divorce is emotionally taxing whether you still love the man you’re divorcing or you can’t stand the sight of him.

Stabilization actually comes with giving yourself permission to take time and emotional space to figure things out. Lean into safe (female) friends to help support you through the process also helps. 

Also, just a reminder that you are not a failure. Your husband’s actions resulted in ending the marriage, not you — even if you ultimately filed the papers.

Remember, no matter what track you are on, you’re not alone! 

So many other amazing women have traveled these paths—and there are counselors and coaches who specialize in this area that can support you through this transition period.

Let me let you in on a secret:

Sometimes after sexual betrayal, the relationship that needs the most healing is the relationship with yourself.

You might feel like you can’t trust yourself any longer. Maybe you’re angry with yourself for not realizing what your husband or ex-husband was doing.

You could be struggling with feeling like a fool and don’t feel that you can trust your gut anymore.

If you feel this way, let me guide you through 3 core aspects of the healing process that are vital to healing and the relationship with yourself.

These three core aspects of healing include:

01

→ Developing your personal circle: 

Put your arms out in a circle—this is your personal circle (it represents you).

Inside the circle is everything that makes you, you. This includes your emotions, likes and your dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, personality, dreams, failures, your favorite ice cream…everything.

Your personal circle (1) identifies who you are (2) defines what (and who) you’re responsible for.

This is the first step of healing — to reconnect with — or perhaps discover for the first time — who you are.

 

Once you have figured out what’s in your circle, the second step of developing your personal circle is to take responsibility for everything in that circle. If there’s an aspect of yourself that you’re neglecting, lean in and nurture it. 

Your job is to love, care for, and own your circle.

The last step of developing your personal circle is to recognize that by defining what’s in your circle, you have also defined what’s not in your circle. 

You see, other than young children, everyone else has their own circle. They are responsible for everything in their circle — their emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, successes, and failures, to name a few. 

Your husband or ex-husband has his own circle, and he is responsible for his actions, emotions, and reactions to you—don’t take on what’s not in your circle.

02

→ Honoring your emotions:

Betrayal unleashes intense emotions.

It’s important to process those emotions so they do not fester inside you and kill your soul. 

When you bury your emotions, you bury them alive. They don’t die. Instead, they hang out and low-grade fester for as long as you choose to ignore them.  

The way to process emotions is by putting all of your thoughts and feelings into words. Get them out! 

If you are still with your husband and he is safe, then express them to him. If not, then you may need to share them with a counselor or a safe friend.

Time does NOT heal all wounds—healthy processing does. 

Back view of thoughtful woman walking
Middle age woman alone in nature in a cold autumn day

03

→ Embracing your worth and value:

You have great worth and value. Your thoughts and feelings are important. 

If you struggle to believe this, get people around you to help you step more fully into those truths. There’s POWER when you embrace your self-worth and trust the truth. 

The truth is that your sheer existence makes you worthy. 

Think of your child, grandchild, or your pet Shih Tzu. Do they have to prove their worth? Is their value based on how they perform or what they look like? 

No! The same is true for you.

You are here for a reason. You have a purpose, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

You don’t have to fight for your worth. You already have it. You just have to accept it. 

Embracing these three core aspects of the healing process is the first step to healing after a betrayal. 

“Feeling the pain is the first step toward healing the pain. The longer we avoid the feeling, the more we delay our healing. We can numb it, ignore it, or pretend it doesn’t exist, but all those options lead to an eventual breakdown, not a breakthrough.”

Lysa TerKeurst

It’s possible to heal. It’s possible to get to a place where…

AND…

Everyone needs help along the way.

Here are some of my favorite books that might be helpful as you navigate your journey to healing.

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.”

Unknown

I was able to climb to the top and make my way out of that disgusting,  gaping hole of misery. Tammy promised me that there was a good life ahead, and she was right.

“When my partner unceremoniously destroyed the life I viewed as a fairytale, I found myself alone at the bottom of what felt like a gargantuan shit pit. 

Despite my pleas for help, the one person I always believed would assist me when life turned upside down found the pit that he created too repugnant to even look at. 

Thankfully, my journey led me to Tammy, who willingly jumped right in and stayed with me, holding my hand and encouraging me, until I was able to climb to the top and make my way out of that disgusting, gaping hole of misery. She promised me that there was good life ahead, and she was right.”

Anonymous

Have we met yet? I'm Tammy!

After almost a decade of what I thought was an ideal marriage, the truth about my husband’s sexual integrity issues surfaced in 2015. That began the long, hard fight of healing both my marriage and myself. 

But I made it through—and my marriage also survived. And while there are still scars, our marriage is deeper and more connected than ever.

During my journey, I realized the incredible need for help for women who have gone through betrayal and were searching for a way to find wholeness and healing.

I took my unique experience as a licensed professional counselor, coach, writer, and speaker and found my calling. 

With clarity, empathy, and compassion, I now help women manage the effects of trauma, set healthy boundaries, and discover a life beyond betrayal. 

When I’m not developing a new program or helping coaching clients 1:1, I love to go indoor skydiving, wander the streets of Paris, and go on adventures in the Colorado mountains with my husband and four kids.

Tammy’s expertise and along with her wisdom and life experience, offer a safe place to take the necessary steps towards healing.

“Working with Tammy around betrayal trauma has been a massive part of my healing journey. Tammy has an incredible gift of listening to your needs and where you are in the process. Her expertise and along with her wisdom and life experience, offer a safe place to share and know she cares as she coaches you through invaluable steps towards healing.”

KR

If you want to learn more about how to reclaim your life and rebuild a better future after sexual betrayal, follow me on Instagram @tammylgustafson.

That’s where you’ll see me navigate the sensitivities and healing process of betrayal and help you find joy, beauty, and purpose again in your life.

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