“Welcome to the Best Worst Group!” Quite the oxymoron, right?
This is often the greeting that is offered to new members of our Betrayed Partner Support Group. The group includes women who have all experienced some form of sexual betrayal by their partner. There are wives whose husbands have been identified with sex addiction or porn addiction, and partners whose significant other has had an affair. Who would EVER want to be in a group like this? The pain that these women have experienced is immense, intense, and at times overwhelming…and yet the women in the group “get it,” validate it, and desire nothing more than to heal from it. This is why they call it the BEST worst group.
The support group meets via Zoom, starting promptly at 5:15 pm AZ time. We begin with a brief mindfulness breathing exercise to allow each of us to let go of the busyness of the day and to allow ourselves to get “present” to being with each other. The facilitator (Dr. Gilbert) then opens with a short educational piece related to partner betrayal. The topics vary, but may include, for example, common reactions that partners may experience, the PTSD-like symptoms that persist, the shame that is thrust upon these women that is not theirs to carry but they do, how to cope with the rollercoaster ride of emotions, what are appropriate boundaries, etc. Each participant is then invited to share about the following: 1) anything from Dr. Gilbert’s educational piece that resonated with them, 2) something from the past week for which they could express gratitude, and 3) anything that they are struggling with related to their relationship/betrayal trauma. We then end by 6:30 pm with a closing mindfulness practice.
For many of these women, this support group is the ONLY place for them to truly feel free to talk with others (besides their therapist) about what they have experienced and with what they continue to struggle. So often, friends or family don’t understand (“Why don’t you just leave him?!”), or there is judgment by others, or the partner feels too much shame to disclose to those in her life. It can feel relieving to be a part of a group where there is no judgment, where there is empathy for what you are struggling with, and where you are not “the only one” to have been betrayed sexually.
If you are interested in finding out more about our “Best Worst Group,” please first talk with your therapist about whether a support group would complement your treatment plan. If so, please email Dr. Gilbert at email@example.com to schedule a brief chat to make sure the group would be a good fit for you!
Dr. Gilbert can include participants from AZ and from the following states only:
Subscribe to receive the latest stories, thought leadership, and growth strategies from PCS therapists.