Like any subject, there are resources that are incredibly positive, helpful and empowering, and others that are well meaning but can install limiting beliefs and miss the mark, or even create thought patterns or beliefs that hinder forward movement.
Because of this we are very careful to only recommend resources we wholeheartedly endorse. This means we recommend resources for the addict that foster the belief that recovery is truly possible and relapse is not inevitable when the addict truly wants to heal and follows the process. We support resources for the betrayed that protect her autonomy, her rights, her equality and recognize her trauma. We do not support resources that blame the victim or excuse the behavior of the addict in any way.
Table of Contents
- Books for the betrayed spouse :
- Books for the addicted
• Books •
Books for the betrayed spouse
Intimate Deception – healing the wounds of sexual betrayal by Dr. Sheri Keffer
This book is excellent to read right after discovery. It provides current information, validates and affirms the betrayed, and provides a friendly resource for healing from day 1.
RISE: A guide to climbing out of betrayal trauma by Misty Terrell – not only does Misty walk you through the steps of healing from start to finish, I particularly loved how at the end of each chapter she had questions that her husband answered from his perspective. Finding examples of couples who have stayed together and both recovered is difficult so I really appreciated seeing his answers and finding similarities with my husbands answers too.
Facing Heartbreak – this is a workbook for the sexually betrayed that takes you through setting boundaries, thinking through your own feelings and more. Beneficial alone but even better if supported by a CSAT/trauma informed therapist.
The Great Sex Rescue – the lies you’ve been taught and how to recover what God intended by Sheila Gregoire – I firmly believe every addict, every betrayed spouse, everyone wanting to get married, everyone having sex, and every church should read this book. If you are a Christian who has experienced extreme conservatism, evangelicalism and purity culture, this book is a must read. It busts through the lies you’ve been taught about sex, and teaches how sex is truly designed to be a natural outcome of deep emotional intimacy.
Books for the addicted:
Clean – This book is written by Doug Weiss who runs a sexual addiction recovery center. He is also prominently featured in the Conquer Series. In this book, he clarifies the why behind the addiction and then gives actionable steps to start that road to recovery. His book is powerful because he promotes both healing and the absolute responsibility for behavior that the addict must take to fully heal.
Pure Desire – This book is written by the father of Pure Desire Ministries and the Conquer Series, Dr. Ted Roberts. This book was written before the Conquer Series was produced so it contains many of the lessons taught in conquer while going deeper on how to address the wounds in your life that have contributed to your addiction. It is a deeply reflective book packed full of educational information.
The Great Sex Rescue – the lies you’ve been taught and how to recover what God intended by Sheila Gregoire – this book is wonderful for an addicted spouse wanting to heal, because it shines light on the misconceptions and lies society teaches about sex and promotes healthy emotional intimacy, boundaries, respect and equality of partners
• General Podcasts •
Pure Desire – I began listening to this podcast to learn more about the addiction side but they have begun to share more about the betrayal trauma side as well and I find their episodes to be informative, well thought out and full of resources and information.
Specific podcast Episodes (not an endorsement of entire podcast):
Podcast: BTR.org “From Betrayal to Breakthrough” – discusses the healing process for the betrayed through trauma- discusses how without boundaries and consequences for the betrayer, healing does not occur
Podcast Pure Desire Ministries: “Stories of Healing: Ben Bennett” A great podcast for both the betrayed and betrayers because it shares how this does NOT have to be a lifelong battle, the holy spirit CAN transform your life – but you MUST be willing to do the work and get out of denial
Podcast: The big problem with Christian Marriage Counseling – Flying Free episode 123
• Articles •
A Letter on Showing Repentence (tips on identifying true repentance)
Prove it….seriously! (Identifying true repentance vs. manipulation)
4 types of grief from your husband’s porn addiction:
A high view of marriage includes divorce:
Recognizing a repentant abuser:
• Websites •
Find a Conquer support group locally or online for those struggling with sexual bondage.
• Books not recommended/discouraged •
Fight for Love
We want to begin by saying that this book is filled with wonderful messages and acknowledge that the author has done a tremendous amount of work to move the healing movement forward!
There are two points that may be helpful to be aware of before reading this book if you choose to do so:
- We are committed to supporting women 100% in their free choice to stay or leave the relationship after betrayal. One idea that is discussed in this book that can be inaccurate in many circumstances is the idea of “codependency”.
For someone who has just been told their spouse is cheating on them and has been for years, the suggestion of codependent can be very triggering and in many situations inaccurate.
- Another idea to be made aware of is simply one sentence “What should a godly wife do when the lifestyle of her husband, her earthly authority, is in direct opposition to the word of God”.
We firmly disagree that any human is in authority over another human spiritually. And since this is a belief that holds many women in captivity and can, in some instances, perpetuate further abuse, we do not want our betrayed spouses to get this idea reinforced in any way.
Again, this book is overall a VERY positive, healing message and the author has done tremendous work. These two beliefs are worth mentioning because we believe they hold some significance when firmly held in the wrong circumstances.
Every Man’s Battle
We FIRMLY discourage this book as a resource for men. The terminology used to describe women through the book (including the author’s own wife) is terminology of objectivity. Additionally, disturbing situations are described in the book that are actually illegal behavior but are acknowledged almost as normal/natural without discussing legal ramifications that should be pursued when behavior like that is caught. And finally, the terminology and mindset that flows throughout the book weaves into the sex addicts subconscious that 1) This is normal, and how men are designed and 2) that this is something they must struggle with for life.
We firmly disagree on both points.
Tara Alliance beelives that 1) Sex addiction/oggling/lust and objectification of women is a perversion of how God designed our sexual nature to be, it is not a natural design of men and 2) When a man is willing to submit his life to God completely, release his pride, address his trauma and fears and truly step into recovery, we believe then that God and the Holy Spirit can and will release them from sexual bondange. We believe that when the sex addict is sincere in their recovery and continues using the tools provided, recovery can be complete and intrusive sexual thoughts, temptation and objectification of women can become a thing of the past. This book does not support that belief.
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