The Heroes At Home Podcast, by Stronger Families
Episode: Betrayal, Trauma, and Rebuilding a Relationship (Part II)
Welcome to the Stronger Families Podcast, a space for candid conversations with real heroes that sheds light on the side of things not glorified in the media. In each episode, we learn about what goes on when these heroes go home, so that together we can build a stronger family. Today, Noel Meador, host and CEO of Stronger Families, joins co-host Keni Thomas for the second interview with a couple that has done the hard work to restore a marriage marked by trauma, betrayal, and infidelity. This couple, Scott and Susan, share their respective sides of their story; for this episode, Susan uses her experience to open up about betrayal and what it looks like to walk through betrayal.
To begin, Susan shares her initial feelings when she learned that her husband, Scott, was having an affair. She recalls Scott’s behavior change for months preceding her discovery, but it wasn’t until the couple had a sit down with their pastor that Scott finally began to reveal bits of truth. At first, Susan felt shock, anger and confusion. After asking Scott to leave the house and give her space, she learned even more information about the affair which left her feeling like her entire world was crumbling. Now, she can identify what she was experiencing as trauma. Leading up to the discovery, Susan knew that something was wrong, but she couldn’t get Scott to talk to her no matter how hard she tried. Seeing Susan in such undeniable pain was just enough to pierce through Scott’s admittedly hard heart. The “trickle truth” of disclosure, Susan admits, was not the best route to go. Questioning the truth about the person she has agreed to spend her entire life with led her to questioning herself, too.
Finding trustworthy friends and a therapist to confide in had a huge impact on Susan’s decision to work things out with Scott rather than divorcing. Two months into their separation, Susan came out of the denial she had been in that Scott was using his addiction as an excuse for his actions. Seeking out resources on betrayal, trauma and sexual addiction was the first step for Susan to making it through the betrayal. She now knows that there was nothing she did or did not do to cause Scott to do what he did. For listeners who may be in a similar position, Susan reveals the time commitment it took for her healing process to get underway. Scott’s consistency, showing up, speaking openly gave Susan the hope that they could try to rebuild their relationship. They both shared the conclusion that their marriage needed to start over on both ends.
As the betrayed partner, Susan believes one of the most important things to ask yourself is what you need to feel safe. Scott speaks to the importance of recognizing that your spouse is not the enemy in this journey, but rather the two of you are working together to achieve a common goal. At some point, both Scot and Susan attest to, doing the hard work of healing will become a journey that is no longer a burden, but a new way of life. Susan wants listeners to believe that if there was hope for her, there is hope for everyone to make it out on the other side. Not only is their relationship forever changed for the better, but Scott and Susan can now serve as examples of love and growth for their children.
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0:42 – Welcome to this episode – Part 2 of a conversation with Scott and Susan.
1:31 – For this episode, Susan shares her side of the story.
5:30 – What caused Scott to finally reveal his affair to Susan?
9:20 – Scott’s disclosure involved “trickle truth.”
11:02 – What helped Scott and Susan decide to
13:50 – How did Susan overcome the feeling of betrayal?
17:28 – Susan’s process of time for healing.
21:15 – Susan outlines her boundaries.
22:45 – Knowing when you can trust again.
27:42 – The journey and outcomes of a relationship healing journey.
32:28 – Keni recognizes the profound wisdom Susan and Scott applied to their work.
36:02 – Recognizing there is hope for everyone.
40:11 – Noel and Keni’s biggest takeaways on what Susan shared today.
Susan Rankin, CPC, APSATS-c, ERCEM Trained
Restoring Hearts Coaching, LLC
Out of the Shadows by Dr. Patrick Carnes
Pure Desire by Dr. Ted Roberts
After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring, PH.D
Shattered Vows by Debbie Laaser
Intimate Deception by Dr. Sheri Keffer
Help Her Heal by Carol Juergensen Sheets
Unleashing Your Power by Carol Juergensen Sheets