Upon discovering sexual betrayal, many wonder whether they'll ever again be able to enjoy an emotionally safe sexual relationship. Can they heal and feel secure with their partner? If they end that relationship and start a new one, will they be able to trust enough to fully give of themselves sexually in their new relationship?
If you once experienced these worries and have gotten to a better place now, your experience can benefit those in the midst of this struggle. If you and your partner have a mutually satisfying and emotionally secure sexual relationship, your input will be invaluable. Even if your relationship still feels insecure, you could contribute by talking about what is missing that would help you feel emotionally safer when it comes to sex.
Since sex is such a sensitive, personal subject, please feel free to respond anonymously. Even if you do include identifying information when you respond, your confidentiality will be protected and all identifying information will be well disguised in any future presentations of responses. Of course, your response indicates a willingness to have your input shared via spoken presentation, online, or in written form. Again, protection of the confidentiality of participants will be the highest priority.
You may respond to any or all of the following questions in one of three ways: 1) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, 2) mail a hard copy of your response to Mark Chamberlain, Ph.D. 1258 w. South Jordan Pkwy #202, South Jordan, UT 84095, or 3) text or leave a voicemail (801-564-7566) indicating your willingness to be interviewed by phone.
What have you and your partner done to help insure sex is about connection and healing?
What have you and your partner done to safeguard you from being further traumatized during sex or because of your sexual experiences together?
What factors and/or experiences helped as you've tried to rebuild your sexual relationship.
What factors and/or experiences hindered your progress in rebuilding?
What inner experiences (mental, emotional, physical) DECREASED you or your partner's sense of emotional safety?
What external events (circumstances, partner's behavior or words) DECREASED you or your partner's sense of safety?
What inner experiences (mental, emotional, physical) INCREASED you or your partner's sense of emotional safety?
What external events (circumstances, partner's behavior or words) INCREASED you or your partner's sense of safety?
Which aspects of healing your sexual relationship went quickly?
Which aspects of healing your sexual relationship progressed more slowly?
Some couples report experiencing the phenomenon of "one step forward, two steps back" when it comes to feeling emotionally safe about sex after betrayal. In what way did this occur for you, if at all?
Did it help to take risks and stretch yourself to connect sexually?
Did it help to honor your reluctance and prioritize emotional safety?
What have you and/or your partner done that has helped you balanced risk-taking and insuring emotional safety?
What have the payoffs and rewards been? How have these evolved over time as your recovery as individuals and couples has progressed? Have the rewards of this work been worth the effort? Would you say you now enjoy a stronger sexual bond than ever? (I want to clarify that not fishing for one answer here. For many, the honest answer may be, "We were much better off before all this!")
What encouragement or wisdom would you share with individuals and couples who are early in this process?
What other question should individuals and couples providing input on this topic be asked? How would you answer this question yourself?