Partners taking turns leaning in and leaning out: Trusting in the arc of healing following betrayal

Mark Butler, Jacob Gosschalk, Stephen Fife

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Betrayal trauma threatens pair-bond attachment relationships. Across a trajectory of repair and healing, offenders and aggrieved partners manifest distinct trajectories, with asyn- chronous progression and timelines. Without careful interven- tion, their colliding trajectories may preclude repair and healing, producing instead corrosive interaction and relation- ship disintegration. We focus on attachment-organized responses designed to safeguard the relationship as partners alternate “leaning in” and “leaning out” of the relationship. We specifically profile the situation of initial offending partner ambivalence. Our attachment-informed model of couple repair and healing following betrayal trauma describes four phases, key developmental tasks, and attachment dynamics related to couples’ asynchronous healing trajectories. Although betrayal trauma can lead to relationship dissolution, couples can
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

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