Secret porn use, sexual coercion, manipulation, gaslighting...
He'd have you believe his shame made him do it. So would sex addiction experts and social media influencers who have found a scapegoat in "shame" and are holding onto this concept with an iron fist.
But the truth? His shame didn't make him do it. He chooses to be abusive and unfaithful. Every single time.
It's a choice.
Kate's back on the BTR podcast with Anne to dissect the truth behind shame. Read the full transcript below and listen to the BTR podcast for more.
He Said "Shame Made Him Look At Porn"
Clients in the BTR Group Sessions regularly share horror stories of their husbands and ex-husbands admitting to secret porn use, blaming their "shame", saying that feelings of shame compelled them to use pornography.
Anne explains why this is how abusive men avoid accountability:
Everybody feels shame. Some people feel shame and so they eat ice cream. Some people feel shame and they go for a run. Some people feel shame and they start crying. Shame is not the cause of someone looking at porn.Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
A common scenario that plays out in abusive homes: the abuser betrays his partner, then claims to feel so shameful that he cannot help but further betray her by using pornography.
Then when victims react in shock, anger, or sadness, the abuser and his enablers (therapists, clergy, family, and friends) further traumatize the victim for not "supporting" the abuser. There is nothing okay about this.
"Our Therapist Told Me To Stop Shaming Him"
Couples counseling is not advisable in an abuse scenario - often, therapists and counselors will side with the abuser and blame the victim.
Sometimes, therapists will counsel the victim to stop "shaming" the abuser for his abusive behaviors. They may counsel victims to try to connect with the abuser more in an attempt to help "heal" his "addiction" or soothe his shame. Anne says:
The problem with abusers is they are not safe to connect with. And the more you try to connect with them, the more abused you get.Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
This therapy model ultimately blames victims and is dangerous. When abusers do shameful things, they should feel shame and they should deal with that shame in healthy ways.
Healthy People Deal With Shame in Healthy Ways
Most human beings feel shame. It's a normal part of the human experience.
You may feel shame when you tell a white lie or leave your shopping cart in the wrong part of a parking lot. By the "sex addiction" logic, every time you felt shameful for poor behavior, you would harm the people you love. Does that add up to you?
A healthy person deals with their shame in healthy ways and an unhealthy person deals with their shame in unhealthy ways, but is not the cause of anybody's behavior.Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery
BTR Is Here For You
If you've been counseled to soothe your abuser's shame or your abuser's behavior has been excused because of hi...