Infidelity Trauma: An Interview with a Specialist Part 1

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Samuel interviews MJ Denis, a trauma specialist, about how couples can heal from infidelity.

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I can't wait for the

I can't wait for the subsequent interviews! I wish Ms Denis was nearer to me. We need this perspective so badly.

I would add that when the unfaithful doesn't recognize the distress reaction and doesn't respond with "How can I help you through this? or What can I do?", and instead tries to explain, minimize, etc, that the betrayed is additionally traumatized, causing exponential damage.

No empathy = no safety.

Thank you so much for this!

This is great!!

Thank you for bringing this information to us.

I am curious to know does the unfaithful experience the same attachment distress? Like when the unfaithful is having this adrenaline rush and maybe lashing out at the unfaithful. Do they have the same experience with the fight,
Flight, or freeze? When the betrayed partner is saying I can’t do this or showing their distress is the unfaithful experiencing attachement distress?

I can't speak for everyone,

I can't speak for everyone, but I know for myself, that yes, the unfaithful experiences the same "Fight, Flight or Freeze". When you see your spouse start to spiral, you start to think, "Oh no it's over. I've blown it again, and its over".
The detachment of my Spouse, from the trauma I have caused, is terrifying. I found myself just crumbling under the weight of shame & guilt at the thought of now losing everything and everyone I love.


Thanks to your guest and for the great questions asked during the discussion. I would love to hear more about relationship attachment from the side of the unfaithful. Is it that they never truly were attached to begin with? It’s seems hard to grasp why if this attachment is so strong that they could go outside of the primary relationship.

First I would like to say how

First I would like to say how much I appreciate the videos that we have access to!! I was the unfaithful and am currently doing H4H. By happy coincidence our lesson this week, 'the physical reality', is also on this topic. One of the comments that really stood out to me from Rick's lesson video was about the relational attachment development (or lack of) as very young children. Evidently this may be connected to our ability to process when the fight, flight or freeze triggers. This got me thinking in a new way about a very traumatic event that occurred in my family when my brother and I were ages 6 months and 2 years old. We are now 54 and 56 and have both struggled with similar relational issues of infidelity and independence. I'm curious if our relational attachment development could have been affected and be one of the contributory factors in the why of some of our past responses/poor choices in relationships. My sister is 7 years younger and that event was long past by the time she was born and she has (at least to this point in her life) not dealt with these particular issues. I'm interested in learning more about this. Hope this makes sense.

One of the best

Probably because of where I am at in recovery I think this is one of the best videos yet. But I think that about almost each one that is posted. It is so so helpful to now understand my responses. Thank you for these videos.


I'm moving to Texas. iii NEED to talk, speak, basically LIVE with MJ Denis before I lose my sanity

hhahah so glad she helped you...

i believe her client list is full right now, but i'm so glad the videos helped you. 


Trauma Reaction

I can't tell you how much we could have used this video 4 years ago. Why our therapists didn't explain this process thoroughly to us as a couple is tragic. We had bits and pieces about the brain's reactions but nothing to this basic depth in layman terms. So understandable and meaningful, it should be basic 101 in marriage counseling/infidelity. Even to this day I experience the trauma on levels she describes from various triggers I encounter daily. You would think the episodes would diminish with time--for me the duration or lengths have lessened, but the intensity varies greatly. Samuel, many thanks to you, the professional counselors and the AR Group for providing and bringing quality material we can use and digest to keep our journey moving forward. On to part II.......



This is a life changing knowledge for us, I believe it literally saved our marriage - thank you. May God bless you for it :)

HH topic

Thinking has been so helpful for me, the betrayed, to understand what it is that I am struggling with going through this journey towards healing. Thanks so much!

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-D, Texas