Michelle Chalfant | The Adult Chair | 267 – Healing from Betrayal Trauma with Duane Osterlind & Marnie Breecker
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267 – Healing from Betrayal Trauma with Duane Osterlind & Marnie Breecker

When we form intimate partnerships in life, it goes far beyond love. The relationship becomes our home, our social circle, our sense of safety and our way of living.


That’s why betrayal in intimate relationships, whether infidelity or lying, is so hurtful. It doesn’t just cause emotional pain, but it also shakes our entire sense of safety and reality. It’s a true multi-layered trauma that is not nearly as simple as breaking up and moving on or deciding to forgive and stay together. 


The betrayed partner often faces feelings of confusion, self-doubt, shame, hurt, distrust and even PTSD. And the betrayer often has an addiction or attachment wound that underlies the betrayal. Both partners need support and healing, whether they choose to repair the relationship or step into a new chapter.


My guests today, Duane Osterlind and Marnie Breecker, both specialize in helping people heal after infidelity and betrayal by looking at it through a holistic lens that takes into account all the various forms of trauma that the betrayal has caused. In this episode, they share such important information about why betrayal is such a big deal, the different ways it affects us and how to rebuild safety and trust in a relationship if both partners decide they want to stay together. This is such an insightful show that sheds light on how attachment works, how trust forms, what trauma is and the deeper story behind betrayal. 


Listen to discover:


  • The six dimensions of betrayal trauma
  • Why betrayal trauma can lead to PTSD
  • How you can rebuild trust after a betrayal
  • The importance of the “second brain”
  • What the betrayed partner needs
  • Where to find support
  • The true source of affairs


At the end of the day, each one of us is seeking connection. When a betrayal occurs, it’s often an unhealthy way of getting the connection we all crave. It is possible to rebuild a sense of safety, trust, secure attachment and connection after betrayal whether you choose to rebuild that with the same partner or for yourself and in future relationships. 


“We’re talking about a lot of complex systems in the brain. We’re talking about attachment. We’re talking about where we are in this life.” – Duane Osterlind


“When intimate relationships are betrayed, it impacts the primary feeling of safety that a person has in their life structure.” – Duane Osterlind


“This is an existential crisis and an attachment trauma for the partner, and all systems of meaning have been shattered.” – Marnie Breecker


“Our nature is to trust the person we’re living with.” – Michelle Chalfant


“We were wired to connect, and in order to connect, we have to be able to trust.” – Marnie Breecker


“We don’t know how to communicate in a healthy way with other people.” – Michelle Chalfant




Helping Couples Heal (Duane and Marnie Website)



Helping Couples Heal Podcast



Novus Mindful Life Institute (Duane Website)



Center for Relational Healing (Marnie Website)



APSATS (The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists)



IITAP (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals)



The Adult Chair® Workshop – Charleston



P&G Hair Food


Or find at Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Target or Walmart




The Adult Chair® Website



The Adult Chair® Membership



The Adult Chair® Workshop 



The Adult Chair® Coaching Certification



TAC Circles®





Instagram: @michelle.chalfant


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