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BOOK REVIEW: The Gift of Betrayal

Dr. Eve Wood is a practicing psychiatrist and an author of motivational books such as There’s Always Help; There’s Always Hope and 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life. Her motto is, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Now she’s written a new book that she wished was available when her own life fell apart: The Gift of Betrayal—How to Heal Your Life When Your World Explodes, available in the Lovefraud Store.

Dr. Wood’s husband of 27 years betrayed her. For legal reasons, she doesn’t tell exactly what he did, except to say the magnitude of the betrayal was truly shocking and she could have died. Reading through the lines, it sounds like she was involved with a sociopath, and we all know what that’s like.

So what was she to do? Dr. Wood believes what she wrote in her other books, and decided that she wanted to heal, move forward and build a new life. She writes:

“You have a choice. You can see this betrayal as a curse or a blessing. You can make it about him, or you can make it about you. You can be the victim, or you can take charge. You can grow or shrink. You can heal your life or shrivel up and die. You can choose light, joy and love ”¦ or remain bitter and alone.”

The process was painful, and it took time. She didn’t start out trying to forgive her husband. Dr. Wood writes:

“Most books about betrayal focus on forgiveness, on forgiving the offender and yourself. But I think the attention of forgiving is misguided. When you’ve been burned, you need to treat your wound. You must figure out how you got scorched in the first place and learn to heal.”

The book is divided into 14 chapters, which Dr. Wood calls “lessons.” They are:

  1. What is betrayal, how does it feel, and where can it take you?
  2. You have a choice: Do you seize your power or become a victim?
  3. Could you have been married to (or involved with) a sociopath?
  4. How did you get here, and what are you meant to learn from this?
  5. What is the role of forgiveness in healing?
  6. Trust in your ability to create your heart’s desire
  7. Take action to create the life you really want
  8. Slow down: Examine and honor all your involvements
  9. Take risks, try new things ”¦ and pay attention to how you feel
  10. Let your female friends help you
  11. Learn what men have to offer and what they cannot do for you
  12. Invite joy, pleasure and passion into your life
  13. Stay present to the gift of the moment
  14. Celebrate you newfound freedom, fulfillment and fabulous good fortune

This book is written for women who have been betrayed by men. Dr. Wood specifically emphasizes that if the man was a sociopath, the only way to heal is to leave the relationship. She states that sociopaths destroy people. However, she doesn’t talk about how to recover from severe psychological issues that may result from these relationships, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

This book is for the woman who has processed the shock of the betrayal by the sociopath and is ready, however shakily, to rebuild her life. The Gift of Betrayal provides a roadmap for doing it.

The Gift of Betrayal—How to Heal Your Life When Your World Explodes


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117 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: The Gift of Betrayal"

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It was betrayal that woke me up from my dysfunctional relationship with my sociopath boyfriend. For me, betrayal was the BLESSING.

While I was killing myself trying to make a fraudulent relationship work, he was out there cheating, running a smear campaign on me, and projecting every ugly characteristic of himself onto me.

When I found out, there was the trauma that went through my whole body.

Then I got angry. I thought, “You son-of-a-bitch.”

After that, it was easy to turn off all emotions and go No Contact.

I left him high-and-dry (sociopath-style), thinking we were still in a relationship.

P.S. To anyone who wants to get “revenge” on a sociopath, I highly recommend anything that leaves the sociopath with a feeling of, “What the F***??? What just happened here?”

Leave them with a dose of their own medicine. That is probably the closest to revenge that you will ever get.

P.S.S. Sociopaths become very angry when their own tactics are used against them. Be very careful. Protect yourself.

The only reason mine became angry was because he was not “through with me”.

Sounds like a very interesting book. The 14 chapter titles sound like a roadmap of what I have learned here at LF!

Rosa: I like to think I left the S high-and dry, he hung up on me 4 weeks ago and probably still thinks of me each day he needs money (which is Mon-Sun). I have no plans on calling him but I am sure with his huge ego that he thinks I will call.

Sounds like the same “Doctrine” that is preached in the “Love Fraud Church” and I idon’t think we ever get to the point we don’t need to hear it presented in a new format! AMEN!!! and pass the collection plate!

Hi Oxy and Hi gang. Just wanted to let you all know I’m still alive and all that good stuff. I’ve been having a whole lot of issues but life is going pretty well.

My problem is for some ungodly reason I am still hung up on you know who. Not enough so I want to walk down that alley again, especially since I finally got a second chance from the truly good. But still enough to hurt. I can’t understand myself. Why do I still long for a man who is such a jerk that I don’t even want anything to do with him anymore?

I am with a seriously nice and kind man now, that I love and that my kids adore, and I want to walk into the future with him, without anybody hanging on my heartstrings. Although Oxy once told me I couldn’t have loved the “Prince” very much, that’s not really true. I do love the guy. I just didn’t think it was fair to put him through the emotional mess that I was in at the time.

ShabbyChic:

Mine hung up on me so many times during the course of the “relationship”, it has affected me to this day.

I don’t call men, and I do not like talking to men on the phone.

And I have met a few nice guys since that time, and they will say things like, “You could call me once in a while, you know.”

But, I just cannot do it. Too many bad memories.

That book seems brilliant I must get it.
And he must have been sociopathic because he did exactly that to me – left me high and dry via text with no contact and to this day I wonder who the hell he was. Who did I spend 2 years of my precious young life with? And then I realise he was only someone else for the first few months – someone loving. After that and until the end when the mask slipped entirely he increasingly became very much himself…
It’s been almost a year and I will buy this book, looks like it might help me heal, this intro is really speaking to me.
The one thing we must not do is let them destroy the rest of our lives and make us shy away from other partners – they will have won otherwise.
One thing I keep doing is blaming myself thinking if I had been a better girlfriend maybe he wouldn’t have treated me that way, maybe I did something to deserve it, maybe I could have tried harder to make it work.
But I’m assuming he thinks like normal people – that someone has to do something really bad for a person to go no contact so coldly (ie be a sociopath lol!) Truth is I didn’t do anything, I wasn’t unfaithful, I wasn’t abusive in any way, I didn’t try to kill him – none of the logical reasons that might
make a healthy person withdraw from another very quickly.
Love to all xxx

I am trying to leave mine now…we have been together for 2 yrs and every time I try to get out more and more guilt gets shoveled my way. I like Rosa’s theory just leave them high and dry…but then I get the voice mails of abusive comments and such. He uses his grown children, church and his own sickness to guilt me back in or to stay. But he has cheated on my so many different times…Even now I have another number to call to see what is going on between him and this girl…but havent called yet. When him and I talk I feel like all I get is excuses. My gut tells me all this so why cant my mind get me out.

looking up:

I was a criminal defense attorney and I got conned by my S. While I still, at times, try to make sense of him and the craziness, I discovered an approach to dealing with all the information I collected that helped start to connect my gut and my head.

What I did is say to myself “If you were presented with all this evidence on a person you had never met before in your life, what would be your conclusion regarding this person and his activities?” Basically this adopting the approach of Sargeant Joe Friday on the old TV show “Dragnet” — “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.”

So, I looked at the criminal conviction. The 15 creditor default judgments. The lack of bank accounts. The lack of State and Federal identification. The lies. The cheating. The deceit. The manipulation. The “past” drug addiction. The “current” alcohol problem. The financial irresponsibility. The stealing.

And looking at this objectively I concluded he was a sociopath. His lack of money, the stealing, the living “outside the system (no ID, no bank accounts) mean he was in all likelihood involved in some type of illegal activity and that he was probably going to be back in the criminal justice system sooner rather than later.

The bottom line was this was not a good person to have in my life. The real bottom line is I hated the way he made me feel. And I have to keep reminding myself of that every time I start to miss “the man I fell in love with.” Because what I had at the end was the real man — the one I fell in love with never existed.

It does get better, but it does take time. Too damned much time.

lookingup:

You are in a really tough spot right now.

I make it sound simple in my above post, but this was an 8-9 year ordeal that I was involved in.

I tried to get out many times, but allowed him to pull me back in every time. It is a vicious cycle.

All I can tell you is that you will reach a point where the voice inside of you will scream “ENOUGH”!

yes it is very hard right now. He claims he is dying. Not sure if its true. Although he never took money from me…more so paid things for me..such as bills and such cause he knows I’m struggling with being a single mother…but I do know of someone (one of the girls he cheated on me with) he “borrowed” $2,000 from her and never paid it back. I just want out. WHY DO I ALLOW THE GUILT TO BRING ME BACK IN…I dont think its even love anymore…to much has happened and I honestly dont trust a word he says

My heart is litterley (spelling) pounding out my chest talking about this and when he calls when I feel this way…other times he has me in his web and I think all is okay… UGH

looking up:

“He claims he is dying.” Not sure if its true.

Any odds you want to give on that being a lie, I’ll cover. He’s running the pity play on you.

A good starting spot for considering the truth and validity of that statement is to look at his current behavior. Any evidence of him trying to make things right with the world? Settling his affairs (financial, not sexual)? Trying to set things right with those he’s hurt?

I suspect the answer to those questions is NO. Which leads us to the pity play.

Among the various things my S trotted out as part of the “pity play” was he was going to end up having a stroke like his now brain-dead mother dead as a result of his high blood pressure. Yes, S was being treated for high blood pressure. And no, that fat fuck didn’t do a damned thing to try to get his blood pressure under control.

I now see that this statement was purely designed to get my pity so I would become Florence Nightingale on steriods — and pump out even more money, caring, love, etc. And of course, the pity play was also run every time he suspected that I had had a bellyful of his antics and was getting ready to walk.

actually yes…he said that he is trying to apologize to those he hurt…but he called another girl he was cheating on me with and while the apology was going thru he tried to have her believe no one cared about him and such..he claims he has but out a life insurance for my son and I to get money when it does happen. but ofcourse he doesnt want me to tell anyone about this. He wants to make sure he is the one that does it. wow and ofcourse this did all come to play when i was at that point of having enough…neither me nor the other girl he called would talk to him so this dying came about. He has kidney troubles…now may have cancer in one.

LookingUp:

I totally relate to what you are saying. I have been there.

Mine never took money from me, either. Not all of them will take $$ from you.

But, be careful, because it sounds like yours took $2000 from another girl.

He is using the “pity play” (which is an appeal to your sympathies) to pull you back in.

Mine used his kids from a previous marraige to appeal to my sympathies.
And I fell for it hook, line, & sinker.

It sounds like yours is also using kids and illness to keep you coming back.

Sympathy, guilt, and even abuse (when they have chipped away enough of your self-esteem) is what they will use to keep you coming back.

Looking up…

“I like Rosa’s theory just leave them high and dry”but then I get the voice mails of abusive comments and such”

Dont listen to the voicemails. Start on a small scale making promises to yourself of the things you can do to limit the influx of his ways. Make things your way now, with a sense of “this is right for me, this is whats best for me”…Ive given him my best…and he took advantage and lied and cheated…no more of me selling myself short…Time to take care of and worry about me now…

When he calls HAVE YOU EVER SAID ” Hey cant talk right now” or have you EVER just not picked up and NOT listen to his voicemails? Try it…its EMPOWERING!

Does he have a family member to verify his “health concerns”….do you know his Dr….I cant tell you how many have posted their ex was “on deaths door” and then they come to find out it wasnt true AT ALL. Yes on a few rare instance their ex has been diagnosed with cancer, etc…but it still was no reason to fall back into that vicious cycle with them…

If you find your heart pounding of your chest…its saying…stop…change direction…this person is not good for you. The goal is to not get caught up in the “other times he has you in his web” the goal is to pull away and never allow him the opportunity to lure you back with words…

you wont have as much guilt if you can wind down the amount of influence he has on you.. the amount of floor time he gets to say abusive things to make you feel guilty. Remove him from the stage….and start to work on being strong with him gone. And remind him we all are dying….in so much as each day is precious to us and closer to our last…and that was of no concern to him nor were you when he was off prancing around with other women and taking their money. Tell him he better pay back that woman before he dies…sorry…these selfish guys are irking me today….

Looking up….

Good news for you ! A person can live without one of thier kidneys!!!!

LookingUP:

They are masters at sprinkling just enough truth into their outrageous lies, so they will be believed.

These are con-artists, after all.

looking up:

He’s shining you. He’s shining all of you.

He’s putting out what I call “linked” statements. These are statements in which he does something (apologize, make a promise) which he then links to a statement (pity play, controlled outcome) which is designed to put all the attention back on him and his needs.

For example: “I am sorry for cheating” (apology) — LINK — “but here I am dying and nobody cares about me (pity play). Look at how that statement is designed — The recipient is put in the position of immediately having to deny her valid feelings of anger, betrayal, etc in order to supply the sociopath with pity.

For example: “I have taken out a life insurance policy for you and your son (promise) — LINK — which you are not to tell anybody about (I will control the outcome — if I tell the world, I look like a great guy and also I can keep you hanging on waiting for me to fulfill an empty promise).

See how it works with these subhuman creatures?

Yup, you are being shined. All of you are being shined.

I have a number of another girl who has said she loves him on his voice mail recently (i got into his voicemails) should I call her. She lives in the same state as him. Him and I actually live in seperate states but I am still stupid enough to still cant just say no more. It has taken this long…why do i feel the need to call her…do I need one more “other” relationship while being with him to push me over the edge?

LookingUp:

He has a life insurance policy for you and your son?

That’s terrific!!!! What a guy!!!

Tell him you want to SEE the policy.
In fact, tell him you think it would be a good idea for YOU to keep it in your safety deposit box for safe keeping.

After all, his health will be deteriorating soon because he is dying of cancer, kidney failure, whatever.

Another reason you need to see the policy is because you need to see the face amount.
After all, you and your son have to carry on after his death, so you need to know exactly how much money you can count on.

Ask him when he wants to go to the funeral home and pre-arrange his funeral.
It’s always easier on the survivors if these things are taken care of ahead of time.

If this guy says he is dying, CALL HIS BLUFF!

Rosa:

I’d add that list “and I know you will be so overwhelmed with details preparing for your death, that you should also give me the date the premium payment is due, so I can remind you to make it on time.”

Looking up,

We are so sorry you are going through this.

Why do you have to call her…whats the point….you have the proof….

Another girl saying “I love you” — doubt it was his health insurance agent wishing him well, although he may try to get you to believe that!!!!!

Figure out why you cant say no more? Whats holding you back from saying I DESERVE BETTER. I AM BETTER. AND CAN DO BETTER FOR MYSELF…

Stay here and read articles with us…old ones…get to know you arent alone and what you can do to strengthen yourself, your mind, your body and your soul. LF is excellent soul food and healing food to help you find a BETTER WAY!!!

ps… I suggest you TRY to stay out of his voicemails…your heart already knows what this guy is…just assume he is a cheater, and liar… no need to hear it…just a need to get out of it and move on when you are ready!!!

Looking Up:

You have the number of another girl?

Call her, if you can handle the truth.

But, then you may have to act.

Will you be ready to act?

It is kind of like the movie, “A Few Good Men”.

Tom Cruise says to Jack Nicholson, “I want the truth!”

Then Jack Nicholson says, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

Looking Up:

What I am trying to tell you in the above post is that only you will be able to determine when you have had enough.

We can all tell you that it is enough. But, at the end of the day, it is a decision ONLY YOU CAN MAKE!

You are a smart lady. You will know when it is time.

Rosa… you crackkkkkk me up! BTW the Amy Fischer/Joey Buttastupo reference yesterday LMAO….

hope we are not driving Looking Up in circles with all of our varying advices….call her..dont call her…pick out a plot with him…let him go one kidney is enough to live and thrive for a long time…lol….but guess the point is Looking Up has to do whats right for her and take it all in from the war veterans on the other side!!!

I hope Looking Up….will look toward the light sooner than later!!!! Its a process … a painful one at that…but one that will lead her to a better place when shes ready!

Thanks for the laughs along the way Rosa..

Matt:

Thank you!

I knew I was leaving out an important part regarding the premium.

It is wonderful having a lawyer in the house.

LearntheLesson:

I think all that back and forth with Good Grief yesterday has made me LOOPY.

I am serious! That boy is so “in love” with that girlfriend of his.

He is like my little brother at this point.

And he just will not stop “playing with matches”.

LOL…Matt, Rosa, and learnEDthelesson…I really enjoy just reading and not posting. I’d have liked to weigh in on Good Grief’s situation…but, lacking as I am in social skills, I had nothing to contribute. I’m out of comedic “material”, but you three definitely are on a roll!

The kidney thing….

I might need to sell one soon, and I got two…what are healthy ones going for on eBay?

Thanks for brightening my day!

Talking about the pounding heart reminded me of an article I

saw and tore out the other day. “Researchers at the Institute

of HeartMath (?) claim to have discovered more than 40,000 neurons,

or brain cells, in heart tissue, fueling speculation that the heart

may be capable of intuitive guidance.” For what its worth,

I thought that was so interesting. Everyone talks about ‘red flags’ but how we ignored them. Maybe now I can blame my heart ——not enough neurons were present to help me make better choices! Anyhow, very interesting.

and how we knew something was wrong

last line accidental, sorry………….

Thank for all the comments…..I know I have to get out. I am ready to get out..He is just soooo good with it all. Like for instance he didnt hear from me yesterday bc I had a hectic day at work. But to him it would just show common courtesy to atleast call him and let him know me and my child is okay..not his child (just wanted to put that out there) He just paid my phone bill so I know he will use that against me. Then like I said about his kidney issues…”we cant talk even as friends…after all we have been thru..I need you,

LookingUp:

Indiana Jim just reminded me of something very important.

I am so far past my relationship with the sociopath boyfriend, that I can now look back and laugh.

I know he will never hurt me again.

But, you are still in the “eye of the storm”, and your situation is still very serious. There is NOTHING funny about where you are RIGHT NOW in your relationship.

The profiles and situations of sociopaths are all so similar, so we all have something in common here. That makes it easy to joke around a little.

Anyway, LookingUP, hopefully you will be out of your unhealthy relationship one day soon. And you will be able to look back and laugh, as well.

P.S. He’s paying bills for you. That’s tough. He’s definitely got a hold on you.

looking up…Rosa’s right. We’ve been there, we’ve been betrayed, lied to, and cried. Sorry you have to be here, but glad you found it, and it’s a good place. We’ll all look forward to the time you find freedom and laughter. It takes a while. Take care of yourself, and your child. Our prayers are with you.

yes Rosa he puts money in my account. Someone once told me that is how he controls me. bc even if we arent speaking he will still do…he says bc he cares and knows I struggle as a single parent living paycheck to paycheck.

oh says he would rather do without then make me or my child…see how that can sound so nice…and the actions seem nice too…i guess that is where my confusion comes to play

Oh, that is so tough.

I don’t know what to tell you. Are you sure he has these other women?

I cannot tell you what to do.

I am not a parent. I have never been in your shoes.

That would be so hard for me, too.

Well back when I could get into his voice mail (he changed the passcode) I called on of them and they had a relationship for the past 6months until i found out. He promised her all the same crap, wanted a family with her, was going to transfer out there to her and so forth…even gave her the same line when they met about how he hadnt dated for almost a yr n a half til he met her and so forth…i guess he forgot about our relationship.
But even though the money is nice…I would rather struggle harder then to be confused all the time and upset all the time. I mean my son has to see me cry and I am easily angered with him (he is a teenager) but would prob be more patient if i wasnt dealing with the s. Besides…in all honesty…if i needed something in the “needs” department..my mother would help out. We would not starve or be out on the streets.

So, the one on the voice mail that you called, that relationship is over?

But, you think there are more? (There probaby is if he changed the passcode)

“But even though the money is nice…I would rather struggle harder then to be confused all the time and upset all the time.” (Did you tell him this? Maybe if you told him this, he would see that he is hurting you and stop. Not if he is an S, though.)

It sounds like you would be o.k. financially without this guy, even though the money is nice.

It is a decision only you can make.

looking up:

I sense your confusion. You need to get really clear about what you want.

When I decided to drive off S I was at the point I was ready to kill myself. I knew I had to do this or die. You have resources in place so, as you put it, you won’t starve or be out on the streets.

From where I am standing, you are desperately unhappy. You know he’s cheating. He’s lying to you. And he’s got you acting crazy — hacking into his voicemail. You deserve more. You deserve better. The question is what do you want and deserve for yourself?

LookingUp:

“He promised her all of the same crap, wanted a family with her, was going to transfer out there to her and so forth.”

It sounds like this girl lives out-of-state from your man. And you said in an earlier post that you live in a different state from him, too.

How is he meeting all of these women who live out-of-state from him? (Especially when he is so sick)

He met her in Sept of last yr. Last month is when I found out about her. He just found out how sick he was according to him. Even now as I am typing this he is on my phone and I just want to say…I need to be apart. But it seems hard to say. He is talking all sweet and such and trying to explain that I just need to relax and allow him to show me he has changed….BUT I HEARD THIS FOR TOO LONG….I JUST HEAR EXCUSES NOW.

Dear looking up..

As long as you are willing to entertain his words, as long as you are willing to accept his calls and let him talk and convince and sweet talk you…then you are allowing yourself to be in a very vulnerable position, confusing position.

consider saying that you have to go do something for your son/with your son.. AND GET OFF PHONE… dont have to say anything regarding wanting to be apart. your actions will show him… no arguing… no confrontation…just hang up nicely and decide what you want to do…

Listen to his BS and go back to his ways…or work on not answering his calls…he is in another state…you dont have to answer!

LookingUp:

“Last month is when I found out about her.”
“He just found out how sick he was according to him.”

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

LookingUp: Start paying very close attention to everything he does, and listen very carefully to everything he says.

You will begin to see him for what he really is. Good or bad.

LookingUP:

This man is putting money into your bank account.
Does that mean he knows your account number?

If he does, you need to close out that account BEFORE you end this relationship. Or at least secure it so that he no longer has access to it.

You said in an earlier post that although he never took money from you, he took $2000 from another girl.

Be careful.

Men use money as control AND punishment.

I’ve been reading and thinking about betrayal quite a bit so I’m very much looking forward to reading this book. The thought that going through the experience of betrayal by someone I respected and trusted could ever benefit me wasn’t something I could think about when the betrayal and the devastation it brought me were fresh. “This is NUTS!” I’d have said.

I found this quotation today. It was written by Jack Kornfield, who is a Buddhist meditation teacher and author. He says:

“From truth telling to grieving to letting go and forgiving [which I take to mean deciding to let go, but not excusing the injustice or tolerating it again], we will need support…[but] in the end, we will find that our heart holds the simple wisdom and unshakable compassion we have sought all along.

Betrayal itself becomes our teacher. We must bow to betrayal, because it brings us back to the truth. It demands we learn discriminating wisdom, that we speak honestly, that we examine our ideals and our faults, and that we wrestle with forgiveness.”

The real power of this statement to me is that we are taking something really vile (the n/p’s destructive behavior towards us) and the pain and difficulties it brings to our lives — and choosing to care for ourselves and make ourselves better: stronger, and more flexible; wiser and better prepared to meet future challenges. By facing ourselves, and seeking healing for ourselves, we’ve won a great victory. Remember how nuked you felt when you last saw the bastard? Look at yourself now, rebuilding your life, and becoming stronger every day! What a difference!

I hope someday to totally let go of my resentment towards the n/p, but I’m not there yet. It takes time, focus, dedication and support from people who understand. If I hadn’t come here, I don’t think I could now be engaged in redesigning my life, or be taking what the n/p meant to ruin me, and instead, using the lessons it taught me to become a more resilient woman. This is something people like that can’t grasp or understand: how strong and powerful a determined, loving spirit can be. It’s something I’m learning a bit more about with each day that passes.

Lots of love,
Betty

Looking Up,

Even if it’s true that he is sick…he still has many women on the hook to “take care” of him. Dont believe his sob story! especially when he tells you he is being “honest”.

Be strong. No Contact is the only way.

I made the mistake of getting sucked into contact after 12 weeks of NC from the pitty play….only to find out that while telliing me “honestly” he needed me and begging for forgiveness, he was “honestly” admitting he was flying in the woman whom he had cheating on me before to take care of him-since she’s a nurse practitioner… and now is comming back for his prostate cancer surgery. But he tells me he wants to “work things out” with me because “I”m the one! the special one”!!!

The betrayl dosent stop. Never…it get’s worse if they are ill…they need all the attentiona and narcisstic supply they can get. Dont fall for it.

Be strong…or you will only get suked in again, used and spit out in pain.

I’m doing the NC thing again, and he keeps trying….it feels empowering to know that this is my revenge.

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