Betrayal is painful enough, but weaponized recovery makes it even harder as your partner uses their recovery against you. This week we dive into the complicated dynamics of betrayers weaponizing their healing. Join Amie and Alana as they explore the nuances of weaponizing recovery work including what it is, how to spot it, why it happens, and how you can protect yourself.
*Disclaimer: weaponizing can go both ways, and this episode is not intended to be used against your partner either.
What is Weaponizing Recovery?
Weaponizing recovery is when a partner who has betrayed uses the language and tools they are learning in their recovery against the betrayed partner, causing further damage and pain. Often this is not done consciously or maliciously, but stems from a lack of skills to healthily apply the concepts.
How Can Recovery Be Weaponized?
Some examples of how recovery can be weaponized include:
The betraying partner claims they are “recovered”, trustworthy, and doing all the right things in therapy or support groups. They emphasize their efforts at the expense of rebuilding the connection.
The betraying partner uses vulnerabilities from their recovery journey to elicit sympathy and control from the betrayed partner. They may withdraw, guilt trip, shame, or give the silent treatment if the desired response isn’t given.
Playing the Victim
The betrayer focuses on their own victimhood from past experiences rather than taking responsibility for choices in the present relationship. This minimizes the current injury and sweeps problems under the rug.
Using Vulnerabilities Against You
When things are going well in recovery work, the partner who was betrayed may begin to open up and share vulnerable feelings and emotions. Then in moments when things are not going well, the betrayer may weaponize those vulnerabilities and use it against the betrayed partner.
The betrayer threatens to discontinue therapy or other recovery help due to the cost, pressuring the betrayed partner to feel guilty for spending money on their own healing.
What Do I Do if I Notice Weaponized Recovery?
If you notice recovery being used against you:
- Focus on your own clarity and recognize patterns over time.
- Educate yourself on abuse tactics and listen to your body’s signals.
- Seek professional help to process confusing emotions.
- Practice boundaries and communicating with “I” statements.
- Get support from people outside the relationship through counseling or coaching.
The betrayer must break through denial and avoidance for real change. It requires high self-awareness and often external support.
Key Takeaways From this Episode:
- Weaponizing recovery means using healing language against the betrayed partner.
- This causes manipulation, false accountability, and more injury.
- Look for patterns over time and get professional help as needed.
- Safety and self-care are crucial throughout the process.