Nothing is more damaging to a relationship than betrayal. The anger, sadness, confusion and loss of trust are impossible for many people to overcome. In other instances, it will take lots of time and effort on behalf of both parties involved to make things better.
Are you concerned about the state of your relationship? Have you been betrayed by someone that you love dearly? Understanding the scope of betrayal and its effects will be the first step towards making an important decision about your future.
Types of Relationship Betrayal
Many people see cheating as the only form of betrayal. Dishonesty, however, could have numerous other shapes and forms. Non-sexual cheating can be as painful, as finding your partner in bed with somebody else.
Still, sexual betrayal is one of the most common types. Many couples go through it and it can shatter trust completely. This type of betrayal could simply be about sex but it could also be much deeper-rooted.
Emotional betrayal is even more damaging and heart-breaking than finding out that your partner is sleeping with somebody else. This is so because of the attachment to another person. If you find out that the individual you love is falling in love with somebody else, you’ll probably lose all hope in making things better.
There is even such a thing as financial betrayal. It happens when partners make money decisions together but one of the parties involved decides to “cheat.”
In all of these instances, the betrayal involves dishonest actions on behalf of one individual in an intimate relationship. Thus, betrayal can have many shapes. It can involve someone falling out of love but refraining to talk to a partner about it, someone sharing intimate secrets with third parties or making important decisions about the future without the involvement of a significant other.
Relationship betrayal is rather complex. The number of people who just wake up one day and decide to cheat on their partner is definitely limited. Time and the accumulation of disappointments (or poor communication) are often to blame:
Ways in Which Betrayal Affects a Relationship
Regardless of its type, betrayal affects a relationship in a detrimental way. Knowing that your partner was dishonest or that they looked for a connection elsewhere will leave you feeling empty, violated and dejected.
Betrayal will impact your perception of the relationship in several ways:
Getting Over It
Recovering from betrayal is usually a lengthy process. You’ll have to decide whether you’d like to work on what has been broken or move on without your partner. An honest conversation will be required. If both of you aren’t on board, it will be incredibly difficult to move on from there.
Talk to each other without blame or expectations. You can’t just blame your partner for what happened – it takes two people to build a relationship and two people to destroy it. Listen to what your partner has to say – you’ll get a better idea about what went wrong and why they sought proximity somewhere else.
Chances are that both of you are confused and both of you are experiencing strong emotions. Talk about those without analyzing, evaluating or seeking justification. Being patient and taking some time to figure out why your relationship has suffered could give you a second chance.
As the person that has experienced betrayal, you should avoid self-blame. Don’t put all of the blame on your partner, either. Figuring out who’s right and who’s wrong isn’t going to help you heal faster.
If you can’t handle things on your own, seek the assistance of a therapist. A marriage or relationship counselor will guide you through the process, enhance the communication and help you figure out whether you’d like to move on as a couple.