If you have ever been betrayed read this
I was scrolling the internet this week for articles on betrayal because it seems to be popping up in my office quite a bit lately. Interestingly, the holidays, while bringing lots of warmth and joy, can also bring up memories of the injuries that have happened in our relationship over the year.
Betrayal is one of the most painful emotions we can experience in a relationship because it not only causes significant hurt but it also impacts trust which means moving on requires more than just an apology. Couples can absolutely move through and process betrayal in a healthy and united way if both individuals are prepared to invest equally in healing the relationship.
When we thinking of betrayal we often think of affairs or significant withholdings of truth that are damaging to the relationship. Absolutely these are examples of betrayal but as this article by the Gottman Institute points out, betrayals can happen in seemingly less significant ways and still have the same impact. In other words, betrayal can be both a bullet to the heart or death by a thousand cuts.
I would encourage you to read the article here and let me know what you think. Beyond that though, I would really encourage you to look inwards and decide if you feel you both can and want to heal from what has happened. As mentioned in the article it requires a consistent investment in each other and the “bids” you each make towards connection, trust and relationship investment. Threatening the relationship repeatedly through threatening to leave, or only recognizing the injuries and not the efforts will make healing difficult. It is completely healthy to be angry after being betrayed, how you act out that anger can make all the difference in whether or not your relationship can survive.
This holiday season, and every day of the year, I would encourage you to take a look at some of the ways you have betrayed your partner, big or small, and dig deep to find the energy to invest in making “bids” towards reconnecting.