It is very rare for someone to pass through life without feeling betrayed. BETRAYAL……is an act of deliberate disloyalty and one of the most painful human experience. Betrayal can occur only when you are close to someone and there is a deep trust factor. So what happens when you feel betrayed by your near and dear ones, someone who is a close friend, a family member, spouse, a business partner ? Your sense of reality is undermined. Your first experience is shock, that feeling of solid trust is violated, your innocence is shattered and you are left wondering………..How could this happen to me ? Where did I go wrong ? Why didn’t I see it coming ? How could I place my trust in this person ?
According to Dr. Barry A. Bass, with the exception of the death of a child, there is no marital or relationship event more painful than the discovery of a partners infidelity. The disorienting after effects of such a betrayal resemble the psychic disorientation and confusion that we see in victims of earthquake or other such natural disaster.
When you think betrayal, you usually think affair. Today in every neighbourhood, one often hears of people being faced with the challenge of their spouse or partners nature and their pornographically addictive ways of sexual behaviour. Of course affairs lead to a hardcore exit for many in the relationship, but a couple could also end a relationship due to endless lies and behaviour which feels like betrayal. A study conducted showed that when you cheat on your spouse financially, it could spell major trouble. 70% of the time financial infidelity had negative impact on a relationship as it breaks down the fundamental trust in their partnership. Another one is the passive-aggressive-silent treatment, stone-walling your spouse saying nothing is wrong, when in actuality everything seems wrong and you feel cheated and powerless against that wall which is put up and this can cause extreme pain and harm. It’s not so much the extra marital sex or concealing of financial information or an affair that causes pain. What hurts the most is their trust and belief in the person closest to them has been shattered.
In a case study people who had been betrayed experienced acute stress symptoms similar to and characteristic of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD). Today family counsellors and psychotherapists are slowly gaining insight into the traumatic, long term emotional effects of marital betrayal, or an intimate partnership betrayal and treating the fragile, roller coaster emotional state of both male and female.
Betrayal can be experienced in many forms. In addition to infidelity, people also experience abandonment, breaking important agreements, disloyalty from a family member, your best friend deceiving you, breach of trust at workplace, vicious gossips to spreading lies. For some others it may involve voyeurism, bisexual behaviour, escorts, and so on.
The greater the trust that you put in the other person, the greater the impact their betrayal has on you. Vows have been violated again and again, they have been betrayed, deceived and lied to. The pain for those who go through it is like experiencing major grief or loss and there is tremendous feeling of anger, despair, isolation and hurt. Many people get stuck in vengeance and this usually escalates their pain rather than healing them, though it is better to accept that this has happened to you and embrace pain and loss as it heals you. The process of healing from this trauma becomes particularly painful and prolonged and can take years to recover.
Some disappointments can be corrected, compromised and re-negotiated in a relationship. In contrast B-E-T-R-A-Y-A-L is intolerable, non-negotiable and cannot be accepted without significant relationship repair. However some who are betrayed, ultimately conclude that the violation they have experienced is greater than the desire to remain in that particular kind of relationship. For these individuals trust cannot be restored and ending the relationship maybe the best they can do. Many who are betrayed resent the idea that they might need help to deal with their feelings. Nevertheless it’s best that one should seek assistance of a friend, a family member or a counsellor.