When someone violates our trust, it can be devastating. If it is from someone close to you, like your partner, it can make you question everything they’ve ever said and done. If it is from a parent who was supposed to protect you, it can create a lasting trauma that will take time to heal from.
Whether you have uncovered an addiction, infidelity or anything that violates your trust for someone, the betrayal trauma is real. Kristin Snowden, a LMFT and Certified Life Coach talks extensively about betrayal trauma on her YouTube channel. Below is a great place to start for understanding what betrayal trauma is and how you can start healing from it.
I believe if there has been a betrayal, and both people want their relationship to work, in most cases, a relationship can be saved. But that really comes down to whether or not the two people really want it to work and if they can move beyond the betrayal. They also have to have some kind of “system” in place to guard the relationship from further trauma.
Regardless of how people choose to proceed after betrayal in a relationship, it is important that if you have been betrayed, you take ownership of your own healing. And that can look different for everyone.
What does owning and being responsible for your own healing look like? It might be individual therapy, building a good support system, prioritizing your self-care, working through feelings you have and honestly assessing what you really want and need, individually and in a relationship. It might be honestly looking at yourself and being honest about what you may have missed or where you may have played a role in a situation where there was betrayal.
Obviously, in the case of infidelity, someone deciding to turn outward in any relationship is wrong – and nothing justifies it, I want to be really clear about that. But what happened leading up to it? Often times couples have affairs because they are not connecting at home. What may have caused that? Was one person working constantly? Was one partner unplugged from the relationship and constantly critical of the other?
You see, when you take ownership of yourself, your healing and any role you may have played in the betrayal, allows you to regain control of your life and move forward – with or without your partner. It allows you to clarify what you want and what you are willing to accept in a relationship. And it allows you to address any areas where you may have contributed to the situation, within yourself.