Betrayal in a relationship is not only about discovering your partner’s affair it could be a lot of other things. Couples survive betrayal in a relationship when one partner siphons off funds from the joint account without the other partner’s knowledge or gets involved in nefarious activities keeping a completely whitewashed façade to the partner.
Financial betrayal is a kind of betrayal that is plaguing couples as much these days as betrayal due to extra marital affairs. Mila and Adam were a happy couple. They were settled in the suburbs of Columbus with their two kids but their world changed when Adam’s credit card overspending ravaged their relationship.
Mila discovered one fine day that Adam’s credit card debt had gone through the roof and all the while he was spending like crazy, he kept saying that he was getting great perks at his job as a salesman.
In the same way Koreena, who got some money from her father’s Will after his demise, had deposited it in their joint bank account. She did not imagine in her dreams that her husband David was taking out the money regularly. When she discovered that, she was devastated, not because the money was gone, but because of the betrayal.
Being betrayed by someone you love is the most harrowing experience, something that leaves you with a deep emotional scar, from which it is very hard to recover.
If the relationship is going great apparently and one partner ends up cheating the other partner is left grappling with the betrayal. Emotional cheating has as lethal consequences as physical infidelity, because the partner keeps trying to find the answer to the question, “Why this happened?”
To heal a betrayed heart is the toughest thing but we are coming to that.
Can A Relationship Survive Betrayal?
To survive betrayal in a relationship is not easy but many couples do manage to heal a betrayed heart. All the above examples of relationship betrayal we talked about have survived the betrayal and are still together.
When a betrayal happens, dropping out of the relationship is often looked upon as the last resort by many couples. Those who managed to answer the question, “Why this happened?” also find the answer, “Why this should not happen again!”
There is no denying the fact that ultimate betrayal in a relationship happens when a partner is suddenly caught unawares by a truth, they cannot deal with.
After 15 years of marriage Cynthia and Sam’s marriage became long distance because Cynthia had to start living with her ailing mother. The kind of trust and communication the spouses had, they felt this temporary arrangement could be worked out if they met every few months.
But to Cynthia’s horror she realised that the moment she got on the flight, Sam got into an emotional affair. When they would meet he would keep texting and when she asked him about it he just said, “It’s a girl I met online. We just talk about food and if I had anything to hide I wouldn’t have texted in front of you.”
Cynthia was convinced but two years later when she moved back she saw from texting the relationship had gone on to 20 phone calls a day. “I felt cheated. I felt betrayed and foolish,” said Cynthia.
In her betrayal quote author Sudha Murthy says, “When someone gets cheated that person gets upset not because they have lost money but because he or she realizes that they have been foolish enough to be tricked.”
In one the most famous betrayal quotes bestselling author Paulo Coelho says: “Because I have suffered. Because many times in my life I have tried to love with all my heart, and my love has wound up being trampled or betrayed.”
Rebuilding trust after betrayal
Can you love someone after betrayal? Yes, most people who face betrayal recover from it if the love is strong. A betrayal does not come from an enemy, it is always from someone you love and because of the betrayal in the relationship you could be angry, frustrated, upset, but could you just stop loving them just like that?
And when the betrayer acknowledges their mistake and wants to reconcile chances are the betrayed partner also does not hold on to the harsh feelings. That’s how people survive betrayal in a relationship and focus on rebuilding trust.
Psychologist Kavita Panyam says, “Betrayal can have a deep impact on a couple’s connection. A couple’s connection goes through changes in the marriage according to the phases it goes through and new equations are created. Infidelity which could be even sexting can have an impact on the mind, body and soul. I have seen discovery of betrayal result in anger, silent treatment and resentment.
“Some people wanted to apologise and make it better but the partner felt insulted and humiliated. But after dealing with the shock I do acceptance therapy when the partner can think logically and calmly. After accepting the situation some betrayed partners wanted to take a break and go through therapy.
“Some people want to heal together and work through the sorrow of losing the primary connection then they start again as friends, then go to being lovers and then being parents.
Financial betrayal is also very common and I have seen a lot of ‘gold diggers’ but people who do this do not want to come in for therapy.
So when disrespect happens the love goes but they just co-exist but we have to work on behaviour modification.”
8 Ways To Survive Betrayal In A Relationship
Why do people cheat on people they love? To answer this question we will refer to an experiment on love conducted by Helen Fisher where she proved that love can be of three kinds that is romantic love, love from sexual drive and love that leads to an attachment and a long-term relationship. But it is possible to divide these three kinds of love and love more than one person.
So this is the reason people end up cheating because they feel love for more than one person. But it is a choice that one makes be it love, or be it anything else that shows the weakness of their character.
At that point the betrayed partner feels the disloyalty in a relationship and reacts accordingly, but as time goes by they also find ways and means to survive betrayal in the relationship.
Being betrayed by someone you love could be distressing and as we said earlier a betrayal could happen when it challenges a partner’s trust in any form. However it is possible to rebuild the trust and we tell you 8 steps you can take to survive the betrayal in a relationship.
1. Detach yourself and look at what happened
If you are dealing with betrayal from a lover then it is important to step back from the relationship and understand why the person had to stray. The betrayed partner often puts the blame on themselves and suffers from guilt.
But in reality long-term relationships are constantly changing. One partner could evolve intellectually, another partner could develop different life aspirations. When that happens one partner starts looking for other avenues to find their happiness.
Sometimes when you step back and look at the path the relationship had taken you could pinpoint what went wrong and why this happened. Then if both partners are willing you could survive the betrayal in a relationship together.
Related Reading: How To Survive A Sexless Marriage Without Cheating
2. What is it you want after betrayal in a relationship?
For instance you have been betrayed by your husband. He took a personal loan he never told you about and when he found himself in a fix, unable to pay the EMI, he wanted you to help him with your hard-earned savings to bail him out.
Now you need to ask yourself that do you want to continue with this man in a relationship? It could be he took the loan to buy you the expensive trip to Switzerland or it could be just to supplement his income.
Was his betrayal unpardonable or could you forgive him? Will it be possible for you to pick up the broken pieces and rebuild your life?
If you are clear in your head that it could be possible then you can survive betrayal in a relationship.
3. Can you deal with the psychological effects of betrayal?
The psychological effects of betrayal are many. Start from shock, grief, loss, anger to lack of self-esteem and anxiety disorder, betrayal can have life altering psychological effects.
You have to first see if you are mentally equipped to go through these emotions on your own or need help from a psychological counselor.
Let us tell you something if you have to survive betrayal in a relationship then you have to find your psychological stability first.
There is no shame in seeking help from a professional. In fact, you will be in a far better mental space quickly if you see a counselor.
4. Take the time to grieve
Let us tell you there is no easy way to heal a betrayed heart. People around you might tell you to snap out of your dark mood just like that but it does not happen that way in real life.
You need to take your time to process your emotions and grieve. Facing betrayal is just like going through a dear one’s passing away or dealing with a heartbreak.
The grief is that strong and you can only deal with when you give it the time it needs. In order to survive betrayal in a relationship give yourself time to grieve. Once you are through the process you will be in a much better state to understand if trusting again is possible after betrayal.
5. Don’t get stuck in the cycle of anger and revenge
Grief comes in five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Anger is a very natural reaction to betrayal in a relationship but you have to ensure that you do not follow it up with vengeance.
If you do then you are stuck in a vindictive frame of mind forever, take that from us. You would completely forget yourself and get involved in the pursuit of vengeance.
But ask yourself is that really worth it? Is your life about pursuing the person who betrayed you but whom you love?
Not really! There are better things to do to get over disloyalty in a relationship; a) you have to see if you can take it as a one-time breach of trust and reconcile b) If you cannot then look at how you can move on and find a new life.
Revenge is never an option, although most Hollywood films will tell you it is.
6. Do not wallow in self pity
In case of any kind of betrayal we have the tendency to wallow in self-pity. We keep thinking what’s wrong with me that my partner did this? Or what a wrong choice I made…
If you want to get over betrayal in a marriage then you have to stop feeling the victim in the whole scheme of things. You are not really the victim, you are just part of the scenario that’s all. You have no reason to feel guilty.
There is no denying the fact that being betrayed by someone you love is a horrible feeling. Take the case of Ling and Vijay. She was Chinese and he was Indian and they met in the US while working in an IT company. Vijay told Ling all along that he was all set to settle in Dubai after his stint in the US and if they got married Ling wouldn’t have to live in India.
Imagine Ling’s trauma when after marriage she found out that Dubai was just a ploy to make her commit and she had to live in India and wear sarees at Vijay’s extremely conservative joint family home.
She couldn’t deal with the pain of this betrayal and kept doubting her own abilities to understand a person and she kept asking herself how could she not see through it all?
But she worked through the pain became a braver, stronger person and moved out of India after a divorce. She doesn’t look at herself as a victim any more she looks at the betrayal as a lesson learnt.
7. What do you expect from the future?
This is a very important question you need to ask yourself. Because how you look at the future will determine how you want to deal with the betrayal.
If you have been betrayed by your husband but you have kids with him then you might be thinking what kind of impact the betrayal would have on your children? Most couples survive betrayal in a relationship thinking of the children.
Also in case of financial betrayal we have seen that after the initial shock the betrayed partner often helps out the betrayer financially so that they can settle the matter and look at a better future.
So how you look at yourself in the future – with or without your partner – that will determine how you will choose to come out of the betrayal.
8. Can you forgive and move on?
This point comes last but this is the most important point that will decide if you can survive betrayal in a relationship. You can forgive the person but if trusting again after betrayal is possible depends on a few things.
You have to look at a few factors like if the transgression has happened once or if it had been a way of life that you came to know later? How long have you been with the person?
Getting over betrayal in a long marriage is sometimes wee bit more easier because you have known your partner for long, the bond still exists and if they have accepted responsibility of their actions and regretted it then forgiveness is possible.
But if you are dealing with betrayal from a lover then the process is even more tough because you have probably not known them long and the doubt continue to remain.
But forgiveness does not always mean that you get back to the relationship it could also mean that you close the chapter forever and move on.
Trusting again after betrayal is a tough proposition but if you follow these 8 points then you will find clarity. Then you will know if you can survive a relationship after betrayal.