“A partner affected by intimate betrayal experiences a level of pain that is indescribable. The hurt is so profound and complex, partners often wonder if it will ever get better.” Shira Olsen
If you’ve been betrayed then you know that this is true. But why is betrayal so destructive and distressing? Why can’t we just bounce back, and move on with our live? Some reasons for this are summarized below:
1. It comes from people you trust. People you believed were trustworthy. People who had led you to believe that they were trustworthy.
2. It comes from people you have loved, taken a chance with, and made yourself vulnerable to. This is a great privilege. We don’t make ourselves vulnerable to everyone.
3. You were betrayed by someone you treated well. You gave them respect. You gave them your time. You cared about them. You sent the message that they were important and mattered to you. But they sent the message that you weren’t important, and didn’t matter to them.
4. We feel we’ve been taken advantage of. We feel that we’re the kind of people that others think it’s Ok to deceive and treat badly. Perhaps this how others see you – as someone who’s worth less, and as someone who’s not valued. This greatly undermines our sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
6. We feel we can’t trust ourselves to judge who is trustworthy – and not trustworthy – in the future. If you can’t trust yourself, and your own intuition, then who can you trust!
7. Betrayal undermines our ability to relax and trust other people in the future. At the back at our mind, there’s always this doubt: “Can I trust this person? Are they really who they seem? Will they mistreat, wound or reject me at some point down the line?” This stops us feeling safe, and destroys our peace of mind.