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Betrayal

BETRAYAL

Is the action of betraying one’s country, a group, a person or a partner.

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What does it mean to betray someone?

(1) To give over to an enemy by treason or treachery betray a fort.

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(2) To be unfaithful to betray a friend betrayed our trust.

(3) To reveal or show without meaning to betray fear.

(4) To tell in violation of a trust betray a secret.

 

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What does it mean to feel betrayed?

To not be loyal to your country or a person, often by doing something harmful such as helping their enemies or denying their trust in you.

 

Why do people betray?

Betrayal can be caused by many things, most especially; jealousy, greed, power, and fear. These reasons can push people, even as close as family, to act against you for their own personal interest even if it means causing you pains and damages.

How does betrayal affect a person?

The effects of betrayal include shock, loss and grief, morbid pre-occupation, damaged self-esteem, self-doubting, anger, sorrow. Not infrequently they produce life-altering changes. The effects of a catastrophic betrayal are most relevant for anxiety disorders, and OC D and PTSD in particular.

Reasons Betrayal Hurts So Badly

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. The partner’s experience of devastation is valid. In fact, betrayal has been shown to impact individuals in a uniquely painful way.

It is understood that individuals betrayed by a loved one experience symptoms similar to going through a traumatic event. But there is a much deeper level of pain to betrayal that can have lasting effects beyond just posttraumatic stress symptoms. If you have experienced betrayal, you may be struggling to understand why this pain feels so intense and difficult to grapple with.

To understand the depths of your pain and the powerful way it impacts your life, here are five reasons why betrayal hurts so much:

(1) Betrayal is relational.

The closer you are to someone, the more devastating it feels when they betray you. You would not, for instance, feel the same level of devastation if an acquaintance lied to you versus your spouse. When someone you love and trust hurts you, it’s difficult not to generalize this experience and fear that other people in your life could easily hurt you as well. This belief is unsettling and can impact your ability to be open and vulnerable with others.

(2) Betrayal threatens our instincts.

We are hard-wired for belonging and connection. After we select a partner and emotionally attach to them, we naturally believe that they will never hurt us. When we are betrayed, our judgement and intuition about this person is now called into question. No longer believing that you can trust your gut feels scary.

(3) Betrayal is traumatic.

No one plans on being betrayed. You are in a relationship because you believe that your significant other is safe, trustworthy, and will not hurt you. When betrayal occurs, these beliefs are shattered in an instant making you question your views about yourself, your world, and the people in it.

(4) Betrayal is confusing.

When intimate betrayal is not something you would ever do and thus outside of your values, it’s difficult to comprehend how someone could do such a thing. Trying to make sense of someone’s betrayal is exhausting and can lead you to believe it is somehow your fault. Our mind wants a simple explanation, and unfortunately the quickest solution leads us to blame ourselves (or doubt ourselves), even when it’s not our fault.

(5) Betrayal feels personal.

When you are betrayed, it’s personal. When it’s someone else, we find every excuse to not make it about them. Although irrational, this personal bias exists for a reason. When faced with extreme pain our mind tries to quickly make sense of it in order to regain safety — the logic is, if I can figure this out, I will no longer feel as hurt. With no good explanation on hand, we resort to the simplest solution, which is, it must be something about me.

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If you have been betrayed, therapy can help. Working through your thoughts and feelings will allow you to break free from the grips of betrayal. If you would like to learn more please contact us at our Bellevue, WA practice to see if working with a psychologist or therapist could be beneficial.

How to forgive someone you love after a major betrayal.

(1) Stop internalizing the blame. It’s hard to accept when someone we trusted betrays us.

(2) Open honest communication paths.

(3) Give yourselves space to heal.

(4) Make  rebuilding a mutual effort.

(5) Don’t rush into happy endings.

 

Betrayal Is The Greatest Sin of All

All men may be created equal, but not all sins are created equal. In the Inferno, Dante describes the 9 circles of Hell that he passes through and the corresponding severity of the sins to which they are assigned. The first circle of Hell includes simply those who did not believe in Christ during their lives, and as the circles increase, the sins get progressively darker and more unforgivable. The 9th circle includes the most deadly of sins – betrayal. At the bottom of this circle lies the greatest sinners in history, condemned for their betrayal against God or a benefactor – Judas Iscariot, for his betrayal of Jesus, and Brutus and Cassius, for their betrayal of Julius Cesar. These three men are forever trapped in ice, destined to have their heads gnawed at by Satan for the rest of eternity. This gruesome emphasis on repercussions against betrayals highlights Dante’s most important virtues – loyalty, love, integrity and trust. The circles of hell are prioritized over the affront of these virtues and of a love of others and of God. For example, not believing in God is only a minor sin, but the more you push away from God, the worse the sin becomes. Blaspheming and speaking out against God is a sin worthy of 6 circles, and murder or violence against another of God’s beloved children is 7 circles. The 8th circle is for those who have committed “spiritual theft”, or have stolen away others from God’s love (seducers, hypocrites, falsifiers). And finally, the 9th circle is a direct betrayal of God or a benefactor’s trust and love. This method of prioritization shows that Dante believes that living a life dedicated to taking in God’s love allows for one to be an honorable and trustworthy person, for there is no greater pain than to be betrayed by the one you loved.

Does betrayal change a person?

The effects of betrayal include shock, loss and grief, morbid pre-occupation, damaged self-esteem, self-doubting, anger. Not infrequently they produce life-altering changes. The effects of a catastrophic betrayal are most relevant for anxiety disorders, and OC D and PTSD in particular.

 The stages of grief after betrayal?

The stages are

• Denial

• Anger

• Sorrow

• Depression.

(These stages are not linear)

 

What is the ultimate betrayal?

Lies are the ultimate betrayal in a relationship. Lying undermines authentic communication and the offended party then has difficulty trusting anything their partner says.

 

Khalil Gibran said, “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Reminiscent of his words is the truth that we can sway between unshakable faith and extreme doubt in mere seconds. Under certain circumstances we can’t even tell doubt and faith apart, or we may feel consumed by both at the same time.

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Betrayal is one of these circumstances. We suffer quietly through disloyalty from a partner, friend, or family member, but this embeds harmful emotions deeply into our being. Our trust in others erodes if we don’t process the reality of betrayal and work through its painful impressions. And who hasn’t been betrayed? After one partner is unfaithful, we just can’t imagine our next love interest remaining loyal. If our best friend deceives us, we begin to think all friends are capable of this sinister act. In this way, we set ourselves up for a vicious cycle and program our minds to believe that betrayal is something we’ll just have to learn to live with. But infidelity of any kind can bring about wisdom and invaluable lessons to be learned. And we can take action to cleanse our spirit of the grim past and, in a sense, betray our own betrayal.

Steps To Recover Faith After Betrayal

Betrayal leaves us at a fork in the road. We can choose to act in ways that either favor or impede personal growth: we can become stuck in a bad moment forever or we can put it behind us for good. We decide our path. Act on my 13 steps to recover faith after betrayal:

 

1. Erase the imprints of betrayal. The wounds of betrayal can be so submerged in our subconscious mind that they might be difficult to extract. Meditation can help to reach the root of former deception and jumpstart the healing process. I recommend quietly meditating for a few minutes each day, digging into the contents of your brain and wiping out old memories or thought patterns that keep you stagnant.

 

2. Forgive. Forgiving does not mean accepting the wrong behavior of others; it means detaching from the pain, frustration, and bitterness buried within. Forgiveness breaks us free like a ship dislodging from a dock; life is our open sea when we pardon the past. But as long as we harbor hatred or anger against others, personal progress is stifled. Strive to forgive one person a day.

 

3. Throw betrayal away. I mean, literally throw it away! Try this exercise: write down on a piece of paper your worst case of betrayal. Capture the emotions, describe the terrible moment, and highlight the magnitude of the event. Get it out of your system, no matter how long ago it occurred. Then, fold this paper and get rid of it in a dramatic way. You can toss it in a dumpster, throw it into the ocean, even flush it down the toilet. I’m not encouraging you to litter the streets with letters of betrayal (or clog your bathroom), but I do want you to eliminate any traumatic traces by disposing of an object that holds your darkest emotions.

 

4. Start faith slow. Your faith wasn’t damaged in one day, so it can’t be rebuilt in such a short time. Like a puzzle, you have to start piecing your faith back slowly. At first, you might find it hard to trust anyone, but slowly and surely you’ll redevelop a sense of confidence in the good will of others. All you have to do is be willing to rediscover faith.

 

5. Find others who have faith. You’re not the only one who’s been betrayed, and you’re certainly not the only one who wants to regain faith in others. There are many wonderful, honest people who want to earn your trust. Surround yourself with a positive group of people on the same faithful path as you.

 

6. Regain faith in yourself. The first person you have to trust is yourself. Develop a deep, unbreakable bond with your outstanding abilities and your own self-vows. Make a new promise to yourself each month. Keep that promise and take small, daily steps until it becomes habit. Because if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

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7. Detach from people you don’t trust. There’s no reason to put up with people who act in bad faith. If you feel someone is not trustworthy, you don’t need them in your life. Be selective about the people you bring in for your own well-being. Choosing to cling to people who don’t inspire faith will only lead you to distrust everyone as a whole. Walk away from those you know are not right for you.

 

8. Don’t betray. Remember the phrase, do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Never forget it! Whether you’ve been betrayed or not, don’t resort to betraying another. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, simply move on. But do not knowingly deceive or mislead to satisfy your ego. Revenge only perpetuates bad karma and traps you in a cycle of recurring action.

 

9. Envision a future free of betrayal. It’s okay to daydream. Being able to visualize an ideal future despite current drawbacks is one of the most beautiful elements of life. Imagine each day that no one will ever hurt you again. The images you create in your mind become projections of reality in the future, so be careful of the thoughts you send out into the universe. What you fear most, you most attract, and if you quiet your fears, you can control what you draw in. Instead, the peaceful, harmonious thoughts you choose to portray in your mind will manifest into your reality.

 

10. Control your emotions. Your emotions can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Emotions are the essence of our existence, but when they’re taken to the extreme, they can downright block our lives. We can easily become stuck in our feelings, mentally and even physically. When we’re depressed, we have trouble going about our daily routines or we overeat to try and steady our feelings. In order to heal from betrayal and keep it from reoccurring in the future, you have to keep your emotions in check. If you obsess over something that happened in the past, you become stuck in that moment in time. But if you can think logically and understand the need to move forward, you can indeed master your emotions.

 

11. Take a leap of faith. Make a decision based on pure faith. Don’t over-analyze or think too much. Follow the voice of your intuition; this can be leaving a job you feel isn’t right for you, moving to a new home if your gut keeps telling you to relocate, or even separating from your partner if you just know the relationship is wrong. You will see that acting on faith rather than fear fosters better decisions.

 

12. Trust two people unconditionally. While you should always be rational in your level of trust towards others, pick two people to trust without limits. They can be family members, your spouse, friends — any two people you know would never harm you in any way. Putting your hopes in your loved ones teaches you that yes, there still exist goodhearted folks you can confide in.

 

13. Reaffirm your faith each day. Every morning when you wake up, speak an affirmation to yourself in a loud voice. Affirm your strong faith in others, in yourself, and in your future. Waking up with a faithful phrase each day will wipe away lingering doubts in your mind. Here are some faith-inducing affirmations to try:

I trust the people in my life fully; I have faith that they act with respect and genuine intentions towards me.

My future holds unlimited potential; I trust that my loved ones will help me achieve my potential.

 

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