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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Sides Effects of Betrayal

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When you have been betrayed, your world view forever shifts. Motives are questions. Secrets are assumed. Nothing is as it seems.

You want to trust but you don’t know how. You feel victimized and either accept that role in defeat or desperately search for control and assurance that you will never be a victim again.

It’s oh-so-easy to keep moving beyond the betrayal without fully addressing its impact. To attribute future struggles to something (or someone) else when it is really your soul still keening from the lies and the loss.

When I first saw this article on Psychology Today, When Disappointment Feels Like Betrayal, I was skeptical.

And then I read it.

And I related.

When you have been betrayed, the pump has been primed to assume betrayal.

Even when it is just life with its usual ups and downs.

Be on alert for the monster but don’t go stabbing at every creak on the stairs.


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12 thoughts on “Sides Effects of Betrayal

  1. I can really relate. I do worry come next relationship I will be always try to “catch” him doing something. After 20 years and ending with huge betrayal…it takes a lot of healing.

  2. The article you linked to is one of the best i have read for a while. I can see now that my ex-husband was expecting his “preferences” to always be fulfilled and ran away when they were not, seeing differences in preferences as incompatibility. To read this has been enlightening for me (you know that search for “WHY” that keeps hounding those of us who have been betrayed). It has brought me some closure. Thank you.

      1. The best bit of advice I’ve had about being betrayed is (cliched as it sounds): The best revenge is success.

        So, not letting the buggers getting you down, is in itself a success, and I don’t like to admit it, but probably the best of advice in the face of any betrayer (of trust, friendship, or anything else).

  3. I remember someone I know telling me that he would never be able to date someone who drank at all because his ex was an alcoholic and he would never be able to trust someone who drank. I had replied if you go looking for red flags, you will find them.

    I find myself doing the same, although the flags I am wary of are far more subtle.

    It takes a huge amount of work to start to trust our own judgment again once betrayed. I think it is less a question of trusting someone else — if we trust ourselves, we can trust others, or be wise about when we should not.

    Thank you for sharing the article — it was a good one.

  4. I still have a lot of work to do on betrayal. After being betrayed by my husband, I got into another relationship quickly for a year and a half. He died over the summer in a tragic accident and I found out that he lied to me about his entire life. I think that learning to trust my own judgement is the hardest part of getting trust back.

    1. It is so true that trust really boils down to trusting ourselves – trusting our ability to have perceptions match reality and trusting our ability to make it through when things don’t work out.

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