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  • Dr. Teresa Edwards, LMFT

Moving Forward: Healing Betrayal and Rebuilding Trust

Trust and commitment are the necessary supports for a strong relationship. Trust in a relationship can be described as knowing your partner is always there for you and has your best interest at heart. Trust provides a sense of safety and security.

A betrayal is anything that causes a tare in trust, and generally involves some type selfishness. When we think of betrayal in a relationship, we often think of large, overt betrayals, like affairs. However, betrayal can also occur through small, seemingly insignificant interactions that occur during the course of the day.

Truthfulness is the basis of trust, which is everything when it comes to creating and sustaining an intimate relationship. Any instance of not being transparent and genuine - being hidden - is a form of betrayal.

Betrayal and hurt feelings

Trust is everything in a relationship.

Relationship can not exist where there is deception. Lying is a form of betrayal that can be more damaging than what is being lied about, because lying undermines the ability to know another person. This tears away at the trust in a relationship. In a nutshell, you can't have a real relationship when you're being a fake person. Betrayal throws a relationship into crisis and brings along with it confusion, hurt, and anger.

Restoring trust is a process.

Trust can be restored in a relationship, but it doesn't happen over night. It is a process that involves the betrayer being open and honest, and answering the betrayed partner's questions. The betrayer needs to express genuine remorse and take full responsibility for their behavior. This paves the road for the beginning of healing and the rebuilding of trust.

Healing can not occur if the betrayer insists that the partner is partially or fully to blame for their behavior. Once the betrayer is open about the betrayal and takes responsibility for their actions, the couple can work on the process of forgiveness and the possibility of restoring the relationship.

If you have hurt and betrayal in your relationship, I'd love to walk with you on the path to healing.

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