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  • Dr. Teresa Edwards

Betrayal and Trust

Trust and commitment are the necessary supports for a strong marriage. Trust in marriage 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 trust, and generally involves some type of deception. When we think of betrayal in marriage, 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.

Trust is everything in a relationship. Relationship can not exist where there is deception. According to Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, coauthors of Boundaries in Marriage, "The act of lying is much more damaging than the things being lied about, because lying undermines the knowing of one another and the connection itself." 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.

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 his or her 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 his/her behavior. Once the betrayer is open about the betrayal and takes responsibility for his/her actions, the couple can work on the process of forgiveness and the possibility of restoring the relationship.


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