How Should You Respond When Your Partner Betrays You?


Betrayal is one of the most horrible things that a person can do to you.

On the one hand, they publicly proclaim that they love and cherish you and that they’d “never do anything to hurt you” and on the other, they steal your money, cheat on you, lie to you, and then blame you when you suggest that they might not be behaving right.

Betrayal is worse than being violated in a similar manner by a stranger.

Betrayal happens when you commit to somebody, invest in them, trust them, pour your life energy and emotions into them and find out that they lied, cheated and stole. It’s a gutting experience and can leave you emotionally destroyed.

How should you respond if your partner betrays you? Can you rescue the relationship?

Betrayal is one of the most painful emotional experiences that a person can have. It undermines your ability to trust in the future, just in case you’re exposed to a similar level of pain again.

People who have experienced betrayal in one relationship often struggle to move on to a new one. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

Try To Accept Reality

The first stage of responding to betrayal is trying to find a way to accept the reality of what’s happened.

It can be a shock when you find out that your partner has done something terrible: lied to you, stolen from you, committed crimes, or been unfaithful. It’s even worse when it’s all of these at once.

All of a sudden, all of your beliefs about that person come crashing down, and you see them for the person they truly are.

Accepting reality is tough for a couple of reasons.

The first is that to accept reality; you have to accept the death of the person you thought you knew. We’re not talking about physical death, but the destruction of the virtue you thought they had. You believed that they were a good person or that they loved you, but their actions say otherwise.

It’s like the person you thought you knew was just an illusion and that there was never anything there worth loving.

The other emotion is anger. You trusted your partner and they violated your trust. You feel humiliated that you weren’t able to detect their evil and you feel angry because you didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

As any seasoned legal professional such as Cordell & Cordell will tell you, this kind of experience is tragically common. Partners betray their spouses all the time. Sometimes you can have a situation in which one partner fools the other for many years before revealing their true colors.

The innocent partner often doesn’t want to see those colors, even as the evidence mounts, continuing to make excuses for what’s going on.

Accept The Fallibility Of People

The way to deal with betrayal it to accept the fallibility of human beings and that all relationships are a risk. Not everybody is a monster, but there are a lot of terrible, ruthless people out there. It’s your job to find somebody who isn’t.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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