Recently I was guest columnist on www.RelationshipAdviceCafe.com on this subject and below is a summary of my article.
So, you’ve been betrayed, cheated on and lied to. You feel enraged beyond belief, you blame yourself and you can’t believe you didn’t see it earlier. You move from self-blame to blaming your partner to blaming everyone else and back again through the whole cycle over and over again.
It is common to go through a myriad of responses to finding out you have been lied to and when you are on the receiving end of the betrayal it can be a real roller coaster. You want to trust them again. You want to believe all the promises but how can you? What is there for you to hold onto that suggests to your rational mind that it won’t happen again?
There is a grieving process that you need to go through. So much has been lost. You have lost that trust and you may wonder if you will ever feel the same again. Truth be told, you won’t. Life has been irrevocably changed. The way you view the world has changed and your life has been turned on its head. So, it’s no wonder you don’t feel normal.
Normal is when your partner tells the truth and you know it. This takes time. And it goes without saying that the only way this is ever possible, this feeling normal again, is if both parties are willing to address the issues of their relationship and what led to the betrayal in the first place. If there is continued denial, avoidance and hiding away, how can you ever trust again?
If the causes are not addressed the problem remains the same; it’s just that now they’ve been caught. If you can’t trust again then it is probably not possible to feel “normal” within this relationship. If they are not willing to have the hard conversations, to be up front and open and to work hard to gain your trust, then why should you trust them?
Trust is earned. It’s not an automatic right. Especially after it has been breached.