When you imagine relationship betrayal, what comes to mind? For many people, when we consider what the most painful is, we likely think of cheating.
For a long time in my life, that is what I thought. But, as I have found out, betrayal goes far deeper than cheating. Partners can betray each other in so many different ways. Cheating might be the most commonly understood betrayal, but when you begin speaking with people about their relationships, you are likely to find that the deepest cuts come from other forms of betrayal.
And the thing about betrayal, any betrayal that is, is that it can break down the trust in a relationship. While it’s not impossible to overcome betrayal, it can be difficult.
Here are 6 types of betrayal that are as destructive as cheating.
1. Emotional cheating.
Many people emotionally cheat, only to tell themselves that it’s different because they aren’t physically having sex with someone else. But, emotional cheating cuts far deeper than physical cheating, to be honest. Emotional cheating happens when someone establishes an emotional bond with someone else. Oftentimes, people establish these bonds and end up leaving their partner for another, because they have developed feelings for another. Discovering that your partner has formed an emotional connection with someone else can be devastating. To navigate through the pain of emotional cheating, reading “Not ‘Just Friends’: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity” by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli could offer some solace and understanding. This book sheds light on the intricacies of emotional affairs and provides a path toward healing and rebuilding trust.
2. Hiding financial secrets.
One of the leading causes of divorce is financial differences and financial betrayal. The pressures of financial hardship are enough to crack the foundation of any relationship. And while it may seem innocent to wrack up secret debt on your credit card without telling your partner, be careful of the secrets you hide.
3. Having a secret life outside of your relationship.
While we aren’t expected to share everything with our partners, we shouldn’t hide entire parts of ourselves from them, either. Holding separate, secret lives outside of your relationship will only cause your partner to feel betrayed. While “The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity” by Alicia M. Walker focuses on a specific scenario, its insights into secrecy can be broadly applied to encourage openness and honesty in your relationship.
4. Not being there in your partner’s darkest moments.
When we are in relationships, a major part of it is being there for the person you are supposed to love more than anything. When they end up spending a traumatic moment alone, with no emotional support, it stings.
5. Refusing to stand up for your partner when they need you most.
There again, when you love someone, it should come natural and instinctual to stand up for them. When you refuse to and leave them hanging, when you could have stood for them, they will end up feeling like they’ve been betrayed. Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” while centered on leadership, imparts valuable lessons on bravery and vulnerability that can be applied to defending and supporting your partner, reinforcing your bond.
6. Using their vulnerabilities against them.
When someone feels comfortable enough to be vulnerable with you, that is saying something. But, when you throw their vulnerabilities in their face or use them against them, it’s an ultimate form of betrayal. Brené Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage” is a powerful resource for understanding the sanctity of vulnerability in relationships and learning to navigate through the aftermath of such betrayal with grace and strength.