Coping with betrayal

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
Not going to go into details but want third parties thoughts who aren't involved.

If someone breaks your trust, how can they ever rebuild it?

Is it even possible or does the act of betraying someone's trust ruin it forever more?

Is it the betrayer or the hurt party which determines if things can be rebuilt?
 
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offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Glen,
I really think its situational in nature. It depends on the nature of the event, and the personalities of each party.
I've been in cases where the relationship wasn't worth rebuilding...
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I think you have to understand the reasons why it happened, and assess whether those factors are changeable or could re-occur.

Understanding why it happened takes an objective, non-emotional eye. Someone outside the situation can help with this.

If re-ocurrence is unlikely (i.e., it was a highly unlikely event), then rebuilding is possible, if the injured party will allow it; remorse may be enough. If it's likely that circumstances will re-occur, then remorse is certainly not enough. Rebuilding would have to include changes. Change is difficult. Comittment, planning, intention, and time with proven effects of change are all essential.

If all that exists, then we can use the analogy of strength training. If I miss a lift I think I should be able to do, I lose confidence in my ability to complete that lift anytime I want to. Rebuilding my trust in my own ability takes re-training, getting significantly stronger, possibly addressing root causes of the one-time failure, and repeated demonstrations of ability. But after all that, I can rebuild my own trust in my ability to make the lift under any circumstances.
 

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
Glen,
I really think its situational in nature. It depends on the nature of the event, and the personalities of each party.
I've been in cases where the relationship wasn't worth rebuilding...
But you feel trust can be rebuilt?
 

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
I think you have to understand the reasons why it happened, and assess whether those factors are changeable or could re-occur.

Understanding why it happened takes an objective, non-emotional eye. Someone outside the situation can help with this.

If re-ocurrence is unlikely (i.e., it was a highly unlikely event), then rebuilding is possible, if the injured party will allow it; remorse may be enough. If it's likely that circumstances will re-occur, then remorse is certainly not enough. Rebuilding would have to include changes. Change is difficult. Comittment, planning, intention, and time with proven effects of change are all essential.

If all that exists, then we can use the analogy of strength training. If I miss a lift I think I should be able to do, I lose confidence in my ability to complete that lift anytime I want to. Rebuilding my trust in my own ability takes re-training, getting significantly stronger, possibly addressing root causes of the one-time failure, and repeated demonstrations of ability. But after all that, I can rebuild my own trust in my ability to make the lift under any circumstances.
Very well thought out response. Do feel its a little more complex as it involves two people rather than just one. Definitely changes the dynamics
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Very well thought out response. Do feel its a little more complex as it involves two people rather than just one. Definitely changes the dynamics
Yes... Very complex. Many dynamics. Many emotions. The key is separating out the emotions from the analysis of the factors. Because there is almost certainly more than a single cause. i.e., how did the situation exist where one failed to do something (or not do something) that the other trusted the would do (or not do)? Was one's expectations too high? Was it an example of human nature; something we wish to be strong enough to overcome, but sometimes are not? Are there other factors -- medications, stress levels, influence of others? Have motivations changed, and if so, why, and is that temporary or permanent? Etc...

To trust is a risk, a choice. And it is one of the most rewarding feelings to have -- and likewise, one of the most punishing, when betrayed. When rebuilding, it seems all the work should come on the side of the betrayer, but it always behooves the hurt party to also put in some work to become stronger and less vulnerable in whatever regard they have been injured. Then don't stop trusting, but perhaps extend trust with a bit more hesitation, and from a stronger base.
 

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
Yes... Very complex. Many dynamics. Many emotions. The key is separating out the emotions from the analysis of the factors. Because there is almost certainly more than a single cause. i.e., how did the situation exist where one failed to do something (or not do something) that the other trusted the would do (or not do)? Was one's expectations too high? Was it an example of human nature; something we wish to be strong enough to overcome, but sometimes are not? Are there other factors -- medications, stress levels, influence of others? Have motivations changed, and if so, why, and is that temporary or permanent? Etc...

To trust is a risk, a choice. And it is one of the most rewarding feelings to have -- and likewise, one of the most punishing, when betrayed. When rebuilding, it seems all the work should come on the side of the betrayer, but it always behooves the hurt party to also put in some work to become stronger and less vulnerable in whatever regard they have been injured. Then don't stop trusting, but perhaps extend trust with a bit more hesitation, and from a stronger base.
Very sound words
 

Dasho

Level 5 Valued Member
Not going to go into details but want third parties thoughts who aren't involved.

If someone breaks your trust, how can they ever rebuild it?

Is it even possible or does the act of betraying someone's trust ruin it forever more?

Is it the betrayer or the hurt party which determines if things can be rebuilt?
Please take the advice of someone who spent 7 years trying to save a marriage (with children) to someone who is afflicted by Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is absolutely ruined forever, and nothing either party can do will ever change that fact. I reaped absolutely no benefit from sticking things out beyond the first time my trust was broken. In fact, if I had had the courage to end things right then and there, I probably would have rebuilt my life by now.

Best of luck, but please don't suffer more than you need to.
 

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
Please take the advice of someone who spent 7 years trying to save a marriage (with children) to someone who is afflicted by Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is absolutely ruined forever, and nothing either party can do will ever change that fact. I reaped absolutely no benefit from sticking things out beyond the first time my trust was broken. In fact, if I had had the courage to end things right then and there, I probably would have rebuilt my life by now.

Best of luck, but please don't suffer more than you need to.
Been there, 11 years in a relationship I should have left after the second year
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
We have many trust agreements with our partner of varying importance. The most important one is not to jeopardize the family, and from there down there are many others, being monogamy just one of them.

Let's say you agree with your partner to eat at the same restaurant every friday of your life. Is it worth breaking a family if this is broken?

I think that what degree of agreement was broken has to be considered and take action according to that degree.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I think that what degree of agreement was broken has to be considered and take action according to that degree.
Agree. And even then, "agreement" may not be so clear... There may be a fundamental miscommunication of expectations. (Some things are more obvious than others, as some of you are talking about, but let's think of other situations.) For example, if I "trust" that you won't tell someone a confidentiality, and then you do... you've betrayed my trust. But maybe you had no idea that it was to be kept confidential. So then, did you? If you know the expctation/agreement, then perhaps you CAN be trusted. We have to actually have an agreement for that agreement to be broken.

There are many situations in life where we can choose to trust others, or not. It is a risk, but there is potentially great reward. After all, what is the alternative? To be entirely isolated and self-sufficient. Sure that has its advantages, but we are social creatures.

Trust was a key component of my kidney donation this year, so I feel like I've gained some wisdom...
 

Glen

Level 6 Valued Member
@Glen, have you consider professional help? Maybe for the two of you, maybe just for you?

-S-
Definitely worth consideration, Hopefully this situation is not to that extent (at least that's where my current thoughts are).

I think if the betrayal of trust would have been that extreme I don't think I would have brought it up on here. The comment above about 11 year relationship was a previous one and all the help in the world wouldn't have aided that.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Glen, I think therapists and others in that line of work are underrated. There is a stigma attached to seeing a therapist that simply shouldn't be there. I can't say how much this relates or doesn't to the issue you raised but, as with a visit to a doctor, it is, as you say, worth consideration.

-S-
 
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