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Betrayal, Affairs And Loss Of Trust In A Relationship

posted 24 Feb 2013, 14:02 by Mpelembe   [ updated 24 Feb 2013, 14:04 ]

By far the most viewed page on my website is the one about lack
of trust in a relationship. Many of my coaching clients speak of
their fear of being betrayed by a partner, or perhaps a friend
or even colleague. In this article I would like to explain why
we have such fears and show how we can manage them and re-build
trust. I will look at it from two angles, the betrayer and the

We betray people when we feel our needs are not being met in a
relationship. If we started the relationship by falling in love,
those needs would have been fulfilled perfectly in the
beginning. As time progresses, both partners reduce the amount
of giving and receiving of love and then either start fighting
or drift apart. Whatever we feel is now missing in the
relationship, is the thing we may be tempted to search for in
another person. This may turn into an affair or be simply
thoughts and fantasies about other people. So the trick is to
re-discover those qualities that were so obviously present when
we met our partner. This may be as simple as having an honest
chat about what is missing for each other in the relationship
and then giving that very thing. Unfortunately, it's not always
that simple…

Even if we have not been betrayed, we may fear that our partner
will stray and may become paranoid or jealous. How can we deal
with these feelings? It's not about trying to change our
partner, we must look at ourselves. This might surprise you - We
have a fear of betrayal because we do not trust ourselves!

At first this might seem preposterous but let me try to
explain. Everything we fear tends to appear in our lives. If
betrayal or the fear of it is a recurring pattern in our lives,
then at some deep unconscious level we believe we have betrayed
in the past or have the potential to betray somebody. We then
fear that the same thing will happen to us – we have a belief
that relationships will always end in betrayal. This means that
in our formative years we probably had an experience of being
abandoned or betrayed. It may not have been a dramatic event
like being left, but we may have felt the pain of being let down
or emotionally abandoned. As we probe deeper into our minds we
find that every resentment or negative belief we harbour about
somebody, is mirrored in a belief about ourselves. Therefore, if
we believe we have been abandoned by somebody, then we also feel
guilty that we have abandoned them.

From a spiritual point of view (assuming we have such views),
the painful experiences of life might have brought us to the
conclusion that there is no God or if there is, that they have
abandoned us. This belief in abandonment then reappears in
relationships. Once again the extent of our unconscious belief
in spiritual abandonment is mirrored by our guilt for abandoning
our own spiritual connection – our guilt at abandoning God. Even
if we are atheist in our views, there may be a sense of having
moved away from our natural joyous and creative self and
therefore we may have an unconscious belief that we abandoned
our own gifts.

So, the way through this most painful of issues, is to
recognize our own temptation to betray others – it comes from a
lack of belief in our own ability to meet our own needs – or put
another way, our inability to find self love, whether on a
mortal plane or through embracing our spiritual gifts. By
forgiving ourselves, our partners for their betrayal and
re-connecting in all our relationships (mortal and divine), but
particularly with our partner we will take away the dynamic of
betrayal. Meaningful communication about our fears around
betrayal, about our own temptations, and what we feel is lacking
is always going to be useful. It is the fact that we have not
voiced these concerns that has damaged the trust in the
relationship. It might take great courage to voice these fears,
but it is the only way to re-build a relationship so it can be
based on honesty and trust.

About The Author: Peter is an acclaimed relationship and life
coach who runs personal development workshops in the UK. For
free relationship tips and information about his coaching and
workshops go to