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POPULAR ARTICLES

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

When You Have Been Betrayed

Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Feedback, Self-Efficacy and the Development of Motor skills

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Performance Enhancement in the Martial Arts: A Review

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?





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Audio Version of Article: Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN BETRAYED--page 1

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Tap to Listen to Article
"To be betrayed, the person must first experience trust in the betrayer...
...when they do hurt us, we then have the awareness that this other person has the capacity to hurt us."

WHAT IS BETRAYAL?

Betrayal is probably the most devastating loss a person can experience. To be betrayed, the person must first experience trust in the betrayer. It is fairly impossible for you to be betrayed if you did not trust the individual in the first place. Therefore,the definition of betrayal involves the act of someone violating your trust in them. The betrayal I am discussing in this article refers to a variety of forms of betrayal. For instance, a child isbetrayed when he or she is abused by the parents who are supposed to love, support, and protect the child. A spouse is betrayed when their partner has an affair. Betrayal is when someone you trust lies to you, cheats on you, abuses you, or hurts you by putting their own self-interest first.

Betrayal as Loss.  Betrayal is probably the most devastating loss a person can experience. Notice that I am using the term "loss" to describe the consequences of betrayal. In our society, we have trouble understanding the concepts of loss and grief. We understand that when someone dies we experience loss and grief, but frequently we don't recognize the other forms of loss that we may experience in life. Loss can be losing a person through death. However, it can also be losing a part of that person such as through illness. When a spouse develops Alzheimer's, for instance, the healthy spouse may experience loss of companionship or loss of emotional support.

Loss can also involve things that are less tangible such as trust. When an individual is betrayed by someone, they lose trust in that person. In trusting another person, we believe that they won't hurt us; when they do hurt us, we then have the awareness that this other person has the capacity to hurt us. Therefore, we have lost something very important to the relationship.

Purposeful Aspect of Betrayal.  The reason that betrayal is the most devastating kind loss is because most often it is a loss that didn't have to occur. It only occurs because of someone's deliberately hurtful behavior, or their carelessness, or their own personal weakness. Unlike a loss such as death or illness, there is usually some sort of choice involved. The person who was betrayed believes that the choice was wrong and preventable.

Loss of the Illusion.  Even more confusing, however, is that sometimes loss can be the loss of an illusion. Frequently, we develop in our minds the way we think things "should" be. However, reality doesn't always correspond with the demands that we put on life, ourselves, and others. Therefore, sometimes we are hurt when we have to face this reality. For instance, imagine children who grow up in the fortunate experience of having parents who always put the needs of their children first. But what they don't know is that their parents are unhappy together. Those children become young adults and are confronted with their parents telling them that they are getting a divorce. Frequently, those children feel betrayed by the illusion of the happy family they always thought they had. Suddenly they are confronted with a hurtful reality.

Another example is that a man marries a woman and thinks of her as a virtuous, moral person. Later he finds out that she had numerous sexual encounters prior to their relationship. He has lost his concept of how he thought of his wife. He feels betrayed even though she didn't do anything to break her committed to him; his sense of betrayal is the loss of the illusion of how he thought of his wife.

However, even if the betrayal is the loss of the illusion, the grief is very real and needs to be dealt with. Sometimes this is hard to do because the person is told and believes that they shouldn't feel so strongly about something that was not an actual betrayal of them. So with this type of loss a person is often tempted to move on too quickly without resolving it.   READ MORE: page 2

What is Betrayal?--page 1

What is the Process of Grief?--page 2

What Should You Expect With Grief When Betrayed?--page 3

When Should You Forgive a Betrayal?--page 4

"Imagine the hopelessness, the hurt, and the pain beginning to turn to anger and resentment. Imagine what this does to love."

JEALOUSY: WHEN THE DAMAGE IS DONE (page 1)

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
An internet reader, "Mike," wrote about a jealousy situation that he has begun to recognize but that has already caused extensive damage to his relationship: "Now, my spouse is hiding everything and refuses to discuss the topic. My gut feeling is that my spouse is out to get revenge, lying and is maybe now really cheating." He indicates that his wife has informed him she has the right to hide the cell phone bills, change e-mail passwords, and erase internet history because of his past behavior. He states,"I tried to explain what is causing my jealousy, yet I feel I'm not being heard or understood. Now, I feel like the one being "abused" because my spouse acts hostile to me and defensive whenever this subject...is brought up."

Frequently, I see this scenario all too often in my practice. By the time the jealous spouse recognizes his/her problem considerable damage to the relationship has already occurred. Attempts to change mean not only resolving the jealousy problems but also healing the relationship.

To understand the damage to the relationship, try taking the other person's perspective: Imagine day after day being questioned about your whereabouts, your behavior, and accused of being unfaithful or being attracted to someone else. Imagine someone checking your cell phone records, checking your e-mail, and/or calling you frequently under the pretense of something else but really just wanting to know what you're doing. Imagine your helplessness because no matter how much you reassure your spouse, no matter how many questions you answer, no matter how open you are with your daily itinerary or your e-mail, you can never "prove" your love or faithfulness. Imagine waiting for the next accusation, the next argument, knowing that it will occur but not knowing when. For some, imagine being fearful of physical violence because you can't reassure your spouse enough. Imagine the hopelessness, the hurt, and the pain beginning to turn to anger and resentment. Imagine what this does to love.

Mike asked a number of thoughtful questions that we will address in this article: READ MORE: page 2

Jealousy: When the Damage is Done--page 1

Did My Jealousy Become a Reality or is it Still My Insecurities?--page 2

How Will I Know the Difference Between Jealousy and Infidelity at This Point?--page 3


What Do I Do Now?--page 4