Common relationship dynamics


Feeling betrayed by someone you trusted

Whether this has eventuated out of a relationship where you freely and mistakenly gave your trust to someone who was untrustworthy to begin with, or whether you did have a close and trustworthy relationship and it has been damaged by a betrayal, the result is still a very painful breach of trust.

From seemingly simple things like an acquaintance giving away your private information to another person without asking you whether you would consent to this or not; through to major breaches of trust with conscious lying, secretiveness and manipulation. They are degrees of the same thing. Trust has been damaged or broken. Sometimes the other person doesn’t realise that they have done something offensive and may even think they have been helpful, such as with giving away your phone number or other personal information to someone because they think it’s helpful.

But when something happens that you had no opportunity to consent to or decisions are made which impact on you without your input; it is a breach of trust and in many cases an abuse of power. Then again, maybe the other person has deliberately withheld information from you or taken action which will impact you without involving you in the decision making because they thought if they did you would disagree and so they went ahead intentionally so as to thwart you. That is a definite abuse of power.

The ‘affair’ is the often quoted example of a breach of trust but there are many, many other ways to breach trust in relationships whether they are friendships, colleagues at work, family or intimate partnerships. Gossiping, or being a bystander to gossip when you know the person involved is another example.

Trust is something that is earned based on how the person treats or respects the other person and is not an automatic privilege.

Depending upon the relationship, you may decide to ‘cut off’ from a person who has shown they are disrespectful of you and untrustworthy.

If the betrayal has happened within a committed personal relationship, you may need to seek some professional guidance to assess whether or not it is possible to rebuild trust over time and stay in the relationship.

Unfortunately, many people stay in relationships with people they don’t trust and without getting professional assistance to rebuild the trust, this eventually can result in becoming depressed.