Loving somebody with all your heart and soul can be a very scary thing. Living with your partner and depending on them to meet your emotional, psychological, spiritual and even economical needs make you extremely vulnerable.
Unfortunately, many people all over the world experience betrayal and trauma in a romantic relationship. While a loving and trusting romantic relationship can be one of the most amazing things, it can also be the complete opposite when you are betrayed.
What May Be Considered a Betrayal in Relationships?
More often than not, men meet their perfect partners on single women sites. After all, meeting online is very normal in today’s day and age. One thing may lead to another, and many people may end up getting married or even moving in with their significant other. Everything may seem perfect on social media, but things may be far from perfect.
What is betrayal trauma?
When an intimate partner goes behind your back and betrays you, this can actually bring about trauma. This type of trauma takes place in intimate relationships, where one partner literally betrays the other which results in trauma.
Betrayal can result in post-traumatic stress disorder
The psychiatric association publishes a manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is equivalent to the bible in Christianity. All forms and categories of mental illness are defined. One mental illness called Post-traumatic stress disorder is a response to extremely stressful events. Someone suffering from extreme trauma due to betrayal can actually be diagnosed with PTSD.
Emotional or physical infidelity
There are different forms of betrayal in a relationship. One of these forms of betrayal is "emotional cheating." This happens when one person in the relationship gets too close to another person that is not their partner. It can consist of telling each other secrets and confiding in each other. Many people experience the pain of emotional infidelity just as harshly as they experience physical infidelity. Both can cause extreme levels of trauma for the partner that was cheated on.
Signs You Have a Betrayal Trauma
There is a huge difference between being happy and single and experiencing trauma from betrayal in a relationship. People who are suffering from this type of trauma experience all sorts of signs and symptoms. You should carefully understand these symptoms to determine whether you have some.
Psychological effects of betrayal
There are many betrayal trauma triggers, but one common thing is a completely damaged sense of self-worth. If you have been betrayed by the person you are the closest to in the world, you may feel really bad about yourself. In fact, even if you were a confident person in the past, all that confidence may disappear. You may feel worthless as a human being and completely unlovable.
Losing interest in things you loved
If you are completely losing interest in your hobbies, friends, and family, then this is an indicating factor that you are suffering. These signs also could indicate clinical depression, which can actually be brought on by betrayal in love relationships. When you start losing interest in the things that make you who you are, then this is certainly a reason to be concerned.
Having nightmares and flashbacks
One of the symptoms of betrayal which is also very common among trauma survivors is experiencing nightmares and flashbacks. War veterans who experience PTSD, often experience nightmares and flashbacks years later. If you are having continuous nightmares about the betrayal, and you are having flashbacks during the day or night, then this is a significant red flag.
Becoming preoccupied and obsessed over the event
If you are finding it hard to concentrate on anything except for the betrayal, then this is actually completely normal. When you have been betrayed in such a huge way by the person that you loved and trusted the most, it is natural to become somewhat obsessive. You may spend all your time on Facebook researching the other person or even plotting revenge. This preoccupation can become all-consuming and even make you unable to work and perform your duties and functions as per normal.
Isolating from the world
Many people who suffer from trauma in a relationship try to isolate themselves due to the betrayal. It is very common to isolate from the entire world. You may stop responding to messages from your friends. You may stop replying and interacting on social media, and you may not want to be around anyone. This is actually very unhealthy as you are causing further psychological damage without even realizing it.
What Are Betrayal Trauma Symptoms in Your Partner?
If you have betrayed your partner or vice versa, there are specific symptoms that you may notice. These symptoms are very common among people who have been betrayed. If you look closely, you may recognize or see some of these symptoms.
Everyone in relationships experiences emotional instability at times. Some people experience emotional instability more than others. In fact, more often than not partners are known for having fluctuating moods. One of the major symptoms of betrayal is experiencing emotional ups and downs. This can manifest itself in many different forms. Things like emotional outbursts and overreacting to insignificant things can be quite common.
Extreme paranoid behavior
People that have been betrayed often become extremely paranoid. They may be on edge all the time, constantly worrying that they are going to get betrayed again. They may snoop around and even anticipate betrayal at every corner. For example, if a husband has betrayed a wife, it is not uncommon for the wife to get resentful and bitter when the husband is ordering food at a restaurant. The husband may simply be ordering food and talking to the waitress, but the wife may perceive this as flirting behavior. It often gets so bad that in these situations, it is not uncommon for the wife to confront her husband with cheating, even when it was far from the case.
Avoidance of anything associated
If you have been betrayed as a partner in any shape or form, it is not uncommon to avoid anything associated. If someone has been in a traumatic car accident, they may stop driving or even start shaking every time they get into a car. Psychologists see this type of response to traumatic events all the time. When betrayal happens in a romantic relationship, more often than not the response can be very similar. One partner may completely avoid any association with the event of the betrayal. This can become very extreme such as a partner not wanting to go anywhere in case they may run in certain people.
Complete denial or disbelief
One of the strangest symptoms of trauma is acting as nothing has happened. Some people will actually carry on like "normal" except they may be more passive-aggressive. A partner may scream and shout at a husband for leaving a toilet seat up instead of shouting and screaming about the betrayal. A husband may act "normal" around his friends if his wife has betrayed him. In fact, it may seem completely weird and unnatural. Sometimes people are in severe shock or disbelief, this is a very real symptom.
One of the biggest symptoms of trauma is abusing substances. When people have gone through the trauma, they may use all sorts of substances or alcohol to try as well as self-medicate. Even non-drinkers may start suddenly to drink excessively. After a trauma in a relationship, one partner may continuously be abusing alcohol or substances to numb the pain. They may think this is helping them, but it usually ends up making them feel worse and even worsening the situation.
A Guide for Recovering from Betrayal
Once you have been betrayed, it may seem like you will never recover. It may seem like you will be mistrusting and anxious for the rest of your life. You may not even remember a time when you felt better. It is completely normal to feel like you will never go back to your old self. The good news is that recovery is possible, and over time, healing from betrayal trauma will happen. Although it may take time and effort, you can certainly heal.
How to get over betrayal in a relationship
One of the most important steps to recovery is forgiveness. This does not mean that you should trust the person again or forget what has happened. Forgiveness is very important not for them but for your own healing. To recover, it is important to let go. Although you may never entirely let go of everything, overall, it is best to forgive.
Unfortunately, when you have hatred in your heart, you will never heal. Try and find good people who you value and can trust in your life. You can erase all the people from your life that you don't trust, this is a good way to emotionally cleanse yourself.
Betrayal trauma recovery
Although it is not going to be easy, give it time. Slowly but surely you will start living your life again. Slowly but surely you will get back into the things that you once loved and enjoyed. Even if you have to force yourself to go back to things, it is important to go back. It may feel fake and forceful at first, but eventually, you will be back into the swing of things.
Everything will be okay
You need to do everything possible that helps you heal. For many people, this is a combination of things. Things, like writing a diary and expressing your feelings, may seem stupid, but there is actually a method to the madness. It is very important to stop blaming yourself and the role that you think you played. You need to forgive yourself and everybody else to move on. Part of the forgiveness process is also to forgive yourself. Betrayal is not easy for anybody to deal with. The best thing you can do is to go and see a professional who you can speak to and who can help you get through the process. A qualified psychologist will have experience in dealing with very similar situations. You don’t need to go through the process alone; someone can be right there by your side and help you recover.