Dealing with Betrayals in Your Relationship

Published on May 11, 2014

Betrayals in relationship change the quality and functioning of the relationship in dramatic ways. Trust is the primary aspect affected as well as the betrayed partner’s sense of safety in the couple.



Betrayals bring up many dilemmas for the couple. Few couples have the skills or the ability to keep the emotional distance from the subject in order to effectively navigate the betrayal. A trained systematic relationship counsellor can help a couple address the various issues.

Unfortunately, betrayals are a part of loving people. When we invite love into our life, we also invite pain. People we love may intentionally or unintentionally hurt us.  As an individual and a couple, you have to decide if you want to grow through this or end the relationship.

Betrayals may come about when one partner doesn’t keep their promise about career, work hours, parenting, money/spending habits, alcohol or drug use. A spouse may feel betrayed when their partner doesn’t side with them again family. Betrayals may include porn use, masturbations and relationships with co-workers or members of the opposite sex.

Several issues arise and need to be dealt with effectively when one person experiences a betrayal. Couples need to determine if the relationship is worth saving and is there one version of the relationship both people want.

Many couples get distracted by and fight over whether the identified behavior is a betrayal or not. Often, couples do not agree on this and end up arguing, ineffectively about whether the identified issue is or isn’t a betrayal and how serious or not serious it isn’t.

When a betrayal occurs whether it is about money, parenting or infidelity, what couples are really arguing about is the consequences or punishment and who has control of the relationship. This is why the arguments about how bad the offending act is and whether or not it is a betrayal become so heated, there is a lot at stake.

Arguing about punishment or who gets to make decision for the relationship is an ineffective way to handle betrayals and often creates more damage and hostility. Betrayal is often a symptom of larger issues in the relationship.

Handling betrayals sets up a terrible dilemma for a couple: you cannot punish your partner and have their love. If you inflict pain through vengeful behaviors or punishment no matter how justified, you will not get your partner’s love. This is a huge dilemma. During betrayals, couples must remember, but often forget, that being together is a CHOICE. You partner may not stick around for your punishment, just as you don’t have to give a second chance.

Effective relationship counselling can help you resolve if you want to save the relationship and heal effectively from the betrayal and make your relationship stronger and better than before the offending act. If you need help contact us to learn more. 

Category(s):Couple Counseling, Infidelity, Marital Counseling, Men's Issues, Pre-Marital Counseling, Relationships & Marriage, Women's Issues

Written by:

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA

Ms. Fontana is a relationship counsellor specializing in helping people with their relationships whether it is dating, marriage, parenting or with their extended family. Her clients call her approach practical and found solutions to their problems. Ms. Fontana has obtained her Master Degree in Mental Health counselling from the United States and is a USA Nationally Certified Counsellor. She is also a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist and is USA trained Sex Therapist.

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA belongs to All in the Family Counselling Centre, PTE LTD in Singapore

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