How to handle betrayal

How do you handle betrayal? Let's say your near and dear one, your children, your close extended family member, or your friend betrays you completely;Stabs you in the back; Has been stabbing you and cheating you for the past few years.

What do you do?

Suddenly you realize that person has been dual faced, slick, and cunning. He or she has planned this meticulously, put on a face of innocence, and lied and cheated right under your nose.

Suddenly you become aware of this and everything is out in the open. You are now faced with the following:
  • Shock
  • Pain
  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Guilt (How did I contribute to this?)
  • The dilemma-What next?

There are a few areas you need to focus immediately:

  • Deciding what to do with the relationship-to keep or to cut off
  • Being clear what your goal is with respect to this individual
  • Confronting the individual who betrayed you
  • Laying out what you want to achieve if the relationship has to continue
  • Analysing together the context and situation that led to the acts of betrayal
  • Setting up mutually agreed monitoring mechanisms
  • Identifying consequences that would follow on violation

Even if you do this, the pain and the shock will not go away. The person who betrayed you need to take equal responsibility to ease your pain, more by demonstrating acts that build trust, rather than just talk.

Over the period of time, the pain may subside, but the memory of the betrayal will take a long time to fade away.