By far the most viewed page on my website is the one about lack of trust
in a relationship. Many of my coaching clients speak of their fear of being
betrayed by a partner, or perhaps a friend or even colleague. In this
newsletter I would like to explain why we have such fears and show how we
can manage them and re-build trust. I will look at it from two angles, the
betrayer and the betrayed.
We betray people when we feel our needs are not being met in a
relationship. If we started the relationship by falling in love, those
needs would have been fulfilled perfectly in the beginning. As time
progresses, both partners reduce the amount of giving and receiving of love
and then either start fighting or drift apart. Whatever we feel is now
missing in the relationship, is the thing we may be tempted to search for
in another person. This may turn into an affair or be simply thoughts and
fantasies about other people. So the trick is to re-discover those
qualities that were so obviously present when we met our partner. This may
be as simple as having an honest chat about what is missing for each other
in the relationship and then giving that very thing. Unfortunately, it’s
not always that simple…
Even if we have not been betrayed, we may fear that our partner will
stray and may become paranoid or jealous. How can we deal with these
feelings? It’s not about trying to change our partner, we must look at
ourselves. This might surprise you - We have a fear of betrayal because we
do not trust ourselves!
At first this might seem preposterous but let me try to explain.
Everything we fear tends to appear in our lives. If betrayal or the fear of
it is a recurring pattern in our lives, then at some deep unconscious level
we believe we have betrayed in the past or have the potential to betray
somebody. We then fear that the same thing will happen to us – we have a
belief that relationships will always end in betrayal. When we have such
beliefs we cannot trust our partners. The chances are that in our formative
years we probably had an experience of being abandoned or betrayed. It may
not have been a dramatic event like being left, but we may have felt the
pain of being let down or emotionally abandoned. As we probe deeper into
our minds we find that every resentment or negative belief we harbour about
somebody, is mirrored in a belief about ourselves. Therefore, if we believe
we have been abandoned by somebody, then we also feel guilty that we have
From a spiritual point of view (assuming we have such views), the painful
experiences of life might have brought us to the conclusion that there is
no God or if there is, that they have abandoned us. This belief in
abandonment then reappears in relationships. Once again the extent of our
unconscious belief in spiritual abandonment is mirrored by our guilt for
abandoning our own spiritual connection – our guilt at abandoning God.
Even if we are atheist in our views, there may be a sense of having moved
away from our natural joyous and creative self and therefore we may have an
unconscious belief that we abandoned our own gifts.
So, the way through this most painful of issues, is to recognise our own
temptation to betray others – it comes from a lack of belief in our own
ability to meet our own needs – or put another way, our inability to find
self love, whether on a mortal plane or through embracing our spiritual
gifts. By forgiving ourselves, our partners for their betrayal and
re-connecting in all our relationships (mortal and divine), but
particularly with our partner we will take away the dynamic of betrayal.
Meaningful communication about our fears around betrayal, about our own
temptations, and what we feel is lacking is always going to be useful. It
is the fact that we have not voiced these concerns that has damaged the
trust in the relationship. It might take great courage to voice these
fears, but it is the only way to re-build a relationship so it can be based
on honesty and trust.
If the betrayal has already occurred and your relationship has ended, you
can still heal your own sense of abandonment through forgiveness, so that
it is less likely to happen in a future relationship.
Please feel free to share this with anybody you know, who might find it useful
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