Betrayal in a relationship can be crushing. Because strong partnerships are built on trust, even the smallest crack in that foundation can feel like a devastating blow.

If you feel betrayed by your partner, you’re probably dealing with an overwhelming rush of emotions. Confusion, hurt, anger, and frustration are likely only the tip of the iceberg.

You might also ask yourself “what now?” when it comes to the future of your relationship.

Betrayal can actually be incredibly traumatic and requires a healing and recovery process. Whether you decide to stay in your relationship, it’s important to focus on yourself throughout that process, so you can keep moving forward.

While that might seem easier said than done right now, there are active steps you can take to help yourself if you feel betrayed by your partner. Let’s dive deeper into what you can do.

Acknowledge and Address It

Far too often, people who feel betrayed by their partners try to sweep things under the rug. They choose not to make waves, or to keep their emotions and feelings at bay.

Unfortunately, that usually makes things worse. Emotions will always demand to be felt, and trying to hide them away will only cause more pressure until you can’t handle it anymore.

If you feel betrayed by your partner, acknowledge it. If you’re comfortable enough to talk to them, bring it up. Address the problem and how it makes you feel. In some cases, this can be the starting point for healing within your relationship. Other times, it might be exactly what’s needed to break free from a toxic relationship.

Either way, addressing the betrayal is the first step toward personal healing, no matter how bad it might hurt in the moment.

Accept Your Emotions

Once you’ve acknowledged the betrayal itself, accept the emotions that come with it.

Things will be difficult, and you’ll experience feelings you’d likely rather not have to go through. Again, pushing them down won’t help.

Don’t be afraid to give each of your emotions a name as you feel them—anger, sadness, hurt, guilt, etc. Say them out loud to someone, if it helps. Acknowledging even the most painful of emotions will make it easier to work through them.

Lean On Your Support System

Thankfully, you don’t have to work through anything alone.

Feeling betrayed by your partner can make it easy to assume you have no one, but that’s never true. There are people out there who care about your well-being and deserve your trust.

Open up to your support system about how you’re feeling. That might include family members or a close friend. When you know you don’t have to go through this experience alone, it can make the weight of it seem less overwhelming.

Take Care of Yourself

While self-care has become something of a buzzword in recent years, it’s absolutely necessary in times of distress.

Focus on what you need right now to maintain your mental health. If that sounds like too much work, take it back to basics. Everyone needs sleep to stay healthy, right? If you’re having a hard time falling asleep lately, try different techniques that can help, such as a soothing bath before bed or gentle stretching and meditation as part of your nighttime routine.

Having trouble eating lately? Try cooking a few healthy, flavorful meals for yourself one day a week so you can enjoy them each day without having to think about what to make. Cooking, itself, can be relaxing, and nourishing your body with the right things is more important than ever.

Feeling betrayed by your partner can put all of your focus on your relationship and what comes next. But, don’t forget to focus on yourself, no matter what happens. A betrayal takes time to heal from, and it’s okay to give yourself as much time as you need to accept what happened, work through your emotions, and find ways to regain your sense of self.

About the Author

Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling.

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