Of trust and betrayal

BETRAY*

(transitive verb)

1: to lead astray; especially: seduce

2: to deliver to an enemy by treachery

3: to fail or desert especially in time of need <betrayed his family>

4 a: to reveal unintentionally <betray one’s true feelings>

b: show, indicate

c: to disclose in violation of confidence <betray a secret>

*from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/betray

One of the tricky parts of any relationship is giving your trust to another person and actually hoping that he or she will never betray you even if you know deep in your heart that this is not impossible.

Ah, betrayal. They say that when one is betrayed, it will take time for the wound to heal to the point that sometimes relationships cannot be spared from the damage.

All of us are familiar with the feeling, all of us experienced betraying and being betrayed. If we are the betrayer, what we feel is our conscience reminding us of our wrong doing. If we are the one betrayed, what we feel ranges from shock to anger to utter disappointment and doubt.

Why does it feel wrong to betray someone? It’s because we have been trusted yet we disregard  the one who trusted us by stabbing him/her on the back. Worse, if we betray him/her for our own selfish reason, one that will lead to our advantage yet leave our friend/loved one hurt.

Why does it feel bad to be betrayed? It is not just because something happened because someone ditched us. It’s more of the fact that you TRUSTED that person to be true to his/her word YET he/she failed you. What’s worse is when that person SHOWS NO SIGN OF GUILT from the heinous act that he/she made against you. It’s not the secret that he/she divulged that causes you pain, it’s the fact that he/she did not honor your pact to each other that pisses you off. It’s the way the evil deed was executed that shocks you. It’s the fact that he/she had the gall to put it upon him/herself to share classified information that only you have the right to divulge that angers you. It’s the fact that you thought you could trust him/her only to find out you couldn’t that gets you disappointed. It’s the naked truth that there are secrets that are not safe with him/her that now casts doubt on the relationship.

It’s not the subject of betrayal that pains you. It is the ACT ITSELF.

How do we deal with betrayal? How do we ask forgiveness and forgive in return? How do we build—and manage to—trust again? How do we pretend everything’s okay?

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