Major betrayals, like the one that led you to read this book, can include a wide range of issues such as cheating on someone, lying about one’s identity, or concealing vital information (for example, a hidden bank account or a past drug problem). But betrayals can also include indiscretions like revealing a partner’s confidential information to a third party, flirting with a colleague, or reading your girlfriend’s email without her permission.

Here are the most common ways people betray their romantic partners:

  • Lying about one’s sexual history
  • Infidelity and cheating
  • Lying about past relationships
  • Lying about flirting with others
  • Concealing having strong feelings, interest, crushes, and attraction to others
  • Secret contact with others
  • Concealing drug use, alcohol abuse, or gambling problems
  • Concealing debts and lying about spending habits
  • Lying about feelings of love and commitment

In addition to a common structure (expectation + violation of that expectation = betrayal), all betrayals share one other thing in common: they all damage trust in your partner and the relationship. Trust is the belief that your partner will act with you and with your relationship’s best interest in mind. It’s hard to maintain trust when you discover your partner has acted on his or her own behalf at your expense.