Perhaps you’ve discovered that your partner has been having an affair with someone from work. Or maybe you’ve discovered that your boyfriend has been in daily contact with his ex after promising to never talk to her again. Perhaps your fiancée failed to tell you about her bankruptcy, which prevented you from buying a house together. Or after twenty-five years of marriage, you find out that your husband is emotionally involved with someone else.
Intimate betrayals often come as a surprise, making them all the more difficult to manage. Take, for example, Brian and Ashley, who have been dating for three years and living together for the past year. Brian thought everything was great with their relationship, but then one day he received a Facebook message from a person he didn’t know. The stranger claimed to be having an affair with Ashley and went into specifics about the different ways that he and Ashley had sex.
Brian had no idea what to make of the message. Was it some kind of sick joke? Was Ashley really cheating on him? Within seconds, he called Ashley and confronted her. Ashley denied his allegation, but Brian could tell by the sound of her voice that something wasn’t right. After he got off the phone, he logged into Ashley’s Facebook account and read the explicit messages between her and the other man. The proof of her betrayal turned his world upside down. Brian and Ashley were planning on getting engaged, and now those dreams were shattered. Brian was filled with so much anger, sadness, and disappointment that he was unable to think clearly. He was so distraught, he started to tear up and quickly made up an excuse to leave work in the middle of the day.