Of course, not all betrayals involve sexual infidelities. Take, for example, Zachary and his boyfriend Jacob, who have been in a long-distance relationship for two years. Zachary lives in New York City, and Jacob lives in Austin, Texas. For the past three months, Jacob has been trying to find a job on the East Coast, preferably in New York City, so he and Zachary can build a life together.
On a recent trip to Austin, Zachary was checking his email on Jacob’s computer and discovered that Jacob had applied for several jobs in San Diego. Zachary had a hard time making sense of this information. Why would Jacob be applying for jobs in California? Zachary was stunned to find out that his partner had been making career choices that undermined their goal of creating a life together.
Betrayals are not only emotionally overwhelming, but they also create uncertainty, which leaves people asking basic questions about themselves (“Why didn’t I see this coming?”), their partner (“How could he do this to me?”), and their relationship (“What does this mean for our future?”). Uncertainty robs people of their sense of security and peace of mind. It’s difficult to know what to do when you begin to doubt the most basic things about yourself, your partner, and your relationship.
Betrayals are also stressful because the person you typically turn to for help and support is now the source of your anger and frustration. If you’re like most people, you’re struggling with some, if not all, of the following questions:
- How do I cope with my emotions?