INTRODUCTION

We understand that it’s important to address the emotional trauma you’re going through. People are often reluctant to talk about being betrayed, generally out of misplaced feelings of shame or embarrassment. Far too many people struggle with an intimate betrayal on their own. While we provide a lot of knowledge and tools to help you cope with and express your emotions, we’ve also created a private online community (www.brokentrust.com) where you can share your experience and receive the help and support of others. Betrayals are easier to overcome when you can connect with people who understand exactly what you’re going through.

Intimate Betrayal Defined

When most people think of an intimate betrayal, their minds immediately jump to one of the worst betrayals of all: infidelity. But the definition of betrayal encompasses a lot more. A betrayal “occurs when a social actor violates an established rule or expectation underlying cooperative behavior.”

In terms of romantic relationships, a betrayal happens when a partner behaves in ways that go against your expectations—spoken or unspoken. All betrayals share this common structure (expectation + violation of that expectation = betrayal). Let’s work through a trivial example. Imagine you don’t want your partner to watch an episode of your favorite TV series without you (an expectation), but he secretly watches the episode and tries to hide it from you (a violation of your expectations). If you find out, you’re likely to feel mildly disappointed (feel betrayed).

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