NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning to Trust Again: Coping with Betrayal in a Relationship

Learning to trust again after discovering a major betrayal in a relationship can be a challenging process. Whether the betrayal involved infidelity, lying, discovering that your partner has an addiction or some other form of betrayal, if you choose to stay in the relationship, it can be a long road back to trusting your partner again once trust has been breached. And there are no guarantees that trust can be regained.

Learning to Trust Again After a Betrayal

Initially, you might be shocked into emotional numbness, denial, anger, profound sadness, isolation, self doubt or all of the above. It can be especially hard if you've had a long history of being with people who have betrayed you in one form or another, possibly starting with your family. 

Aside from blaming your partner, you might blame yourself for not recognizing the signs of the betrayal before. You might start having feelings of worthlessness: "If I was good enough, he wouldn't have cheated on me" or "If I was good enough, he wouldn't be abusing drugs." You might blame other people who might have known about the betrayal and didn't tell you. If you're a spiritual person, you might have a temporary crisis in faith, blaming God for "allowing this to happen."

At some point, after the initial shock, you have some hard decisions to make. Whether you choose to stay and try to work things out with your partner or whether you decide to go and move on with your life, learning to trust again is a challenge. 

The alternative to learning to trust again is closing yourself off emotionally, mentally, physically or even spiritually. Anger and bitterness can set in, making it almost impossible to try again in your current relationship or in future relationships. When you feel that you can't trust others or that you can't trust yourself, you're stuck and there is little hope for healing.

Getting Help in Therapy
If you are in that stuck place where you feel that you can't go back, but you feel that you can't move forward either, you're not alone. Many other people have experienced what you are experiencing and have overcome these feelings.

If you're having difficulty coping with this on your own, you could benefit from working on these issues with a licensed psychotherapist.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist. 

I work with adult individuals and couples.  I've helped many clients heal and learn to trust again in themselves and others.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up an appointment for a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.

Also see my article:
Learning to Trust Again: After the Affair