What to Do After Betrayal


Betrayal is one of the hardest things to go through in life. When a person betrays you, this is someone that you trusted and that you were close to. So, betrayal means that this person has violated the trust that you have had in them. A parent can betray a child by abusing them when they are supposed to love and cherish them and take care of them. A spouse can betray their partner when they have an affair with someone else. Being betrayed happens when someone hurts you or treats you terrible and you trusted them.

Loss of Betrayal

Betrayal is a loss. This is one of the biggest losses that someone can face. The loss comes because it is a loss of trust. When this trust is gone, it can cause the person experiencing the betrayal to feel lost and to feel as if they have gone through a death. This kind of loss needs support just like other losses.

Loss of trust is something that happens when you are betrayed. You never thought this person would hurt you and they were an important part of your life.

Betrayal Aspects

Betrayal is one of the biggest losses because it is a loss that didn’t have to happen. It only happened because the other person allowed it to happen and was using their own self instead of putting you first. Unlike some kind of death loss, a betrayal loss is a choice.

Illusion of Loss

What can be hard to understand is that betrayal can be a loss of an illusion. You develop a picture in your mind of how you expect someone to treat you. You expect someone to love you and to take care of you. You have this as a reality in your life. When betrayal happens though, you see that things weren’t what you thought that they were going to be. This kind of loss can happen in families and the illusion is there when you think that you are in a happy and healthy relationship and then you aren’t.

A man that marries a woman that he believes lives a moral life will want to be with her because of that. If he finds out later that she has had many sexual affairs, he will see that this was a loss of illusion because he was tricked.

Betrayal and Grief

Betrayal is a loss and sometimes people don’t understand that they have to grieve when betrayal happens. This can be strong emotions and they can be hard to understand. The idea behind grief is that it goes through different stages such as:

• Denial or shock.
• Bargaining.
• Anger.
• Sadness.
• Acceptance.

All of these stages can overlap, and the experience can be different for everyone that goes through it. It is not possible to reach acceptance without moving through your feelings and the prior stages of grief. Some people get stuck in one or more of the stages and they have a hard time moving on.

Denial of Grief

Most people will experience this stage of grief at one point or another. They avoid the fact that these things are happening, and some will turn to addictive behaviors such as alcohol or drugs. They do this as a way to get rid of their feelings. Some will just avoid thinking of what they are going through.

Anger of Grief

Another common stage is to go through anger. People often get stuck in this stage because they are so upset with what happened to them. They feel a loss of the relationship and what happened can cause them to be angry for a long time.

Grief and Betrayal

Here are some stages you might experience when going through grief of betrayal:

Shock or Denial

This is a stage that happens when you first find out that you are being betrayed. You might not believe it, or you might get mad at people for pointing out things that you don’t want to face.


As soon as you realize that you have been betrayed, you might feel very angry. This might be something that you aren’t used to feeling and when hurt and anger go together, it can be hard. You need to allow yourself to have these feelings and to work through them so that you can move forward.


When you are angry and going through this, you have a right to express your emotions. Vent what you are feeling and allow yourself to be angry. Don’t get stuck in this stage by ignoring your feelings.

Grief Letters

You can write out letters to yourself or to the person that hurt you. When you do this, it can allow you to vent your anger. That is a way that you won’t misplace your anger on people that don’t deserve it.

Sadness in Betrayal

After you are done being angry, many people get sad. They feel alone and they don’t understand why the relationship went like it did. They are sad because their trust was taken for granted and because they never thought someone would treat them that way.

Take time to write down what you are feeling or talk to someone. If you need to cry, do it.

Acceptance in Betrayal

Betrayal is something that you will eventually have to accept so that you can heal. You have to realize that you trusted someone, and they hurt you. You have to realize that this person violated your love and your care for them. They hurt you and you have to accept that this person is who they are. Take time to clearly think about the situation and allow yourself to get to a place where you accept that this action happened to you.

How to Forgive Betrayal

Some people wonder if they should forgive their partner for betraying them and stay in the relationship. This is something you have to ask and figure out for yourself. Here are some things that you need to remember:

  • They betrayed you and you need to find out if they are going to change their behavior.
  • Figure out if the person wants to be forgiven.
  • Was what your betrayer did something that came out of anger and then they felt guilty for how they acted?
  • Do you believe they won’t do it again?
  • How long have you known and trusted this person?
  • Have you talked to this person about what happened?
  • What makes you want to forgive this person?
  • What makes you want to stay in the relationship?
  • Do you need to be able to forgive that person so that you can move forward in your own life?

Remember, all of these emotions will come when you are betrayed. Figure out how to work through these stages of grief so that you can move forward in your life with peace and happiness.