Next Story

Rebuilding a relationship after betrayal: Is forgiveness possible?

Send Push
Salvaging a relationship that has been hurt is very much possible but it is subjective to both partners and the nature of the relationship on the whole. Betrayal will cause trauma, anger, heartache, resentment and mis trust but survival of the relationship is possible if both want it. It may make the betrayed partner question their self-worth and even blame themselves. People may betray because they are looking for a reason to end the relationship sub-consciously and sometimes it’s just an impulsive urge for gratification. The repair work of the relationship is dependent on the intent of the person who has betrayed. Are they looking for redemption to ease their guilt, are they looking to get out or are they genuinely making amendments for the right reasons? Is the forgiving party able to process their feelings, let go and leave the past behind? For a new and healthy bond to be re-established the relationship will need to be viewed from a macro perspective to rekindle trust. Sometimes people can forgive but are unable to forget, making it difficult if the betrayal is too painful and the abandonment, is severely felt.

Love, genuine effort and a desire to make the relationship work accelerate the healing process even if one is unable to completely heal. The process may take time and effort but when worked out, the relationship can feel stronger and more resilient.

1. Process your feelings
Connect with yourself, take some time and notice how you feel about betraying your partner.

2. Be honest
Honestly getting in touch with your feelings is a pathway to the emotional work that needs to be done to fix the relationship.

3. Take responsibility
Acknowledgement of the betrayal with empathy minus blame and excuses.

4. Communicate
Willing listen and talk to your partner. Straightforward communication will help with decision-making.

5. Show genuine remorse and empathy
Actions not only support words but sometimes speak louder than words. Stick to your promises.

6. Spend time with your partner
Plan dates, movies, shopping and maybe even a getaway when your partner is ready.

7. Be patient and allow space
As much as spending time is important, your partner might also need space to process their feelings.

8. Be willing to forgive
It is important to eventually not only forgive the partner but also oneself. Whether you are the betrayer or the betrayed.

9. Take therapy
It may be helpful to see a relationship counsellor to ease the process of healing and coming back together.

Betrayal comes in many forms and it most definitely complicates relationships. It takes courage to be honest with oneself and one’s partner. If both re-committing and forgiveness become difficult, it may be better to move on and end the relationship. Coming from a space of fear or co-dependency will further damage the relationship in the long run. Either way, accepting responsibility will be helpful and maybe even liberating for both, eventually.

Authored by: Sohini Rohra, Mental Health Advocate & Counselling Psychologist

Loving Newspoint? Download the app now