Let’s look at the definition of betrayal so we can understand why it hurts so much.

Webster’s definition: To hurt (someone who trusts you, such as a friend or relative) by not giving help or by doing something morally wrong.

“The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.” ~Unknown

By definition, when someone commits an act of betrayal, we are going to experience emotional pain. Our world is going to turn upside down, we have to grieve the loss of our interpretation of who the betrayer was, understand the more realistic interpretation of who the betrayer is based on his/her actions, forgive ourselves for whatever we blame ourselves for, heal and move forward.

“Forgive yourself for the blindness that let others betray you. Sometimes a good heart doesn’t see the bad.” ~Unknown

Now, if we add codependency to this mix, I propose the healing is more difficult, may take longer, and requires working on our codependency issues. Let’s go back to the definition we have been using for codependency: a system of distortions that exists on a continuum. Codependents learn personality traits that interfere with knowing one’s self and others. Codependents take care of others, often ignoring or tolerating their abuse, avoiding confrontation, and enabling the “bad” behavior.

Three very important components of codependency are: putting others concerns before our own concerns, needing others to like us for us to have self esteem, and an irrational need to avoid conflict. When any or all of these are operating, we are not taking care of ourselves. It is not a contradiction for us to take care of ourselves and then address others concerns, build our own self-esteem and feel good when others like to be around us, or learn how to face confrontation and use de-escalating practices. Think about these concepts and see where you honestly assess yourself. If we do not have the tools to take care of ourselves first, build our own self-esteem, and handle conflict, we are going to be hit hard when we are betrayed by a love one. Betrayal hits everyone hard, but if we are fragile before it arrives we are really going to be knocked down emotionally.

If we add a long history with the person (thinking you could trust them) – e.g. Elizabeth Edwards with her husband Senator John, or any long marriage/family relationship/friendship where the person is someone you felt you could trust – betrayal is going to be devastating. The grieving process becomes more challenging when there is a long history. Betrayal is not gender specific

Continue reading here: https://www.recovery.org/pro/articles/healing-from-betrayal/

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, formerly from Aspen, Colorado is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. For over twenty years she served as the trusted advocate and advisor to Influential Corporate leaders, Trial Attorneys, Athletes, Leaders, Physicians and their families whose connections extended far beyond Aspen, Colorado.

Combining her own professional experience with that of her no-nonsense mentor, the former Chilean Minister of Finance, political prisoner of Pinochet and corporate business consultant, Dr. Fernando Flores, Brown used a methodology that helped people reveal their blindness’s and learn to speak authentically thereby decreasing their suffering and increasing their dignity and authenticity. Brown has been described by one client as “having a very caring way of going for the jugular.”

Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do.

You can contact Dr. Anne Brown through her website: www.BackbonePower.com