Betrayal comes in different guises.
Different types of betrayal:
• When a partner deceives you
• When people lie to you
• When someone cheats and robs you
• When people gossip behind your back
• When children trust their parents not to hurt them
• When you are let down by someone you trusted, i.e. Parent/Friend/Boss/Husband/Wife/Child/Sibling
• When you feel humiliated by someone
• When you are betrayed by your parents
• When you are betrayed by your body
• When you are betrayed by society
When your partner betrays/deceives you.
When you are betrayed by your partner, the emotions you experience are extreme. If, and when, this happens you must not accept all the blame or think that the reason this has happened is ‘your fault.’ It does not mean that you are unworthy and unable to sustain a healthy relationship. It says more about your partner’s inability to be loyal and honest in their thoughts and actions. However, you will question your intuition and perception in failing to detect that your relationship was heading towards a rocky path. Your question your feminine attributes and the intimacy you both shared. In short you feel a fool.
If you have been betrayed and are struggling with this feeling, you will experience the following emotions:
• Shock, disbelief and numbness
• Denial (hiding away from the truth that has emerged)
• Anger and hurt
• Unhappiness and sadness
• Panic and Anxiety
• Tiredness
• Loss of confidence
• No self-worth

The above list is similar to that of the grieving process you experience when someone dies.
Example of this type of betrayal:
A professional business woman told me that she was having an affair. Her husband had been ill, for some considerable time, suffering from depression. His depression was due to a substantial loss of finances, when his ‘established’ business had hit trouble and been liquidated. This situation had resulted in her husband having regular counseling, in the primary healthcare setting, and also taking prescribed anti-depressants to help him deal with his circumstances.
This lady could not understand why her husband was reacting to this situation so badly, and had no patience with him over this issue. She led a very busy professional, domestic and social life and was finding her husband an encumbrance. Apparently, the affair had been established some time before the business disintegrated, because there had been no intimacy between her and her husband for some considerable time. To be cheated on is bad enough, but to cheat when your partner is experiencing major financial loss and an emotional readjustment, is a double betrayal.
When people lie to you
People, generally, are rarely totally honest in relationships. It’s the law of survival. You only get told what the other person wants you to know. Details, (hidden agendas) etc., remain undisclosed most of the time. Knowing this will help you understand the games people play in relationships. The dishonesty needn’t be detrimental to your relationship. Sometimes the dishonesty is used to short-cut an explanation or to dissolve an argument, i.e.
Question: What time did you get home from work tonight?
Answer: About 5.30 p.m.
You might omit the fact that you called in at the supermarket on your way home as this information is of no interest to your partner. Does that make you a liar?
If, however, you have something significant to hide, the same question answered could have consequences, i.e.
Question: What time did you get home from work tonight?
Answer: About 5.30 p.m.
You deliberately avoid telling the truth, that you bumped into an old flame and went for a coffee with them. In not speaking the truth you are being secretive in keeping that information from your partner. This indicates that you know that meeting up with an old flame would be unacceptable to your partner. It also indicates that you might be tempted to repeat the situation.
Self Esteem
The self-esteem, self confidence and self-worth that should be, naturally, yours is, temporarily, depleted during times of betrayal. It is hard to value and love yourself when someone has betrayed you. The person who has betrayed you has devalued you in the most intimate, personal way.
Self-esteem is an essential ingredient in any healthy relationship. If you respect, and like yourself, you will feel confident and able to interact with your peers. Without self-esteem you will wither away and emotionally disable yourself in the process. Self-esteem is a fragile emotion. At the ‘drop of a hat’ it can vanish into thin air. Self-esteem begins in childhood. During your childhood, the emotional, physical nurturing and learned behaviour that you experience, are absorbed and establishes patterns that are automatically stored in your memory box, (that is your mind). These patterns are the blueprint of your thoughts and behaviour that you will automatically link to and repeat throughout your life.
For many people, it takes years to achieve good self-esteem. It should be allowed to build up within you and is obtained as a result of achieving some measure of personal fulfillment and success. This personal success gives you a feel good factor which, in turn, makes you proud of your achievement however small that achievement might be. Even though it may take time for you to develop a good self-esteem, it can be demolished in a blink of an eye if it is undermined with constant putdowns and ridicule. Self esteem should be nurtured and allowed to continue developing.
Example of low self-esteem:
A guy told me that he felt guilty because he had come to realize that he had been intimidating his partner for some time. This had become apparent to him when he noticed that she was unable to answer the telephone in case she said the wrong thing. When forced to answer the phone, she would stutter and hand the phone over to anyone rather than continue with the conversation. He had also noticed that she was taking their eldest child with her when doing the weekly food shopping. All this had come about when a work colleague was brave enough to confront him at work telling him to stop
controlling, manipulating and intimidating him. This confrontation with his colleague forced him to think how he was being perceived by others and he recognized that he was behaving in this way with everyone he came into contact with. He felt very bad about what he had done and asked what he could do to change his ways and be more supportive and encouraging of his wife.
When someone cheats and robs you
The dictionary explanation of cheating is:
• An act of deception
• An act of fraud, imposture or imposition.
Cheating characteristically is used to create an unfair advantage over someone, and often at the expense of others. There is nothing worse than someone cheating you, duping you, robbing you.
Most people would agree that they would rather give something away, willingly, than be cheated by someone who is prepared to get what they want at any cost.
Example: Someone I know sent away for a set of CD’s on ‘enlightenment.’ On receiving the CD’s he decided that, whilst they were excellent value for money, he would rather copy them and send the originals back. Thereby, not paying for them and cheating the sender.
“I thought that example ironic as the CD’s explained how to attain a higher level of consciousness.” What a Cheat.
When people gossip behind your back:
If, and when, you trust someone you expect them to be loyal in word and deed. That trust is immediately broken if they pass on to another person the stuff you have told them in confidence. We all have secrets; some secrets are larger than others. The last thing we want is for those confidences to be passed on to another person without our consent.
• If you meet someone for coffee and your partner finds out from another person (an innocent encounter with a friend/colleague can turn into a nasty situation, if wrongly portrayed)
• If someone makes up stories about you to put you in a bad light
• If someone deliberately tells lies in order to put you down and elevate themselves
• If someone repeats something you have said and adds more to the story
• If someone sabotages your ideas and uses those ideas for themselves
• If you purchase an item of clothing that was costly and you told your partner that it was reduced in a sale. You tell a friend the true cost of the garment and your friend slips up and tells your partner the true cost of the item you purchased
A rogue gives a ready ear to mischievous talk, and a liar listens to slander." (Prov 17:4 NEB).
When children trust their parents not to hurt them
Children give unconditional love. Unconditional love is, loving without conditions limitations or reservations.
Children are innocent and have not yet found out the ways of the world. They have no expectations. They just are. They look to those people who care for them with total trust and if this trust is abused then their self-esteem will be low and they will have no self-worth.
In order to raise a child’s self-esteem you have to nurture, support, encourage and praise all their efforts. It is the responsibility of parents to look after them and guide their passage to adulthood. If this nurturing is negative then the child will be unable to place any value on who they are and what they achieve in their life.
When you are let down by someone you trusted
All of us, at one stage or other, have experienced a situation in which we have found ourselves not trusting another person. Sometimes there is no logical reason for this. It’s just a feeling, intuition, gut reaction. Often we are unable to articulate the feeling. First impressions, in my opinion, are important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Phrases like ‘I wouldn’t trust him/her as far as I could throw them,’ leap out in these circumstances.
Intuition is a valuable tool. It can lead you to the core of a problem and show you the way. Intuition is within you, you feel it in the pit of your stomach. You can learn to recognize and develop your intuition by listening to your inner voice. With practice your intuition can be easily recognized and utlised and is a valuable tool in relationships.
What does not trusting someone mean?
• It means that you have doubts as to their sincerity

• It means you are confused regarding their issues and motives
• It means you have no confidence in their ability to keep a confidence
• It will affect how you will react to them
• It means you will not tell that person anything you are not afraid to hear back through someone else
• It stops you being spontaneous
• You will think, twice, before you speak
• It will erode your relationship with that person
• The relationship with that person will not be meaningful
• You will be unable to grow and develop with that person
• If you have had ‘trust issues’ previously you will be even more wary
• You will be looking for double meanings and hidden agendas during conversations
• Because trust is an essential element in relationships, the relationship will lack quality and substance
When you feel humiliated by someone
‘Humiliation is literally the act of being made humble, or reduced in standing or prestige. However, the term has much in common with the emotion of shame. Humiliation is not, in general, a pleasant experience as it reduces the ego.’
The affect being humiliated has on you is:
• Lowers your self-esteem
• Reduces the pride you have in yourself
• Made to feel inferior
• Made to feel helpless
• Knocks your ego
• Humiliation is emotional abuse
• Being bullied
• Being intimidated
• Can have long lasting effect on your psyche
When you are betrayed by your parents
Patterns of behaviour
Your pattern of thought and behaviour are established during childhood. You adopt these patterns by copying the behviour of those people closest to you (role models). If, however, you experienced the following in your own childhood:
• Neglect (physically and emotionally)
• Ignored
• Isolated
• Never having praise
• Abused physically
• Abused emotionally
• Were lied to
• Domestic violence
Then, these difficulties, you have experienced and absorbed, have formed the foundation for your thought and behaviour patterns which will, negatively, affect your behaviour and self-esteem in adulthood.
When you are betrayed by your body
We are living in a culture that promotes health and physical fitness. Your body image and physical appearance is important to you, and it does affect the way you are perceived by others. How betrayed do you feel when your body becomes mis-shaped, older, diseased/infected?
• Embarrassed (spots, eye bags, hair loss)
• Shameful (hairs growing on your chin) etc.
• Disappointed (skin sagging)
• Tearful
• Unhappy
• Angry
• Hostile
• Frightened
• Worried
• Frustrated
• Unclean
These are only some of the emotions you experience when you feel your body has let you down. This is especially so if you have always, taken pride and looked after yourself, eaten healthily, exercised regularly, looked after your skin, etc.
It is quite normal to have some of these feelings about yourself and your body after being diagnosed as suffering from a serious illness.
On a more positive note, if you are, or have, experienced physical problems and/or a serious illness you can also feel:
• Proud of the way your body has coped with the illness
• Grateful for your body’s resilience and stamina
Making the most of your good attributes and viewing yourself positively will have benefits. Betrayed by Society
You may feel that society has let you down. This can happen if you are:
• Unemployed
• Lack appropriate education
• Isolated
• Fighting for government benefits in order to survive
• Worried about health-care
• In a minority group
• Marginalised by an unpopular, unacceptable illness (HIV+)
You should have the opportunity of gaining suitable education and employment. If these two things are denied you then you will feel betrayed by society.
You may have experienced a long wait for an appointment to be admitted into hospital, or experienced difficulty in obtaining a dentist/physiotherapy, etc.
It is important that you feel cared for and valued as a human being. It is the very essence of being accepted and approved by others which forms part of the quality of your life. If this is not provided, by outside forces (society) then you should take action and develop a way of obtaining self-esteem by other methods.

Author's Bio: 

'Lynda Bevan lives in a picturesque village in South Wales, United Kingdom. She is 60 years
of age, married for the third time, with three (adult) children. During her teens and early twenties she pursued and enjoyed acting and taught at local Youth Centres.

Her 20 year career has involved working, in the area of mental health, with the two major care agencies in the UK, Social Services and the National Health Service.

After the birth of her third child, and with her second marriage ending, she became employed by Social Services and climbed through the ranks to senior management level with some speed.

During her career with Social Services she developed a passion for counselling and psychotherapy and worked extensively with mental health patients, within the organisation, setting up counselling projects in the Primary |Health-care Setting to tackle the issue of doctors who referred patients, inappropriately, to Psychiatric Hospitals for therapy for events that arise in normal everyday life, i.e. divorce, anxiety, depression, bereavement, stress, loss of role. It was during this time that she became involved in marital/relationship counselling and, coincidentally, was experiencing difficulties within her own relationship. The experience of working in this environment, and her own relationship issues, enabled Lynda to be innovative; creating methods of coping and developing strategies that enabled her and, consequently, patients to live within their difficult relationships. These strategies were devised and offered to patients who had clearly identified that they did not want to separate or proceed with the divorce process.

After taking early retirement from Social Services, she became employed by the National Health Service, as a Counsellor in the Primary Health-Care Setting. During this 10 year period in her career she began using the strategies, she had developed, with patients who were referred for relationship counselling and who did not want to end their partnership/marriage. This strategy (10 step guide) has been used extensively over a 10 year period with impressive results.

Lynda has lectured on the PGCE Course at Swansea Business Institute teaching counselling skills to post-graduate students. She has also run workshops on self-development and psychodrama at Swansea University.

Lynda is presently employed as a Manager of a charity that provides services and supports people who are HIV positive or who have AIDS. She is also the Resident Relationship Counsellor on Swansea Sound Radio.