All relationships require a basic foundation of trust. We establish rules of engagement and set reasonable expectations for each other. And our worlds are turned upside down when this is violated and we experience the sting of betrayal.
To be sure, few things cut as deep as betrayal. In fact, it’s much easier to deal with disrespect and attacks from those we don’t like than to be stabbed in the back by a trusted other.
We know what to expect from our enemies. And, in this respect, we maintain our rules of engagement and our foundation is not shaken.
But betrayal happens when someone violates the rules of our life together.
For instance, this happens when a trusted leader is discovered living a double life. We feel betrayed because it disrupts what we thought we knew about him.
This can also happened when a friend talks bad about us behind our backs. We thought we could trust him and now we’re left questioning the very nature of our friendship.
And certainly infidelity in marriage shatters our trust. It can feel like life as we knew it is now over when our sacred vows are broken. And there is some truth here, as nothing will ever be the same again.
Betrayal destroys our basic trust and there’s a real sense in which we can’t go back.
And for many this brings an end to the relationship. But even those who decide to make amends must still reenroll in Relationship Building 101. Trust must be reestablished for the relationship to be reborn.
In the end, it’s clear betrayal cuts deep. And it leaves our hearts bitter and distrusting when we don’t handle it well.
But as we seek true healing we can actually grow in our practice of love – resting in God’s faithfulness and forgiving even as he has forgiven us.
Feel the full sting of betrayal and the disruption it brings. And learn to anchor your soul also in God who will never let you down.