Infidelity can ruin relationships. But as clinical psychologist and life coach, Dr Kanan Khatau aptly says, “Trust in all spheres including loyalty, finances and commitment are equally important to keep the bond strengthened. It is important to identify cracks, other than betrayal, in your relationship.” Here are seven ways to see red and hit the alert button.
– Confiding in others
Opening up to friends or family about your partner’s annoying habits may seem harmless, but there is a fine line between how much of personal information you reveal to others. The complaints should never seem like you are ridiculing your partner. This can further lead to an emotional affair, if you are confiding in someone who you are also attracted to. Says Dr Pavan Sonar, consultant psychiatrist and counsellor, “Your relationship with your partner or spouse has to be the most intimate and private relationship in your life. If you are sharing mutual love, care and happiness, it is your partner who deserves to know about your feelings and not some other person. Considering that your partner has a private life and trusts only in you, sharing too much information with outsiders amounts to betrayal, leading to your partner feeling inadequate, sad or frustrated.” Keeping secrets always backfires since even if your spouse never finds out what you said, it creates coldness between you.
– Being manipulative
There are times when you may feel that you are not in the right relationship and your partner is not perfect. Instead of a direct approach, your partner may sweet talk you into making lifestyle changes. It takes time to realise this kind of betrayal, since it is masked with well-meaning gestures. Deep down if you feel that your partner is being manipulative and trying to bring about a personality change in you, it is your right to confront your partner. You may bring about changes, only if you are comfortable with them.
– Hiding addictions
Various addictions (like smoking, alcohol, drugs, food, phone addiction or even workaholism), act as major factors of breaches in trust. Marketing executive Mukund J (name changed) was a chain smoker and his live-in partner Raina M, was unhappy with it. After many promises of kicking the butt, Raina was in for a shock one night when she caught him smoking in the common garden area of their complex. “It was a lifestyle change suggested by a doctor and I was worried about his health since I wanted to take our relationship to the next level. Even after I caught him, I didn’t see any remorse. So, I convinced him to visit a health advisor for rehab and a relationship counsellor to salvage the relationship.”
– Emotional cheating
Remember, sometimes emotional affairs with someone outside the relationship can be more painful than sexual encounters. With social media playing a major role, many feel seriously betrayed by their partner’s intimate connection on the Internet. While those who indulge in emotional affairs may see no wrong since they are not having sex with the person online, the secrecy of the relationship is enough to cause feelings of betrayal. One of the main reasons behind such affairs is lack of intimacy in relationships. There also might be those who are obsessed with personal late night chats online. Gathering enough proof to confront your partner if you doubt him/ her is the first step towards solving this problem.
– Financial cheating
Homemaker Rina K (name changed) was in the habit of shopping online without informing her husband. However, when it came to light eventually, the couple had a major row. “We were struggling with our EMIs and my husband thought that it was wrong on my part to indulge in shopping. For me, shopping was a stressbuster for the financial stress we were in, but I didn’t realise it would spell such big trouble since he is the earning member.”
Financial infidelity can have a negative impact since it breaks down fundamental trust in the relationship. According to Dr Kanan, “Love and respect share the same wall. When in a relationship money is swindled, there is an obvious breach of trust, which can lead to a feeling of being cheated. This is perhaps a bigger betrayal than when one encounters a similar situation from the outside world.”
– Being selfish
When you always put your needs and wants first and ignore what your partner feels but he/ she is always concerned about you, be assured that the relationship is not going to survive for long. Your partner may be accommodating for a long time but after being taken for granted time and again, it will come to a point where they will be forced to demand equal attention to their needs. Step back and think about it if you want to save the relationship.
– Not standing up for your partner
Remember that your partner and you are a team who should stand up for each other. If you allow people to speak against or badly about your partner, it may come across as betrayal, which can ruin the relationship. Rather than having public confrontations, wait to speak to your spouse in private if you have a difference of opinion.
How to deal with betrayal
– Acknowledge it instead of denying it and pushing it under the carpet.
– Don’t blame yourself and think that it’s your fault.
– Admit it to yourself and gear up to express your feelings.
– Demand an explanation from your partner and be prepared to face the reasoning.
– Don’t hesitate to get professional help.
– You may be the one who was betrayed but be ready to take responsibility for issues from your side, which might have lead to the betrayal.
– If there is no solution in sight, be ready to let go.
– If you are the one who has betrayed, talk it out with your partner and apologise for your actions and the pain caused.
– After the showdown, if you still need to express feelings of rage, anger, unhappiness, emptiness or guilt, continue with your counselling sessions till you are fully ready to move on.
If you have been betrayed, be ready to handle these emotions
– Physical tiredness
– Lack of self-worth