Hello my beloved perverts!
This weeks email is an extension of last week’s topic, which dealt with lying and deceit within a relationship. While both of those are considered a betrayal of trust, there are other ways to betray and feel betrayed – both of which will destroy important aspects of your relationship, and your personal self-worth. I thought it important to dig deeper into this topic, so we can be aware of what might be considered a betrayal beyond those things which we historically put into that category, and how it affects the involved parties. I think you will be surprised!
Having been monogamous with my husband for 16 years prior to delving into polyamory left me rather unprepared for the challenges of navigating new relationships. For those of you that have had long-term partners, you probably agree that after that many years, most all of the initial relationships humps have long since been worked out. One becomes secure in the relationship, trusting that your partner has your best interest at heart, trusting that your partner will behave in a certain way in specific situations, has your back always. Feeling emotionally secure, allowing and showing vulnerability, living with the knowledge that neither will be endangered by this long-term partner. We forgot how much work it took to get here, how much time and effort were spend to work through the initial humps and bumps of any new relationship. We are comfortable in our ‘knowledge’ of how to build and maintain a good, healthy, trusting and open relationship. Enter a new person into the equation, and all of that hard-worked for equilibrium with your partner flies out of the window in most cases … there are exceptions – I (we) certainly were not it.
Not taking working through jealousy issues into consideration (which is not what I am talking about here and a whole thing by itself!), there are many ways in which we can feel betrayed – whether your partner is directly involved or not. One of our early seconds (secondary partner & submissive) attached to my husband was ordered to keep a journal, and they were to be absolutely honest about their feelings and observations that they wrote down. He had full access to this journal, and read it diligently. Many weeks passed by, and some of the interactions between my husband and I changed …. subtly, though. I could not put my finger on it, exactly, but somehow he was more distant, less connected. Not sure what was going on, I asked to read the journal to perhaps gain some insight into our changed interactions. He was reluctant, but ultimately relented although not happily so.
Reading said journal brought me rage, disbelief, tears, disappointment and a lot of emotional pain. This person was raging against myself, my personality, my style of leadership, my decisions, my marriage … Me. They were actively working to undermine my marriage, which was very clearly stated early in their relationship would lead to immediate dismissal. When I got myself under control again, I went to talk to my husband. I felt betrayed in a couple of ways – by my husband for not disclosing what the journal revealed about his person’s mindset regarding myself OR putting an end to it, and by the submissive for breaking my trust that they would respect our marriage. These were the big ones, anyway. Very different betrayals – but damaging either way. Needless to say, that particular relationship ended immediately.
Betrayal – what is it?
At its most basic, it is taking advantage of the trust, confidence, and respect that others have in/for us. “Others” in this case can be friends, family, co-workers, romantic partners, children, etc. Basically anyone that trusts us in some manner or another.
Betrayal is a very humbling experience, whether you are on the giving or receiving side. Getting deceived by someone that you trusted and perhaps even loved can be very damaging, and we are going to dig into that in a minute. The person committing the betrayal is also suffering – from negative thinking, emotional fall-out, lack of self-respect or self-worth. There is a reason WHY they did what they did, and that reason is most likely an ugly one, something they feel insecure about, fear of consequences (of the truth), lack of self respect or worth.
When someone is betrayed, their sense of trust and security, their safety as it relates to the betrayer is injured; and that is a very hard injury to come back from.
Types of betrayal
When most folx think ‘betrayal’, the first (and most obvious in regards to relationships) thing that often comes to mind is cheating on one’s partner, or doing something so horrible that a long-standing friendship comes to a sudden and cataclysmic end. However, there are many different types of deception, and some of us may be doing some deceiving and never even think of it as such because we don’t recognize it. Let’s take a look:
Emotional Affairs – this kind of affair does not have a sexual component, it is about the emotional tie to someone other than one’s partner. They are not as “easily” ended as sexual affairs, and often are harder, if not impossible, to end.
Putting Yourself Before Your Partner – relationships are made up of giving and taking, of working together towards a common goal. Give/take should be at an approximately 50/50 in order to last for a long time. When that equilibrium is changed in such a way that it becomes all about one person rather than the relationship, betrayal of the relationship as a whole and the promises we made to each other takes place.
Emotional Distancing – If one of the partners in a relationship experiences sudden lack of emotional, spiritual or physical connection to their partner, it can be interpreted as betrayal by the ‘neglected’ party.
Withholding Information – someone trying to justify their behavior or actions might withhold information in order to do so, which is betraying their partner’s trust.
Weaponizing Vulnerabilities – using a shared vulnerability or insecurity against one’s partner is a betrayal of their trust in the most despicable way.
Lying – no need to elaborate.
Failing To Stand Up For Your Partner – can feel very much like a betrayal by the person that expects their partner or friend to have their back. The lack of support or back-up in a difficult situation shows a lack of consideration for the relationship, and the person being betrayed.
Taking Advantage – respecting each other’s boundaries is a standard prerequisite of a healthy relationship. When one starts taking advantage of love or friendship, one betrays the trust and mutual respect that should exist for each other.
Sexual Infidelity – no need to elaborate.
Looking at the above list is certainly eye-opening. By those definitions, I think every single one of us has betrayed someone they care for at some point in their lives. We may not have been aware of what we were doing in the forefront of our brains, but somewhere deep down we know that what we were doing was not honest or feeling right. I know I am guilty of a couple of those for sure.
Why do we do it?
Control – conquest and control over one’s partner are often the prime motivator for a variety of betrayals. It allows the deceiver to feel powerful, and the deceived powerless. For some it may even be addictive, and once started, they cannot stop their “game”.
Self-Sabotage – practicing deception is a deeply self-defeating behavior. It occurs when one is struggling with skewed self-perception or low self-esteem. Cheating, lying and deceiving are some of the oldest forms of self-sabotage on the books; however, it takes some radical honesty with oneself and some serious introspection to realize that.
Unresolved Grief – sometimes, when we loose ourselves in grief, we do things that we would not do at any other time in order to alleviate the pain. Unfortunately, that often includes behaviors towards others that can be interpreted as deception and/or betrayal of their trust.
Loss of Identity – Going through a major life event can make us feel as though we are loosing ourselves or piece of our core identity. To regain either (or both), we often go beyond where we would stop when in our ‘right’ minds, reaching for anything to reconnect us with ourselves. Unfortunately, that can include deception of those we profess to care for, whether we see it as such at the time or not.
Physical, Emotional or Mental Instability – when we feel insecure in any of those areas, we can easily loose ourselves to destructive behaviors that we would otherwise not exhibit; deceptions and betrayals are no exception. We all expect a certain sense of safety within our world/lives, and when that sense of safety is lost … we, as human beings, will do a lot to regain it, whether that sense of safety is real or imagined.
What is next?
I think I have given you enough food for thought for this week. This is a lot to consider, if you are the type to actually do that. Rather than offering Techniques to get beyond betrayal this week, I will save it and the accompanying bit about how to ‘pre-screen’ a possible partner for next week. I am actually finding myself a bit down just thinking about and formulating this particular matter. I DO think it is an important topic for consideration, and vitally important for healthy relationships, but it is also draining on the emotional front.
Being willing to be honest and real with oneself is hard work, and recognizing and owning that I have committed several of these betrayals over the years has been … challenging, but mind-opening. I strongly believe that recognizing and owning one’s flaws allows us to not only realize when we are about to engage in damaging behavior, but then also have the option to choose a different path. And even if we do NOT chose a different path, we are at least acknowledging that what we are about to do is not right. That knowledge by itself should tell us something, and give us something to sit with.
With that, my beloved pervs, I will leave you be until next week!