Infidelity is the betrayal our society focuses on, but it is actually the subtle, unnoticed betrayals that truly spoil relationships. When partners do not choose each other day after day, trust and commitment erode away.
Partners may be aware of this disloyalty to each other, but dismiss it because it’s “not as bad as an affair.” This is false. Anything that violates a committed relationship’s contract of mutual trust, respect, and protection can be disastrous.
Betrayals are founded on two building blocks: deception (not revealing your true needs to avoid conflict) and a yearning for emotional connection from outside the relationship.
Below are three betrayals that spoils relationships. Only by confronting and taking responsibility for them can couples reestablish their trust in each other.
It’s very easy for platonic friends to bond in the trenches of work, day after day. Sometimes we call this person a “work wife” or “work husband.” Even friendships made at the gym or local coffee shop can threaten the bond at home.
These nonsexual relationships can lead to both parties sharing intimate details about each other’s lives. That doesn’t make it a betrayal. What makes it a betrayal is this: if your partner would be upset by the things you’ve shared or would be uncomfortable watching the interaction.
5 signs your partner’s friendship is not an innocent friendship:
- Has a friendship been hidden?
- Are your questions about the friendship responded with “don’t worry” or discouragement?
- Have you asked it to end, only to have your partner tell you no?
- Have your boundaries been disrespected?
- Is the friend the subject of fantasies or comments during troubled times in the relationship?
Couples don’t feel supported when one partner keeps a foot out of the relationship. They don’t feel like their partner has their best interests at heart, that they have their back. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for the betrayed partner to blame a trigger as the real problem, when it’s actually the lack of commitment.
Emotional withdrawal can be something big, like choosing a work meeting over a family funeral, or it can be as small as turning away when your partner needs emotional support.
A committed relationship requires both partners to be there for each other through the life-altering traumas and everyday nuisances. That means celebrating joys and successes with your partner, too.
Everybody has different ways of expressing themselves. In a committed relationship, it is the responsibility of both partners to uncover and disclose these preferences to understand what the other requires to feel loved, protected, and supported.
In his research lab, Dr Gottman discovered that happy couples turned toward each other 86% of the time, while unhappy couples turned towards each other only 33% of the time. That means unhappy couples withdraw 67% of the time! Emotional withdrawal sets in when bids are ignored.
Solution: To improve your emotional connection, focus on rebuilding and updating your love maps, cultivating a culture of admiration and fondness, and turning towards bids more often. m