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Betrayal - discussion

(37 Posts)
specki4eyes Mon 05-Aug-13 14:26:54

Just been on a long walk with my DIL. We got to talking about what constitutes betrayal in a relationship. It would be interesting to open this up for discussion.

Would we say that secretly criticising one's partner to a mutual acquaintance, for many years, is a betrayal of that relationship? I would say yes but she feels that true betrayal only exists when it involves sexual infidelity.

Opinion anyone?

Tegan Mon 05-Aug-13 15:13:22

I think that we all grumble about our partners to third parties at one time or another. But to be married to someone that is constantly critical may not be betrayal; more like mental cruelty imo.

whenim64 Mon 05-Aug-13 15:18:19

Betrayal is rather a strong word, but criticism to a mutual acquaintance over many years, if it is not 'oh, you know what he's like, bless him' criticism, would appear to be undermining of the relationship. I suppose if it's a form of venting to blow off a bit of steam when the other half is oblivious, some people might find it useful, but sounds like the relationship might need a bit of investment.

merlotgran Mon 05-Aug-13 15:38:10

We had a neighbour once who criticised her husband a lot but God help anyone else who said a word against him.

hummingbird Mon 05-Aug-13 16:22:02

I suppose it depends on whether or not the person hearing the criticism understands the true nature of the relationship. My very dear friend and I spend many a happy hour grumbling about our respective other halves, but we both know that our relationships are solid, and that we love our husbands dearly. No betrayal there! smile

Marelli Mon 05-Aug-13 16:44:37

I agree, hummingbird, and to be able to use a good friend as a sounding board is a great thing! My close friend and I have had many, many sessions doing this - in fact we've talked AT each other mainly, and feel quite a bit better afterwards! smile

kittylester Mon 05-Aug-13 17:43:55

Sexual infidelity would be awful but more for the thought the intimacies shared with someone else than the act itself.

Having said that, among my friends, we do the 'Well, you know what he's like' but it's in a gentle way. Also, I think we could tell our DHs what we said about them without the sky falling in. The sort of discussion you are talking about is not the same thing at all.

Hope you are keeping strong 'specki' and enjoying your visitors. wine

GadaboutGran Mon 05-Aug-13 17:44:29

My take on Betrayal - the other side of the coin to Trust - can't have real trust without the risk of betrayal. Doesn't have to be sexual but I think what you describe is a very minor form of it & shows an unwillingness or lack of power to do something about the problem. I'd keep the word for more serious acts, especially if done over a period of time & with real intent to deceive. But it doesn't have to involve a person - people can feel betrayed by God (as after a traumatic event) or another belief system, or a government etc.

nanaej Mon 05-Aug-13 18:32:54

'Couple' betrayal for me is deliberate deceit. That may or may not involve sexual infidelity. Once someone lies about something significant there is a betrayal of trust. Unfortunately people views on 'significant' are not always the same!

A healthy relationship should be open and honest and not filled with secrets or lies.

My DDs and I often enjoy a session off loading our moans about our respective partners but tbh none of it is anything we have not told them to their faces at one point or another! grin

specki4eyes Tue 06-Aug-13 14:11:40

Yes that is a significant aspect - whether or not the criticisms have already been the subject in an exchange of views between the main protagonists. If not, the person being criticised cannot defend themselves; that is key.

Actually 'criticism' is too mild a word in this case - 'untruthful disparagement' - more adequately fits the bill. We are all guilty of whinging and complaining to a trusted friend/relative from time to time but imo, a long, slow insidious character assassination over many years betrays trust much more damagingly than does an affair, brief or otherwise.

Clearly I am referring to my own situation, I am not trying to deceive anyone who participates in this debate. And equally clearly, I am proposing my own view. My analysis is a powerful one in my eyes because I do set such great store by honesty and integrity.

Yes kitty thank you, I truly am keeping strong - my DS and DDIL are here and being very loving and supportive. They have both been at the receiving end of my H's unkind ways many times, so it is no surprise to them.

ps Sat 17-Aug-13 15:08:15

Betrayal to me is a breaking of trust that is detrimental to a relationship. We are all different and our relationships are based on differing values but I think we all know right from wrong. Two ladies moaning about their respective husbands not mowing the lawn or being lazy about the house is not the same as having an affair and lying about it in order to deceive. If any action violates the trust that any relationship has then, at least to me, it must be classed as betrayal.
Having an extra marital sexual relationship, lying, deceiving and constantly belittling or harming your partner is a betrayal of the trust your partner has placed in you. It is not nice in fact I would go as far as to say it is an evil and selfish thing to do.
Mutual respect, love and trust are paramount and sacrosanct in any relationship. If they are broken then the injured party has been betrayed. Any psychological, physical or moral violation of a marriage or relationship is, in my book, a betrayal. It has happened to me and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. The results are devastating for the innocent party.
Specki Constant unwelcome criticism would be betrayal in my humble opinion but friendly criticism which both partners could laugh at would perhaps not be. I think we know what would be classed as mental cruelty as against a term of endearment.

salamander Sat 17-Aug-13 18:25:21

Just caught up with this thread and i agree with you nanaej when you say "Once someone lies about something significant there is a betrayal of trust" and even more when you say "A healthy relationship should be open and honest and not filled with secrets or lies." It does as ps says and display a lack of mutual respect.

Nana75 Sun 29-Oct-23 17:00:26

On feeling betrayed. DH.contacted his first girlfriend from 50+years ago.He "found" her on a people's website.He could not find a way to connect with her directly.But was able to do so via a friend of here by sending this person his email address.In other words he wrote to a complete stranger to facilitate a reconnect.The ex gf eventually after a few weeks sent him an email.I forgot to say the "reason"for the" need "to contact,the ex,was to apologise for the way he dumped her when they were teenagers.He apparently had been feeling guilty for a while after,again,courtesy of the people's website,finding out her later marriage had failed.I was told of this when he received her first email.All very innocent maybe.However a few emails later(she said no to a meeting up with him) he suggested collecting her from near her home to go for coffee.To clarify I was" invited "in the first instance to join them in any meeting to begin with.I was NOT told of the" pick her up "for coffee suggestion! After this,which she never replied to,I knew there was something going on,I told him to stay away from me.He had deleted the email concerned but because of my devastation he managed to retrieve,saying I could see it but wouldn't like it!An understatement! As I said she didn't reply.It didn't happen possibly because she is in a relationship which she didn't want to endanger?Who knows?This was a few months ago but I am still reeling.It's the first time in our 50+year marriage I have had trust issues.I seem to be stuck in a fit as the whole thing keeps going round and round in my head.I have now heard myself making derogatory comments about their" puppy love ".Which I am not proud of.Especially as the relationship eventually became physical on one occasion.He said it was so long ago he can hardly remember it!And I can,t forget! I am trying to forgive but
finding it very difficult.I must keep trying though.Nothing else for it.The emails have stopped.

Katie59 Sun 29-Oct-23 19:02:36

If you have a “close” relationship with another person outside the relationship with your partner it will cause problems. It does not matter of it is sexual or same sex it will cause jealousies. Opposite sex is obviously the usual cause of tension because your partner will imagine something is going on wether it is or not.

fancythat Sun 29-Oct-23 19:14:42

Nana75 - I would call that betrayal.

It may be better to start a new thread?

Some may not notice that the original thread is from 2013.

Smileless2012 Sun 29-Oct-23 19:15:27

Betrayal to me is a breaking of trust that is detrimental to the relationship I agree ps.

M0nica Sun 29-Oct-23 19:24:25

i am not sure what I consider as 'betrayal'. Sexual infidelity is devastating, but I am not sure that it is automatically a marriage breaker. Circumstances are all important.

I can think of one example. A young couple, married and booked a holiday of a lifetime, doing something the young man had always wanted to do, but then the wife discovered she was pregnant and under the circumstances, the holiday was unsuitable for her. Her husband was all set to cancel the whole holiday, but she insisted as he had always so wanted this particular holiday, he should go on his own and in the end he did. He got back to find his wife had moved out citing his going on the holiday on his own as proof that the relationship had broken down. That to me is betrayal.

polly123 Tue 31-Oct-23 14:48:08

Betrayal doesn't have to include sex. Betrayal of trust or just complete disloyalty for me.

Dee1012 Tue 31-Oct-23 15:15:25

I think a lot of people have been critical of a partner at times and will share that with another but for me, sharing intimate details about each other’s lives is actually deeply unpleasant and what makes it a betrayal is this: if your partner would be upset by the things you’ve shared!

I was the victim of quite a serious assault as a teenager and told a partner...he then proceeded to discuss this with several members of his family and of course, small towns being what they are, I heard about it. I was devastated - that wasn't criticism as such but it was deeply personal for me and a total betrayal of trust.

biglouis Tue 31-Oct-23 15:24:12

Betrayal. You mean passing a law for one lot of people and having the police impose it to a degree that is sometimes laughable. Yet you and your mates breaking that law - not by accident - but knowingly and wantonly. Then lying to try and weasel out of responsibility.

Sound familiar at all?

Nana75 Tue 31-Oct-23 15:41:56

In my case it was the fact DH had decided to "reconnect" with his first girlfriend.Even 50+years later I firmly believe feelings have a chance of rekindling.Whether this would have happened in his case I hope never to find out! She apparently was never keen for a meeting,so my fears were probably pointless.BUT and isn,t there always a but?She has his email address,he has hers......!I have been hypervigilant over the past few months since it finished.I think I will continue to be this way for sometime yet.He absolutely hates me bringing the subject up now.This doesn't intimidate me at all.Whether he likes it or not if I need to ask or say something relating to the emails I do!After all if he hadn,t started on his "quest"there would be nothing to" constantly bring up "as he likes to put it! Thank you,everyone for reading these.It,s good to have a rant!😡

crazyH Tue 31-Oct-23 15:44:51

Sexual infidelity is not a marriage breaker unless it is accompanied with emotional infidelity…

Nana75 Tue 31-Oct-23 16:00:05

In DH ,s case obviously there was no sex.However he did "share" a memory of their "first time" when they were both virgins.It was put to her,again in an email,as a "mutual and special occasion" .I think it must have been a rushed thing though as her parents were out!!

MerylStreep Tue 31-Oct-23 16:06:59

Why did you feel the need to make derogatory remarks about his puppy love?
Unless there was something else going on it wasn’t a very nice thing to do, was it?

Allsorts Tue 31-Oct-23 16:11:40

Betray is when someone lies to cover up something important, it doesn’t have to be sexual. It’s when a partner destroys the trust you have between you. You can’t trust a liar.