- Overcoming betrayal from Psychology Today
If you have been betrayed, you need to decide whether you want to get over it.
If you decide that you would like to heal from it, you will need to tell the person who betrayed you to offer you the 4 R's to respond to your 4 H's (and then watch closely how earnestly they do it).
1. To ease your hurt they will need to demonstrate remorse to show that they know they damaged or even broke something in you, by looking you directly in the eye and admitting they're truly sorry and that they were wrong, with no excuses or explanations (this is the stumbling block for very narcissistic people and something Bill Clinton and John Edwards couldn't do to the satisfaction of their wives or the rest of us).
2. To respond to the hate you feel at their taking away trust, they need to show restitution and offer a payback for what they took away from you by giving up something that matters to them or letting you verbally punch yourselves out at them for making you feel crazy while they lied to you.
3. To lower your hesitation to trust they need to rehabilitate themselves to let you see a new way of dealing with those situations that caused them to stray and that they actually prefer to their old destructive behavior.
4. To get you to stop holding onto a grudge, they need to request forgiveness after practicing those 3 R's for a minimum of 6 months so these new mindset and behaviors can become a part of their personality.
The level of resistance that the other person has to providing you those first 3 R's is directly correlated to how justified they felt their behavior was. And since most interpersonal problems have two sides to the story, you should also own up to -- with your 3 R's -- any and everything you may have done to trigger their behavior.
If you decide to not forgive, that of course is your choice. However, holding onto a grudge and dwelling on it can turn you into a bitter person (possibly like one of your parents who you swore you didn't want to end up like).
What it comes down to is that if you'd rather be right, self-righteous and stay a victim, you really are damaged goods and not relationship material, because one false move from your next relationship and they will die for the sins of your past