Recovery From Betrayal Stage 2: “Grieving the Loss of the Person You Thought You Knew”*


Two small children kissing.

Image via Wikipedia

*(This is a quote from an article, “Healing: When Betrayal Ends a Relationship” by Melanie Brown Kroon MA, MFT.)

It was so helpful to find Melanie Brown Kroon’s article listed under my blogroll and to understand that there are stages in the recovery of betrayal. I recommend this article to anyone who has experienced betrayal by a loved one.

The first stage, shock, lasted from the moment I discovered his infidelity last Tuesday morning (10/26/10) somewhere around 10:30am until I woke up Thursday morning and was so grateful the shock had abated and that I was able to eat, sleep, perform daily activities, and be comfortable being left alone. My Father had come up on Wednesday morning to literally babysit me, and I’d canceled my appointments at work. This in addition to all the support I received from friends and family helped greatly to ease the period of shock.

Previously,  I had only heard of “being in shock” as something associated with physical injury, like a car accident. I had not known that one could be in shock from an emotional event. Right now, I am unable to write anymore about the shock I experienced at the discovery of his betrayal becaues I am afraid that I will become retraumatized dwelling on it. All I can say is that it was the single most devastating event of my life. To have one’s life, hopes, dreams, faith, and beloved partner gone in an instant, like a flash of lightning. Oh, why must people betray?

I am now in the second stage which Ms. Brown Kroon describes, “Grieving the Loss of the Person You Thought You Knew.”

How could he have done this to me? I think repeatedly. A wiser voice says, “Because he is not who you thought he was. He was misrepresenting himself to you.”

All the tiny little lies he told me in the past 18 months are mushrooming. Now I am tying connections between them to see the great big lie. All the small actions, all the small details are coming together and weaving a tapestry of deceit which has covered me for so very long. I am struggling to be free of this heavy blanket of deception, to get out from under it completely and in order to do so I must connect all these painful little memories- things which at the time raised questions in my mind but were so minor I discounted them.

One detail in particular is on my mind this morning. Now that I know that the entire time he lived in his new house, he was unfaithful to me, I understand why he did not want to kiss me when I first pulled up to his house. When he’d lived in the apartment, he’d always come downstairs and given me a great big smooch of a greeting. But at the house, he’d be distant and hurrying to get my bags in the house. I’d try and grab him for the smooch but he’d pull away. “Not till we’re inside.” He’d say. I questioned him on it, and he replied that it was just him, being compulsive and wanting to unpack my car. Of course he’d give me great big hugs and kisses inside the house, and more often than not, the whole rest of the day would be a huge lovefest spent together. So it was not that he was less affectionate, it was that he just didn’t want to kiss me outside.

Now I understand. If his neighbors, who were a nice family living very close to him, and who were often outside, knew he had another woman coming over too, the last thing he’d want is for them to see him kissing me in the driveway.

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