Friendships and relationships, like all things, have their time and come to an end for many reasons. With hindsight, these endings, while painful and upsetting have a certain enivitability to them.
A relationship/friendship that ends as a result of betrayal is particularly hard because it almost always involves someone that you have allowed yourself to get close to and for them to get close to you. It is someone that you have lowered your guard to, someone that you have come to rely upon, someone whose support helps you to survive.
When that is turned against you, it can have a devestating effect. It’s not just the loss of the particular person that hurts, it’s the accompanying feelings; not just the betrayal but also the inevitable self-recriminations: “How could I have been so stupid as to trust them?” “Why did I ever let myself get close?” “Why could I not see that it would end this way?”
The worst, and most insidious aspect of betrayal is that it makes us question and doubt ourselves almost as much as we question the person who hurt us. It makes us more cynical and sceptical about others who are close to us; we question their motives, distance ourselves. We find it harder to trust, we find it harder to open up, we fear the possibility of it happening again.
If loss teaches us, the loss that comes with betrayal provides us with one of the harshest lessons; that there is never any way to be absolutely certain of another person’s motives towards you. Betrayal brings with it an uncertainty that, once experienced, can never fully be shed; it;s the knowledge that while not everyone you know or care about will betray you, anyone of them could.
It cuts deep into our soul, and we are never quite the same person again in its aftermath.