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What is the Worst Kind of Betrayal??

Updated on October 31, 2007

AUTHENTICS: Endure, forgive and recover from the betrayal of . . .

It seemed incongruent to me that on a day we all dress up silly and eat chocolate until our teeth turn brown that the subject of betrayal was on so many of my client's minds today. As a Life Skills Coach (20+ years) I have either seen or heard or experienced-first-hand about every kind of betrayal imaginable . . . and many unimaginable.

Is there anyone out there that has not been betrayed at one time or another??

Betrayal begins early in life. Too many betrayals at a young age makes many of us expect betrayal to continue at a level that exceeds the normal range.

Yes, there is a normal range for betrayal. Not all betrayal by friends and family is conscious, intentional or malicious. Often we betray others by making promises and not being able to keep them because we are just too over extended. These betrayals require sensitivity, honesty and apologies. It's part of life.

I developed a Life Skill set and coined the word "AUTHENTICS" to describe a long list of simple approaches to leading a full and harmonious life. One such skill is "To endure and forgive and recover from betrayal by false friends and family . . ."

Yes, I know this is much, much easier said than done. It doesn't happen all at once. There are, however, steps toward healing and becoming a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person.

What is the worst kind of betrayal you ever experienced??

Maybe your soul mate left you for your boss?? Or your assistant?? And put the expenses on your account?? Including a new home in Barbados!

Did your best friend and your spouse run away together?? Taking your children with them?? To an unknown country?? Planned at least a year in advance??

How about a cheating spouse that infected you with HIV/AIDS?? On purpose?? Plus three other lovers and six other children you didn't know about?? And you have five children of your own?

Did you have a beloved grandparent that raped your toddler?? Repeatedly??

Did the child you rescued, adopted and nurtured from a third world country turn to drug/alcohol addiction and theft?? Forging checks to your account?? Selling your Lexus with an extra set of keys??

How about a penny-pinching spouse that died suddenly leaving you with almost a million dollars in unknown gambling debt and unpaid taxes?? Necessitating your return to work?? At age 88?? And legally blind??

Did your crooked boss spend 40 years worth of your retirement funds on a new lover?? And laughed when you found out?? And then left the lover without looking back??

Or did your best trusted friend of many years get drunk and rape you?? Then said you ask for it?? And tried to burn your home down to cover up the evidence??

Were you framed for unspeakable crimes by someone you would have given your life to defend??

Is your family priest a pedophile?? Involving your child?? And the neighbors children whom their parents entrusted to you??

Maybe your sibling hired a hit-man to gun you down?? For a hundred bucks, a few laughs and life insurance worth less than two-grand??

(Okay so maybe there are more "goblins" in the air than I thought!)

There are financial betrayals like "unexpected" adjustable rate mortgages recommended by "trusted experts" causing the foreclosure of thousands of homes. Maybe even yours. Did the family planner suggests a Will instead of Revocable Living Trust in order to collect probate fees? Or did the long-term friend-attorney turn a small misunderstanding into WWIII to generate more billable hours??

There are less personal but just as devastating betrayals, i.e., broken promises by the leaders of our country. The loss of our sons and daughters in a war started under false pretense.

How do you deal with betrayals, large and small, personal and distant, devastating and annoying, yet ever present??

The worst betrayal is . . . betrayal of Self . . .

To me, the worst betrayal I have ever known is my betrayal of myself. It wasn't conscious. It wasn't intentional. But it was just as devastating.

I put myself in harms way. Many times.

I trusted people known for being untrustworthy.

I put too much emphasis on "blood" and less on "character."

My dream for the "perfect future" clouded my present-time judgement.

I ignored my intuition.

I set knowledge aside in favor of folly.

I substituted someone else's judgement for my own.

I viewed the world through "rose-colored" glasses.

I operated in the world as "I would like things to be" and not "as they are."

I extended myself far beyond my limits, emotionally, financially, spiritually.

I took things personally.

I believed in the destination more than the process.

I blamed the other person(s) before taking my own inventory.

When I was happy I gave thanks to the Divine; when I was in need I took matters into my own hands.

Healing from Betrayal . . .

"AUTHENTICS: To remember every act is sacred . . . "

Another of the "AUTHENTICS: To remember every thought, every word, every action, every creation is sacred . . . "

If you are about to betray someone, don't . . .

If you suspect you are being betrayed, do something about it . . .

If you know someone else is being betrayed, speak up . . .

Nothing is worse than the betrayal to yourself.

Earth Angel would LOVE your feedback . . .

This is a serious and heavy subject. If you like what you read by Earth Angel, however, please consider giving this Hub a THUMBS UP . . . We LOVE feedback and look forward to reading your comments below . . . In the meantime, we send you blessings that betrayal leave no lasting scars, Earth Angel


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  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 6 years ago

    Thank you viveresperadndo!

    We don't really allow people to betray us! What happens is we don't trust our own instincts, or our wishful thinking gets in the way, or we substitute someone else's judgment for our own!

    And yes, we ARE all responsible for ourselves! GREAT comment!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!

  • viveresperando profile image

    viveresperando 6 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

    great hub. enjoyed reading this! One of the hardest things I ever learned was by asking myself.. why did I let them betray me? I am responsible for me. :)

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 7 years ago

    Dearest April . . .

    I am so sorry that you are going through such grief at this very moment . . . I am in your age range and have spent a great part of my life healing from all kinds of unexpected betrayals . . .

    That you can forgive so quickly is a testimony to your strength and courage . . .

    If there is anything I can do for you please feel free to reach out . . . Right now I am going to light a candle and say a prayer for your healing . . .

    Blessings always . . . EarthAngel . . .

  • profile image

    April 7 years ago

    I am suffering this right now, today - I just had a dreadful shock at the betrayal of a relative I had loved - and whom I thought loved me dearly, all of my life. I am 56.

    I decided immediately to forgive. That is the only possible choice that will allow me to heal from this.

    I am not angry - not yet anyway, just very hurt and devasted. I googled for help with it and found this hub and the valuable information above that confirmed I was on the right track.

    Thank you.


  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 7 years ago

    Dearest Sarmack!

    Thanks for dropping by!!

    I'm glad you enjoyed this Hub!!

    I'm sorry you have had to endure betrayal!!

    Just remember, "Darkness always tries to keep up with the light!!"

    Continue to move forward in light!!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

  • sarmack profile image

    Sarah 7 years ago from Washington State

    To Thine own self be True... was that Shakespeare! I enjoyed this article. Betrayal has been a great issue for me to overcome.

  • profile image

    LJ 8 years ago

    when was a time when you experienced betrayal because of someones silence?

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 9 years ago

    Hello Stephanie . . .

    Thank you for your heartfelt comment above . . . I am so very sorry for the betrayals, of everyone . . .

    YES, shedding light on painful secrets is always the right thing to do . . . There is never a good time nor a good way to break someone's heart . . . And often the messenger of difficult news is the one blamed . . . Do it anyway . . .

    In today's world, sexual betrayal can be lethal . . . It can cost the innocent their lives  . . . It leaves children without their mothers . . . (or fathers) . . .

    Three cliche's to remember:

    1. "How you get them is how your lose them . . . "

    2. "If they will do it to someone else, they will do it to you as well . . . "

    3. "Leopards don't change their spots . . . "

    Kick the SOB to the curb . . . And if you have friends who didn't inform you, rethink those friendships as well . . .

    Keep me posted . . .  My prayers are with you . . .

    Blessings always, Earth Angel . . .

  • profile image

    Stephanie Farah 9 years ago

    I just discovered that my ex has been betraying his girlfriend with me for the past 14 months... i wanted to remain silent but i just sent her an email telling her everything... a common friend knew all about it but said nothing to her nor to me. this friend is unfortunately being betrayed as well... so i did send a note about it... Did i do the right thing?

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 9 years ago

    Thank you Aya!!

    I agree whole heartedly!! On both accounts!!

    Thinking about betrayal is on a lot of people's mind during this financial melt-down!!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

  • Aya Katz profile image

    Aya Katz 9 years ago from The Ozarks

    Earthangel, I agree. Betrayal of self is the worst -- and also the most preventable.

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 9 years ago

    Hi Dan!!

    Thanks for the nice compliments!! I appreciate your insights!! And your Hubs!!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

  • Dan Boudreau profile image

    Dan Boudreau 9 years ago from Prince George, BC

    Hi Earth Angel. Great topic and hubs! I'll be checking in to read more. Keep 'em coming. Thank you.

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 9 years ago

    Thank you Earnest for your earnest comments!!

    How lovely to meet another traveler who leans toward self reflection!! Welcome again to HubPages!! You may be discovering that HubPages seems to attract souls with a bit more evolution behind them!! At least those of us who stick around a while!!

    Yes, just today I was getting a bit miffed at a coaching client for being so close-minded about a few things!! Whenever I feel that "energy" associated with a subject I know it comes from a few buttons of my own!! Sure enough, I was the one who needed a bit of inventory taking!!

    GREAT comments!! Thank you!!

    Blessings to you and yours always, Earth Angel!!

  • earnestshub profile image

    earnestshub 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

    Hello Earth Angel. That is some list! When we are betrayed I think we often play a part in it. This sort of self betrayal hurts a lot, which is a good psychological pointer to bite the bullet and take a look at myself. Ouch!

    When I feel betrayal I always remember what that great shrink Carl Gustaf Yung said about self examination.

    He reckoned we would do anything to avoid it and in my experience he is right. I know I do. Ok I am working on it. Writing helps me.

    Love your comments lissie, I agree with you Santa did it for me.

    I have been betrayed, but it has helped me to see my part in it on the few ocassions when I can overcome my fear of self examination, and that is never often enough!

    It still amazes me how much distance there remains between what I intellectually understand and what I can emotionally cope with.

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thank you RippleMaker!! I will try and do justice to your compliments!! Blessings Always to you and yours!! Earth Angel!!

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Hi Earth Angel, I'm glad you loved my definition of a ripplemaker. I believe you are one too :-) Blessings to you as well...

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thank you Ripplemaker!! (By the way, I LOVE your definition of a Ripplemaker!!)

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment!! May we never betray ourselves and compromise our freedom!! Thank you for sharing!!

    Blessings Always, Earth Angel!!

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Hi earth angel, i agree with you..the worst betrayal of all is the one of the self. When we learn to be true to ourselves, then we can start our road to freedom! :-)

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Dearest Lissie, you are just too, too funny!! And irreverant in such a good way!! I love receiving your comments and unique perspective!! You are a breath of fresh air!! Keep writing!! Keep sharing!! Keep having fun!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thank you for the loving comments Omar-Kenny-Shariff!!

    Yes, "self-betrayal" is a new concept and I have a theory it comes from a society where "self" becomes the most important aspect of a person's life; Above the Divine, Soul, Spirit, Love, Family, Community . . . And on and on!!

    Yes, you are right again, being more child-like gives us a sense of resilience and a lot less guilt!! You are so insightful!! Thank you for your wonderful comments!!

    Blessings to you and yours!! Earth Angel!!

  • Lissie profile image

    Elisabeth Sowerbutts 10 years ago from New Zealand

    So right William - I figured out the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were all lies so obviously God was too! It made perfect sense at 7 and at 45 it still makes sense - they comforting myths because the world is a b..h and then we die! Oh well at least you don't have to diet at Christmas!

  • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

    Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

    This betrayal of self is a new concept to me, thanks for that, Earth Angel.

    But it's okay for us to trust someone and be betrayed. I mean, okay in the sense of not feeling guilty. We have to only show them the other cheek.

    To amplify, children are subject to betrayal many times, but there's nothing wrong with them. And we, too, can be like children in the presence of God, can't we?

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thanks for the compliment Ink!! It is much appreciated!! I agree, as I look back on betrayals that could not possibly be explained with me as part of the equation . . . with time, healing and perspective, I must admit, I was front row and center!! Blessings!! Earth Angel!!

  • profile image

    ink 10 years ago

    Great hub Earth Angel! I think we often allow ourselves to be betrayed by that unconscious self betrayal ...

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thanks for the nice comments William!! Alas, yes I have had my share of betrayals!! It was actually friends who first witnessed me going through heinous challenges with dignity and grace (that would have sent them over the edge) and wanted to know how I did it that made me become a Life's Skills Coach! Truth be told, I didn't see it as a choice!! Thanks for the support!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thanks Dudley!! You, too!! Keep up the GREAT writing!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

  • William F. Torpey profile image

    William F Torpey 10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

    A well thought-out Hub, Earth Angel. I'm confident you couldn't have betrayed yourself so often -- no one's that self-destructive, are they? The worst betrayal I personally experienced takes me back more than six decades. I remember well how devasted I was when I learned that "there is no Santa Claus." Upon learning that everyone, including my parents, had been lying to me for years, my reaction was heartwrenching to me. I felt immediately, if everyone is lying to me about Santa Clausl, then they must be lying to me about God as well. I don't think I've ever recovered from that trauma.

  • dudley1 profile image

    dudley1 10 years ago from Belleville, IL

    That is quite alright some people can't even pronounce my last name correctly they will pronounce it DUDE--ly or DOWD-ly or (I don't know where they get this one) DUFF-ly. Keep up the great Hubs!

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Good Morning Michelle!! My apologies for my incorrect assumption!! (And as a Life Skills Coach, I know better!!??) My blonde-brain went right to "Dudley Moore" and my false assumption was locked in!! Another good lesson revisted!! Thank you for the clarification!! And the understanding!! Keep writing!! Blessings to you and your family!! Earth Angel!!

  • dudley1 profile image

    dudley1 10 years ago from Belleville, IL

    I'm sorry Earth Angel...I'm a woman. The man in the picture is my husband, that's me next to him I'm Michelle Dudley.

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 10 years ago

    Thanks Dudley for the comments!! It is refreshing to hear a man say he has learned to trust his intuitions!! Blessings to you!! Earth Angel!!

  • dudley1 profile image

    dudley1 10 years ago from Belleville, IL

    I learned to trust my own intuitions about people a long time ago after allowing myself to be betrayed over and over again. Now when I feel my intuition working I listen to it and 9 time out of ten I will be dead on about things.