Affairs and Betrayals

There can be any number of reasons for betrayal to occur within relationships and they are often the symptoms of long-term problems rather than the cause. For instance, the one who committed the act of betrayal may have tried unsuccessfully to resolve the underlying problem which has increased over time

Relationship sessions with Lazzaro gives people a framework to help them analyse and work through their issues of hurt and trust. Through this process it is very possible to restore feelings of intimacy and goodwill. This page will cover in more depth how my sessions can be used to generate positive outcomes following an affair or betrayal. It will also look at reasons why betrayal can occur and what the consequences can include.

There are numerous reasons for people to betray someone’s trust or commit an act of infidelity. It depends on the circumstances and needs of the people involved. In general, the reasons can be divided into two main groups - to save the relationship or to end it.

To Save The Relationship

In some cases people will commit a betrayal or affair in an attempt to address a need that is not being met within the relationship. They may see the rest of the relationship as being healthy and they want to hang onto it but they just need this extra ‘thing’ to complete the picture. For example; if one partner has a chronic condition that causes a loss of libido or sexual function, the other may initiate an affair in order to meet their own sexual needs or to get away from the problems that have occurred within the relationship as a result of the condition.


In situations like this, the person doing the betraying may also seek to meet their emotional needs such as connection, admiration and validation. This can happen following the birth of a child or some other life-changing event.

Sometimes, the one who committed the act of betrayal may have depression or a chronic condition themselves which may make them behave differently or they may want to hide the problem from others.

Another example of someone intending to save the relationship would be a gambler who wants to win ‘the big one’ in order to create a better life for their family.

Sometimes a betrayal may be a misguided attempt to regain power within the relationship following an unhappy or difficult situation. Through an affair feelings of anger and loss can be dispersed temporarily with no regard for any consequences.

Sometimes betrayals occur when a person wants a concrete reason to end the relationship. There may be problems that have slowly escalated leading to a breakdown in the relationship but neither party wants to be the one to end it. Having an affair or betraying the other party can seem like a simple way to get out of the relationship without having to deal with the real reason for the relationship breakdown. There are some cases where the perpetrator may carry out an affair or betrayal as a way to seek pleasure, excitement or opportunity. It may even be to increase their social recognition or to raise their self esteem. This creates a very unbalanced relationship as that person is putting their need for gratification ahead of the needs of the people around them.

It can be extremely upsetting and even life changing for someone to discover they have been betrayed. There is a deep loss of trust and the intensity and range of the feelings that follow are often similar to those that occur after the death of a loved one.
Experiences of grief can occur after any negative life-changing event. Grief for the loss of the initial happy relationship, for the loss of trust, security and respect and also for the loss of an expected ‘perfect’ life that will no longer be possible are all real and normal reactions to a betrayal.
Once a betrayal has been discovered it may open the floodgates for a torrent of emotions and questions for both sides but especially for the one who has been betrayed. Feelings of uncertainty and confusion will most likely occur and each party may find themselves questioning not only their relationship but many aspects of their identity and their lives as a whole.


“How could they do this to me?”
“Why is this happening to me?”
“What did I do/not do to deserve this?”
“Should I blame myself?”
“Did our relationship have problems that I couldn’t see?”
“What made them do it?”
“What other things have they lied about?”
“How can I ever trust him/her again?”
“Why do I feel so hurt and stupid for this happening?”
“Can we recover from this?”
“Should I simply walk away from this relationship?”

The person who committed the betrayal may also be very confused and distressed about their behaviour and feel extremely guilty – especially if they did not set out to hurt the other person.

They Could Also Have Questions Such As:

“Why did I have the affair/committed the betrayal? I don’t really understand my own behaviour”
“How has it come to this? What caused it?”
“Do we need help?”
“Will he/she ever get over the betrayal?”
“I want to save the relationship but he/she doesn’t trust me.”
“I feel bad about the betrayal and I’ve said sorry, but he/she keeps going on about it.”
“How can we get through this?”

Relationship sessions with Lazzaro gives people a vehicle through which they can reflect on these questions and progressively work through them. Learning how to process the situation in a non-judgemental way can help foster acceptance and lead to a better understanding of what happened.

Flight or fight response

After a betrayal has been uncovered both parties, but especially the person who was betrayed, will experience a massive cocktail of emotions. After the initial shock , strong feelings of anger, resentment, blame and bewilderment can rise to the surface. These may prompt knee-jerk reactions such as filing for divorce or blocking all forms of communication with the perpetrator.

These are known as ‘flight or fight’ responses and stem from earlier times of hunting and gathering. They are our body’s way of signalling danger when in threatening or dangerous situations and prompt us to escape or find a means of defending ourselves.

Loss of predictability and certainty will also contribute to knee-jerk responses. It is also common for either party to want to run away from the situation instead of dealing with it.

Emotional vertigo

When someone learns they have been betrayed by somebody they trusted and cared for their emotional turmoil can manifest into physical symptoms. They feel their world has been almost literally turned upside down and this can generate feelings such as dizziness, disorientation, nausea and even out-of-body sensations. These symptoms are normally associated with shock and trauma which, in a sense, is exactly what has happened. They may find it difficult to accept the situation and may remain in a state of denial or disbelief which is unhelpful and inhibits their ability to begin the healing process.

Effects of affairs and betrayals

Taking control

A common initial response to a betrayal is to demand full transparency from the perpetrator. This could include insisting on having full access to all forms of communication such as emails, phone messages and social media sites. They do this with the intention of recreating trust however it rarely works and can even backfire, causing even more pain and distress. While the reaction is understandable, it does nothing to address the original issues.

Lazzaro Sessions for Affairs and Betrayals

Many couples I work with come to relationship sessions in the hope of working through feelings arising by the discovery of an affair or betrayal.

Trust is at the very foundation of intimate relationships. It takes time to build trust, and in a moment it can be shattered. The discovery of an affair or betrayal turns a couples world upside down. Very strong feelings of shock, anger and guilt come between partners. For many, the question of whether they can ever trust their partner again must be addressed. How to rebuild trust is at the core of the crisis in the relationship.

In my experience working through the painful feelings surrounding the affair and beginning to understand what led to it, can strengthen the bond between people.

In my work with couples I provide a safe, structured environment where you can begin to:

  • Make sense of what happened
  • Ask and honestly answer questions
  • Work through painful feelings
  • Begin to understand and grieve the impact the betrayal has had on the relationship
  • Talk through concerns about trust and how to move forward
  • Rebuild connection

Individual Session

If you are in a relationship and are looking for support and guidance on issues between you and your partner, you may find couples sessions to be the most effective way of addressing your relationship issues. Think of a relationship as a dance and the way you and your partner interact as steps in that dance. If the steps aren’t helping the dance flow and you are ‘stepping on each others toes’ you need to find new steps that work for both of you. The best way to discover those new steps is to explore your options together.

However there are times when you may prefer to explore relationship issues through individual sessions. It may be that at this time your partner is not ready to begin a session and you want to find ways you as an individual can meet the challenges of your relationship.
You may not be in a relationship at present but want to have time to reflect on past relationships and how your experiences from the past are effecting the way you feel about relationships and your willingness to enter into new relationships.

You may be grieving the loss of an intimate relationship and need the support of a professional  to help you understand and manage all the feelings you are experiencing around that loss.

Individual sessions can be a rich and rewarding experience where you are able to explore your thoughts and feelings in a supportive and caring environment.

To Book An Appointment with Lazzaro Call: 604 202 7938