Get Unstuck From the Shock of Betrayal

Lori Moulton
4 min readJan 24, 2024

Beware of the obstacle of staying stagnant in your trauma.

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When you are in a toxic relationship, you face many ups and downs along the way. Usually, a toxic relationship starts out with love bombing, where the toxic partner shows a lot of affection, attention, and idolization of the target partner. The target partner may notice the small betrayals, but may make excuses for the toxic partner, overlook the unwanted behavior, or deny it altogether, because it goes against the ideal partner she thought she met in the beginning.

Then one day, she comes face to face with a big betrayal that she cannot deny. There’s been an obvious infidelity, stealing money, a lie about substance abuse, or something else that she can’t ignore. At this point the target partner has a choice to make, either forgive her toxic partner, and move on, or make the scary decision of following her integrity and ending the relationship because this transgression goes against her core beliefs.

However, by this point, her toxic partner has been putting her in the position of forgiving or ignoring his smaller lies, his using money inappropriately, or communicating with other women inappropriately. He knows exactly what to say or do to reel her back in.

She’s exhausted from the roller coaster ups and downs and the stress of never knowing what is coming next. On top of that, she probably hasn’t slept well either. It’s hard for her to think clearly enough to make a huge life change right away. She just doesn’t have the strength.

This is the point where many Target partners get stuck. They watch videos, find social media groups with other target partners, read books about toxic relationships, and tell their story to anyone they feel like they can trust and who will listen to them.

Partners can get stuck here for months, years, or even decades. What they need to move on from this miserable place is positive forward action.

What Positive Forward Action Can Look Like

What does positive forward action look like? This can be different for every person, but here are a few examples:

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Lori Moulton

Certified Transformational Coach, Masters in School Counseling, Teacher, helping others heal from emotionally abusive relationships and build self-love..