Can Your Friendship Withstand A Major Betrayal?
If you thought your friendship had problems, think again. Since the return of Keeping up with the Kardashian (KUWTK), we’ve been reliving the drama that some have deemed the 2019 version of Watergate. Earlier this year, the Jenner/Kardashian clan were rocked after news broke of a cheating scandal between Tristian Thompson and none other than Kylie Jenner’s BFF, Jordyn Woods.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick recap of what went down: In February, Tristian Thompson reportedly kissed Kardashian family friend, Jordyn Woods at a party. Initially, Thompson denied the rumor, tweeting (and later deleting) “Fake News.” However, Malika and Khloe took to Instagram to confirm the story. Jordyn has since given an interview on Red Table Talk to explain her side. To check out a complete timeline of the cheating scandal, click here.
In season 16 of KUWTK, we see a distressed Khloe grappling with the aftermath of her troubled relationship, and a blindsided Kylie coming to terms with the end of her friendship. It seems Kylie and Jordyn are still picking up the pieces of their friendship, but only time will tell if they are ever able to move past Jordyn’s betrayal.
You don’t need to be a Kardashian to relate. In fact, if you’ve ever felt the sting of betrayal, this season might feel overwhelming. When it comes to betrayal, time and again people are urged to simply “forgive and forget!” However, when betrayal is placed in the context of an unhealthy relationship, this well-meaning advice could be more harmful than good. In reality, moving past a major betrayal is far easier said than done. And if there are other unhealthy behaviors present, it may not be an option to resolve at all.
So, before you spend another minute scrolling through old Instagram pics or Snapchat videos of you and your ex-bestie, reflect on these questions to help you decide whether or not your relationship can, or should, be salvaged.
1. Do They Blame You for Their Behavior or Do They Take Responsibility for Their Actions?
When you bring up the issue with your friend, does it feel like a game of tag?
“You’re it. No, it’s you?”
It’s one thing to make excuses for being late and another to make excuses after you’ve hurt someone you care about. When deflecting responsibility becomes an ongoing issue in your friendship, it can feel impossible to discuss problems that are important to you. Instead of being accountable, your friend might laugh off the seriousness of the betrayal or blame YOU for their *coughs shady behaviors. Eventually, you might decide to avoid bringing up the issue in the first place. After all, why subject yourself to their relentless gaslighting, when in the end, they make you feel like you are the one in the wrong?
If you are feeling worn down by your friend’s inability to take responsibility for their behaviors, then this relationship may not be healthy.
RELATED: 5 Signs You’re Being Manipulated in Your Friendship
2. Are They Showing Remorse or Desire to Make Amends?
Has your friend offered you an honest and sincere apology for their behavior? Have they shown you that they are willing to work on themselves in order to regain trust?
A friendship worth salvaging will be one in which your bestie wants to make amends for their wrongdoing. If your friend shows no plans to mend the pain they’ve caused you and doesn’t even give you an apology, then they are not the friend you need!
RELATED: How to Apologize to a Friend
3. Was Their Disloyalty a Rare Occurrence?
Without a doubt, at some point, every single one of us will do unhealthy things in our relationships with our partners, friends, or family members. No one is perfect and that is okay! But, there is a huge difference between a mistake and someone repeatedly letting you down. In a healthy friendship, your bestie should be reliable and you should feel confident that no matter what, they have your back. That’s almost impossible to achieve if you are constantly having to sleep with one eye open.
If your best friend made a mistake and has shown they want to make amends, the friendship might be worth saving. If they frequently talk behind your back, or they are continuously betraying your trust, consider putting a hold on the friendship.
Related: Building Trust in Friendship
4. Are They Making You Feel Bad About Needing Space?
Everyone handles betrayal differently. Some people want to have ongoing conversations to fix the situation, while others prefer being alone to mend their feelings. Whichever is your jam, a good friend will respect the boundaries you set as you take time to heal.
If your friend berates you for choosing to distance yourself from them, or tramples over your feelings, this is cause for concern. Much like an unhealthy partner, a manipulative friend may find it difficult to accept the terms you set for your relationship out of fear of losing control. To keep you wound around their finger, they may threaten, guilt or lash out at you for taking a break from the relationship. Their manipulation might look like this:
- “Because I did this for you, you need to forgive me.”
- “If you leave me, I will hurt myself.”
- “No one would ever want to have a friend like you, because you are annoying.”
- “If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be popular.”
- “You need me.”
This is why boundaries in any kind of relationship are incredibly important. They keep relationships healthy by ensuring they do not become too one-sided. If you are feeling like the boundaries you have set in your friendship aren’t being respected, you may want to reconsider reconciling the friendship.
Related: Is Your Friendship Healthy?
It is never easy to say goodbye to any friendship, especially when there was genuine love at the core of the relationship. At the end of the day, forgiving a friend after a major betrayal is a personal decision. You may choose to forgive and move forward or, like Kylie and Jordyn, take space away from each other. As long as you are comfortable with your decision, you will be able to bounce back.