If you keep your word, spare yourself the fear of healing a betrayal. But in cases where the damage is already done, recovery is most often a real possibility. And the benefits far outweigh the cost of reconciliation. Take it from the thousands of couples who discovered it for themselves. A betrayal is the breaking of an implicit or explicit agreement, considered crucial for the integrity of a relationship. The ability of a relationship to recover from betrayal has a lot to do with reactions, especially on the part of the traitor, to the situation. The more open and non-defensive they are, the more likely it is that there will be a solution. If both partners commit to it, the probability increases exponentially. The term “blindness to betrayal” was introduced by Freyd in 1996 and expanded by Freyd in 1999 and again by Freyd and Birrell in 2013 by the Betrayal Trauma Theory.  This blindness to betrayal can extend to betrayal which is not considered a traditional trauma such as adultery and injustices. The blindness of betrayal is not exclusive to the victims.
Perpetrators and witnesses may also be blind to treason in order to preserve personal relationships, their relationships with the institutions and social systems on which they depend.  Philosophers Judith Shklar and Peter Johnson, authors of The Ambiguities of Betrayal or Frames of Deceit, argue that although there is no clear definition of betrayal, betrayal is most effective through literature.  The fact that Trump is now destroying a law that was first passed at the behest of Ronald Reagan five decades ago is a betrayal and an attack on the health of Americans everywhere, California will fight this stupidity in every possible way. The lies and negations used to cover up a transgression can cause far more damage than the injury itself. Even if the lie is never discovered and the offense is not detected, the basis of the relationship can still be severely damaged. Trust is inevitably sacrificed, even if secrets go unnoticed. Most, but not all traitors and deceptions, can be cured. While there is no generic model to apply to these situations, there are some guidelines that can facilitate the recovery process. Betrayal is both a problem of the “people” and the problem of a philosopher. Philosophers should be able to clarify the notion of betrayal, compare it to and contrast other moral conceptions, and critically evaluate situations of betrayal.
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