Keeping the Family Intact – Healing Betrayal

Any act which threatens the unity and integrity of the family is a betrayal of the trust of all the other family members, particularly the children.

Children usually have a fantasy image of their parents, they can do all things and overcome all obstacles and they never fail. They are all powerful. Recognizing the element of betrayal which all family members feel and talking about making mistakes and recovering from the errors we have made are character building moments for everyone.

Family love is not diminished by the thoughtless actions of another. We make the decision to forgive the failures of others and our own failures.

Reassure all family members particularly children that there is an end to this pain and shame. Encourage children to express themselves in drawings, writings, fairly tales and music as safe outlets for their fears and concerns.

Do not countdown the days to home coming. Focus upon some small goal for each week and then start putting those goals together into a clear family objective. All of these activates will work together for the common good of the family members.

Do not be fearful of angry or tearful encounters. These are opportunities to reach out to those responding to their personal pain. Move toward the individual in need, do not back away. Use touch and soft soothing words to help stabilize the crisis and assist the wounded toward peaceful resolution.

Never tell lies to protect someone, or soften the story because you have concerns how others will react to unfavorable news. These actions will only serve to undermine your own relationships with those who rely upon you for truthfulness and candor.

Do not make promises which are unlikely to be fulfilled. At the time of crisis another individual may hold on and grasp such a promise just to maintain their ability to function within the family. If you do not know what to say, ask for advice then proceed carefully.


Leave a Reply