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Question: How do I get past feelings of betrayal?

Dear Lounge Advice,

My girlfriend and I recently got in an agruement after coming home from a night out. Amidst severe feeling of betrayal, the verbal confrontation turned physical. Prior to this evening, we had just begun moving our relationship to the next level. We had plans to look at houses together the next day, I went ring shopping a week earlier, etc. Needless to say we have not spoken to each other in several days, only exchanging a few text messages; some accusatory, some apologetic, some just morose and sullen; But none so far giving any indication either way of a break up or a desire to work through this new issue. We are both passionate people and as such our relationship has been volatile at times over the past three years, but never like this! Our relationship is the most important thing in my life, and I have a great life. So, where do we go from here to make things right and get us moving back in the direction we were heading in before the fight or do we start all over or call it quits? We're in our thirties(...tick, tock, tick, tock...) and very much in love! How do I get past these feelings of betrayal and how do we ensure that our fights NEVER escalate to that scary level again? I would never be able to forgive myself if I ever hurt her. And least importantly, but the tie in to this site, how long should our play take a time out if we do sort things out and get our act together? A side note- the fight was not about us and the lifestyle or any aspect thereof. Please help!

Sincelely,

Ike

Sincerely,

(Anonymous)

  
Dear (Anonymous),

This took me a while to answer because it's a dificult question, and I'm not quite sure what type of betrayal is at play here. For me to truly field this in a more detailed manner, I would need to know some more pertinant details. What I can tell you is that you probably need to step away from the lifestyle for a bit, regardless of whether your issues deal with swinging or not. If your relationship is in a bit of turmoil, being around this won't help a bit. To ensure that your fights don't reach that kind of level again, you have to communicate. I can't stress this enough. Heart to hearts, no matter how dificult, are lifesavers (and relationship savers). You'll never get past your feelings of betrayal if you don't talk to her about it. Don't sugarcoat your words. This needs to be a frank conversation. You say you would never forgive yourself if you hurt her, but wasn't it she who hurt you? I'm not advocating hurting her, but what I am advocating is that you take a stand, voice your concerns and give her a chance to smooth this out with you. Trust is perhaps the most important thing in a relationship. Obviously, this isn't the case with yours right now. Regaining the trust starts with candid conversation. Stay out of the lifestyle until your relationship is completely healthy again. Please.
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