I saw a client the other day who had discovered her husband had been cheating on her. She was beside herself. They’d been married 12 years and she’d decided to forgo having children with this man because he already had 2 children from a previous marriage. Not only is she now questioning all the things about him she took at face value, but is also questioning her vision of the future (which had involved growing old with this person). She is confused, disoriented, and in shock. But the real problem is that her husband, whom she loves (or thought she loved), continues to lie to her about things he’s done during the course of their marriage. She’s been gradually finding things out by checking his email and his phone texts. “It’s like I have to put him on the witness stand and grill him each day about something else I have discovered that he’s hidden from me.” She is emotionally exhausted and doesn’t want to be with someone with whom she will from now on have to assume he’s cheating on her and therefore continually check up on. The gracious thing for the husband to do would be to come clean— completely clean, so there are no more “secrets” that may come to her attention in the future. But he is not doing that. He is blaming her for continuing to distrust him, in spite of the fact that new betrayals keep coming to light. Blaming the victim is, unfortunately, a typical mode of operation of emotional abusers. They don’t want to face themselves, so they turn on the very person they’ve hurt, further adding insult to injury. When he blames her for not trusting him, she actually starts to question herself as if there truly is something wrong with HER. He has turned things around so that HE is now the victim and as if SHE has been the perpetrator. She doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t real anymore. His continuing to blame her seems to be working, at least to some extent. WHAT’S GOING ON HERE THAT WE SO READILY GIVE UP OUR OWN REALITY AND ADOPT SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY AS IF THEIR STORY IS SUDDENLY REAL??? Human attachment is of such monumental importance to all of us that we will unwittingly overlook even obvious violations because we don’t want to break the attachment. The need for attachment to another has evolved over thousands of years from evolutionary survival needs, It is so strong, and we can be so frightened of losing an attachment that we will look the other way, sometimes at great costs to ourselves, in order to preserve it.