Betrayal can be truly shattering regardless of how or why it happened. Finding out that your loved one has lied to you to get their way is one of the worst sensations ever. Leaving aside that the lie itself can be heart-breaking, the fact that we trusted someone else and they lied to us is very disappointing. What hurts the most is to know that you could have the power to hurt them too, but still chose not to do so.
If you have been in this situation and know the helplessness it leads to, take a deep breath and relax; you’re not alone. Just pay attention to your favorite love songs, and you’ll see that an awful lot of them talk about betrayal and heartbreak, with the sole intention of making you feel what they felt or would have felt in that situation. So many musicians have written about betrayal in the past. It’s such a painful experience that they had to turn to words to look for support and catharsis. If you ask me, I think that most of them have done it in such a realistic way that their lyrics become strongly relatable. As a matter of fact, let me share with you some of my favorite songs that portray betrayal as real as it can be.
“You Give Love a Bad Name,” Bon Jovi
An angel’s smile is what you sell
You promise me heaven, then put me through hell
Chains of love, got a hold on me
When passion’s a prison, you can’t break free
Whoa! You’re a loaded gun
Yeah, whoa, there’s nowhere to run
No one can save me, the damage is done
This particular song describes how loving someone can create an illusion of perfection but ends up in disappointment. The narrator feels trapped in a lie he can’t run away from. He knows he has to confront his S.O. and free himself from betrayal and pain. Even the classic rock tune builds up for the desperation he’s feeling inside, enhancing the intensity of that emotion.
“Take a Bow,” Rihanna
Oh, and the award for the best liar goes to you (goes to you)
For making me believe
That you could be faithful to me
Let’s hear your speech, oh
How ’bout a round of applause?
A standing ovation
Rihanna knows how to be raw about real life situations, so she’s not afraid to face failure and heartbreak in her lyrics. This song is about the particular heartbreaking moment when you know there’s nothing left to do, but to thank the other person’s betrayal, because in the end there’s always a lesson to learn from our own experiences. Plus, she’s very straightforward about assuming our own actions, to the point that she asks for a speech about how skillful the other person is while lying to her.
“Cry Me a River,” Justin Timberlake
You don’t have to say what you did
I already know, I found out from him
Now there’s just no chance
With you and me
There’ll never be
Don’t it make you sad about it?
You told me you love me
Why did you leave me all alone?
In this song, Justin talks about his frustration from experiencing betrayal and the confusing phase one goes through, when nothing makes sense. He describes perfectly the level of desperation one can feel after finding out the awful truth, hopelessly wondering if their partner is not even sorry for what they did.
“You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
Cause the love that you gave that we made
Wasn’t able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me
You’d hold me until you died
‘Til you died, but you’re still alive
When dealing with betrayal, we might get to a point when we feel we are the ones to blame for our partner’s actions, because we were not good enough for them. That’s how Alanis Morissette describes it in this song; she finds out her man is sleeping with someone else and suggests that maybe he felt like one woman wasn’t enough for him. More than that, she gets so angry she reminds him of the promises he made to her and asks him if he stills remembers them while being with someone else.
“How Do You Sleep?,” LCD Soundsystem
Standing on the floor, facing you
I can’t see you, your impermanence
This place is empty
Empty of you
And if I see you, it’s like nothing went wrong
Yeah, if we meet again tomorrow,
just like nothing went wrong
But there I go
Erasing our chances
Just by asking
“How do you sleep?”
In this song, James Murphy describes the emptiness we feel after accepting that our loved one lied to us on purpose. It just feels as if they weren’t with us anymore. We now see them as a different person, because the version of them we used to know isn’t there anymore. He also talks about trying to look past it, as if nothing had happened, but in the end it’s just so hard to forget something that hurt so much, so it’s better to move on.
“Heartless,” Kanye West
‘Cause I already know how this thing go
You run and tell your friends that you’re leavin’ me
They say that they don’t see what you see in me
You wait a couple of months, then you gon’ see
You’ll never find nobody better than me
In the night I hear them talk
The coldest story ever told
Somewhere far along this road
He lost his soul
To a woman so heartless
How could you be so heartless?
Oh, how could you be so heartless?
Betrayal can feel like the coldest shower we have ever taken. We trust someone blindly and never expect to receive lies and deceit, but when it happens, it makes us wonder if that person really loved us after all. In this song, Kanye West describes that element of surprise and anger we get when someone betrays the trusting bond we created with them. He even tries to explain betrayal by saying that the woman was so heartless, she backstabbed him without feeling guilty about it and told her friends that it was actually his fault.
Call up that chick and see if she’s home
Oops, I bet you thought, that I didn’t know
What did you think I was putting you out for
Because you was untrue
Rollin’ her around in the car that I bought you
Baby drop them keys
Hurry up before your taxi leaves
What I like about this song is that she knows her man took her car and went with his mistress for a ride, but that won’t stop her from moving on. She hates the fact that he thought she would never find out, but she’s also not spending another minute with him. It’s over. She can’t wait to kick him out of her house and forget about him forever. After being betrayed, she doesn’t care about how it happened. She only thinks of what’s she’s going to do about it.
“Smile,” Lily Allen
When you first left me
I was wanting more
But you were fucking that girl next door
What’cha do that for?
When you first left me
I didn’t know what to say
I never been on my own that way
Just sat by myself all day
I was so lost back then
But with a little help from my friends
I found a light in the tunnel at the end
Now you’re calling me up on the phone
So you can have a little whine and a moan
And it’s only because you’re feeling alone
The first time a loved one cheats on you, you feel like everything’s going to hell. You feel terribly lonely and even silly for trusting them. That’s the way Lily Allen describes betrayal: a huge disappointment that comes with deep sorrow. What’s worse, she knows that he’s coming back with her as soon as he feels lonely, but she’s not going to fall for that again. Fortunately, even though her heart was broken, she could find support and managed to let go of that tainted relationship. Even the tune of the song is as upbeat as the resolution she finds after being hurt.
Once you fell out of love
Our love couldn’t carry you
And I didn’t even notice
For our love kept me safe from death
You doubted the light
And the shelter it can give
For in love we are immortal
Eternal and safe from death
If I regret us
I’m denying my soul to grow
Don’t remove my pain
It is my chance to heal
This song is one of my personal favorites, because was inspired by real betrayal. Divorcing Matthew Barney, was one of the hardest things Björk had to experience. She loved him so much, but he didn’t want to be with her anymore. Even though that’s a valid opinion, it doesn’t make it less painful. “Notget” describes that liberating phase after being hurt and realizing that moving on is always the best way to go. Feeling the pain inside is part of healing, but also letting go.
Betrayal can be the worst thing we can experience while being in a relationship. It hurts so much it becomes somehow unbelievable that it happened. Nonetheless, as pain takes over our hearts, so does the will to let that person go. What these songs can teach us about betrayal is that it doesn’t matter how bad it was, we can always grow and overcome damaging situations like these ones.
You might also enjoy reading:
5 Honest Truths Of Why People Decide To Cheat
What Happens To Your Brain When You Decide To Cheat?