You thought you knew the person. You shared life with them. Respected them. Trusted them. And then they turned their back on you.
Betrayal cuts deep and can turn your world upside down. It’s painful and confusing. Maybe a partner, best friend or even a parent betrayed you. The pain is beyond intense and can wreak havoc on virtually every area of your life if not properly dealt with. How can you recover from betrayal? Here are a few thoughts on that.
Betrayal and Your Tangled Emotions
Betrayal can make anyone’s emotions a tangled mess. It’s a grief process with an extra-heavy dose of disillusionment mixed in. The flood of feelings such as anger, sadness and shock need to be processed in a healthy way.
Talking with a trusted friend or writing out your feelings can help. However, if you experience a prolonged struggle because of betrayal, it’s best to get in touch with your local therapist. The good news is that the pain and disillusionment can lessen over time as you work through the complex emotions involved.
Practice Self-Compassion in the Midst of Betrayal
After a betrayal, you may wonder what you did wrong or if you were good enough. A slew of other thoughts may come to mind that aren’t helpful or put you down. You may feel humiliated and ashamed or fear you did something wrong that led to the betrayal. These feelings can impact your self-worth.
Allow yourself to heal with self-care, rising above those negative thoughts. Talking with a trusted mentor or therapist can help you work through the dangers of negative self-talk that can hinder the recovery process.
Work Through the Bitterness and Forgive Your Betrayer
Forgiveness brings healing. It’s not saying what the person did was OK. What happened was anything but OK.
Letting go also doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or condoning it. Instead, this allows you to let go of the need for revenge and releases thoughts of bitterness that will only harm you and those around you. You’ll begin to heal physically, mentally and emotionally once you forgive. You’ll also move on towards further personal growth.
Forgiveness also doesn’t mean there are no boundaries needed afterward. Depending on the severity of what happened, you may need to set hard boundaries to protect yourself, your family and even your betrayer. The key is to let go of the ruminating and potentially
hateful thoughts you feel towards your betrayer.
Moving on After Betrayal
When betrayal happens, it’s easy to feel like the world has ended. It hasn’t. Discover new healthy was to enjoy life. It could be anything from joining a group of likeminded hobbyists or taking a vacation. Find encouraging activities to fill your days with and friends and family to support you.
If you’re struggling with betrayal and need help, the OC Relationship Center is here for you. Betrayal is one of the toughest life experiences to handle. A professional who’s well trained to assist you can make a big difference. You don’t have silently suffer anymore.
Scheduling an appointment with us only takes a moment and could be just the step you need to take your life back. We provide counseling in Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, CA.