Letting Go with Guy Finley

Letting Go with Guy Finley


Outgrowing the Bitterness of Feeling Betrayed

posted by Guy Finley

At least twice a month I receive an email or letter telling me how much anger and hatred the person is feeling towards someone who betrayed them in some way…and asking how on earth can it be possible to live without this recurring resentment and its searing pain.

It’s hard to put these personal kinds of trials into proper perspective because we are dealing with the operations of two worlds at once, and when we only see the world of our pain and the “person” responsible for it, we are dead in the water, literally.
Yes, there is someone who hurt us badly; yes, there is rage and regret, and all the stormy emotions that attend such losses. But, there is another story behind this one. We also live — should we choose to become truly conscious and caring beings — in a world where physical relationships are intended to teach us about spiritual realms….where worldly affection is meant to be a stepping stone to higher love.
In this instance, when we are hurt badly, the higher lesson hidden within it is this: it’s time to let go of who and what we have been up until the moment of our loss. And “how” do we know this is true, and that there is something good in the bad we are going through? Because events in themselves are not painful; it is our present level of self that gets leveled by clinging to what can’t remain in our lives for reasons that can only be understood after we let go of that level of ourselves that only knows itself through some opposite.
Losses in life cause us to suffer as they do because we are yet to let go of the level of self that believes it’s nothing without the “other.”
Yes, it hurts to be left behind, or lied to!
Yes, there is grief and anger…those knee-jerk reactions that rush in and rule the heart and mind that feel so wrongly compromised. But, and the point is this, the higher lesson in these times is that who we really are is not meant to be defined by the other; it’s inevitable that a divided mind (and heart) must suffer its unseen dependency. Yet, how else can this self-compromising state of secret attachment ever be seen (and realized) if not through the loss of what it clings to?
The lesson in any loss, if we will agree to learn it, is that in the world above us, we are the other…and the only way to know this is true, the only way to realize that love never dies, but only changes form and expression, is to die to the part of us that insists on its level of love in spite of the pain that comes with it.


  • pong

    I have been cheated on by my husband 5 years ago and then all i could think about what fighting for my marriage, but now I still feel the resentment towards him. I feel I have grown and I cannot understand how he did what he did if he claims to love me. Sometimes I feel like the only way to get entirely over the hurt and the resentment is to leave him and I’m not sure if that will be the best decision for me and my family. I don’t know how to move away from the hurt… I would blame myself sometimes for not leaving then…why didn’t i leave then?

  • Torn

    Like Pong… I find it very difficult to move away from the hurt and anger and the feelings of being betrayed so deeply. I too have been cheated on by my wife about a year ago. It was a complete shock and very traumatic to me, as there were no indications at all. She had been cheating with a co-worker for a couple of years. She was telling him she loved him, needed him and that she was leaving me for him, while indicating nothing of the sort to me. In fact she was telling me how much she loved me, giving me cards stating so, randomly giving me kisses as I worked on the computer and etc. When I confronted her that I knew.. she, at first tried to act like she had no idea what I was talking about, until I presented her with the evidence. Then she broke down and started crying and told me that “he” was so nice and easy to talk to, and then shifting the blame to him a few days later. She told me she never had any intention of leaving me for him, although the evidence indicated otherwise. I chose to believe that did/does love me and care for me, so we are together and she did cut all communication and no longer works with him. I know how you feel Pong… as it is a year later and there is not one day that goes by that a lie, or an image of them together does not pop into my head. It is traumatic. I can’t even discuss it with her as she just gets angry and yells “You should know I love you by now!” So I don’t discuss my fellings and anxiety about any of it. I go day to day working and focusing on us,smiling, but still feel “almost destroyed” on the inside wondering if she is still not being honest. I wish I could forget, but I am trying to forgive. It is hard not to almost feel down on myself too… I feel like “Am I being a fool?”. I don’t know… I know we have fun in general and love our family life and I love her… but I don’t know how to make the pain go away. Not being able to discuss it with her kills me too… I feel alone with this pain.

  • The co-worker…

    I am sorry for both pong and Torn. I was “the other” and so caught up in trying to escape my misery that I didn’t even think about my wife or the partner of the person I fell in love with who told me she was going to leave to be with me. By trying to escape my pain with my misguided desires; in the end I hurt a bunch of people. As I read Guy Finley, I discovered I was living at a lower level of self as were everyone in this saga. We don’t have to look for another , be it our spouse, partner, or something outside of ourselves to make us whole. I would be lying if I didn’t wrestle with the thoughts of what might have been; even now, even as I know it was not built on honesty or true love. I have to learn not to expect others to make me happy. The four of us looked for that in someone when all that we needed to be content already existed inside of ourselves. To pong and Torn, you may deny it all you want but you are still looking at them to complete you.. they never will, nor should they, you certainly didn’t for them/me… and it had nothing to do with your worth, it was their/my lack of understanding and misplaced fear…. find solace in yourself and be open for all the good that exists in the world, even from these painful lessons each of us learned… peace and love….. you are not alone… really. We can only be at peace with the world when we have first leave that false self and its’ fear with which it shackles us. We were not meant to suffer, we are called to live a higher level.. you need only seek it.. I am truly sorry

  • Torn

    I for one… am not looking for my wife to “complete” me. That is a line from Jerry Macguire. I do however expect that my partner, the one that I love, trust and choose to build our lives together with, should be honest with me and herself… we are supposed to behave, at minimal, like adults. If my wife was unhappy in some way or her needs were not being met… she should have told me a long time ago instead of carrying on like she did in parked cars and degrading herself in her place of employment. I agree THAT does define a lower level of self on her part. I don’t deny that I may have contributed to her unhappiness with not paying enough attention or whatever. I am now… and we are both focusing on US wich is a good start to rebuilding what we had. I don’t think there is any one-size fits all answer when it comes to recovering from betrayal in a marriage. I am working at it, but I just want the hurt to leave and the images to stop. I know that I do love her, respect her and feel bad that she does/did not trust me enough to talk to me openly about what’s going on in her head. She tells me she loves me every day. She was telling me that when she was cheating for 2 or 3 years. I am trying to “just live” in the present and go on with our life together. My FEAR is that she perhaps is still not being honest. She tells me she cut him from her life without so much as a goodbye (which is scary to me). How am I supposed to know that is for real? Is she talking to him anymore? If she is not willing to be honest about what she really needs, then I guess she will never get it. We are here in life a short time and I love her and want to share our lives together while we are here, but I don’t want her to be miserable doing it and I don’t want her feeling low and running around “borrowing” other peoples husbands. I want my wife, my partner to be honest, truthful, and a have a life free of stress and love. I want to be able to trust her again as I do love her. It seems to be taking me some time getting over all the hurt and lies though… where do they begin… and did they end?

  • Torn

    Yes! This transcript makes sense and it was very helpful.
    http://www.guyfinley.com/Chat_Room/Transcripts/View_Transcript/2079/

  • ToughMotha

    I’ve experienced tremendous pain at the hands of someone I thought I knew and trusted for many years-4 to be exact. I work with him…fell in love and had a very long emotional affair. I confided in a new friend at work who ultimately betrayed me by developing a very close friendship with him (but that’s all). I stopped talking to them both and have been devastated ever since. I want to yell and scream at her and him, but they look at me as if I’m crazy. I’m hurt and I want them to hurt as much. But it doesn’t matter. But how do I make this stop. I know now what person I was dealing with in both, but to be honest, you can’t force feelings and it just happened. I want to talk with her and ask her why she betrayed me. But it will be worthless to try. How do I stop this pain..
    ,

    • http://www.guyfinley.org Guy Finley

      Hi Fran,

      My name is Kate, I work closely with Guy and help to manage his blog here on Beliefnet. I’m sorry to hear of what you are going through as these things are never easy for any of us. Guy has an entire page on his website devoted to the subject of feeling betrayed — it’s a series of questions that various people like yourself have sent over the years asking about the same subject, and I think you’ll for sure find some helpful information in his replies:

      http://www.guyfinley.org/free-content/writings/q-and-a/3060

      One thing I would add as well, regarding your question about how to “stop the pain.” Pain, whether physical or psychological, is always an indicator of where something within us is “broken” and needs to be healed. A person can’t actually make pain go away — for sure we can mask it, and usually do with drugs, distractions, etc. But pain actually has a higher purpose, if you will — it’s actually an invitation to put attention on the part of us that needs to be healed. You’ve probably heard the expression, “the way out is through.” It’s only when we’re willing to meet our pain head-on that we can begin the journey of working to uncover what it is within us that we have unconsciously allowed to compromise us in the first place. This is not the quick-fix solution, but it’s the only solution that has permanent results and actually brings you into relationship with a whole new order of yourself.

      I would encourage you to read the Q&As at the link above and continue to explore Guy’s website further as there is much free helpful and healing information available for those who truly wish to discover the true meaning and purpose of their lives.

      Best wishes,
      Kate

  • guyfinley

    Hi Fran,

    My name is Kate, I work closely with Guy and help to manage his blog here on Beliefnet. I’m sorry to hear of what you are going through as these things are never easy for any of us. Guy has an entire page on his website devoted to the subject of feeling betrayed — it’s a series of questions that various people like yourself have sent over the years asking about the same subject, and I think you’ll for sure find some helpful information in his replies:

    http://www.guyfinley.org/free-content/writings/q-and-a/3060

    One thing I would add as well, regarding your question about how to “stop the pain.” Pain, whether physical or psychological, is always an indicator of where something within us is “broken” and needs to be healed. A person can’t actually make pain go away — for sure we can mask it, and usually do with drugs, distractions, etc. But pain actually has a higher purpose, if you will — it’s actually an invitation to put attention on the part of us that needs to be healed. You’ve probably heard the expression, “the way out is through.” It’s only when we’re willing to meet our pain head-on that we can begin the journey of working to uncover what it is within us that we have unconsciously allowed to compromise us in the first place. This is not the quick-fix solution, but it’s the only solution that has permanent results and actually brings you into relationship with a whole new order of yourself.

    I would encourage you to read the Q&As at the link above and continue to explore Guy’s website further as there is much free helpful and healing information available for those who truly wish to discover the true meaning and purpose of their lives.

    Best wishes,

    Kate

  • ToughMotha

    Thank you. I am reading the website and taking steps to feel, silently, what happened and what it all means to me and my life’s journey. Many thanks.

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