If someone close to you has ever broken your heart, you’ve probably felt the sting of betrayal. Betrayal can feel like a dagger going through your heart. It makes you question everyone around you and their intentions. It evokes pain that rocks you to your core and can leave deep wounds. Any betrayal can cause emotional distress. If you ever experience betrayal, you may feel heartsick and find it hard to even complete simple tasks, like getting out of bed in the morning.
As you start to realize the totality of the betrayal, it’s not unusual to feel emotionally stunned and unable to think about your next steps. Betrayal requires a unifying approach to healing because it impacts your life’s physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Here are a few things you can do to help heal from your betrayal.
When betrayal happens, the person who suffered betrayal will blame themselves for getting involved in the situation. They may also blame themselves for connecting with this person in the first place. The betrayed person will also beat themselves up, saying that they knew better than to get to know this person. When you go against your better judgment or override your gut feeling, it leaves you feeling emotionally depleted. One of the best ways to recover is to start the process of forgiving yourself. Everyone makes mistakes; it’s through our mistakes that we learn the best course of action. However, it would help if you didn’t let your mistakes get the best of you.
See Betrayal as a Loss
Due to the complexities of betrayal, dealing with betrayal can feel almost like death. It may not be an actual death, but the betrayal can have components of loss. For example, the end of a relationship or friendship may feel like someone tore your world apart, and you’re trying to put the pieces back together. So it’s normal for your body and mind to start to go through steps of grief because your betrayer destroyed your foundation. You may feel a loss of identity if you’re no longer the partner in a relationship. These are losses, and addressing them as losses will help you manage your emotions more effectively.
Know That Betrayal is an Issue of Trust
No matter what circumstances led to the incident of betrayal, beneath the drama lies trust. What happened is that you felt you could trust this person to look out for you and have your best interest at heart. However, their behavior showed you otherwise. When you learn that they didn’t have your best interest at heart, it can impact you in multiple ways. Because trust is involved, it’s normal for you to think about other times when your confidence was compromised. Once you realize that betrayal is an issue of faith, you can move forward with more knowledge going into your next relationship or friendship.
Learn the Lesson
Whenever a betrayal occurs, what’s left is an opportunity for personal growth. For this transformation to start, you have to be willing to open yourself up to the possibility that there’s a lesson involved. It’s vital to drop your defense mechanisms, like blaming yourself for what happened or feeling guilty. If you keep pointing the finger at the other person or yourself, it will hinder your ability to learn anything from the betrayal. The lesson may be to trust your gut and not override your first impressions. On the other hand, the message could be that there are kind people in the world who support you when you’re down. If you choose to forgive your betrayer, never forget the lesson that the betrayal taught you.
Turn to Others For Support
Some people may be hesitant to open up about their betrayal. They could be embarrassed that this happened to them, or they may feel ashamed. Opening up about your betrayal isn’t always easy. You may not immediately want to talk about your partner cheating on your or childhood trauma. Plus, once someone has betrayed your trust, you may have a hard time trusting anyone. Still, people need emotional support, especially during stressful times. Your loved ones may not need to know all the details, but they can still offer you companionship. It would help if you also remembered that in situations like these, boundaries are beneficial. It’s okay to let your friends know that when you’d like guidance and advice or just when you need to vent. However, if you’re going through a breakup, you should be careful when discussing your separation with mutual friends. Gossip can make things worse than necessary.
Seek Professional Help
Depending on the severity of the betrayal and how you discover it, your body may process it as a traumatic event. If this happens, the betrayal may cause unpleasant physical responses like muscle tension, headaches, and nausea. These are clear signs that your body is under duress. A licensed professional can help you manage your stress. They could also offer medication if they think it’s necessary and give you some coping mechanisms to use. Talking to a licensed professional could also be helpful because they’re a third party with no previous knowledge of your situation. They can help you navigate your feelings and be more valuable than talking to your friends about the situation.
Going through a betrayal isn’t easy. It makes you question yourself and everyone around you. You find yourself asking why you got involved with this person, and you start having second thoughts on your judgment. However, it would be best if you didn’t beat yourself up. At the time, you thought you were doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this person betrayed you and your trust, but that’s not your fault.
Healing from betrayal may be challenging, but it’s possible with hard work. When recovering from any form of betrayal, the biggest thing to remember is not letting this betrayal change who you are. It would help if you didn’t let the betrayal turn you into a cold, complex person. Instead, let the betrayal teach you to always look out for yourself and have discernment when it comes to allowing people into your life.