Thursday, September 10, 2009


How do we cope when we are betrayed? What do we do to take care of ourselves? How can we heal our hurts?

When our partner betrays us, whether it be via an adulterous relationship or through another breach, we are injured at our core. This is someone we have allowed into our lives in a very deep and meaningful way. We have become intimate with our partner in a variety of areas which we do not share with any other persons. As a result we feel crushed, sometimes lost. We experience our loss in the most personal of ways. This type of betrayal carries with it the added pain of personal rejection. Our partner is someone who knows us inside and out and has rejected us for our inner selves in a very painful and personal way.

At first we are shocked, infuriated and hurt. We may react with anger and fury. As time passes and the reality of our situation sinks in we may become hostile and cold toward our partner. If we have been betrayed we may wish to end the relationship. Or, we may wish to continue the relationship, but may not know how to get past the hurt and resentment. We have lost the trust shared in our relationship.

It is imperative that we not make life altering decisions during this initial time. We are still very raw and may be unable to rationally approach the situation. We may be too angry to think long term and may be incapable of thinking clearly.

Our first path should be to find ourselves a counselor with whom we feel comfortable where we can sort out our feelings and decide how to move forward. This may take some time. We must be patient. As we work through our feelings of hostility and pain we may discover that we have some portion of responsibility for the failure in our relationship. We have many difficult decisions ahead and we should not make them alone.

With the help of our counselor we begin to rebuild our shattered self esteem. Slowly, one step at a time we trudge back from the brink toward a healthier place. At first we have many days when we feel sad or angry. As time passes and we experience healing we have a few better days. Eventually we have many days when we feel at peace with ourselves and our situation. This healing process happens slowly, three steps forward and two steps back.

We practice self care, allowing ourselves to feel all our feelings fully, process what has happened to us and move forward. When we feel overwhelmed we take steps to soothe ourselves back into balance. We may call a friend, take a walk, enjoy a hot bath, read a book, watch a favorite movie or just take a nap. As we learn to care for ourselves we increase our self esteem giving ourselves the gift of a healthier, more joy filled future.

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