Things that Set you Back when You’ve been Betrayed

Things that set you back when you’ve been betrayed include:

1. Keeping your feelings to yourself. The impact of a trauma is so deep and so profound, and the feelings it evokes are so extreme and so intense, that they need to have an outlet, or you’ll go insane!  They need to be expressed when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

2. Keeping what happened to yourself: There are some things in this life we want to keep to ourselves. And we also have the right to keep those things to ourselves. We don’t need other people to attack or put us down, and we don’t need their opinions, or their unwelcome advice.

Nevertheless, you need to find a person you can tell your story to; someone who’s understanding, and who truly cares for you.    

3. Not being able to find out the whole truth: You have a right to know what happened, and to find out the whole truth. You have a right to ask your questions: it affects you, after all.

Don’t be silenced by a partner who attempts to shut you down … For you’ll never trust again if you believe they’re hiding things.

4. Never talking about it. When something devastating turns our whole life upside down, we can’t deny the truth. We can’t pretend that things are fine. The past is going to haunt us. We’ll be triggered constantly. We can’t return to normal, and we can’t just trust again.

Instead, you need to talk things through or the relationship will fail – for you’ll get stuck in unvoiced feelings, bitterness, sadness and rage.

5. Minimizing the impact this has had on you: Your life is changed forever, and in unexpected ways. Your history is a lie now, and you don’t know who you are. What was certain is uncertain, and the future is unclear. You feel you can’t trust others, and this makes you insecure.

6. Being plagued by suspicion and anxiety: You had trusted your whole self to someone who has lied to you, who’s hurt and scarred you deeply when your love for them was true. So, of course, you’re always anxious, and you fear what they might do.

However, if we’re going to rebuild, then we must learn to trust again – despite the panicked feelings, and the risk that this entails. Some questions that might help here include the following:

What do I need to feel safe with this person?

What would help me trust my partner again?

What is telling me they’re safe today?

What is different about them now?

What is different about our relationship?    

7. Expecting to rebuild trust in one fell swoop: Trust is rebuilt slowly, and incrementally. And any ground you’ve gained can be destroyed, and lost again – for trust is tentative, and very fragile, for a while.

Also, you can’t expect to trust in every area of life, and you won’t trust them completely, or trust them all the time.

For example, you might be OK with your partner going for a drink with colleagues you know, but not be OK with them going away with friends for a whole weekend.

This is normal, and to be expected.

You only need to focus on one little step forward. You don’t need to conquer the entire mountain right now. You don’t need to have everything figured out today. The only possible way to climb a mountain is by climbing it one step at a time. Don’t think about the peak. Don’t worry about what may come later. Instead, focus on the one little step in front of you. The rest will come when it’s time. For now, it’s just one little step.” Nikki Banas

6 thoughts on “Things that Set you Back when You’ve been Betrayed

  1. Your quote makes me think of training for a marathon. It’s not something you accomplish in a day, or even a week. It takes three to six months of training to prepare for a 26.2 mile run. In the same way, recovering from betrayal trauma doesn’t happen on cue. Healing is a journey–one step at a time. Like you often say, we must be patient and forgiving with ourselves. Some wounds do not heal overnight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, David. I love your picture of recovery being like training over time for a race. It takes, effort, commitment, consistency and time to be at the place you want to be at.

      Liked by 1 person

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