Coping with Betrayal

Betrayal, dear reader, is often one of the most difficult and time-consuming setbacks for a woman to overcome.

 

Patrick Demarchelier | 'Swan Lake,'.Anna Selezneva, for Vogue Russia, October 2012:

 

It can truly hit her like the proverbial “brick wall” and stop her dead in her tracks.

Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. Discovering that someone we trusted has deeply hurt us pulls the reality rug from under us. A damaging aspect of betrayal is that our sense of reality is undermined. What felt like solid trust suddenly crumbles. Our innocence is shattered. We’re left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Who is this person?

Perhaps what is so uniquely harmful about betrayal is that it leaves us questioning our own selves and our judgement about who to trust and who not to.

A typical reaction is often to suffer from a severe pull-back in trust more generally.  It becomes more difficult to be open after betrayal, and what’s worse, dear reader, is that we no longer trust our own selves.

 

Meredith Heron's Office - Beautiful powder room with dark gray grasscloth wallpaper framing beveled beaded mirror over black vanity topped with white marble beveled countertop:

 

“When someone breaks your trust don’t feel stupid for trusting them. You didn’t do anything wrong they’re just an untrustworthy person.”

Betrayal is not only about the one who shattered our trust, it is about trusting ourselves not to put ourselves into compromising situations with untrusting people where we may be hurt.

Often-times, after a betrayal, whether that be an extra-marital affair or something else, a woman will beat herself up for her own foolishness.  In many cases, dear reader, the woman who instead simply blames the other party and gets angry, will heal much faster and be able to move on with resilience.

This is because the first thing that needs to be accomplished in order to move on from betrayal is a trust in one’s self and one’s own judgement.

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings.”

 

simple white dress. On a side note, I really like her hair:
You must, dear reader, first trust in your own wings.  The branch is like all the external factors and people that may betray you, but your wings are your own judgement of who and who not to trust, how much of yourself you are willing to invest in someone else, and your unique personality make-up and resilience – your ability to recover and come back stronger if betrayed.

First and foremost, dear reader, you must get it into your head that you are not completely at fault for whatever betrayal you have suffered.  Sure, you may have been more naive than you are now, but it is still not worth analyzing or beating yourself up over.  It does not mean that you were foolish, naive, or too trusting.  It means that you simply misread a situation or didn’t appreciate all of the details involved.  But, dear reader, no one does, in any situation!

And betrayal may feel like a personal failure, but it is not.  Absolutely everyone, from the most advanced spies to con artists, are at some point betrayed.

 

Editorial: Vogue Russia April 2011:

 

The natural reaction to become dark and cynical, and to have a severe contraction in one’s ability to trust following betrayal, dear reader, is almost always an over-reaction.

After betrayal, we tend to believe people are worse than they really are, even the one (or ones) who have betrayed us.  Perhaps they are the most calculating people to ever walk the face of the planet, but the more likely truth is that the betrayal isn’t as bad as you have imagined.

“In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too.”

This isn’t to say to simply let someone off the hook or to trust indiscriminately, however.

 

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But in order to move on and to live the healthy, happy, and productive life you deserve, dear reader you will need to learn to trust and be open.  If you are unable to do this, betrayal will continue to have a lasting and detrimental impact, holding you back from all that you know you can be.

It also helps, dear reader, to give yourself time.  You can’t expect to immediately bounce back following an unexpected breach in trust.  It will take time, and it helps to be patient with oneself, understanding that you may not feel like your usual self overnight, but that it’s okay.

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.”

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7 thoughts on “Coping with Betrayal

  1. The self-recrimination is overwhelming…feeling the FOOL…believing you must be STUPID. Healing, however, begins to reveal that you were anything but those things. I’m thankful to be through the stage of self-hatred and self-blame and appreciate your words.

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  2. I really enjoy your thoughts on betrayal, and I’ve also taken a look at another post, which I liked as well. However, I’m distracted and slightly annoyed by your constant use of “dear reader.” Maybe ease up a bit on this phrase? Good read, though! I will come back and explore some more.

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