11 Things To Remember When You’ve Been Betrayed By The Person Who Swore They Never Would

Few wounds cut as deeply as being betrayed by the person you trusted most in the world, the person who swore they’d never do anything to hurt you. You feel ashamed for letting your guard down with them. You’re angry, disappointed, surprised, confused, disgusted, sad, and at a loss for how to move on. Here’s what you need to remember.

Betrayal is not something you earn.

When we’re let down by people we love and trust, it’s hard not to define ourselves in relation to it. You start to think that you deserved it somehow, like you had a hand in hurting yourself. Never forget that the fault or guilt is not with you. It has nothing to do with your worth or things you did or didn’t do. Regardless of what happened, it was their choice to betray and they made it.

You need to figure out why you feel betrayed.

It is important to identify and reflect on what you’re feeling after a betrayal. What exactly is it about what they’ve done that bugs you the most? The reason you’re hurt may be more complicated than it seems on the surface, so you need to examine your emotions to be able to properly process them.

People make mistakes.

Screwups are part of our design. Everyone messes up in different degrees, even without meaning to sometimes. The fact that this person has hurt you so deeply doesn’t automatically mean they’re a terrible human being. It’s possible that they really never meant to cause you pain.

Seeking vengeance will not undo the past.

If you’re like me, then you probably feel a strong desire to get your pound of flesh from whoever wrongs you. Contemplating revenge can be a very satisfying pastime, but carrying it out is rarely ever productive or pleasurable. All it does is delay your healing and double your suffering.

Look your pain in the eye and grieve it.

You were betrayed. You’re right to feel devastated by it. Don’t pretend the knife in your back isn’t making you bleed. Acknowledge that someone has broken your trust and you’re hurting because of it. It’s much easier to heal this way.

Work towards rebuilding your faith in others.

Betrayal erodes trust not just in the person who has hurt you but in everyone else. It makes it hard to not see other people as a weapon. But you need to keep your heart open. Leave some room to be surprised by the good in others. Put your ability to trust back together, piece by broken piece.

Take the betrayal apart.

Why and how did they come to betray you? Was it intentional, borne out of malice or indifference? Was it an act of carelessness? Was it simply a moment of weakness? Understanding the motivating factor behind their screwup might help you empathize with them and move past the wall of hurt.

Find a shoulder to unburden yourself on.

In times like this, you’re going to need a strong support network. A third party that you can pour your heart out to without risking ridicule or judgment. They can offer honest advice or feedback that could help you work through your feelings.

Plan your emotional recovery.

Sure, you can’t see past the ache in your chest right now, but you can work towards a day when you’d be completely rid of it. Choose to not wallow in the betrayal. Don’t make it your identity. You got hurt, but you don’t have to stay that way. Don’t let the negativity get the better of you.

Take a step back from the betrayer and rethink the relationship.

Choosing to cling to someone who has broken your trust is oftentimes not a healthy response. Detach yourself from them and examine their importance in your life. Are they sorry? Have they apologized? Will you ever be willing to patch things up? How big was the betrayal? These questions will help you decide whether to forgive them and try again or cut them out of your life permanently.

You need to let the incident go.

You need to remember that there’s no point in crying over spilled milk. You’re not doing yourself any favors by refusing to move on. Work through whatever it is you’re feeling, then let it go. Don’t keep replaying the betrayal. If you choose to forgive and welcome them back into your life, don’t keep throwing the incident in their face. And certainly don’t use it to judge every other person.

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