When you can trust & love yourself again, you can trust & love another person, while letting them love & trust you.
Too many of us have had the experience of being cheated on. In some relationships it’s not surprising and in others it seems to come out of nowhere. Either way it’s painful as Hell to find out that your lover cheated on you. It brings up a wide range of feelings in you, from hurt to rage. We can have fantasies of revenge on our betrayer. We feel that we can’t trust anyone anymore and sex feels ruined. We can’t move on even after we break up with the betrayer. How do we heal?
Talking with the betrayer is a starting point of healing, sometimes. I’ll say that it’s optional. You do not need to hear details, but hearing why they say it happened can be part of the understanding part of recovery. When asking the betrayer why everything happened, listen to what they say without asking for the icky details. Those images will make healing much harder. When you hear the betrayer out, do it for your sake, not necessarily theirs’s if you’re not planning on being together after. Ask yourself, “What have I learned?” You can learn that they’re just full of shit. It’s not always enlightening. Or, we can learn something deeper about the relationship and how things functioned.
In my work I’ve repeatedly come across the idea that many people who were cheated on blindly trusted their partner. The betrayed will call themselves naïve and oblivious and feel that they’re stupid because they didn’t see this happen. Through much exploration it was found out that there were some signs, but there was the great want to not see those signs. It’s totally reasonable to not want to see bad signs in your relationship. It will mess up your world to see them, but it will mess up your world to ignore them and let them come to light full force out of an infidelity.
Rebuilding your self-esteem is the main goal when recovering from being betrayed. You’re going to be going through some intense emotions or feel totally dead inside. Either way, you have to be able to start thinking slowly and clearly about the situation and how you’re doing. When you’re able to do that you can start dealing with the emotions or the lack of emotions that were triggered by the infidelity.
You can try to just brush it off, but that’s a repetitive lie we do to ourselves. If the relationship was meaningful, the pain is meaningful and burying the pain is just planting another seed of despair. Another? Yea, this isn’t likely the first seed of despair we’ve planted, nurtured and pushed down. Life experiences bring out our past life experiences. In the mind there is no time, that’s why time doesn’t heal much, it covers it up at best.
Also, don’t listen to every schmuck out there that tries to give you advice. Most of the time it’s really garbage advice. “Just get over it,” is crap and not real. Find someone who’s most interested in listening and understanding you instead of interested in quoting television to you as if it’s healing wisdom.
When you find that someone that’s curious and wants to hear and understand you, make sure to give yourself the time and space to be able to say everything to them. This part of healing is painful. You’re going to be working through what happened to you, your emotions, your mind, your body. Talking about how you’re not eating well anymore, you’re not hanging out with friends like you use to, your old self is gone, you feel angry, are in despair, or can’t feel a thing. The exploration and speaking of everything cures in part because when they are spoken, they become less intense and have less of a grip on your soul. As the feelings weaken, then you’re able to work through them, tolerate them, and make sure they’re not running your life.
Rushing this process is a reasonable want. We want to go through as little pain as possible and get all of the healing out of it. It’s also how we give ourselves cheap help. What’s a bandage going to do for a bleeding heart?
Finding the truth in yourself is what healing is. We, because of the infinite experiences in our lives, end up having these negative messages about ourselves we believe. We’re not good enough, they cheated because I wasn’t loving enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not lovely. There are so many untruths we feel, believe and invest in. These untruths are the major blocks to recovery. In healing, you have to find, hear, understand and accept the truth you discover. You are lovely, worthy of being loved and invest in those truths. When you can trust & love yourself again, you can trust & love another person, while letting them love & trust you.
Thanks for reading my article and I hope it was helpful for you or someone you know. If it was helpful, share and follow me here at AdamAyala.org. I write blogs weekly on relationships and am also available for individual in person sessions. Take care and keep asking the right questions about your love life.