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  /  Emotions   /  How to survive a hurtful betrayal
How to survive bretrayal

Many of us have experienced the betrayal of a loved one in our lives. The feelings that we experience at this moment are remembered forever. They are comparable to the reverse side of a mirror, where our smiling reflection is not visible, but only emptiness and darkness.

In the first stage, betrayal devastates the soul. Then resentment, anger, and a thirst for revenge come. And only after a while, they can be replaced by forgiveness. Below we will consider the very first stage people experience after the betrayal of loved ones – emptiness; when faith leaves the soul, and with it, the trust in people.

What is betrayal?

The classic definition of betrayal is a failure to fulfill a duty to someone who is counting on it or as a violation of loyalty to someone; be it a loved one, a child, parents, close friends, or work colleagues. Babies come into this world helpless and for the first few years of their lives, they trust only their mother for help and support. Then, as their social activity increases, the circle of persons they interact with expands. They already realize that in the world there are other people they can interact with. These are little friends in the sandbox and kindergarten teachers, uncles and aunts with whom their parents communicate, etc. And the child needs to figure out who is their friend and who is not. But no matter how well a child learns to understand people in childhood, they are not immune to betrayal throughout their lives.

At any moment they may be in front of the reverse side of the mirror, in which there is nothing, only emptiness. And at this moment they can feel that their world has collapsed. Nevertheless, this state must be experienced with dignity.

How does betrayal happen?

Polls showed that betrayal came as a surprise to most people. Their trust was broken in the most important things for them. And along with it, their faith in people disappeared. From this, we can conclude that it’s impossible to foresee betrayal. And, accordingly, it’s impossible to insure against it either. Any betrayal, even if we have experienced it before, is a complete surprise to us. And the feelings destroying our souls flare up again with the same acuteness.

Condition after betrayal

Experienced psychologists still cannot give unequivocal advice on how to behave after betrayal. Despite the fact that this issue is now being studied in depth. Betrayal is considered to be a difficult life situation, so the problem of effective behavior after it is quite acute. 

Practicing psychologists apply the theory of coping, developed in 1987 by the famous American psychologist A. Maslow. He introduced the term coping behavior; which means the use of various behavioral attempts to solve internal and external problems that torment a person. In other words, coping behavior can be called a person’s readiness to solve problems that have accumulated, using various methods for this. And the sooner he comes to this, the better. 

Imagine the opposite situation, when a person’s actions are governed not by common sense, but by naked emotions. The behavior in this case will be expressive. For example, an abandoned woman will first feel deep resentment, then righteous anger, and then fall into depression. Moreover, when going through all these three stages, she will act under the influence of those emotions that are currently raging in her soul. Namely – to beg to return and curse, to scold with the last words and forgive, thereby confusing an already difficult situation. But that won’t solve the problem. Therefore, you need to try to cope with emotions and try to get rid of the negativity that has accumulated in your soul.

Correct behavior after betrayal

The answer to the question of how to behave after a betrayal is ridiculously simple. First of all, you need to calm down, and then think about what to do next. That is, first we think, and then we do. And in no way the other way around. And most importantly, you need to figure out what exactly prompted the other person to betray you. Maybe you did something wrong?

Only a close person whom we trusted can betray, turned our backs without fear, shared secrets and secrets, pinned certain hopes. But was it worth it? Psychologists have noticed that the strength of our feelings about the betrayal of a loved one is directly proportional to the voluntarily transferred responsibility for our fate. Indeed, most often they betray precisely those people who are helpless and dependent, than those who themselves control their lives and destiny. Even the departure of a husband from a family is perceived by women differently. For some, this is a catastrophe of a universal scale, for others – the vicissitudes of fate. In this case, it can even be perceived as a gift, allowing you to be convinced of your self-sufficiency and try to live without it.

Betrayal by mistake

A simple rethinking of situations, from which you can conclude that your traitor is not a cold-blooded villain, effectively helps to get rid of feelings of betrayal. He could just be wrong, so he can be understood and forgiven.

As practice shows, with the betrayal of a loved one, both sides suffer. After all, the motive of this ugly act is usually sad and can be regarded as a weakness. If we are talking about betrayal in married life, then the partner’s weakness maybe his colleague at work, for which he has serious sympathy. And then the circumstances come into play, according to which they were together in the right place and the right time, and bad luck when the spouse found out that she was being deceived. In other words, the husband did not want to offend his wife, it was just the circumstances. He showed weakness, and the weak must be forgiven.

If you cannot understand and forgive, and you still want to take revenge, consider him 100% guilty, then think about the degree of your guilt in what happened. After all, it was you who allowed the creation of this sad situation by trusting the traitor. You allowed your trust to be abused, which means that you, too, were mistaken, just like him.

How can you force yourself to forgive?

There are situations when a person who has experienced a betrayal cannot forgive his offender and continues to think about revenge. As strange as it may sound, revenge will not only not help, but will aggravate this whole difficult situation. It will not add exclusivity to you and will not solve the problem. Therefore, if you cannot forgive, then try to at least understand the traitor. To do this, you need to think and delve into yourself in order to finally understand what exactly you did wrong, that your offender decided on such an ugly act. He probably felt very bad at that moment too for some serious reason. And these reasons, most likely, were you. And this means that you, in turn, also, without knowing it, did him harm. Now it only remains to understand how exactly this happened. As you understand, you can forgive.

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