How Do You Trust After You’ve Been Betrayed – Part One

05 Jan How Do You Trust After You’ve Been Betrayed – Part One

Welcome Everyone to 2015! Wow, what a great time to be alive! I don’t know about you but I’m just feeling so thankful & joyous about this year already. Anyway, ok so today’s post is on how do you trust again after you’ve been betrayed…? Let’s begin…

Remember the days when you loved and trusted freely without even giving much thought to it? Can you recall a time in your life when you weren’t worried about being hurt again? Or held back your feelings?

You just loved the one you were with completely and freely, giving them all you’ve got. It’s as if you had the innocence of a child and chances are, you were in fact, much younger when you loved so freely.

The first time I fell in love, I was eighteen years old. I gave every ounce of my love to this man and I gave our relationship 1000% (to the extent an 18 year old could give anyway).

I experienced many firsts with him (except for that one), the two that stand out the most are: my first child and my first taste of betrayal.

I don’t remember the details but I do know they involved a girl paging him (yes, the old school pager days) and that was the beginning of the end of our relationship.

For years after that, I tried to love the way I loved my first, but I always fell short. I just couldn’t love the way I wanted to love, the way, I needed to love, freely. It just wasn’t the same. So like most, I assumed those days were gone.

Then came “Mark”. I was still petrified of love, but for him, I wanted to give it another try.

I’ve always been pretty transparent and early on in our relationship Mark used to tell me “I don’t care how many years it takes, I will stand by your side until your Berlin Wall comes crashing down. We’ll remove brick by brick together…”

I wanted nothing more than to believe him.

Eventually, my walls came down. Well, enough to accept his marriage proposal anyway.

We had the big wedding, he adopted my oldest son and we were on our way to creating our new life together. Ten months later and four months pregnant…my worst fear came true. He cheated on me. {Ouch}

Any belief I had in the “happily-ever-after” was shattered and blown into bits. My faith in successful marriages (and faithful men) was non-existent.

I was devastated.

Within a year, I was divorced and back to the drawing board.

Up went my walls again.

Entering the dating world again was terrifying! I was scared to death to have my heart broken like that again.

Today, I am glad to report I have learned to fully give myself again. Notice I said “fully”, not “perfectly”. The love I give my fiancé is unrecognizable to the love I have given others in the past. He gets the very best of me.

I’ve learned many things in my life, but learning to trust others again has been one of those reoccurring themes (and accomplishments) in my life. It has been quite the process to learn how to love freely after being betrayed more than a few times in my life, and I’m going to share that process with you now.

#1 – Neutralize

Have you ever been so angry that you couldn’t even see straight? Or better yet, have you ever tried concentrating on your work or a house chore while you’ve been pissed off?

It’s nearly impossible isn’t it? All you end up doing is dragging and clicking your computer mouse recklessly and mindlessly all over the place or walking back and forth from room to room slamming this drawer and that drawer as your mind boils over with anger.

You might as well just spin around in circles.

Time heals nothing; it’s what you do in that time that really makes all the difference in the world.

In order to move forward in the healthiest way possible, it’s imperative that these negative feelings are neutralized, or dissolved. You’re not doing this for the other person; you’re doing this for you (and the success of your future relationships).

The unhealthiest thing for you to do is to try to jump right back into a new relationship before dissolving feelings of the past. It’s asking for trouble.

Why? Glad you asked.

Because when the lenses of your eyes are fogged with pain and anger, you will end up misinterpreting the behaviors of the new person. Ultimately this may lead you to sabotage something before it even has a chance to get started.

#2 – You’ve Got To Feel Before You Can Heal

One of the best ways to neutralize the feelings of your past is to do what’s hard in the present moment(s).

If both men and women would just stop shrugging off the way they feel about their past, there would be many more happy couples surrounding us today.

I was the queen of shoving down my anger, my hurt and my pain. When I was hurt by someone, instead of actually feeling the pain; I’d either shrug it off or simply turn my pain into anger and act as though that person no longer existed. Somehow being angry at the person was way easier than to actually feel the hurt and pain I felt in my heart. (At least in the short-term anyway.)

Suppressing your feelings will only prolong the underlying pain. Be willing to feel your feelings. No matter what they are. A roller-coaster of emotions follows betrayal, be willing to ride that ride for a while.

By “feel your feelings”, I mean when you’re sad, you cry. Don’t shove down that lump in your throat and try to push through your day. If you have to do that temporarily until you can cry privately, that’s understandable, but not for the long-term.

When you’re angry, allow yourself the time and space to be mad. Let it out. Release it. That pent up negative energy is no good for you or anyone else around you.

If you’re in the privacy of your own home, scream into a pillow or punch a pillow if you have to. I’ve been so angry that I’ve screamed out of my car window before (driving by myself of course). I’d rather look like a nut case releasing my anger, than feel like I’m ready to explode with anger. Or even worse, explode on my innocent kids when I got home.

Set your phone timer for 5-15 minutes and allow yourself the time to feel the emotion(s) for the duration of that time. When your time is up, wipe your tears, fix your hair, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face and watch how much lighter you feel. Repeat as necessary.

In Short

Neutralize, then feel. These first two steps are not only the foundation to learning to trust others, but they are the keys to self-love and improving the relationships with others.

Stay tuned for the next two steps…

Be well, be easy on yourself and always, love yourself,

~Jody

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1Comment
  • Julio
    Posted at 21:52h, 06 January Reply

    This is so true:

    Because when the lenses of your eyes are fogged with pain and anger, you will end up misinterpreting the behaviors of the new person. Ultimately this may lead you to sabotage something before it even has a chance to get started.

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