Betrayal is one of those hurtful events that most of us get to face at some time or the other, and IT HURTS.
We’re all wired where with a concept of “how we should be treated” and no human can uphold our standard all the time. Then, when you add imperfection, temptation, and our fallen natures, then you’ve got a whole mashup of other reasons why betrayal takes place.
Regardless of the reason for the betrayal….it still hurts.
So, a scenario goes something like this…
The man you love has gotten into a profession he’s infatuated with. He no longer has time for the family. You support him, care for the kids, and do your best. You’re thinking his enjoyment of his profession is a good thing until…
He forgets your birthday and your anniversary because he volunteers to work.
You’re hurt. You feel betrayed.
You do all you can to support him. You’ve made sacrifice after sacrifice, and you’re thinking, “He can’t even take one or two days to celebrate with me?”.
In your mind, you’re thinking two very drastic extremes…
“I’ll just have a blast by myself and act like I didn’t notice he didn’t show up?”.
“When he comes home hungry or wants sex tonight, I’ll be busy”.
Does Either Option Work?
When betrayal happens, we typically want to do one of two things: get revenge or move past it. Unfortunately, if you jump into either “solution” too fast, you don’t solve the problem, and you can make it even worse.
If you try to ignore the betrayal and “have a blast alone”, then once the excitement is over, you’ll still think about how he ignored your big day and how it made you feel.
And, if you try option two, and take revenge, then the problem escalates UNLESS one of you takes the “higher road”, and since you’re inquiring for a solution (since you’re reading this), I recommend you be take the “higher road”.
What is the Higher Road?
The higher road is the road to healing. You have to pursue healing for yourself before you can feel satisfaction from any actions going forward because the facts stand that:
- You had an expectation
- The expectation was disappointed
- The other person may or may not apologize
- You want to feel good again without laying the contingency on the other person (otherwise you could be miserable for a LONG time)
How Do You Heal From This?
Anyone whose been thru betrayal asks “how do you heal from this?”. Sometimes, it can feel impossible, but it’s not. Here’s what you can do to heal from this…
1. Actualize the Pain
It’s okay to experience pain. Crying is a natural reaction to pain. If you feel like crying, let it out! Resilience does not mean ignoring emotion, pain or hurt. Religion cannot dissolve your feelings of pain.
Betrayal, pain, and sadness are a part of our human experience.
My Experience with the Healing Process
From my experience, going thru the entire healing process teaches you how to cope. Unfortunately, at some time or another, disappointment happens.
When you go thru the process for the first time, it’s much more unfamiliar, so you don’t know how to problem solve as quickly or efficiently. Once it’s happened more times, then you can bounce back much faster.
2. Realize the Size of Your Scope of Influence
It’s important to realize what actions and reactions you can control. You may not be able to control whether the other person apologizes, whether they ever feel remorse, or even if they ever rectify the wrong. They may not.
You may never know why they won’t rectify the wrong. You can let your mind roam and ponder their intentions. When you do that, you waste time.
You could spend time wondering:
- Are they just a mean person?
- Do they just not care?
- How did their past contribute to how their hurting you?
- Do they have a ugly heart that they’ve been covering up all this time?
- Are they just evil?
- and, the thoughts can go roaming and roaming…
But, those thoughts add no value to your healing. They actually keep you paralyzed, absent of personal growth, and fixated on a problem rather than being resilient, bouncing back, growing, and focusing on solutions.
You start to breakthrough when you realize…
- You don’t have control of their apology…BUT GOD DOES
- You don’t have control of whether they recitify the issue….BUT GOD WILL WHETHER YOU WITNESS IT OR NOT
- You can’t know their heart….BUT GOD CAN
- You can’t heal them of their past….BUT GOD CAN
- You can’t prevent this from happening again….BUT YOU CAN GET BETTER AT REACTING and GOD CAN HELP YOU
Then, once you REALLY comprehend that revelation, you can also realize what you do control like…
- How you respond
- How you feel
- How the person will interact with your days will go going forward
- How much access the person has in your life going forward
- And, how much time, effort, and emotion you’ll invest in the person going forward
Then, you plan to control what you can control and leave the rest to God.
3. Pray To God
Sometimes, these situations will leave you feeling like you have no strength, so you have to rebuild and repair yourself in prayer, meditations, and by affirming yourself. Other times, these situations can leave you feeling so much emotional pain it mimics physical pain.
I recommend you praying these 7 Prayers for Healing and the 7 Prayers for Strength when you feel you have none. It helps me and it can help you.
4. Create Boundaries
Depending on the situation, you may need to:
- Cut the relationship completely
- Make a temporary separation
- Cut off ways you collaborate in that relationship (for example: no borrowing money, no cohabitation, etc.)
- or, You may need to discuss expectations again
In his book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, Dr. Henry Cloud talks about healthy boundaries in relationships. Sometimes, we take on other people’s responsibilities or hand off more than we should–either can be unhealthy.
When betrayal happens, you want to analyze your boundaries and decide whether they need some adjustment. Should you take control of certain things you’re not? Or, are you feeling overburdened, and in need of giving some responsibilities away?
You also have to decide if it’s time to let go. This can be a VERY tough decision. Dr. Cloud also has a great book called Necessary Endings for navigating thru whether it’s a good decision to let go of a relationship or not.
I’d recommend checking out either of his books; whether you’re creating new boundaries or considering breaking free from an unhealthy relationship.
5. Monopolize Your Mind with Victory
I don’t usually use the Message version because it’s a paraphrase version, but, I like how this scripture is paraphrased there. It says:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Phillipians 4:8-9
I’d recommend memorizing that verse and continue repeating it. When your mind derails into a negative cycle, repeat that verse and get yourself back on track.
Monopolizing your mind takes practice. Paul said it like this:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
To be honest, monopolizing your mind and taking thoughts captive takes practice. You have to keep trying and reminding yourself. Random thoughts about the betrayal may come up, but you have to remind yourself that you’re focusing on what you can control and leaving the rest to God.
Final Words on When Your Family Betrays You
The goal of this article was to show some things to do when your family betrays you. It seems to hurt worse when you have an intimate connection like what’s the case in a family, but you can overcome this!
If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to help you out!
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Now, it’s Your Turn…
Have you overcome betrayal? What did you do? Did I leave anything out? Leave your comments, questions, and feedback below.