Dealing With Betrayal Grief Is Hard.
I still remember the painful days and nights long ago when I finally faced the full reality of the betrayal in my marriage, head on.
There was no more avoiding the truth, hanging onto false hope, or being in shock about who he was or what he was doing.
The raw truth was now centered in my heart and it really hurt.
I didn't sleep well.
I couldn't concentrate on the simplest things, and I had no real energy.
The waves of pain came over me when I least expected it and I felt like a total mess inside.
Not to mention how angry I was!
- I was angry that my ex husband did not fight for me or his family.
- I was angry about every single time he betrayed me.
- I was angry that he put me through the gut-wrenching pain I was feeling.
Those times when I was angry were the times I felt most energized.
But of course, that energy never lasted long.
Because on the flip side of being really angry, I was feeling the pain again.
It was always waiting to wash over me again.
That's the thing about accepting the stark reality of betrayal.
The self-protection of shock, denial, false hope, and avoidance are gone.
In it's place, the pain of deep grief comes rising to the surface.
At that point, I was now strong enough to work through what I was feeling. And really, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
I had moved from step one of betrayal grief recovery - Avoiding and protecting myself from the reality of betrayal, to step two - Working through the pain of grief.
Even though it hurt on such a deep level, I was strong enough to allow the pain to be what it was. I made room for it instead of pushing it away or denying it was there.
And that made all the difference.
I found that when I embraced the emotional grief work that was required, it helped me feel better in the coming months ahead.
And my energy and joy began to return.
I think that's a pretty good deal after enduring that much emotional pain.
I want to share a few tips that I think will help you deal with whatever grief you are feeling.
These tips will help you cope and actively heal.
Here Are 10 Tips To Help You Heal From Betrayal Grief:
Betrayal Grief Tip 1 | Give yourself full permission to grieve.
Grief, and all of the emotions that come with it, is a normal part of loss and betrayal.
You will experience many losses throughout your lifespan, but infidelity betrayal is one of the most difficult to overcome.
Grief is a way to cleanse your heart and honor the truth of what you've been through.
Coming to terms with the layers of pain and loss, rather than pushing them away or denying them, will open the door to healing and true acceptance.
Remember, grief is a normal process.
Betrayal Grief Tip 2 | Prevent grief from overwhelming you.
Sometimes our pain shows up at times when we need to be around people, or in situations where showing our pain is not ideal.
Like when we are at work, for instance, or in the presence of people we don't know.
To keep grief from overwhelming you, set a time and place to grieve regularly.
Set aside 30 minutes each day to grieve and allow all your feelings to rise to the surface.
Releasing pain like this will keep your feelings from bottling up inside of you and then coming out when it's not the best time for that to happen.
At the end of 30 minutes, remind yourself that tomorrow you will be able to do that again.
Betrayal Grief Tip 3 | Process your grief by writing in a journal.
During your daily 30 minute grief time, use a journal to write about your pain, anger, and loss.
Write about each loss, or each situation, or person you are angry at, one at a time.
You can write letters you never send. You can simply write and allow whatever you are feeling to come out.
Betrayal Grief Tip 4 | Remind yourself that every painful feeling has an end point. It won't last forever.
Like a wave, feelings of grief will grow in strength. Then those feelings will begin to subside again.
It helps to remember this because sometimes in the depth of our emotions, it can feel like our pain will never end and we won't feel better again.
But we will. In time.
Just allow the emotion flow over you and then notice as it begins to disappear.
Betrayal Grief Tip 5 | Eliminate exposure to betrayal triggers.
Take steps to make your life safe again by removing as many betrayal triggers as possible.
Become a strong advocate for creating a safe environment and life for yourself.
Write down on a piece of paper, the things that you know trigger you. Then start to remove as many of them from your life as you can.
This will help your heart begin to heal.
Betrayal Grief Tip 6 | Go for regular walks.
One of the biggest ways I helped myself heal from betrayal was by walking on the beach.
Sometimes I cried, sometimes I sorted things out in my mind, and sometimes I just listened to music and enjoyed the peace of mind walking in nature gave me.
Those walks were so therapeutic.
One of the best things about walking is the boost of "feel good" endorphins that are released.
Something you can really benefit from right now!
Betrayal Grief Tip 7 | Decrease or eliminate white flour and sugar from your diet.
These foods like this have a big impact on our mood because they send our blood sugar soaring up, and then crashing back down.
This causes cravings for more sugar to deal with the crash of low blood sugar.
And then there's the fact that it really zaps energy!
When you are already struggling with your emotions, it's best to avoid the things that contribute to that struggle.
Betrayal Grief Tip 8 | Write down 5 things you are grateful for every day.
No matter how hard things are for you right now, there is always something to appreciate in your life.
Expressing gratitude for these things is very important.
Acknowledging what is right in our life gives balance to the pain and heartache we feel after betrayal.
And gratitude can raise our spirits.
Betrayal Grief Tip 9 | Make self-care a priority.
Just as you would if you had a physical injury, take good care of yourself and protect and nurture your heart and mind.
Take bubble baths, get support, eat healthy foods, drink water, take walks, rest.
All the basic self-care strategies are extremely important right now.
Betrayal Grief Tip 10 |Get as much rest as possible.
Grieving takes energy. Lot's of it.
You will know when grief is over because your energy will begin to return to normal.
But in the mean time, remember to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to get as much rest as you can.
If your sleep is disrupted, (which often happens after infidelity betrayal,) be sure to visit your doctor. You may be able to get something to help you sleep better.
Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not able to do as much as you normally would.
Just take it one day at a time, rest, and heal.
I hope you find these betrayal grief tips helpful to you!
(I've written part 2 of this article with 10 more tips to help you overcome betrayal grief. You can read it here: "How To Overcome Betrayal Grief After Infidelity: 10 More Tips For Healing Your Heart >>
Hope and Healing,