Today I'm looking back at my recovery from betrayal and a painful marriage ending.
It is my hope that you will find it helpful as you deal with betrayal in your life.
Although there were many lessons learned along the way that I could share with you, these 3 stand out as some of the most important ones.
Maybe you will be able to relate to them.
1| It’s Possible To Hold On To False Hope After Betrayal.
I don’t know about you, but I am a pretty hopeful person. I believe in the possibility of good things ahead and I do my best to stay positive about my life and future.
But there is one thing I now know for sure: Sometimes holding on to hope can be taken too far.
When I was dealing with the betrayal in my marriage that's what I did.
I used it as a way to avoid taking REAL ACTION and drawing a hard line on bad behavior.
I held on too tightly to hope - and that's not a good strategy for making things better in one's life.
Consequently, as long as I believed things would get better, I didn’t have to face the reality of my hopeless situation.
And I didn’t have to face the fact that he was doing nothing to warrant my hope.
I should have said "NO" to his betrayal a lot sooner than I did.
Like many YEARS sooner!
Nothing about my situation changed until I stopped investing hope in a hopeless relationship and learned to face the reality of my situation head on.
Facing the reality was a painful thing for sure.
But it was totally necessary for me to do.
I realize now, how important it is to set a time frame on turning a bad relationship around.
No one should have a free pass to continue bad behavior without the line being drawn somewhere.
This is especially true when it comes to someone’s chronic infidelity and betrayal. The stakes are too high because our emotional and physical health are at risk.
How do you think you are doing concerning hope and betrayal?
Is my experience something you can relate to?
If so, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
“Am I using hope as the main strategy for dealing with my troubled relationship?”
“Are months turning into years without any real change?”
If you answered "YES" to either of these questions, it’s time to reassess your options and draw the line on his bad behavior.
Without doing so, you run the risk of losing the best years of your life in a painful, dead end relationship.
2 | His Recovery Actions Are More Important Than Anything He Promises You.
I’ve been through the wringer when it comes to this lesson.
I use to place so much value on what my ex said, and not enough on the stark reality of his actual behavior.
He had the ability to trigger an emotional meltdown in me, simply by what he SAID to me.
It didn’t matter if what he said was true or not.
By the same token, if what he said was what I wanted to hear, it triggered hope in me.
I reacted emotionally to what he said - either negatively or positively.
As women, I think we do tend to place a premium on what someone says.
We sometimes buy into things we shouldn't.
Basically, we need to be cautious of manipulation and mind games.
If he says all the “right things,” it's easy to assume things must be moving in the right direction.
We then let down our guard and sigh a big relief, totally forgetting that his behavior matters more.
We can also go so far as to question whether or not we are to blame.
After all, he sounds so sincere.
You have to be careful because those who embrace infidelity as a lifestyle are extremely deceptive regarding what they say.
He knows how to talk the talk.
He may be on the up and up in some parts of his life, but not when it comes to guarding his prized infidelity behavior and double life.
He is going to say all the “right” things if it means you will get off his back and leave him alone.
So Many False Promises And Fake Apologies.
My recommendation to you is to pay attention to his behavior.
This will keep you from getting sucked into the verbal and emotional games some men play.
Deal with the cold hard facts and the reality of what’s happening.
3| Self-Care Matters. A lot!
It took me a while to embrace self-care when I was going through betrayal.
I became depressed and unsure of myself.
My self-confidence was chipped away by his betrayal.
Consequently, I didn’t seem to have the strength and focus I needed to turn my life around.
I had to get to a point where I realized my life needed to be examined and I needed to take much better care of myself.
It was this change in focus that became a BIG key in turning my life around for the better.
Self-care helped me unhook from his betrayal and infidelity.
I had been so caught up in my own anger and pain around what he was doing, that I had lost a big part of myself.
I lost the joy, the personal growth, and healing.
It totally crushed me the day I fully realized he really didn’t care enough to make things better between us.
I had to face the fact that I had been spinning my wheels. I was getting no where with him. He was still doing exactly what he wanted.
A turning point for me came the day I abandoned couples therapy and started to go to therapy for MYSELF.
It became the beginning of a better life for me. It helped me become the author of my life and I began to feel like I was moving in the right direction.
And then I started to leave that dead-end relationship behind.
If you find yourself reacting to his behavior, rather than taking control of your life, here are some things you can do to begin turning things around:
- Start a journal and begin letting the pain out. I promise, the pain will not last forever but I know it can feel like that sometimes.
- Go to individual counseling and focus on improving your ability to set limits with him.
- Set up a simple self-care plan.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Do you ever find yourself holding on tightly to hope, having emotional melt-downs, feeling encouraged by what he SAYS, or neglecting self-care?
Until next time . . .