How to Overcome a Betrayal

As much as we want to count on the people we care about, the hard truth is that humans aren't always that trustworthy.

Disloyalty and deception are rampant issues in all kinds of relationships, but that doesn't make them okay. In fact, betrayal can have a lasting impact on both parties, as it ruins trust and causes intense emotional pain.

Of course, that doesn't mean you're doomed to live with constant trust issues. There are always ways to move past your problems, and we might have a few methods that can help.

Keep scrolling for our best tips on how to overcome a betrayal.

Take a Step Away

In the immediate aftermath of any betrayal, emotions are going to be running high. You'll likely be imbued with anger, frustration and other tumultuous feelings that will insist you confront the person who betrayed you and fix things then and there. However, in that passion and hot-blooded state, you're not going to solve anything.

Odds are you'll actually make your situation worse by allowing your anger and sadness to control your reactions. Instead of following your emotions, take a step away to deal with things on your own. If there's any hope of salvaging the relationship or having any kind of productive conversation, you need to give yourself a little time to calm down and get your feelings under control.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Sabrina Spellman

(Chilling Adventures of Sabrina via Netflix)

 

Name Your Feelings

Betrayal itself is a frustrating and unpleasant act, but it's not a feeling. Instead, the act of being betrayed elicits certain feelings inside of you, all of which need to be acknowledged if you have any hope of moving forward. Anger, sadness, shame and disgust are some of the most common emotions, but you can feel anything from surprise to insecurity to full-on confusion.

The first step to moving forward is giving your emotions a name and acknowledging which things you feel most strongly. Then, you can work on addressing those specific feelings and working to improve them, rather than ignoring all your individual thoughts and placing them under the umbrella of "feeling betrayed."

 

Don't Seek Revenge

When you feel sad and upset, often your first response is to lash out and get back at the person who hurt you. Betrayal is a particularly painful issue that can cause you to immediately seek revenge on your betrayer. They broke your trust, so you want to do something  equally as heinous so they can understand exactly how you're feeling.

Unfortunately, seeking retaliation is the worst response you can come up with. Not only will it do nothing to fix your relationship, it will cause you to stoop to their level, creating shame and guilt that will slow down your recovery process tremendously. Retaliation distracts you from dealing with the source of your problem and instead keeps you trapped in an angry and aggressive emotional state, ultimately keeping you from finding a solution and moving forward.

Riverdale: Betty and Veronica hugging

(Riverdale via The CW)

 

Confide in Someone You Trust

As we've already stated, emotions are running high in the aftermath of a betrayal, which can make it hard to rely on your own perceptions. In other words, if you've been betrayed, you're often too close to the situation to be able to think clearly. Therefore, it's incredibly important to find someone you trust, and confide all your feelings and worries to them. Not only does that give you an opportunity to vent and expel some of your emotions, it can also be helpful to hear a third-party viewpoint before you make any final decisions about your relationship with the person who betrayed you.

 

Examine the Relationship

After you've done some work to calm your feelings and establish where you stand, it's time to confront the person who betrayed you. While you need to have a conversation about their betrayal to gain closure for you both, it's most important to use the opportunity to examine your relationship. What led them to betray you? Have they done something like this before? Are they apologetic and distraught about their behavior or nonchalant and indifferent?

As you're discussing things with the person who betrayed you, take time to truly analyze the relationship. Betrayal doesn'have to be the end of your association, but you do have to be sure that they won't do it again, that you'll be able to rebuild trust with time and that they're genuinely sorry for their actions. Then, you can determine if the relationship is worth salvaging or if you're better off moving on from this particular connection.

Aria and Ezra holding hands while sitting on bench

(Pretty Little Liars via Netflix)

 

Forgive

Whether you decide to continue your relationship with the person who betrayed you or not, you need to forgive.  While it will bring the other person a measure of peace and happiness to know that you've pardoned their behavior, you also need to bury the hatchet for your own sake. By refusing to forgive someone who's hurt you, you're choosing to hang on to all those negative emotions, thereby allowing that grudge to keep you from moving forward.

Forgiveness won't happen in an instance and it might take much more time than you prefer, but eventually you need to let go of that bitterness and move on. You can still end the relationship, but you can't allow those negative emotions to continually color the rest of your future interactions. Forgiveness isn't necessarily about absolving the other person of guilt, it's about giving yourself the chance to move forward with clarity and happiness, instead of allowing your negative feelings to hang over you like a cloud.

 

On the hunt for more relationship advice? Click HERE to learn why your relationships will improve when you stop searching for "the one."