When someone we trust with all of our heart betrays us, it hurts. This pain can be so severe that it doesn’t only impact our future relationships, it impacts the way we see ourselves and life in general. It changes us. The lack of coping skills adds to overall distress. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is impossible to be prepared for heartache, and if we love deeply, we will most likely hurt deeply as well. It is not love that hurts us, but the inability of some individuals to love us back or love us the way we want them to. There is no quick fix for hurt after betrayal. Perhaps, it will hurt in one way or another for the rest of our lives. But it does get easier and we can all help ourselves heal by listening to ourselves and being patient. Here are some tips from your therapist that will help you heal after betrayal as well. Please remember, that healing is a journey that doesn’t always have a destination. It is a process that transforms and shapes you into a future you.
1. Give it time
I know you probably don’t want to hear it one more time but time is an important component of healing. It is definitely not the only one as many folks try to make us think but it is important. Just like our physical wounds, our emotional wounds heal with time and we don’t experience as much pain anymore. Sometimes they heal completely, and a lot of times they remind us of themselves from time to time.
Therapist’s tip: Remember, that this intense pain right after betrayal is temporary. Take it slow and don’t force anything. It will hurt much less and you will start to heal after betrayal with time.
2. Prioritize rest and self-care to heal after betrayal
This post wouldn’t be mine if I didn’t mention self-care. When you are neglecting your physical health, your emotional health will suffer as well. Any physical pain or discomfort will exacerbate your mental distress. That is why it’s so important to focus on your physical health while healing from betrayal.
Therapist’s tip: Focus on eating better, drinking lots of water, and getting enough sleep. It may be hard at first but do your best. I am not asking you all of the sudden to become the healthiest version of yourself, but I encourage you to be mindful of your basic needs.
3. Remember, you are not alone
A lot of times going within may help while healing. But it can also be beneficial to reach out and listen to other people’s stories, podcasts, or watch YouTube videos. If it’s too overwhelming, I don’t recommend doing it all of the time, but it is important to remember that we are never alone in our struggles. There are people who have had similar experiences to ours. Also, it can be helpful to get distracted from our pain and suffering for a while.
Therapist’s tip: The key here is to watch and listen to the information that inspires you, not triggers or brings you down. Make sure you don’t add to your suffering.
4. Try visualization to heal after betrayal
Visualization is a powerful tool because it can bring back hope to someone who has experienced betrayal. The world may seem like a dark place for a while, and imagining your future self the way you want to be can help and soothe your soul. Now, the key here is not to simply imagine the life you want to have but to think about how you want to feel in the future. Sometimes you will imagine moving to a different place because you want to feel more safe and secure in your new space. Or you may associate traveling with breaking free and starting fresh. Visualize what you want and focus on how you want to feel.
Therapist’s tip: Try to make visualization a part of your morning or evening routine. Find time to sit quietly and disconnect. Create a space in your mind that feels good, even if it is just for 5 minutes.
5. Feel all the feels (but take breaks)
Suppressing painful feelings and emotions will only postpone your healing. I understand it is tempting to turn to unhealthy coping strategies when we are in pain, but I am here to let you know, that nothing helps us more in our healing journey than going through that intense turmoil of emotions.
Therapist’s tip: Seek help if you can’t deal with it alone. In fact, it is totally normal to ask for help and support after betrayal. It is not easy to process those strong emotions, and it will require taking breaks and rest. So, feel free to reach out. Talk to someone. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Going through betrayal is hard and no one is immune to it. By taking care of yourself, going to therapy, and being patient with yourself, you will help yourself go through it and become stronger than you have ever thought you could be.
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