Getting Over a Betrayal

Envy. Envy? by Florencia Cárcamo licensed under

At some point and time in each of our lives we’ll be betrayed by someone we care about. It could be a friend to betrays a confidence or a boyfriend that cheats on us or any countless ways people we care about can hurt us. When we’re betrayed we go through a lot of emotions from anger to sadness to numbness. However, there are things we can do to strengthen our hearts and learn to get over a betrayal:

Learn to Forgive

Some people find forgiveness easier than others. It’s okay if it’s a little difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you. Forgiveness takes time and focus for many of us. We often have to will ourselves to forgive, because sometimes we just want to hold onto that hurt. That possessiveness over our pain is usually because we don’t want to get hurt by that person again. However, forgiveness doesn’t mean we let go and completely forget someone hurt us. We need to learn to move on from the hurt, allowing the relationship to change due to the betrayal, but also keeping our hearts open to others.

Write or Talk it Out

It does no one any good to just keep the feelings about a betrayal inside. That doesn’t mean we post every feeling and thought about it all over social media or blab it all over school. However, we do need to find a good outlet for that pain. So maybe writing down how the betrayal makes you feel, talking about it with someone else who is close to you, or even just talking to God about it, would make you feel better. Let yourself feel the feelings that come over you when you’re betrayed. Express your feelings. It will help you in letting go.

Let Go of Bad Relationships

Betrayal happens in some of the best relationships. Sometimes betrayal is small, we get over it, and we move on. However, some relationships are toxic and hurtful, and when those hurts are large and deep, we may need to let go of relationships that are just plain bad for us. If betrayals happen all the time, or we are constantly distrustful of the other person, it may be a sign we need to let go of a bad relationship. Sure, it can be painful in the short term, but there are those out there that are worthy of our trust and won’t turn on us.

Stop Blaming Yourself

Sometimes when we’ve been betrayed, we blame ourselves. We look internally at all the things we did wrong. How did we not see it coming? Did we do something that led to the betrayal? What did we do to deserve it? Was it just karma? Did we say something wrong? So many questions trying to point the finger at ourselves. Except we aren't the problem. When someone betrays us, it’s the choice they make. Everyone has options, and what they do when faced with a choice to stand by someone or betray them is up to them. We need to stop blaming ourselves when we’re the victim of betrayal.  

Allow Yourself to Heal

Getting over a betrayal takes time. We’re hurt and angry, of course, and those feelings don’t go away immediately. It’s hard for those around us to see us hurting, but it takes time to process through what we’re feeling. Give yourself the time to feel and to forgive. Don’t rush the process, and allow God the time to heal our hearts.

Take Little Steps to Trust

Learning to trust again is also something we struggle with after we’ve been betrayed, but we need to take even little steps to trust others. Sure, it will take you time to stop looking at others through the lens of betrayal. You may question the motivations of people around you now, and that hurt can cloud how much you let people in, but take steps to trust others just a little bit at a time. Soon you’ll learn that most people can be trusted and that your heart can remain open.

Look Closer at Jesus’ Story

If we need inspiration to get over a betrayal, the best we can do is look at Jesus. Betrayed by Judas, by his people, and hung on a cross to die…that’s some significant betrayal, right? Yet he turned told God, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He did not look up on those who betrayed him with hatred in his heart, but with forgiveness. He let go of that hurt and pain and showed us that we can love even those who seek us harm. If we strive to be like Jesus, he is our ultimate inspiration in getting over a betrayal.