In my experience, there are 2 types of betrayers.
The first one is the one who has no remorse, empathy or regret. When confronted with their actions, they may deny it, minimize it, or somehow blame or shame you for their behavior. They haven’t learned from what they’ve done and nothing changes. There’s very little to work with here. At this point and at their current level of consciousness, they’re not able or willing to change. If you’ve been betrayed by someone like this, it’s traumatizing. It’s common to question your worth and even your sanity. Your health takes a nose dive as you struggle to make sense out of the senseless.
While extraordinarily painful, for your health, well-being and sanity, here’s where it’s best to regain your health, confidence and happiness…and move along.
Then there’s the other type of betrayer. This is the one whose actions created the biggest wakeup call of their life. Their actions destroyed the heart, trust and faith in the person or people that believed in them. They’re filled with shame, remorse, regret as they now see so clearly what they’ve destroyed and all they’ve lost. They’ve woken up, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to change in them whatever led to their actions, as well as do whatever it takes to earn the trust of the person or people they’ve hurt. The person who was betrayed still needs to do their individual work to regain their health, confidence and happiness. They need to reassess and reevaluate what they’ve been tolerating as well as explore what this experience has inspired them to now become. It’s still traumatizing and causes a host of symptoms so common to betrayal it’s known as Post Betrayal Syndrome.
There’s something else here too…
While the person or people hurt need to do a tremendous amount of healing (which is not only hopeful, it’s predictable), the betrayed and the betrayer have the option to transform; regardless of what it may lead to.
The betrayed may move through The Five Stages from Betrayal to Breakthrough and realize they were settling and are unwilling to put their needs on the back burner ever again. The betrayer may transform and learn that that they’re no longer compatible with their partner. They both may realize that they put their relationship last and while there’s no excuse for betrayal, they’re both ready for a very different type of relationship. As they heal, they realize that honesty, integrity, connection, intimacy, compatibility and other qualities are high on the priority list and they’re unwilling to settle for anything less.
Both can bounce back better than before.
From that space, there can be the potential for a new type of relationship that never would have had the opportunity to show up otherwise. These changes have the potential to create a higher quality relationship with someone new. Under these circumstances, they also have the potential to create a better, stronger and healthier relationship with the person who hurt them.
Betrayal will show you who someone really is, and it can also wake that person up to who they temporarily became.
To the betrayed, let’s be clear. Your actions, whether it was because of some trauma that you had, a sense of entitlement, or for another reason, doesn’t excuse the behavior. Maybe there was scarcity, there was lack, and you thought the best thing you could do in order to numb, avoid and distract from it was to betray.
In helping thousands of people heal from betrayal, it’s important to know what those actions caused.
They caused a broken heart in the person that loved you, that trusted you, that believed in you. You may be filled with so much shame and you don’t even know how to move through this. You don’t know what to do… so you do nothing.
Your shame is actually causing a tremendous amount of harm. For you.
Shame is one of the most physically destruction destructive emotions we have. And also it’s doing nothing to the person you hurt.
How do you heal shame? You bring light to it, you bring honor to it. So, here’s what I recommend. Start with empathy, apology remorse, regret, restitution. Do you all you can to pay it forward. If that person is not alive, or is unwilling to hear what you have to say, just pay it forward to anyone in the hopes that you can prevent someone from hurting someone else. Be a better person. Work on self-forgiveness because your shame is doing nothing for anyone including you.
What’s important to know is this…
That person you betrayed, their heart is broken. Their heart is shattered in a million pieces. They’re doing all they can to either avoid and distract from that pain, or they’re trying to heal it.
And you have a very, very important role and opportunity right here. And that role is do something good with something painful. Heal yourself, and help to heal that person whose heart you broke because you’re so much better than the pain you caused, and the behavior you displayed.
Run towards this. Run towards a better version of you. Towards healing and to all that lead to it. Become a version of you that never would have had an opportunity to exist before this. That’s when you’re doing something really good with something really painful. Let us help. Join us for the Rebuild workshop where we’ll show you how to do just that.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute