Updated: Apr 21
That Unbearable Feeling and How to Deal with It
It’s just too much. It feels intolerable right now. We don’t quite understand or know what to do about it. Yes. We still love them. And it almost makes the pain, frustration, and grief that comes along with the betrayal that much worse. We need to understand why. We need to know what to do.
We generally think of betrayal as sexual infidelity, but even lying about money is a form of betrayal. Two in five American couples are guilty of financial infidelity. Even more common than that, and something we may not even consider as a form of infidelity, is how and who we text.
However you have been betrayed by your partner, the feelings will be along the same lines, perhaps in varying degrees and stemming from different experiences, but there nonetheless. Whatever it is they did, it has seemed to go against the very spirit of love. It’s as if they just don’t care, or even worse, they have a cruel motive for hurting us in the most untrustworthy way.
It’s like having your heart ripped out through your back with a dull blade.
I know. I get it. We’ve all been there in some way or another, and though we may be sure of our verdict and judgment of the situation, we must stop and realize before we carry out the sentencing that we, respectfully, only have one perspective to an event that may have many alternative perspectives.
This is not to say they didn’t hide money from you or have sex with a co-worker. The deed may have been done. True. We can’t change that. What we may be able to do, however, is change the meaning of what happened to something a little less painful.
Although we may feel alone in this, one of the most common issues in any relationship is centered on regaining trust, love, and respect for a partner that we feel may have betrayed us or deeply hurt our emotions. We have to be careful in these situations, because we may begin to diminish our affections for our partner if we don’t face these issues head-on.
In this case, it is critical that our shared commitment for the relationship energy remains strong as this is the very thing that will help carry us through what may be a personally challenging time.
By being here, reading this, you are taking a very important step in that direction.
Many people when embarking on a relationship are aware that they are making a commitment to the energy of the other person. Why else would they want to be with them? Yet they fail to appreciate the gravity of responsibility that comes with committing to, and growing, the energy of a loving relationship. And so it is that, when faced with even the smallest of challenges, the unattended relationship energy breaks down much more easily.
One thing to remember, as you read the rest of this article and ponder your own relationship is that there are three energies: the female energy, the male energy and, most importantly, the energy of the relationship. This third ‘relationship’ energy will never be maintained unless both partners are willing and able to commit to and participate in caring for and developing this rewarding but extremely challenging process.
The question for me, the thing that can make the act better or worse, is the motivation behind the act. The intention. Whenever our lover hurts us, we naturally want to believe that it was done with malicious intent aimed at us.
The truth may be a little more complicated. It may make us feel a little bit better, but at the same time, a little worse. I say worse, because it may hurt even more knowing that we were not even the main motivating factor behind their behavior. Yet, at the same time and for the same reason, this should provide some level of comfort as well.
The action seems to revolve around us and a desire to hurt us, but the reasons may actually be more pitiful. It may have to do with:
Unresolved issues from their childhood
Uneasiness about their own power or control
Problems from work
Or some other external pressure from somewhere outside the relationship
It may be hard to believe, but they may actually be telling the truth when they tell us in that sad and selfish voice, ‘I didn’t do it to hurt you.’
Often it is not the ‘fault’ of the dynamic or events between two partners within a current relationship that causes difficulties. Personal issues and misunderstandings that one partner carries with them, including negative emotional experiences, sometimes stretch back or out into other areas of their life.
These issues, even going back as far as childhood, have never been fully resolved. Given this, they can transfer into and contaminate and stagnate the energy of the current relationship. It may also be that the betraying partner may never understand or come to terms with this ‘emotional baggage’ and can feel emotionally locked out, rejected, frustrated and helpless as a result.
Sometimes we feel strong, sometimes we feel smart, and sometimes we feel like a good guy or gal to the world. We have different versions of ourselves. The part of ourselves that betrayal brings out is the one associated with disgust.
Most of us don’t like to admit that part of ourselves, but betrayal is like the golden key to unlocking this part of ourselves. It makes us feel that we are worthless. That we aren’t worth caring about. That this kind of shit will just keep happening to us. That nothing will ever go right for us.
They didn’t bring this rival into the picture, into your relationship, to show us how shitty we are. However, if you discover they are using someone else to hurt you, you may need to stop reading and run. Yet, until we know for sure, let us assume they are innocent until proven guilty, at least as far as their motives.
Despite whoever this other person, this other energy, is that they are bringing into the relationship, and ultimately causing the relationship harm, it isn’t because we are any less of a worthy, decent human being. We have just as much as a right to be loved as anyone else.
We may have been betrayed, either in a small way or a large way, but either way, it represents a chance that any good couple should take advantage of.
As hard as it may be, we should try to understand where the betrayal came from and use that to solve the true problem rather than focus on the symptoms of said problem. The act was done, perhaps out of cowardice, but it was most likely rooted in a problem that existed in the relationship and should now be talked about.
Instead of blaming the cheating on horniness, maybe it was about an unhappiness in the relationship that they were never able to put their finger on.
Maybe the attention they cheated on us with was more about feeling lonely than an attraction to the other guy or girl they used for their own entertainment.
Maybe they hid money from us, not in a great plan to escape or a natural desire to hide things from us, but because they were frightened about the current global economy.
We should allow ourselves to be curious and not just angry. We should try to see the betrayal as a message, although perhaps a well-coded message, that has been given to us in order to try to save the relationship.
It may also help to think of the relationship as a ‘living entity’. If it is not strong, the focus of energy will be drawn inwards and devoured by the seemingly overpowering negative feelings and emotions of each partner rather than being directed more positively towards nurturing the relationship.
Yes, it may be immature to act the way they did rather than facing the problems of the relationship head-on. We must remember, however, that to truly love someone, we don’t just love them for their nicer parts. We don’t just love them for the same reason an admiring fan would. It means we must be compassionate and forgiving for everything that is weak, and very wrong, about them.
All these problems and issues can be resolved so that the relationship energy can begin to thrive and grow. It may not be easy, and it takes lots of love, determination, and on-going open communication from both partners to do so.
And though we may want to push their problems on them to deal with themselves, the healing must always involve stabilizing and harmonizing the energy of the relationship. In order to do this, it requires the willingness and commitment of both partners to participate in this process.
Now is a time, more than ever, to learn this way to love.
All the best.