Hello my beloved perverts!
Last week I gave you a lot to think about in regards to the different types of betrayals that are possible, and why we may do it even though we know better. This week’s follow up deals with ways to rebuild whatever trust we may have broken. It is a lengthy read, and I admit to not writing it myself, but copying it from an online article I found. The author, E. B. Johnson, writes so close to my own voice, I could not have expressed any better! You can find the full article here.
I am skipping Story Time this week in order to keep this mail at the usual length; we will be back to the usual format next week!
The 7 techniques for moving on after betrayal
Those most self-help articles and books are geared toward the victims of betrayal, it can be difficult to rebuild your own life after you’ve betrayed the trust of someone you care about. Learning how to build open and meaningful relationships is hard, but it’s even harder to rebuild them after a breach in that sacred and universal trust. If you’ve betrayed someone you love, use these 7 techniques to get back on track and find your way back to the truth again.
1. Open up
The first step in regaining the trust of anyone we’ve violated is opening up to them with the entirety our truth. Whether you’ve snooped through your best friend’s things or committed the most heinous of acts behind your spouse’s back, if you want to get back on the right track, you have to start by opening up and you have to do it before you get caught.
Open up – and start that process with yourself. Be honest about what you’ve done, and be brutally honest with yourself about why you’ve done it. You weren’t possessed, and no one made you do what you did. You made conscious choices and you acted on them, and now you’re at a crossroads where the only way home is through.
Get real about who you are and what you need. Be clear about what you need to communicate to your friend or loved one and do it without flinching. You don’t need to pile on extra shame, and you don’t need to engage in over-the-top deprecation. Open up about where you’re at and what you’re feeling, and have the decency to show your friend or partner the respect of a heartfelt apology.
2. Make an honesty pact
Once the poison is out in the open, start dealing with it by committing to an honest and open future. It’s going to take time to prove yourself again, but that’s what an honesty pact is all about; doing a little each day to prove that the partnership is a beneficial one. Make an honesty pact with the person that you’ve hurt and commit to a more honest channel of communication in future, even if those truths are hard to speak and even harder to swallow.
We can generate more honesty in our lives by being ready to hear the truth ourselves. Be patient, and be open with your feelings as they’re happening, rather than waiting for them to fester in the darkness. Be honest with your needs as much as you’re honest about your emotions, and remember that you’re not a mindreader nor a body language expert. Guessing games equal disappointment every time, so be honest about what you need out of your honesty pact.
3. Answer the questions
When we’re confronted with our betrayal, it can be hard to stomach it, let alone here the litany of hurts we’ve caused as a result of our poor choices and behaviors. The problem is, though, that we don’t get to choose how we hurt people, and we don’t get to choose how they resolve that pain. If you’ve hurt someone and they have questions — answer them, and don’t shy away from the truth (because, after all, the damage is done).
Avoid getting your defenses up and try to keep a cool, level-headed and even tone throughout the conversation. Don’t interrupt them, and don’t try to rose-tint the things you did by laying things on thick, or skirting the details that make you more uncomfortable to share.
Part of being in a relationship — be that a friendship, romantic relationship or work partnership — is having a mutual and understood level of trust the inalienable. It also means owning up and helping our friends resolve their grief; especially when we’re the cause. Even if you think the question is stupid or repetitive, answer it, and don’t get sharp and don’t shift the blame. Rebuilding starts with answers, and you’re the only one who can give them.
4. Stop invalidating the feelings of others
One of the most toxic behaviors patterns of those who betray the people around them is their constant invalidation of the feelings of those people. In order to live more comfortably with their own guilt, betrayers often dispute and downplay the feelings of those around them. When their partner starts to question their behavior, they’ll change the topic or jump in to flip the script, absolving their guilt and turning the conversation into another beast entirely.
If you’re truly seeking to repair a relationship that’s been tossed onto the rocks thanks to your careless or hurtful actions, then you have to quit invalidating the feelings of others and listen to them when they communicate how they’re feeling.
You don’t have to agree with what your friend, spouse or partner says. You don’t even have to entertain it as a reality, but you do have to listen to it, and you do have to give them time to express the way they are feeling — as well as the needs they might have. Don’t change the subject, and don’t tell them they’re being “silly” or “hard to deal with”. We all have feelings for a reason, and those feelings deserve to be respected; whether they are based in reality or not.
5. Practice patience
Patience is key when it comes to healing not only our relationships with others, but also our relationships with ourselves. Coming back from betrayal is a process, for you and the person that you’ve injured. As such, you have to be patient and understand that there’s going to be an ebb and flow for both of you, and not everything is going to be as smooth as you might like.
Understand that regaining trust might take longer than you think. Understand that you may never regain that trust at all. Apologies are rarely the end of a matter, rather, they’re just a starting place. Be patient with yourself on your journey toward honesty, and be patient with the injured party too. It took time to get you into this mess, and it will take time to get you out. None of us is perfect, but all of us can be better…when we make the conscious decision to be.
6. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility
We use excuses to rationalize our actions and justify the poor behaviors we make the conscious decision to engage in. The problem is, however, that these rationalizations and excuses make it impossible for us to tap into true healing or recovery from our poorest instincts and urges.
Sop making excuses by facing up to you reality honestly and openly. Quit blaming the people around you for the misfortunes that continue to befall you, and step out into the unknown with the knowledge that we’re all just doing the best that we can.
Taking responsibility starts with accepting our personal role in the way things happen around us, and it ends with the realization that you alone are responsible for the way you react to the stressors and obstacles that life chooses to throw your way. Make plans, and take risks, but stop blaming others for the poor life choices you make. The only person who can choose to betray the trust of your loved ones is you.
7. Focus on recovery, rather than results
When we’re trying to fix something, we want to see instant results. But that’s not how recovery works. Coming back from living a life full of betrayal and deceit isn’t easy, but it is possible with time. If you want to become a better person and you want to stop lying to the people around you, you have to keep focused on our journey back to honesty, rather than the instant sign posts that validate the direction you’re moving in.
Focus on the positive intentions that rest in your heart, and make them the center of everything that you do. Be patient with yourself and compassionate; understand that everything good worth having takes time, and every wound needs open space and clean air to heal.
A breach in integrity is a hard thing to overcome. It’s a humbling experience and one that is yo-yo’s, despite our desperate efforts to force it into some kind of predictable space. When you betray someone, the stakes are high, and that makes the stakes even higher when we’re trying to recover and find our way back to honesty and happiness. This crisis might lead to a deepening in your relationship, but you’ll never know until you see your way through the fires of recovery. Trust yourself and the process. It’s an up-and-down.
Betrayal is a complex subject, and a complex and damaging event from which we have to find healing. Losing the trust of our friends, family and loved ones can be one of the most painful experiences we can endure, but it’s up to us to fix the wrongs we’ve created and find our way back to healthy and balanced relationships. That’s a journey that takes time, however, as well as a wealth of knowledge and commitment to a cause that’s bigger than ourselves.
If you’ve betrayed someone you care for, don’t invalidate their emotions or demean their expression of emotion. Take some time to understand what you’ve done and why you did it, and communicate that with your loved one when you’re ready (but before you get caught). Commit to an honest future, answer their questions and start taking responsibility for the hurts you’ve caused. Though we may not mean to injure those we love with our behavior, we do, and we don’t get to choose how they heal and find their resolutions. Focus on your recovery and have patience with the process. This pain wasn’t caused overnight and it won’t heal overnight either. Give yourself the time and space you both need to heal, so you can find a path to a better tomorrow.