How to Recover from Betrayal
Relationship issues, whether unknown or unattended, can result in a betrayal that serves either of two functions. It can damage the health of the relationship and kill the connection, or it can beckon a pivot.
Betrayal doesn’t always fast track us to flatline the relationship, with no chance of recovery. It can, however, invite a pause to take the pulse of our relationship and assess what did or did not happen for it to thrive in a particular season. What we discover may jolt us into awareness of underlying issues and afford us space to heal the heart and all that flows from it.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
Introspection, prayer, and therapy can guard the good work that God is doing internally so that we can bounce back better from betrayal (Philippians 1:6). Resilience or “bouncing back” invites healing for relational issues, with self and other(s). Allow the focus of this article to support and encourage you as you seek to:
- Recover your heart
- Reset expectations
- Revive hope in and for relationships.
Recover your Heart
Admit to Intensive Care
Acknowledge your pain. Be honest about the difficulty that relationship issues, evidenced by betrayal, have caused. Denying what you feel will not support your heart health or the viability of your relationship.
Ignoring the validity of your experience and your emotions will provoke tension, frustration, strained or volatile communication. At a time when your heart needs the most intensive care, you catalyse the healing process by being authentic and transparent in safe, confidential spaces.
CPR (Comfort, Process, Resuscitate)
Get the help you need. Allow the Holy Spirit, as the Breath of God, to revive you with His CPR. Although this CPR is not what we typically think of when encountering this acronym, it still applies. As the Comforter that Jesus has sent to dwell inside of all those who have placed faith in Him as Savior, the Presence of God lives in you, too.
- Comfort, and help you to
- Process emotions and experiences, and
- Resuscitate, where betrayal and relationship issues have deflated you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. – John 14:26
God empathizes. As both a knowledgeable coach and endearing cheerleader, Jesus knows what it’s like to be us, having endured issues in life and relationships.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. – Hebrews 4:15
He is intimately acquainted with betrayal and its accompaniments of rejection, abandonment, and humiliation (Isaiah 53:3-4). He was the exchange that traded our underlying issues, (including those resulting in betrayal), for comprehensive healing. However, He prescribed and offered Himself as the remedy.
Therefore, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. – Hebrews 4:16
Allow the Holy Spirit, as the Breath and Wind of God, to resurge your life with His power to enliven you, making all things new (Revelation 21:5)
Take the pulse of the relationship as you give adequate space, time, and intention to heal what’s been broken, forgiving yourself and others. Realize that your healing may manifest over time (Luke 17:14). Welcome the Lord’s discernment to unveil His highest hopes for you and the connection that has suffered betrayal. Through the eyes of Jesus, assess where you are and note any misalignment between your expectation and your experience. Consider the following:
- Are there new boundaries to establish?
- What expectations do you need to set/reset for yourself?
- How can you communicate and negotiate mutual expectations with those also affected by the betrayal?
Embrace the solace of the Holy Spirit, meted through the support of a therapist. The Wonderful Counselor has made counsel available to you. Prayerfully consider, with your therapist, how to walk the path of forgiveness, reconciliation, and perhaps, restoration.
- What if betrayal does not signal the end, but rather an indicator for inner healing and soul deliverance?
- Could it be that you strengthen as a result of this encounter with betrayal, and therefore, grow deeper in your covenant connection with the Lord and the other party?
Furthermore, bring a willingness to hear and receive unexpected truth that often emerges in the therapeutic journey. Remain open to how God may speak through the experience, confident of His good intentions and outcomes, even where it may differ from your plan. The truth that was always waiting to be discovered was also waiting to set you free (John 8:32).
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
Revive Hope for Relationship
This difficult experience of betrayal, or perhaps a pattern of relationship issues, does not have to doom present and future connections. Relationship and fellowship are God’s brilliant idea. Jesus Christ, as God’s Son, redeemed humanity’s lost connection with our Creator and Father. We have the greatest example: the sinless Savior secured our salvation, displaying the power of hope for bleeding hearts, battered relationships, and broken people.
Set up a self-care plan.
Sort out your thoughts, feelings, relational experiences, and issues with a worthy guide. The Wonderful Counselor is available to you (Isaiah 9:6). Prayer is a two-way conversation. Talk freely with God and listen readily to receive the healing your wounded heart requires.
He has provided wise counsel in the form of therapists, and healing, through faith and relational community. Gather your personal and professional support people to encourage you as you walk this new path.
Take it to the streets.
Multiply the power of prayer by getting out into nature, when and where possible, or gaze out the window, catching glimpses of His glorious creative work. Engaging with your Creator, in and around His creation, can enlarge your perspective on the grandeur of God and the detail He has taken with everything in your natural surroundings, including you.
Tell the whole truth.
Consider prayer journaling or voice recording to unload your heart and its conflicted feelings with the Lord: unedited and uncensored. God can handle your perceived “worst” and wants you to bring it all, without reservation. He is already acquainted with your deepest thoughts and feelings (Psalm 139:1-3). Hiding it doesn’t help. On the contrary, handing it to Him invites His peace and clarity as you disentangle relationship issues.
Nurture the unseen.
Resume hobbies that you have set aside. Pursue passions that have held lingering interest yet remained on your “someday” list. Cultivate existing relationships with “support people,” recognizing that all relationships do not look the same and you can rebound in resilience as you welcome the solace and support of trusted friends and family.
Keep your heart soft.
Release and receive forgiveness for whatever role you played in the issues impacting your relationship and the betrayal that you and the other parties experienced. Deepen your faith and relationships, surrendering your hurt and your heart, trusting God to do what is divinely possible.
Recap, Relaunch, and Reach Out
How we choose to respond to betrayal can either drain us or serve as a pause before we pivot into the next launch for our lives and relationships. However we decide, we must realize that we can indeed bounce back from betrayal. We can heal our hearts and obtain the help needed for relationship issues by telling the truth about our pain.
We can reset our expectations through honest communication with God, ourselves, and others. We can revive hope in relationships, recognizing that we learn, grow, and heal despite the most troubling experiences.
Reach out today for a therapist from our team. We want to see you healed and whole of heart. We want to support you as you bounce back from betrayal, but only better!
“Empty”, Courtesy of JerzyGorecki, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Ice”, Courtesy of Denisk_2017, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Barbed Wire Crown”, Courtesy of Jclk888, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Water in Light Bulb”, Courtesy of Winterseitler, Pixabay.com, CC0 License
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