Two years after discovering her husband had a relationship with another woman, 36-year-old Maggie recalls her ordeal. “I thought I would never get over my pain,” she says. “I behaved badly most of the time, overwhelmed by what I was going through emotionally. I wanted to die, I was so hurt, disappointed and resentful. I never thought I would love again, but I did.”
Like Maggie, many men and women have been betrayed in relationships, hurt beyond words. Some have found healing while others continue to struggle in helplessness. Ben, for example, was married to Lucy six years ago after a fatal attraction.
Two years later, he discovered she had a child before she met him and did not disclose it. He has never found peace since. “How can I forgive her and move on?” he wonders.
Interacting with various individuals hurting from betrayal inspired me to write another book, Healing beyond Betrayal, the second title in a series of Marriage Built to Last books meant to cultivate, strengthen, and inspire couples as they journey through life together in a marital bond.
Healing Beyond Betrayal includes real case studies detailing the trials and travails of marriage and how best to overcome them and find healing. It tackles issues of children born out of wedlock and hidden from a spouse, emotional abuse, financial infidelity, ex-lovers, and the sanctity of privacy. It addresses head on subjects of third wheels, child discipline, erectile dysfunction, drama queens and kings, and porn addiction.
Betrayal is probably the most devastating thing you can experience. When your spouse deceives you, your trust is lost. Your world crumbles. When betrayal happens, you realise fearfully that the other person has the capacity to hurt you immensely. You awaken to a new reality: you are just as vulnerable as everybody else, when it comes to betrayal. Betrayal is a violation of your trust and goodwill.
Healing from betrayal involves teamwork. You and your spouse must be fully committed to rebuilding your marriage. More importantly, you both need to establish mechanisms to ensure it never happens again. Ultimately, the key to healing from betrayal is forgiveness.
If your spouse has betrayed you, you must find a way to forgive him. If you are the offending party, you must learn to forgive yourself and seek forgiveness. Forgiveness reopens the door to true intimacy and connection. It results from a conscious decision to stop the blame game, make peace, and start afresh on a clean slate. If the past has had you in its clutches, take the next step to have more love in your life: decide to forgive today. Trust is also crucial in your marriage. It is cultivated over long periods but can be destroyed in the blink of an eye.
It is a powerful tool that helps your relationship grow in every aspect. It builds a sense of security for you and your spouse. You can show it by never intentionally hurting your spouse in any way. Be gentle in your expressions of caring.
Acceptance is also important to a healthy, happy marriage. It is not easy for two people of completely different backgrounds to come together and share a home. It requires compromise and unconditional acceptance.
Communication is the foundation of a strong marital union. It is absolutely vital that you and your spouse learn how to have open and honest communication, if you want to have a successful, happy, and lasting marriage.
If you sense your spouse is disconnected or you are unhappy about something, do not ignore or turn a blind eye to the situation. Discuss and iron out the issues. You may be frustrated, angry, or hurt, and he may be, too, but your goal should be to resolve your differences. The only viable way of doing so is through open and direct communication.
Yes it is possible to heal beyond betrayal and thrive! Purpose and commit to the healing process.