The pain of betrayal is relative

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By Dave Henning / June 19, 2020

“The pain of betrayal is relative. . . . it depends on the degree of the betrayal.  After thinking about it for years, I came up with a little formula that helps me understand the pain caused by betrayal.  I think of it this way: The pain of betrayal equals the level of trust times the amount of investment.”- Phil Waldrep (emphasis author’s)

As Phil Waldrep continues Chapter 5 of Beyond Betrayal, he stresses the need to process your emotions concerning the hurt of your betrayal.  Most significantly, in the first step you acknowledge that you have those emotions.  Because it’s not possible to deny emotional pain away.  In fact, the author states, a growling number of experts recognize that our bodies remember trauma that we’ve faced.  Even when we don’t.

Therefore, something happens when we fail to deal with the emotions connected to our trauma.  The pain often manifests itself in different ways.  Usually as some other physical pain or injury.  As a result, you wonder why the pain fails to go away.  Or why the pain appears to reverberate to every other relationship you have.

Pain, Phil underscores, damages the way we see the world as well as the people in it.  Furthermore, it may suck hope out of the air we breathe.  Thus, we need to confront the pain in order for things to go away.  Hence, the author comments on the death of trust:

” . . . in the same way we would grieve the loss of a spouse, a loved one, or a friend, we need to grieve the loss of trust from a betrayal.  Just as a person can come to love again and remarry, we can recover from the betrayal to love and trust again.  To do that thought, we have to admit that there has been a loss.  We have to admit that we have been hurt and our emotions from that hurt are getting the better of us.”

Today’s question: Do you agree with Phil’s assertion that the pain of betrayal is relative?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Emotionally hurt – counterproductive protection”

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Dave Henning

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