My Lessons from Betrayals

Twenty-five years ago, I experienced the greatest betrayal of my life. I discovered that my husband was having an affair with a woman he worked with. I had begun to suspect that something was going on between the two of them for months. Yet because I could not fathom the thought of cheating on my husband, I naively could not acknowledge the truth of their relationship while it unfolded before me.

The day two of my friends told me what had been going on, I confronted my then husband that evening. As he denied the truth, he said “I’m not meant for marriage”, and he walked out on me.

Betrayal Pain Turns to Anger

For weeks I felt tremendous pain in response to this betrayal. It was a personal devastation that gutted what I envisioned my future life to entail. Over the course of weeks, the pain turned into anger when he started coming after me in a legal battle.

One day I realized that I did not want my anger to destroy my outlook on life or my sense of hope for a loving relationship in the future. So, I made a pact with myself that, while I would never forget what he had done to me, that I would forgive his actions as a way to free myself from holding on to anger.

The way I got to this was the realization, that on a deeper level, I felt sorry for him. Lacking a moral compass, he was a man completely lost, moving from relationship to relationship in search for someone or something to fill his empty soul.

A New and Different Betrayal

Fast forward 25 years to a recent betrayal, this time by my next-door neighbor, the homeowners’ association President who my husband and I befriended over the course of 10 years. The details of what she did are not as important as the fact that she corruptly used her position to violate our lawful rights as property owners to get what she wanted.

I have been furious by her flagrant breach of law and utter disrespect towards us. I have now come to the place once again where I need to stop hanging on to anger so that I can regain inner peace.

Dealing with Betrayal Anger

I have realized that at the root of my anger was the expectation that I was dealing with someone who, like me, had a conscience, empathy towards neighbors and a desire to do the right thing at all times. But now I see a much clearer and different picture.

My neighbor lacks empathy and conscience, emotional and spiritual depth. She simply is not capable of behaving any other way than from a strategy that serves her own interests.

I am no longer taking it personally.

Seeing the truth has set me free.

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