How Do I Deal With Betrayal After The Relationship Is Over?

Question:

Hi,

I knew our relationship was over long before it actually ended. This was due to the fact that I simply wasn’t attracted to my girlfriend anymore, but hadn’t worked up the courage to actually make the break and leave her.

Ironically enough my girlfriend actually ended the relationship, and afterwards we talked things over and about trying to remain friends. I was cool with that because even though our romance was over I still cared an awful lot for her and wanted her to be ok. At the end of all of that I had an apartment sorted out for myself the very next day, but I found her crying the next morning before I left saying she was “overwhelmed” with everything going on in her life at that point – the breakup being a perfect example of this.

I just lay down beside her and held her, letting her cry and listened to her talking…something which I hadn’t done in a very long time. She obviously knew that I really cared about her at that point, and she told me as much later on.

So I eventually had to leave, but when I returned later I found a heartbreaking note which thanked me for holding her earlier that morning, but that she needed to get away for a few days to think things through. She asked me to take care of her cats while she was gone, so I assumed that she’d just gone to one of her friends’ houses to chill out there for a while – I had no reason to think otherwise. She told me needed time to think so I trusted that she meant that.

The next day she left a message on my phone saying that she was “Ok” and that there was no reason for me to worry. That didn’t help much though because I had been very worried about her and how she was feeling. Long story short I found out that she’d actually driven 5 hours to meet some guy she’d gotten acquainted with at a Reiki conference before we ever split up.

That’s when the sense of absolute betrayal set in. It wasn’t even that she’d driven off to meet some “stranger” – it was the fact that for the first time in our relationship I’d been lied to and that shattered the trust between us. She’d used the fact that I cared for her against me, and that hurt me deeply.

Now she’s claiming that her and this new guy have some deep spiritual connection, and she doesn’t show any remorse for deceiving me or hurting me. All I wanted was a heartfelt apology for betraying my trust, and for us to try ending the relationship as friends instead of enemies.

Right now it’s a state of war between us. I’ve berated her. I’ve broken things. I have basically lost it, calling her every name in the book in the process (which is something I’ve never done before). Again it’s not about this new dude – it’s just a show of total disrespect by her for what we had over the years. I believe that life is about choices (right and wrong) and that her current choice is wrong.

I’ve basically told her that I want her out of my life and that I hate her. I’ve also told her that her new “relationship” isn’t really spiritual because it’s built on lies and deception, damaging my spirit in the process. I’ve told her that I don’t want him in my home or anywhere near my bed while I’m away – going as far as telling her that I was taking my stuff (couch, bed, etc) out of the house because I don’t trust her anymore.

Now that I’ve calmed down a bit I’m thinking I should leave all the stuff there, especially because I don’t want to upset her daughter’s life until I finally move out of the house.

Right now she’s away with her daughter for a month and I’ve managed to find myself a place to stay during that time until my new home is ready.

What should I do? I’ve already started the “no contact” phase today but I still find myself confused about the whole thing.

I’ve given her a tearful and heartfelt apology for my part in the breakup, accepting my role in it.

Sorry for the long story.

Kerry

Answer:

Hi Kerry,

I can tell that you’re feeling very hurt right now but is this really about the sense of betrayal…or not? As you said you’d already decided to break up with your girlfriend so what difference should it make that she’s meeting somebody new? As in you have no romantic attachment to her right now so I’m wondering why you feel so upset about the “betrayal”?

What I’m getting at here is that yes she did betray you (lies are lies no matter what way you cut it), but that you obviously still have some emotional connection to her – that’s why you’re so angry about how she’s behaving. If you didn’t still care about her then you wouldn’t give a damn that she meets, speaks or hooks up with.

Now the other issue is that I genuinely do believe you when you say that you’re ready to move on, but that the deception hurt you quite deeply. The thing is that part of the “moving on” process is accepting that your relationship with this lady is most definitely over, but to be honest if it wasn’t already over then you berating her, insulting her and throwing things around has ensured that the relationship is now definitely over from her point of view.

What your ex has done to you is obviously not very nice but that’s for her to deal with and not you, even though I do agree that a relationship built on lies is a bad start.

When it comes down to it your ex is moving on with her life (right or wrong) as she sees fit (right or wrong) and your role in this phase of her life is over. That means letting go of feelings or anger or hurt, and also allowing her to move on with her life and make any mistakes that she needs to make. After all that’s how we learn and grow isn’t it?

We can’t change how people treat us Kerry but we can most certainly choose how we react to that.

Marlon

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