Betrayal: How will I ever trust a partner in the future?

By Leah Sheppard

Betrayal: How will I ever trust a partner in the future?

When someone we love lets us down, our hearts sink to the floor. Not only had the things you had hoped and planned for your future together suddenly been taken out from under you, but the person you trusted enough to let into your heart and world was the one that did it.

Breakups can encompass shock, disappointment, anger, sadness and rejection, among many others; and it is a sucker-punch few are ever really prepared for. What’s worse is that once the dust settles, we begin to build a wall around ourselves that is incredibly hard to take back down again. This may have already started before you broke up, with the few times, here and there that they hadn’t thought about you, or your feelings, or the fact that you matter at all.

And once the final ‘betrayal’ of getting dumped happens, many quickly seal up that wall so that no one can ever hurt them like that again. Even if you find someone new there is always that element of doubt in the back of your mind. You want to be able to trust someone again, and share those amazing things in your life with them, but the prospect of getting hurt again is just too hard to bear. So we either shut off completely from others, or create a minefield of tests around us for any future prospect to try and navigate blindly, in order to give us a heads-up before they can hurt us first. Sound familiar?

Look, it is completely natural to feel this way. The risk of pain is something that all living beings must contemplate in order to progress and move forward; especially when you are walking into a situation that seems similar to the one that got you hurt in the first place. However, while creating that wall around yourself may seem like the best form of defence, it really just creates a prison; one where you and all those painful and eroding emotions are stuck forever.

Learning to trust again is one of the hardest feats anyone can achieve. Not only is it the key to any possibility for a loving and meaningful relationship in the future, but it also recognises that you understand that pain is an unavoidable part of living.

At many points in our lives we will be let down by other people. While the reasons may be varied and the fallout hard, ultimately it comes down to one thing: We are all human; we are all learning, and we don’t always get it right.

The fact that one person hurt you does not mean that all people will. Give each person a chance on their own merits, not based on the mistakes of another. Living, and loving is a case of picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and putting one foot in front of the other again in your pursuit of happiness. If you fall, you fall; but just like the last time, you’ll get through it, and you are richer and more knowledgeable for the experience. You can’t control the world; all you can control is yourself: So dream, risk, hustle, and repeat as necessary.

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