A hole in the Soul The pain of betrayal BY: Troy Murphy
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Some experiences painfully rip right through our soul. Healing from these painful experiences may take years; but these moments also expose strengths—and weaknesses; our response becomes our legacy. Most of us—myself included—prefer to dispense with the wisdom and peacefully bypass painful instructions.
The disloyalty of a cheating partner stabs deep, creating bitter hurt, shattering securities of the past. Our stability crumbles, the ego is bruised, emotions burn, and health deteriorates. The emotions of fear, anger, and sadness rally together in a war against well-being. And while we grapple with the strong emotions, we must make timely and impactful decisions.
Most relationships struggle long before the affair; the illicit liaison is often a dramatic crescendo in a slow developing drama. The maturing relationship settles. Skilled partners work through the changes, develop enjoyable bonds, and go through life together. Others—less committed or less skilled—struggle with the cooling embers accompanying familiarity. The spark that once gave life to the relationship no longer ignites passions. But a maturing relationship offers many gifts that exceed the limited and fleeting excitement of a trounce in infidelity. Slowly built bonds of intimacy provide security.
Overtime, through unfettered openness we become known; once known being loved for who we are is possible. New relationships are formed on misconceptions. The necessary time to know someone has not been invested. We haven’t seen them angry, sad, or hurt. New partners haven’t transversed the normal difficulties, worked through each others weaknesses, deflected ego protecting defenses, and resolved conflicts.
A severely neglected relationships offer neither security nor fleeting excitement. The answers and causes for failed relationships are complex; but no matter the reason, skirting loyalty and breaking trust inflicts pain. Often, the offender justifies seeking outside solace as an escape from unaddressed wrongs; the building resentments lead to dissatisfaction and emptiness. A little flirt, a little conversation, and an innocent touch lights a fire. The feelings blind from rational judgment and the ignorant pursuit of pleasure begins down the path of tears and heartache, ripping apart bonds and creating wounds.
"A maturing relationship offers many gifts that exceed the limited and fleeting excitement of a trounce in infidelity."
The unjustifiable dangerously justified sidesteps the guilt—a correcting emotion. Maybe unmodified guilt, accepting responsibility for behavior may dissuade many from continuing with the damaging and selfish course, likely to destroy the relationship.
If we catch the justifications early, we might better scrutinize tempting behaviors and choose a healthier option (marriage counseling). As kind and compassionate beings that we believe ourselves to be, inflicting injury on someone we proclaimed to love is unacceptable—a flaw that must be examined. We are human. Relationship mistakes will be made. Healing is possible; but the broken trust and the pierced heart require years to repair, not months. It is far easier to avoid devastating acts than to repair the devastation later. With strong levees and attentiveness, we can prevent the river of fire from destroying the bonds that took years to establish. Slow down, mindfully ask yourself, “What is it I am trying to accomplish here?”