Learning to Trust Again
I never really knew cheating was a thing until it happened to me. Rooted deeply in old traditions, I grew up in a two-parent home with parents who were born in the 40s. This left me naive and unprepared for relationships in the new era. I was raised to believe that in marriages, you yell a little, then have coffee together the next morning.
So, the first time I was cheated on my mind couldn’t process it.
Infidelity alters your identity in the worst way. Consumed with the infractions of your spouse, you instantaneously get amnesia and forget who you were before the relationship commenced. I have been self-diagnosed with temporary dementia too many times. I have allowed my relationships to make me forget my passions, purpose, and love for self.
Infidelity conditions you to apply distrust to everything. I remained in a relationship where nothing was honored and nothing was sacred and it taught me to enter into every relationship after that with apprehension and an exit plan.
In my mind, no one was truly capable of loving another person wholeheartedly, so it would be foolish of me to invest any part of myself that I was not willing to part ways with. So, I only gave pieces of myself that were already damaged. The untainted parts of my heart I reserved for myself.
You see, having your heartbroken will teach you to be selfish and greedy, so I gave nothing and like a scavenger, I took often.
Yes, infidelity changes you. It is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. The pain finds shelter in the pit of your stomach and makes you queasy all the time. You question if you are valuable and your self-image is bruised. You nurture emotions like anger, rage, sadness, and frustration as if you birthed them from your womb.
After awhile, hatred lodges itself in your throat like unsupervised prisoners. Every time you open your mouth, your words take advantage and escape easily.
I spent years twisted in a whirlwind of emotions, without a Red Cross in sight. There was no one there to rescue me and even if there had been, I was so deep in misery that I probably would have slapped away any hand that tried to save me. When the dust settled, I was left to reassemble a heart that was shattered fragments.
It took years, but I finally learned to trust again. Here’s how.
Take your time.
Dragging my broken self-esteem from one “situationship” to another, I convinced myself that others were somehow more responsible for my self-worth than I was. Desperate for validation, I turned to others for admiration and attention. I made the mistake of not giving myself time to heal and it only made things worse.
Take a hiatus from love and reconnect with who you were before relationships and before life got so complicated. If you can’t recall, reinvent yourself. The more secure you are with who you are, the less likely you are to allow emotional parasites use your heart as a host.
Do not blame yourself.
It’s normal to wonder what you could have done as a man or woman to prevent your partner from cheating. Were you supportive enough? Do they not desire you anymore? Is it because you gained weight?
You are not to blame for someone else’s infidelity. The sooner you realize that cheating is a choice and nothing you do can control someone else’s behavior, the better!
Laugh about it.
Anger is such a heavy emotion to hold on to. It makes everything and everyone you encounter unbearable. I knew that I was FINALLY over the transgressions of my ex when I could talk about the past and laugh. Detox your spirit by refusing to be weighed down by your past.
As much as we may hate to admit it, some of us know that the people we chose to give our hearts to are no good for us. Not everyone is deserving of your trust.
This may not be true for everyone, but in my case I couldn’t learn to trust again until I took responsibility for the role I played in my misery. I stayed in a relationship well after its expiration date. I didn’t leave the first time he cheated. I stuck around for 6 years, despite knowing just a little over year one that he was no good for me.
So, you got a bad apple or a few bad apples. That doesn’t mean the whole bunch is rotten. Part of learning to trust again is learning WHO to trust. Find someone who does not associate love with pain, meaning they see love as being one of the most precious blessings in the world and would never take advantage of your commitment to them.
Hurt people, hurt people.
Do not look for love to remedy your pain. If you are still broken from past encounters, medicate with self love. Part of loving yourself includes trying to constantly fix damaged people. Not only is it not your job to make another person feel loved, someone who is not pleased with their self will ultimately, often unintentionally do more harm to you than good.
If you believe that love will inevitably bring about heartache, you will continuously attract lovers who are set out to hurt you before you hurt them.
You have to learn to trust self before you can trust anyone else. It’s a process that begins with you being good to yourself above everything else.
Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013, Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a“Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes in currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy on mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.