Don’t let resentment and anger, over a betrayal, breed within you. Reach out, seek closure and move on.
Whenever you are wronged, especially by someone whom you have trusted, the hurt doesn’t go away easily. It continues to haunt you and causes you intense agony. People will encourage you to forgive. You too will want to move on. Yet there will be a struggle within you. And that struggle will make you feel miserable and suffer. You can go on suffering or you can seek closure and move on.
There are two ways to seek closure – either by forgiving (even if you can’t forget) and moving on or by reaching out, resolving and moving on. But move on you must. Staying there, suffering in your own hurt, makes no sense.
A friend of ours shared how he dealt with being betrayed by his own wife who had – and continues to have – an obsession for hoarding money. She apparently came from a wealthy family and also got a fortune by way of what her father had bequeathed her. Right from the beginning, she insisted on keeping “her money” in a separate bank account which only she operated. My friend says that he did find her choice strange but he did not ever raise the issue. 13 years into their marriage, when their son, who was then 11 (now he is 28), was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, the doctors advised an urgent, major Life-saving surgery. That surgery cost a huge sum. The wife apparently had lots of money sitting in her bank account and my friend’s business was doing badly. He had no cash with him. But, even then, his wife refused to bring forth the money required for the surgery. She told him that it was his responsibility to provide for the family, not hers. However bizarre and obnoxious he found the reasoning, my friend mobilized the required funds for the surgery from borrowings from friends. He says, after the surgery was over, he sat with his wife and told her that he could not relate to her anymore. He said their marriage was over. Yet, he said, they could live under the same roof, but separately. He recalls: “I forgave her. But even now I cannot forget the pain that her absurd choice, of not coming forward to support the treatment costs for her own son, caused. I have never had a conversation with her after that beyond muttering banal greetings. I just can’t. But I also don’t hate her. I understood, right on the day that she made her choice, that she was someone I could not relate to anymore. I left it there. And that’s where our relationship has since been.”
You may find this whole story absurd. I too was shocked when I heard it. But my friend’s attitude to seek closure – and not carry the resentment or grief in him – is remarkable.
Reaching out, forgiving and seeking closure may seem difficult. But only until you have not tried reaching out or forgiving. If you let the hurt grow, it will consume you. You can never forget the pain of what has been done unto you, but closure does ensure that the episode cannot grow in proportion anymore. Anger, grief and guilt are always about a past event. Staying in the past will only keep you out of the now. And if you are not present – in the now – you are not living! The learning for each of us here, from my friend’s story, is that no matter what happens, no one can take away your choice to seek inner peace by reaching out, by forgiving – even if you can’t forget – and by moving on.