If you’re lucky in life, you will NEVER experience this. Notice, I said if you’re lucky.

Betrayal is defined as: The breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.

At some point throughout your time on this earth you will interact with people. You will share your experiences, dreams, visions, nights, and days with people. You will add and remove based on personal need and perceived value. Everyone’s value in your personal and professional circle is increased or decreased based on interaction and unfortunately, not all interactions will be beneficial to you. Dealing with “people”, you must understand we are human, and will make mistakes, bad choices, and become self serving in certain situations. Forgiveness is key. Forgiveness is for YOU. There’s no need to carry a burden the assailant has probably stopped carrying years ago.

There are five emotional stages of “grief” when dealing with betrayal or crisis. Whether it’s a cheating spouse or a house fire; the stages of the process are pretty consistent. Crisis is crisis no matter what type it is and humans usually respond in the same manner.


First there’s denial; you cannot BELIEVE this just happened.

Then you get upset or angry. You want to find the person/business that wronged you and do bad stuff to them/it. You want revenge!!!!

Then there is reasoning: You’re trying to calm down, make some sense of the news you just heard or the “thing” you just lost. There MUST be some type of logical explanation for this right???

If you cannot rationalize the situation, you begin to get distressed about it. Depression starts to kick in around the loss/betrayal.

And lastly, is acceptance. You can sit around sad about what happened for days, weeks, or months or you can accept it and begin the healing process to move on.

I’ll share a personal situation with you to demonstrate how I went through the process to end up ultimately forgiving.

I was in a relationship for about 3 years at the time. A childhood friend of mine and her sister needed somewhere to stay. Where they were staying, the person was asking them to leave. They had three children between the both of them. It was Christmas time and there was no way I could turn them away.

Mom and sons and daughterI’ll never forget when I called my mother and told her they were coming. She said “Chanel, I know you like to help people out. But you NEVER let a woman come and stay in your house with you and your mate.” I argued this woman UP and DOWWWN. “They’re my friends, they don’t have anywhere else to go, they have children, it’s cold,” etc. etc. etc. I’m extremely head strong. I did not take her advice so you can tell where this story is going right?

I was the only one employed at the time. I worked as an account manager in aviation. Flights leave all types of night so sometimes I was at work late. One day, out of the blue, an argument was started by my childhood friend with me. It was so petty I don’t remember what it was about. I got a call at work that everyone was packing their things and leaving……my ex included. When I got home, the house was empty. I didn’t understand what was going on and my ex was not talking to me. The love of my life had disappeared without explanation! I was heartbroken and lost.

3 months go by and I get a call from the ex… finally.

“Will you please meet me at Bob Evans? We need to talk.” I agreed.

betrayalNothing could prepare me for what was about to be revealed. My ex and my childhood friend had been involved in an affair from the moment they came to stay. While I was at work, they watched movies, cooked each other lunch, ran errands together and had sex in my house five or six times. I thought I was going to vomit. So many thoughts were running through my head.

First denial. Shock. My fork hit the plate and I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even finish chewing. My stomach felt like there was no bottom. I’m thinking, this can’t be happening.  (Denial stage)

Then I got angry!!!! I threw my napkin and shouted at the ex. I stood up from the table and attempted to leave. The ex grabs my arm begging me to sit back down. (Anger stage)

I did, and began to ask questions. Why? What did I do? What was the reason?? Do you love her? Don’t you love me? Why would this happen? (Reasoning/bargaining stage)

When there wasn’t a good enough reason provided, I began to feel disheartened. I began to cry. (Depression stage)

It took me about a week or so to accept the situation. Okay, there was cheating, but I’m in love. What to do? I stayed, for two years after that. But it was never the same. Although I had forgiven my ex, I was paranoid and suspicious from then on out. I caused so much havoc with my questioning and distrust (rightfully so), that there was no way we could have survived.

That was about eight years ago. It took me about six years to forgive my ex. It wasn’t until we completely cut each other out of our lives that I realized I had been holding onto the baggage of that past pain and hurt. That relationship spilled into every aspect of my life for years to follow, both personal and business, and it happened unbeknownst to me!

At the end of the day, every single one of us will probably feel some form of hurt or betrayal from someone we trusted throughout life. It  is a very necessary part of maturity, growth, emotional stability, and it even enhances your decrement. Although people may have wronged you, understand that they are only human. Sometimes we put supernatural expectations on basic human behavior and then get upset when they don’t meet our standards. Allow a person to make mistakes. But don’t get trampled on. Allow that situation to enhance your worldview. Allow the lesson to be passed on to those that need it. And most importantly, forgive. You gain so much through pain, why not throw forgiveness around like confetti??? Be good to each other

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Chanel Crawford

Chanel Crawford