Despite it being over eleven years since ‘The War’ in our lives it has only been over the past years, as I have been pulling my book together, that I have started to think about the role of anger and rage in the lives of those who have been betrayed.
When considering the person who has been betrayed it is perfectly understandable that they feel rage and anger with regard to what has happened to them. It is also understandable that due to this their actions may be erratic, out of character (perhaps because their world has been turned upside down!) and at times downright mad. I threw Rich’s underpants out in the road when he was not with me, and I never did pick them up! I threw his stuff on our neighbours drive and at the time I didn’t give a shit who stole it. I punched Rich and gave him black eyes! That would be because I had been driven mad with grief, pain and fear. No I was not acting in my normal rational way, but that may have been because at that time I did not know what normal was anymore.
For the people who read this blog who are the people that betrayed, those who have caused the heartache and pain, you may want to read it if you want to use it to help your relationship and rebuild.
I need to warn you all now, in some places I am going to be blunt!
My reasons for this particular post are these:
- To help those who have been betrayed to understand that what you feel is normal, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I have read other’s stories and in it they say how the person who broke their heart has used their understandably (un)reasonable behaviour as a weapon against them; have said how they have changed, swear more, drink more, over react to small things. This is normal; if you read our story you will see my rage and anger in it from day one, when Rich left. The Rage did subside to anger over time but it still lasted for at least another two years after our ‘War’ began. In the beginning the rage and anger did get me through what were some of the darkest times of my life; but over time I had to let them go otherwise I knew that they would eat me up and destroy not just us but me as well. You may want to read: Beware Bitterness – It will be your enemy
2. To help those who have betrayed understand what the other person feels -we all feel it, and if you want your relationship to survive you need to understand that you caused it; so don’t bitch about it, and own it!
When Rich came back he never once criticised me for my anger or rage, he just looked and acted ashamed and sorry; heartbroken that he had turned me into such a raging banshee at times! He never judged me, he took it because he had caused it; no matter what it was that I did (and there were many things). If you are judging someone whose heart you have broken for the way they behave as a result of your actions, then I am not sure what you will expect from the future. We all have to accept our responsibilities.
3.That leads me on to the last reason for this post. I have come to realise that a lot of the rage and anger that I felt was actually about myself. I was so angry with myself for not listening to my gut feelings in the months, or even years (who knows!) leading up to the outbreak of ‘The War’. I was angry with myself for losing myself in our relationship; losing the person that I had always been because I just focused on what we had and nothing else; I was angry with myself for letting myself go; angry with myself for not challenging the behaviours I had been faced with; and more than anything I was angry with myself for being so arrogant: believing that what we had nobody could take away from me; so I didn’t always treat our relationship with respect or take the time to understand Rich’s insecurities throughout our relationship that lead up to ‘The War’.
I know for some people this will cause outrage, especially if they are at the start of their journey. It was only as I researched and wrote my book, and read my old journal that I understood that a lot of the anger that I used to feel was actually directed at me. Sure I had deflected it onto Rich, let’s not forget that everything is their fault right?! But in reality the one person who had really let me down was me.
That is why I always say to people when they ask me how they can survive the pain: Always have yourself first, without yourself you have nothing. I did that, and I still have myself first; but over time as the pain subsided my journal gave me the abiility to reflect; through this I was able to see not only the other person’s failings and frailties but my own as well.
I know some people think it is a cliche: but this is a journey you are on; like it or not, you are adrift on that ocean of despair and at the beginning only you will get yourself across it. So use that rage and anger, accept it’s part of the process, but don’t hang on to it forever and at some point I would suggest that you have a conversation with yourself about who you’re really angry with.
Controversial I know!