I am sure we all have been betrayed by a person whom we believed to be a trusted friend, but ...
All of us, I am sure, have felt the pain of betrayal from a trusted friend, or one whom we believed to be a friend, but have you forgiven this person yet? I know it is a very painful thing to have to endure the betrayal of a friend, but it is very important to forgive that person, which is also very difficult. One can forgive, but that doesn't mean one has to remain friends with that person who harms or betrays you, as you must set up boundaries. The question . . . have you forgiven this person or persons who have betrayed your trust?
Yes and no. Yes, there is someone who betrayed me that I have forgiven and still love. It took some time, but forgiveness, I think, helps me heal and I hope helps the other person to heal also.
Then, there is someone who betrayed me that I cannot forgive and who I no longer love. I hope that with time, forgiveness will come, but in this case the betrayal is so crushing and horrible that I will not love that person again.
Betrayal is so complicated and devastating because it is so hard to trust again. I don't know where to start to trust again. Betrayal is a pain that goes all the way deep into my soul and that is hard to extract, but forgiveness, I believe is the first step to lessening the pain.
Good question, Faith and one that is difficult to answer.
Hi suzzette, thanks for sharing here with the really profound answer! Betrayal is a deep, deep emotionally pain. I FINALLY forgave one person who I thought was a friend, and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Forgiveness does heal.
I've seen this question in various forms several times and if I'm not mistaken it is almost always asked by (women). I wonder why that is? Do women have more expectations of their friends than men have of their friends? I suppose those are questions for another time.
I can't recall the last time I felt "betrayed" by a friend. I intentionally keep the number of friends I have to a minimum. My friends are like siblings. However by the same token most guys don't have a strong emotional connection with one another where they bare their souls, share their deepest fears, or insecurities with one another. If there were any acts of betrayal it would most likely deal with someone not paying back a loan or one of them hitting on your significant other behind your back, or possibly not covering for you in a time of need.
At any rate I agree with you. You don't have to remain friends after you forgive them. Forgive means to (let go). You're simply not going to dwell on it anymore.
I think it may be because people are more likely to over-step bounds in relationships with women, fail to respect/value women/relationships with them, or mistake understanding and niceness for things they aren't.
Hi dashingscorpio, thank you so much for a man's perspective on forgiveness. And you are right, I guess, men and women's friendships are a lot different as you state. Really great answer here. I appreciate the refreshingly honest answer here!
Yes, I have forgiven everyone who has ever betrayed my trust. I think it to be necessary for our own spiritual health as well as physical and mental health as well. Nothing but bad can come from holding a grudge. People may not realize this, but when you are holding a grudge this person basically owns you and your thoughts. Nothing healthy can come from this at all. Great question. Many blessings Faith!
If someone betrayed me intentionally then, no, that's it for them as far I'm concerned. If the betrayal was a matter of someone's not intending harm but not knowing better/more about being worthy of trust; then I'll forgive that kind of thing (even if it does mean I learn not to trust that person's judgment ever again).
There are people who we know, without doubt, would NEVER intentionally harm us or cause us problems; but who don't have the "greatest" judgment when it comes to how they deal with one/some/all people. So they don't mean harm. We could trust them with, say, our money or certainly trust them with regard to whether or not they'd intentionally harm us. We just can't count them among the "completely trust them in all ways" category.
Personally, I've never found being betrayed (intentionally or unintentionally) as "painful". I more have found it something that makes me angry, and something that has pointed out to me that I shouldn't trust that person (in some or all ways) ever again. (If I hire someone to cut my lawn, and he makes a mess of it, I may be disgusted and/or angry - but I won't interpret that as "painful". I'll just know never to call that person, or recommend that person to anyone else, ever again. I see trusting a friend the way as that.)
So, if someone's betrayal is unintentional, of course I'll forgive them. It's an awful thing to hate someone else, or eliminate someone we care about from our lives, because they made a mistake that amounted essentially to betrayal. BUT, still caring about someone and still having them in our lives while understanding that they didn't intend to betray is one thing. Trusting them (again, in SOME ways) is another. I'd take that kind of unintentional betrayal as a "live-and-learn" kind of thing, and be glad to know where I stood when it came to the person's having demonstrated lack of loyalty/honesty/respect with regard to me.
There are all kinds of otherwise nice relationships that aren't perfect. I think if we're understanding, reasonable, and careful we can work around the imperfections of an otherwise nice relationship with a friend/relative. If we expected absolute perfection in every relationship we have in our lives we'd most often have no relationships. (lol) To me, the only relationship that absolutely cannot withstand having some kind of "unintended-betrayal flaw" in it is the relationship with a spouse or partner.
I'd use caution with the friend, though.
Hi Lisa HW, thanks for answering. That is a good point about the unintentional harm someone may cause. When we are betrayed, then it is so hard to trust again no doubt! Just because we do forgive, does not mean we trust that person again, if ever.
It was my friend and when I found out I was so angry and had little harsh talk, but then I forgave him and told him to forget what happened between us and not to do again. He is still my friend and come to my home usually.
One of my friends suggested me that you shouldn't have given the chance to betray with you, but the problem is we can only know when the person has just betrayed with us.
Yes, I've been betrayed. I also believe that you can forgive, but sometimes you really need to establish boundaries. It's healthier that way. I define forgiveness as not seeking revenge. So sometimes I will think of a betrayer and feel angry, but I don't seek revenge,
I have experienced betrayal in such a great degree from one whom I thought was a friend; however, even though I forgive, I would never want to have anything to do with that person. I think one can forgive when they understand the motive for the betrayal, which is usually infantile and can be traced back to a child/parent thing, at least in my case. Often it relates to childish emotions. I have forgiven but would never do lunch. Some people are under the impression that forgiveness means you must restore a relationship. I don't believe this is always true, but sometimes. The only time I would restore a relationship is if the one who betrayed me asked to be forgiven, but that would depend on the "safety" issues. (The person who betrayed me, the one I am thinking of, was actually motivated by criminal tendency, so I hope to never see that person again.)
Hi Faith: To me, forgiveness is a very profound topic. My definition of betrayal covers many areas.
I have been through major surgeries in my life. I've been sicker than a dog with the flu. I've had violent toothaches, abscesses, and root canals. However, nothing compares to the pain I have suffered from one thing: Words.
I wrote in a hub about a seminar I attended where the speaker posed this question: "How do you know you have forgiven that person who hurt you?" Her answer was this: "if you can feel comfortable in the same room with that person, then you have forgiven that individual."
That being said, people who have hurt me I have forgiven. In some cases I have felt betrayal with circumstances that have occurred over the years...one example would be my ex-husband having an affair with his secretary.
But the greatest damage to me has been nasty words, which damage my spirit.
For example, last year I received a horrific email from someone who meant the world to me. I could not stop sobbing.
I did not respond. The person called me 3 days later to smooth things over. In this person's mind, it is over, all is well. I have forgiven...and I see that person quite often. That person has totally forgotten about it. But, for me, it is like a tornado, or a tsunami: it's over, all is quiet, but the damage has been done. I will never feel the same way about that person again. I will be polite and friendly but I have lost respect.
I feel the same way about others who have hurt me in the form of words. I have forgiven, but I lose something within myself...I don't feel the same way about them as I used to.
Faith, I have always wondered how people can be so nasty, then FORGET they even did it? The one thing I cannot stand is, if an individual hurts me, and if I try to settle it, and he or she says in a firm voice; "DROP IT." That makes me feel worse.
All this being said is, yes I can forgive...but, like someone wrote, "you can forget what they said, you can forget what they did, but you can never forget the way a person makes you feel."
The one thing that has helped me tremendously is that when someone hurts me, I don't hurt back. They have to carry with them the last words they wrote or said.
This frees me up. I would rather be the hur-tee than the hurt-er. I could never, ever stand to hurt another person. If and when I have, it is never deliberate, and I try to rectify it immediately.
Oh, my precious friend, Sparklea, I cannot even imagine anyone saying anything nasty or hurtful to you! Thank you for sharing. We can forgive, but that does not mean we are able to feel the same about that person! Great example of how to know.
Oh, Faith, thank you so much from my heart! What a surprise, and I am so touched. You asked a terrific question that surely makes one think. God bless you real good!!! Sparklea
Thank you for the heartfelt comment! God bless you too.
Not long time ago my sight landed on Scripture: Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. I told to myself I am going to do it. I came to many who hurt me even not being friends: I said: you know I am the Christian and I quoted this Scripture. I said: peace and shook the hand. It is miracle working way. Forgiveness is easy if we have more than one ounce of faith . It is difficult when we walk in the flesh. Walking in the spirit means walking and talking Word.
Forgiveness is a process. In fact, one can forgive but not forget or one can forgive and cut contact with the person or not. I realised that the other person has own limitations. Naturally any of it did not feel good. When the person was worth it and seemed to feel remorse, grew from the experience etc., I gave the person a second chance and in those cases all went well. With others, the betrayal was too bad to maintain contact. So, it has been a very private sort of forgiveness. Problems between two people can really teaching you many things, including forgiveness and compassion and to accept people and life as they are, assess if change is possible and learn to let go if necessary.
I believe forgiveness can be given but only when it is asked for from the offending party. I had a friend that crossed the line, instead of accepting responsibility and asking for forgiveness she only inundated me excuses for her behavior. I ultimately ending up ending our relationship because for the first time I saw who she truly was. Although I haven't forgiven her it doesn't mean I can't let it go. I have moved on and now much happier with the people that I have in my life now. I no longer have that black whole draining all I have to give from me.
It is so hurtful when a friend betrays you for sure. It is important to have boundaries to prevent further harm to oneself by another, but it is so important to forgive even when the other may not even realize they harmed you. It is really for you.
I have survived betrayal. Forgive with grace and be an example.
Wow...I have just found this Q. I can certainly see why you chose Sparklea's answer as "BEST." I felt tears come to my eyes while reading her emotional comment.
Spark.....Like Faith, I can't imagine someone hurting a gentle soul like you, intentionally. In fact it even hurts me to know this. I saw a lot of this kind of behavior in my line of work and honestly, I could never learn to ignore it. For people to purposely harm another, especially with WORDS, is not easy to deal with.
I admire you for your forgiving heart, Sparklea. Wishing you a Happy New Year. Peace, Paula
I have an ex friend who was one of my best friends. She was having severe financial problems. 3 months late on car and rent. She needed something that cost 35.00. She lived an hour away. Like an idiot, i sent her my cc numbers. We were both on the same cell phone co. We were in contact with each other everyday. 3 months later, she sent me a text saying she owed me a $100.00. I asked why. She said, "the cell phone co. Mixed up our accounts and my cc paid her bill for 3 months, that she never noticed. I called the cell phone co. They stated that she had put my cc numbers in, and that they would not take my account info and put it on hers. The total was $140.00. She denies it. She told me a few other lies with it. I felt so betrayed, hurt. Don't think after 15 yrs of friendship that I could ever forgive. It's been 5 months now, and I still get times when I start stewing over it. This was not her typical behavior. She has impulse problems with money. Then she called a mutual friend and cried about what the cell phone co. Accused her of. First a thief, then a liar, now a victim? If you don't have trust, there can be no friendship. It was as if she had no conscience. I'm hurt that someone thinks i'm that stupid. Well, I guess she got what she wanted. 3 months free financing and an upgrade on her data. Still broken in wi
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