It really hurts when you’ve been betrayed by a man who has lied to you in some way. It betrays your trust which can leave you feeling shaken and unsure about men and your “picker of men” instincts. This can lead you to start second guessing yourself.
You may feel shame for not having seen the signs that something was amiss. Or you may feel angry with yourself for allowing a man into your life who had the capacity to break your heart.
What happens is you stop trusting yourself and the men you meet, making them jump hoops by testing them to prove they aren’t going to hurt you. You begin looking for perfection, which, by the way, doesn’t exist. And you go on dates looking for the person’s flaws because you are thinking no man is ever going to get the best of you again. Right?
Fear is holding you back as you try to keep yourself safe and that’s why I want to share 4 tips that can help you learn to trust yourself – and men – again so you can have the man and relationship in your life you desire.
When you’ve been hurt, you want to take some time to heal and get back in touch with yourself. It’s painful to think you played a part in attracting someone who could be so bad for you. But you did and the best way to start the healing process is through forgiveness. There is an amazing healing practice called Ho’opononpono that I’ve used with clients to help heal the pain in their hearts.
You repeat 4 simple sentences while focusing on forgiveness…
I love you.
Please forgive me.
You say these 4 phrases over and over again until you feel a release happen. The practice of Ho’opononpono is an amazing story you can check out by clicking here. As long as you hold onto anger towards yourself or a man from your past, you are still connected, and it keeps you from moving forward.
Sometimes, it can be hard to let go of negative feelings. If the Ho’opononpono exercise doesn’t help, you might want to consider reaching out to a therapist who can support you in releasing the negative emotions you’re feeling before you decide to date again.
I teach my clients to identify how they view the men they want to date using a tool called the Trust Glasses. When you wear what I call the grey stormy pair, it means you are looking at men with the mindset that a man is going to hurt you until he proves otherwise.
Out of fear of getting hurt again, you can end up making him jump hoops to prove his worthiness. This can lead you to losing out on a good connection with a potential partner who might be perfect for you.
Instead, consider wearing what I call the turquoise glasses. These glasses are like a calm ocean where you can see beautiful fish swimming close to the surface, yet you can also see the bottom and any dangers that might be lurking under your feet.
With the turquoise glasses, you go on a date to meet someone new and interesting. You take your time observing how a man acts around you and whether his actions consistently follow his words. Words are cheap. Actions are what count. Men who don’t follow their words with action are the ones who will break your heart.
If a man shares stories about having cheated on his wife or another girlfriend, end it right then and there. This is a huge red flag that spells TROUBLE. If he did it once, he can do it again but this time you’ll be the one who gets hurt.
I can’t tell you the number of clients who tell me in hindsight that they walked right past these types of words thinking this man would never cheat on them, yet he did. Pay attention to a man’s words. If you listen, you’ll know you can trust yourself to make the best decisions for you.
For a relationship to work, you need to share the same values. I help clients identify 10-15 values that are important to them when they create their Quality Man Template, a tool that helps them identify the right man for them.
What’s so interesting about this exercise is that, when they look back, they are often shocked at how many values were missing in the men they’d dated in the past. Don’t skip over this. Knowing the values that are important to you will empower you and will help you trust and recognize whether or not you’re with the right man.
Have you been hurt by a man you trusted? How has that worked out for you since? Did the experience turn into constant fear that you can never trust a man again? Or perhaps you think you can’t trust yourself to make good decisions regarding men?
Having been in a long term coercive/abusive relationship I have done a lot recovery and learnt many positive lesson through Post Traumatic growth. My son is a happy well adjusted man in an equality based relationship, I’m close to my brother and happy with men socially.
However whenever I try to visualise being alone with a man and the door closing I panic and claustrophobia kicks in. I feel that intimacy is several steps too far.
Hi Kayla…Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve learned that healing takes time and lots of baby steps to keep moving forward. Big Leaps can be hard and maybe your visualization is too big right now. Is it possible to make it smaller like just shaking a man’s hand? Hope this helps.
Thank you Lisa
Hey Kayla, remember you do not owe anyone intimacy. It’s your body and you have the right to say no.
I have just separated from my second husband we’ve been together for 24 years. I thought he was the one I would be with until the end. In February this year he was caught filming my daughter who is 35 (his step daughter) under the changing cubicle at the swimming baths, they had taken my 2 year old granddaughter swimmy. The police got involved and it turns out he has had a thing about her for a few years and has more photos of her on his computer. I am now having therapy and am on antidepressants. I don’t think I’ll bother with anymore men!
I feel your pain – my ex-husband turned out to be bi-sexual (he didn’t cheat – but I found out after we separated. I found coke (cocaine) in his pocket on my 57th b-day.
Then in a relationship after I split from my ex. he was seeing multiple women, I tracked them all down and told them, what an ***- took me a while to get over that one.
I don’t want to be done – but the pickings are slim out there. I live in Florida – land of the losers.
I have happily “retired from romance”- makes my life happier & less stressful.
I think I’ll do the same!
Hey Joni…whatever feels good to you in the moment always works. Today, No but maybe in a year or two, you might want to dip your toe in the water again. Either way, enjoy your life now. xoxoxo
There were no red flags because my husband of 30 years got diagnosed with terminal illness that affected his brain. I suffered through abuse for two years, he will probably live longer than me. At this point the marriage had to end sadly, and I’m grieving the loss of a man who is still alive, I never thought I’d be in the situation he was my soulmate. How do I find someone after this?
Wow. Similar situation but no illness that affected his brain. The sadness that comes from the realization that life can’t continue with this person is devastating. We are toxic together and it’s heartbreaking.
I am currently in therapy after having conformation my ex partner was a covert narcassist ..We were together 4years…however october of last year our relationship changed he became quite controlling, He became argumentative and distant …picking faults with slightest things..I suspected he was cheating …my thoughts were proven to be true ..when I discovered messages on his phone to another women…The shock was discovering on contacting her that he had been seeing her for 2 years !…He had asked her to marry him ..she sent me copy of his txt … all whilst we were going away …enjoying what I was led to believe was a real relationship …all this whilst telling me he loved me …etc etc…She had been to his flat ,as we did not live together ..were he had a picture of us on his wall which I had done from a weekend away together..she told me she asked him who it was ..he said My dead Sister I dont want talk about it !He has no siblings he was an only child ….this made me feel sick …and psychologically the whole situation has had zchugevimpact on my mental health…I already was on treatment for depression which I told him about right at beginning of us seeing each other .. and explained i expected honesty and trust ..as i had been hurt before lost my home and everything ..Yet ..he obviously didnt care Led me on ! So cruel …I am 65 ..and dont think i will ever find true love .as I cannot see me Trusting anyone again !
Need to have hope but struggling to find any ..
I feel your pain don’t think I will trust again. I’m 64