Bleach Online logo
Ashton Smotherton photo

the bearable
heaviness of being (fucked over)

words: Ashton Smothermon
images: Tiffany Tso

It’s so easy when you’re younger. Six months is a long time to be seeing someone. You don’t consider the possibility of “ending up together”. Everything is new. Everyone is interesting. Sometimes those new and interesting people that you’ve been dating for all of six months end up screwing you over, and when that happens you dump them and don’t look back.

Then something changes. Your relationships start to run deeper than superficial bonds and a mutual love of Star Trek (Deep Space Nine, obviously). You didn’t meet your girlfriend/boyfriend in a lecture hall or at a kegger. What do you do then when your significant other screws up? When it’s been years? When you have an actual life together and not just a drawer in a house they share with 5 other people? You buck the fuck up, and -depending on the level/repetition of the screw up-try to forgive them and move on with your lives together.

But how do you forgive someone who’s completely betrayed your trust?

Don’t dwell.

Dwelling is the root of all evil in situations where you’ve been emotionally traumatized. Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to forget what happened without sustaining some sort of head injury (or obtaining some really good drugs), but there is a definite perk to not replaying the whole thing in your head over and over again. It can be hard to force out at first, but the less time you spend dwelling on the actual event the sooner you can heal.

Don’t immediately jump back into things.

You’re going to need a bit of time and space, and any person who has caused you emotional pain but can’t understand this is an asshole. Jumping back into a relationship before the air has been cleared can cause things to stay rockier for longer, because when you don’t have time to process things on your own and at your own pace it becomes easier to lash out at your partner and cause more unnecessary hurt. You can’t have an honest fresh start when you’re still harboring anger.

Give them back your trust.

Are they sorry? Yes. Are they willing to work on things, and prove their worth to you? Yes. Are they going to do it again? No. Then let them out of the doghouse, and at least give them some semblance of trust. If you’re just going to be an insecure mess then what’s the point of even trying to move on? More importantly, an insecure mess is not someone worth moving on for. It’s hard sometimes; to get back to that place where you were after some sort of betrayal. You get so wrapped up in hurt that you can forget that your partner is human, and that making a mistake doesn’t cancel out the way they’ve felt or the experiences they’ve shared. Don’t forget that looking at a person you love and only seeing a moment of weakness in them doesn’t only hurt that person but hurts you as well. Dwelling is easier than dealing, but at what cost?

Ashton Smotherton photo