How to cope with betrayal and sadness

By Despina Nicola

Imagine this scenario: you’re working tirelessly to provide for yourself and your partner, pouring your heart and soul into your relationship, only to uncover the devastating truth that your partner has been unfaithful and reckless with your hard-earned savings. The betrayal cuts deep, shattering your trust in others and leaving you questioning your self-worth. The sense of despair is overwhelming, as you contend with the realisation that the one person you thought would always have your back has let you down.

It’s a painful reminder that happiness is not guaranteed, and that sometimes the people we trust the most can cause us the most pain.

However, even when faced with adversity, how can we rediscover our sense of sanctuary and find solace in our own worth?

I find solace and strength in turning to my faith, drawing courage from prayer and the wisdom found in sacred texts. The unwavering power of God transcends my own limitations, providing me with the resilience to confront life’s challenges. In every moment, even amidst the darkest times, I have seen the indomitable spirit within each of us that uplifts and sustains us.

As Anna navigated through a tumultuous period in her marriage, struggling with feelings of sadness and self-doubt, she initially believed she was to blame for her husband’s infidelity. However, seeking solace in her faith and turning to the Lord’s teachings, she gained a fresh perspective on her situation.

Instead of seeing sadness as a flaw, she realised it’s a natural part of life, just like joy. Remembering stories from her faith about Jesus and saints facing tough times, she found comfort in the idea that sadness can lead to spiritual growth.

Anna started to acknowledge her emotions: She learnt to recognise and accept her feelings, and sadness as a natural part of life. This led her to talk to her spiritual Father and study the lives of saints who had gone through their struggles.

She could then detach from spiralling thoughts: by distancing herself from distressing judgements about her not being enough in her marriage. She attained a new perspectivethat she would never be enough for her husband who was an abusive partner.

She worked on releasing her insecurities and engaging in prayer helped Anna stay connected to her faith during difficult times.

She then identified her real values and clarified them. Her core belief for a successful marriage was to have loyalty, trust, transperancy and respect. She knew that her partner did not have the capability to give her this, but her faith could guide her to take measures.

Anna strengthened her spiritual connection by getting support in her church and finally this was followed by a divorce.

Despite her initial instinct to control her emotions, Anna learned to lean on her faith and trust in God’s plan. By embracing humility and surrendering control, she found peace and strength to navigate her challenges. This shift in perspective helped Anna cope with her sadness and deepen her faith.

Ultimately, she found the strength to rebuild her life, supported by her unwavering faith and the community of her church. In the end, Anna’s faith not only helped her overcome adversity but also empowered her to create a brighter future for herself and her children, as she found happiness and success in her own business, and at the same time watching her children blossom.

When faced with deep sadness, many may feel flawed or abnormal due to societal pressures that often stigmatise such emotions. However, through the lenses of faith and hope, our perspectives on sadness can shift. As for me being anOrthodox Christian I see sadness as a natural part of the human journey, not a sign of inherent brokenness. Drawing from the experiences of revered figures such as Jesus and the saints, believers find comfort in the idea that moments of sadness can catalyse spiritual growth and strengthen their connection with the divine.

As an Orthodox Christian, I’ve come to understand that the desire to control every aspect of our lives contradicts our core beliefs. Striving to maintain a positive mindset and regulate our thoughts and emotions is a challenging feat. It’s a realisation that we are not meant to wield absolute control over our existence. In my journey, I’ve discovered that exerting excessive control often leads to unintended consequences. Instead, I’ve learned to place my trust in God’s divine plan and embrace the idea that not everything can be manipulated to perfection. It’s a process of relinquishing control and embracing faith, rather than imposing our will on every situation.

The struggle to control our thoughts and emotions isn’t unique—it’s something many of us face. In Christianity, we’re taught that this struggle reflects our imperfections and our need for God. Even though we have the freedom to make choices, we’re still limited by our human nature and the unpredictable nature of life. This idea highlights a universal truth about the human condition: no matter how hard we try, there are aspects of ourselves and our circumstances that we can’t fully control.

In society, there’s often pressure to maintain emotional control, but real mastery comes when we place our trust in God. This belief is central to Christianity, where we understand that God is concerned about every aspect of our lives, even our emotions. This perspective speaks to a broader truth about people in general: while we may strive to manage our emotions independently, finding peace and fulfillment often involves relinquishing control and entrusting our inner world to something greater than ourselves.

When we embrace humility and rely on Him, we not only draw closer to God but also to each other.

Anna’s journey reflects a universal truth about people today: we all long for meaning, happiness, and emotional stability. Whether facing marital struggles, profound sadness, or the relentless pressure to maintain control, many of us turn to faith as a source of comfort and guidance. Like Anna, we struggle with our emotions and wrestle with the illusion of control, but ultimately find solace in surrendering to something greater than ourselves.