Therapeutic writing for healing after betrayal
Ten Reasons why writing a Journal can get you through betrayal and emotional upset -
Whether you are dealing with a current relationship difficulty or trying to move on from a past one, writing a journal can be very therapeutic. It can help you move from despair to a place of positivity and clarity.
In our book the MANScript, we describe the impact of relationship betrayal as like being hit by a bullet or a ton of falling bricks. The impact of what’s happening is such a tremendous shock, the after effects completely shatter you and can leave you metaphorically ‘on the floor’ for a very long time.
Often after such an experience, you can become stuck coping with the betrayal and unable to move on from it. It is at times like this when writing a journal can help. Through writing down your thoughts, your journal can become your best friend. As you express your feelings, challenge your thoughts and start planning your goals, you can begin to move forward in a positive way.
Finding space that is yours, protected time to write your emotions, feelings, goals, and things you are grateful for, can stop you dwelling on negative thoughts. It can also prevent you from reliving the past and enable you to focus on the present and then the future.
A relationship breakdown is never easy. Inevitably, annual events spark memories of happier times and seeing everyone else having fun, can make it even harder for you. Christmas, anniversaries and Valentine’s day can be particularly hard. Writing a journal at such times can be your saving grace.
Here are some of the reasons why journaling can help. (We’ve also included some tips on moving forward to eventual freedom):
- There is no point trying to write a journal entry if you have chaos all around you. Force yourself to find peace and quiet. Take yourself out of what may be a pressured environment and find time to write. Try as much as possible to write in the present moment, as this can help you to cope with strong emotions such as anger. Your journal can free you.
- Your journal will never judge you. So, say it as it is, don’t hold back.
- Writing a journal can also help with your memory, which is often all over the place when you are dealing with emotional conflict and betrayal.
- Writing a journal has been proved to increase your feelings of well-being and decrease symptoms of depression. If you start to write about what you are grateful for, what you have, rather than what you have lost, it can be a positive experience. We suggest that you make a daily note of the things for which you are grateful. It’s even better if you can write your journal outdoors and be in touch with nature.
- In the MANScript we write about trusting your gut instinct. When you are dealing with suspicions that your partner may be cheating on you, don't be surprised if your partner tells you something like, “it’s all in your head.” The MANScript deals with these scenarios and how some women begin to doubt what they know to be real. Writing down dates, times and events, as well as your feelings, can help reassure your that your gut instinct is correct.
- Make sure you set yourself goals, but don’t set yourself up to fail, start with simple things, such as going to the shop to buy milk. Even that can feel daunting when you are dealing with a relationship break up, but it’s a start.
- Writing a journal can help you to plan your future and clarify what it is you want from your life. It gives you a time-delay, space to think and can prevent you making knee jerk decisions.
- Every time you write something negative about yourself, challenge those thoughts and force yourself to write something positive as well. We write about positive and negative beliefs our second book - My Freedom Diary and Journal.
- If you are dealing with a relationship challenge or emotional trauma, writing down all your worries on paper, can make them less frightening and by doing this you can identify steps you need to take to address each of your worries.
- Finally, writing a journal can save a relationship, if that’s what you want. Getting your anger down on paper, rather than screaming and shouting at your partner is more conducive to communication. Remember, you are more likely to hate a partner you continuously argue with, than a partner you can talk to calmly.