When someone you love betrays your trust in a supposedly monogamous relationship, the shock you experience is unlike any other.  After opening your heart to the object of your affection, you are dismayed to realize that your faith was unfounded.  Unbelievably, the very person who you would have trusted with your very life has shown themselves unworthy of your confidence.  You are angry and confused, and then the real problem rears its ugly head.

You begin to question your own judgment.  You wonder how you could have been so naïve and gullible to believe that this person would be loyal to you.  Brick by brick, you begin to build an impenetrable wall around your heart as a defense mechanism.  No matter what you have to do to avoid being hurt this way again, you vow that you will protect yourself from this pain.

Unfortunately, the next time you meet someone who begins to care about you, the wall around your heart keeps them from getting dangerously close.  You feel safer holding everyone at a distance, examining every possible ulterior motive for their actions.  You don’t believe that someone could genuinely love you and want to be with you exclusively.  You won’t make that mistake again.  This time, you’ll know better.

Painting Everyone with the Same Brush

Regardless of how deceived you were by the person who broke your heart, you can’t treat every subsequent date like they are the clone of your perpetrator.  Just because one person defied your trust doesn’t mean that everyone else will do the same thing.  You have to learn how to judge each individual as a unique being, capable of being better than your last relationship.  You may not be able to change your past, but you can ruin your present by constantly worrying about your future.

Give people the benefit of the doubt, despite your previous negative experience.  Becoming jaded and suspicious won’t protect you from being hurt; it will only prevent you from the possibility of being happy again.  Don’t give your ex the satisfaction of affecting your life that profoundly with their callous behavior.  Prove to them and yourself that no matter what they did to you, it is possible for you to love openly again.

The Worst that Could Happen

You are afraid.  The last thing you want is to become vulnerable and allow yourself to get emotionally wounded all over again.  The question you should ask yourself is this:  what is the worst that could happen?  Building this thick wall to hedge against the damage your heart is meant to secure you against getting hurt.  What if it doesn’t work?  What if someone finds their way into your life, and they end up doing the exact same thing as your last partner?  Will the world end?  Will you die?

Now, what if they don’t do any of that, and they actually treat you respectfully, honoring you in everything that they do?  What if they love you endlessly and perfectly?  Are you willing to sacrifice the possibility of finding that kind of love based on an irrational fear that originated from someone who doesn’t even deserve a second thought from you?  Take that wall down brick by brick, and you may be surprised at what the world looks like without the obstruction.

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