Home→Forums→Tough Times→Can I move on from a betrayal without forgiveness?
- This topic has 18 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks, 6 days ago by saggad.
May 14, 2023 at 4:23 am #418720
Around 4~5 years ago I posted in this forum and now I’m back again to get some helpful insights. I tried to go to some therapy but they were not helpful. I changed my therapist 3 times but none of them could really help me. I hope I can get some helpful insights here
I’m 27 years old boy now and I was in a relationship with a woman who was around 11 years older than me. She had two daughters that I recently found out that they both had cancer. The relationship was never good and quite abusive and manipulative. Idk why I kept it…
Around a year ago she was in some big financial problems and debt because of the cost of treatment of her daughters. I offered her that I can sell my car to help her. I really loved that car, it was my first car and I didn’t have even time to drive it. It was all new. But I really wanted to help her daughters (although they were not mine and their true father didn’t accept any responsibility.). I sold the car and gave all the money to her. Some months later, I was not in my country and I had to do a legal thing. I had an apartment and I had to create a legal certificate of possession for it. I gave her legal permission for that apartment so she could do it for me. She herself insisted that she could help with it and that it was some form of compensation for the car that I helped her. It wasn’t a big deal. She only needed to do it in one day. I trusted her with everything, more than my siblings. So I gave the legal permission to her.
For around 5~6 months she ignored my questions about the apartment and around 3 months ago, a guy called me and said that “You are trying to sell your apartment, is that right?” I was shocked. Later I found that she was trying to sell my apartment and the customer found my number and called just to be sure. I told her that she had no right to sell it and I want my apartment and asked her to give back the legal permission. (I couldn’t get it back by myself. It was a legal mistake because I trusted her too much). She refused to accept that she was trying to sell it and also refused to get the permission back. She insulted me instead for the fact that “I was trying to accuse her of stealing!”
Long story short, she did sell the apartment, and now when I ask her where is my apartment, she says that I sold my apartment to her! And act like nothing happened and does not accept any responsibility for what happened and what she did. She even doesn’t admit it. She says that I sold the apartment to her. Although I didn’t receive a penny from her in my entire life. I sold my car to help her and gave her a lot of money for the treatment of her daughters.
I already blocked her and didn’t see her again. But anger and bitterness is eating me alive. Everyday. I can’t think about any relationship with someone else. I can not move on. And now I’m even angry with myself because I gave the car. Whenever I see a similar car, it makes me angry. And the fact that I couldn’t buy a car again so far. Everything that reminds me of a car or apartment, triggers me. All the time.
I did a lot of research about how I can move on. All of them talk about “Forgiving”. I tried so hard to forgive her in the last months but I couldn’t. The bitterness and anger is there no matter what. Just like the first day that I found out about the betrayal. Maybe if she could at least admit what she did and apologize (I know that she needed money for the treatment of her daughters) I could somehow find a way to forgive her.
Today I messaged her again just to ask about the apartment, to see if she would admit it, just to help me for forgiving. But she again talked like nothing happened. She said that I sold the apartment to her and why I’m asking over and over again.
With this situation, I can not forgive her. No matter what. And I’m stuck in anger and bitterness, losing all the days of my twenties doing nothing, not living. Do you have any insight about how can I move on? Is it possible to move on without forgiving her? If yes, how? Is there a book to help me? Or something? What is the solution? I’m really trying to find a way out of this hell.
<br style=”font-weight: 400;” /><br style=”font-weight: 400;” />May 14, 2023 at 5:22 am #418721
I am so sorry this happened to you. This woman sounds like a conwoman, and what she did was a criminal offense. Is there a way to prove that she sold your apartment without your permission and never gave you any money from it? Is there a way to press charges against her? Because that’s what you would need to do.
You don’t need to forgive her – you need to have things rectified because she stole you money, which as I said, is an offense. She would need to be held accountable.
Maybe if she could at least admit what she did and apologize (I know that she needed money for the treatment of her daughters) I could somehow find a way to forgive her.
She will never admit what she did, because that would be a proof of her crime. I even doubt that her daughters have cancer. She could have easily invented that, so you would give her money.
Is there anything you can do to press charges against her?May 14, 2023 at 5:49 am #418722
I know her for more than 5 years. And I was there in the hospital always helping with her daughters. I’m sure about the illness. Unfortunately, I can’t do any legal charge against her because she already left the country. I talked with some lawyers and they said as long as she is not here, you can’t do anything, I can’t get her. So there is no way to hold her accountable. The only way for me is to let it go and I’m ready to let it go financially but idk how to let it go emotionally.
What would the process of letting it go look like in a situation like this? While I’m almost sure forgiving doesn’t work when the person even doesn’t admit to what she has done. I tried but I couldn’t. The mental burden is so great. I’m young, I can earn that money but it is destroying my mental health and any future relationship that I could have. I want to at least manage to contain the damage to only financial stuff and make myself free from emotional damage.May 14, 2023 at 6:30 am #418723RobertaParticipant
I am so sorry that your loving & helping spirit was abused by this woman’s actions.
As you say at the moment & probably forever you will not get legal restitution and it is not a financial imperative either.
A radical rethink may help.
You initially had altruistic intention to help her by selling the car.
How would you feel if you thought that you gifted her the car & the apartment?
You can also make prayers for the health of her daughters and that the woman is happy & content, because a person who is truly happy & content will not steal or lie. Also wish that she may use any good fortune that she has to benefit others. You may think that this is a naive and unrealistic, but this is about restoring balance and healing to your mind.
What ever you do to heal will need to be done repeatedly each time the disturbing thoughts & memories occur.May 14, 2023 at 6:55 am #418724
I truly agree with you Roberta. I do think the same with my conscious mind and this seems the solution. But I cannot do it emotionally. No matter how much I wish good for them or pray. The bitterness and anger is there. This is why I asked here if there is any way to do it. How I could do it in a way that is true in my heart and not just repeat some words of good wishes for them? This is why I tried to forgive her but it was not successful so far.
How I can do what you just described? This is the end result, how the process of getting there would look like?May 14, 2023 at 7:11 am #418725
oh I see, you were visiting her daughters in hospital, so you know for sure.
I checked your other thread as well, to understand a little better. Is this woman the same woman you had a long-distance relationship with, and then she broke it off when you couldn’t travel to her country (sometime in 2019)? Does it mean she had come to your country since, for her daughters’ treatment? And now she is gone again?
I am sorry you can’t do anything to seek justice. It’s good that you’re not too attached to the money and have mostly let it go, since you can earn it again.
What would the process of letting it go look like in a situation like this? While I’m almost sure forgiving doesn’t work when the person even doesn’t admit to what she has done. I tried but I couldn’t.
This woman was not what she was portraying herself to be. She was dishonest and used you for her purposes. Even if she had sick children and needed money for their treatment, the fact that she tricked you into writing your flat on her name and then selling it is a crime. So you’d need to accept that this woman is a liar and that she will never apologize, nor admit her actions. Not all women are like that, but you’d need to learn how to protect yourself from selfish, deceptive women in the future.
it is destroying my mental health and any future relationship that I could have.
Is it because you believe that you will be hurt like that again? That you can’t trust any woman?
If so, the best way to move on is to learn how to protect yourself from a similar disappointment in the future.
In your previous thread you mentioned that your first relationship was with a woman 12 yrs older than you, who only contacted you when she needed something from you. And that you were never intimate with her. Your second relationship was with a girl who wanted to change almost everything about you, and with whom you didn’t have anything common to talk about. And your 3rd relationship was long-distance, with a woman you said understood you, but couldn’t wait for you to move to her country. Presumably this is the woman who later cheated on you financially?
All 3 of those relationships were bad for you, with selfish and/or deceptive women. From your previous thread and anita’s correspondence with you, I think I understand why you were attracted to such women and why you didn’t recognize that those weren’t healthy relationships.
So I think one of the major tasks would be to start learning what a healthy relationship is and a healthy, supportive interaction between two people. Because you didn’t it have it too much in your childhood or adolescence.
I am sorry you didn’t therapy helpful. Otherwise a good therapist could be a perfect person with whom you can practice healthy communication, and who can meet some of your basic needs: of being seen, accepted, validated, mirrored… all those things you didn’t receive from your parents.
How does this sound? Was it of any help to you?May 14, 2023 at 7:44 am #418727
I’m sorry that you experienced that betrayal. Personally, I don’t believe in forgiving some things. This is one of those things that perhaps shouldn’t be forgiven. It might even be a good thing to fully express how terrible that situation was because you’ve been rather polite about it.
All you need to do is learn from it and move on. The truth is that you did make mistakes. A good therapist would tell you that you have been making some risky dating decisions by choosing relationships with older women and long distance.
You freely gave your legal rights to someone that you weren’t married to and you described that relationship as manipulative and abusive.
You are not the first person to lose their house after giving their rights away. You now understand exactly how important those rights are. Before you didn’t.
The person you need to forgive is yourself. You were young, kind and made some bad decisions.
All you need to do is make better choices for yourself and walk away from relationships that don’t make you happy.May 14, 2023 at 7:48 am #418728
And of course, never give anything of value to people with money problems unless you are okay with losing it.May 14, 2023 at 8:08 am #418730
“Is this woman the same woman you had a long-distance relationship with, and then she broke it off when you couldn’t travel to her country (sometime in 2019)? ”
no, they are not the same persons. This one lived in my country.
“Is it because you believe that you will be hurt like that again? That you can’t trust any woman?”
Yex exactly. Although I know this is not a rational conclusion but the fear is there. Especially if the anger and bitterness are always there, it is affecting my thoughts about having a relationship with someone else in the future.
“In your previous thread you mentioned that your first relationship was with a woman 12 yrs older than you, who only contacted you when she needed something from you.”
This woman is the very woman that I’m talking about now! We got back together. This woman who got the apartment is my first girlfriend that I described in my first thread as my first girlfriend and OMG! Even back then I knew everything and described her yet I kept dating her. I just checked this is from my thread in 2019 here, describing her:
“I was 19-21 yeas old when I was with her and during that time I was dealing with a lot of problems with her life and her daughters. she was in problems all the time and when she didn’t have problems, she didn’t send message to me even. she left me suddenly over and over when she was in the good mood. but when she had a problem, she sent me a message and I was there to be with her and helping. those 3 years was absolutely bad.”
Now I feel embarrassed besides anger and bitterness…
Thank you for pointing out all of these. Now I see I have more problems so solve than I thought…May 14, 2023 at 8:31 am #418731
you are welcome.
Now I feel embarrassed besides anger and bitterness…
Well, as Helcat said, don’t blame yourself. You were young and naive and easily manipulated by a much more experienced woman. I concur with what Helcat said: the only person you need to forgive is yourself.
And you need to learn to recognize selfish women and unhealthy relationships, where you just give and give, and don’t receive anything.
Just a thought: it could be that you were attracted to older women, because they served as a mother figure, and you wanted love and appreciation from a mother figure?May 14, 2023 at 9:10 am #418734
Thank you Helcat and Tee for your replies.
And thank you for reminding me that not everyone has to be forgiven, cause my efforts to forgive didn’t work so far. Maybe I should accept the fact that I can’t come to 100% peace with her in my mind. And I have to live with it maybe… And my effort should be toward forgiving myself and giving myself permission to live again.
and yes, I have to learn how to recognize selfish people and unhealthy relationships. Any advice about it or a book to read would be so helpful.
“Just a thought: it could be that you were attracted to older women, because they served as a mother figure, and you wanted love and appreciation from a mother figure?”
I don’t know about it. Thank you for reminding me about it. I do some meditation and think about it.
Do you have any practical day to day advice to overcome this deep feeling of anger?May 14, 2023 at 10:26 am #418735
We all make mistakes, especially when we’re young. I know I did. It hurts so much when you first learn that there are people like that in the world. Fortunately, there are good people in the world too. Having good experiences will help you learn to develop trust in others again.
A therapist taught me to identify unhealthy relationships. I understand that you haven’t found therapy helpful though.
Based on what you said, I think you already know how to identify difficulties. The question is why do you think you stayed in that relationship even though you knew it was unhealthy? Perhaps you need to trust your instincts when you notice problems?
There is a saying that helped me, “When someone shows you who they are listen.”
You have a very kind nature and bad people will use that against you to help themselves and in the process harm you.
Taking small steps when trusting people has been helpful for me. If they prove trustworthy, I can take another step and so on and so forth. If they prove untrustworthy, I step back.
My therapist always said that anger is a good thing. It let’s you know when your boundaries have been overstepped. Stealing someone’s house is unthinkable. You have every right to be angry. I can’t imagine how much pain that woman put you through.
These feelings will pass in time as you heal and process the trauma. It really is a severe trauma. It would actually be strange if you weren’t angry and hurt because of this situation. I know it’s painful, but it is an expected emotional response to such a devastating situation.
Please be patient with yourself and your emotions. Do your best to take care of yourself and your needs. Be extra kind to yourself while you hurt over this.May 14, 2023 at 10:47 am #418736
you’re very welcome.
And thank you for reminding me that not everyone has to be forgiven, cause my efforts to forgive didn’t work so far. Maybe I should accept the fact that I can’t come to 100% peace with her in my mind. And I have to live with it maybe…
Yes, I think your first priority at the moment shouldn’t be to forgive her. I think it’s okay if you allow yourself to feel the anger, because it’s a justified anger. She did treat you badly, she was dishonest, betrayed your trust and stole from you. Feeling angry is an indicator that we were wronged or violated, so it’s a healthy protective mechanism. It’s to signal you that you shouldn’t allow the same thing happen in the future.
Over time, as you feel more able to protect yourself from abusive people, you won’t feel intense anger any more, it won’t occupy your heart and mind as it does now. You will be free from it.
And my effort should be toward forgiving myself and giving myself permission to live again.
and yes, I have to learn how to recognize selfish people and unhealthy relationships. Any advice about it or a book to read would be so helpful.
Hm, I don’t have a specific book that comes to mind. But I think you did recognize already in 2019 that this relationship was unhealthy, because you described it back then:
My first relationship (which was with a 32 years old woman) was pretty awful. I was in relationship during 3 years with her and during those years I was only taking care of her problems and I’ve never touched her even. … those 3 years was absolutely bad. I loved her but I didn’t receive anything from her… I don’t know why I was in that relationship… I knew that she only want me in her bad days and I didn’t have any meaning for her at all…
So you knew she was using you. That’s good. You did have the awareness of it, even if later you got back together with her. We can talk about the circumstances how and why you got back together, but it’s good that you actually know what a bad relationship is, and what a selfish behavior looks like.
You also knew what you wanted from a relationship. You wrote this in 2019:
I felt that I should be in the right relationship and being able to love someone and enjoy the life with her (and not only being an helper and then a garbage)
You also knew that the girl whom you were with later wasn’t good for you:
I knew that she was not the right choice, she never could accept me as I am. But I felt the need so I decided to be with her.
So you knew that if the woman doesn’t accept you for who you are, she is not a good choice. But you went along anyway, because you desperately wanted a relationship.
So I think you do know what an unhealthy relationship is, and what you should look out for. You only need to decide not to go into such relationships, or stay in them, against your better judgment.
I think you’d basically need to work on the reasons why you tolerated selfish and abusive behavior by your first girlfriend, and what is it that made you get back together with her and trust her, in spite of her self-centeredness.May 14, 2023 at 11:57 am #418737
Thank you Tee and Helcat, your messages were so insightful and I made a lot of notes from them in my journal. Now I have an idea of what to do. And I was quite angry with myself for not being able to forgive or stop being angry and bitter (finding it as a bad thing not just as a signal of my boundaries being violated)
Your messages were so helpful. Thank you, I wish the best things for you all.May 14, 2023 at 12:36 pm #418738
you were very welcome! I am glad it was helpful and you know now how to proceed.
I too wish you all the best going forward. Post anytime if you feel the need.