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Tools for Processing Grief & Loss After Betrayal


THE BETRAYAL TRAUMA GRIEF/LOSS JOURNAL TOPICS


Special Note: If you find this work to be too overwhelming, please take a break and/or seek help from your therapist or support group. The idea behind this exercise is that once we name and understand the depth of our grief, we can begin to sit with it, get used to it, and--eventually--absorb it into our beings. In other words, we never get over our losses and grief, it just becomes part of identity and story. Not ALL of our identity or story. Just a piece of it. Our losses and grief shape us and change the way we view ourselves, the world, and others. We must fully process and mourn our losses before we move to forgiveness.


As you explore your relationship with your primary partner, the addiction you've uncovered, the betrayal trauma you've experienced, and the path toward healing and recovery, please journal on the following topics:


What's been taken from me due to this betrayal?

How have I and my loved ones been harmed?

How have I been manipulated or abused?

What hopes/dreams have been altered or shattered?

What do I fear now that I didn't even think about before?

What have I realized are my partner's limitations?

What are my limitations?

If/when I'm preparing to move to the "Acceptance" phase of grief (many of you may not be there yet and that's ok), if you were to move through the grief what would you have to "let die" or "let go of"? A dream? An idea? A former reality or framework that no longer works or exists? An expectation that I should be perceived by others in a certain way (or my partner or marriage should be perceived by others in a certain way)? Or let go of what I thought my life or relationship would be? Or an idea of the role I thought my partner would play in my life?


WHAT DOES FORGIVENESS MEAN TO ME? What would it look like if I “forgave”? What is my experience with forgiveness?

Are there things I need to forgive of myself? Are there things I need to forgive of others? Who? Why? What?

What are my stuck points with grief and moving toward forgiveness? What just hasn’t been sitting well with me as I process my losses and pain?


WHILE HOLDING SPACE FOR MY GRIEF AND LOSS AM I ABLE TO CREATE A LIST OF THINGS I’M CURRENTLY GRATEFUL FOR? How does it feel to hold space for deep sadness and loss while also acknowledging some gratitude?



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