Building Trust After Cheating
One of the worst things that could happen in a relationship just happened to you: your partner cheated on you. Even though you’re devastated by it, you’re ready to give them a second a chance.
But, you’re worried that you won’t be able to trust after cheating. Trust is the foundation to a healthy relationship, so what do you do when that foundation has been destroyed?
You need to work as hard as you can to build that trust back up. How do you do that, exactly? It definitely won’t be easy. But, it is possible.
In fact, according to recent studies, about 60 to 75 percent of couples stay together after infidelity. But, you don’t just want to stick out for the sake of sticking it out. You want your relationship to be the loving and trusting one it once was.
How do you do this?
Read on to learn how to regain trust after cheating.
1. Let Yourself Be Raw With Your Emotions
Sometimes, when someone is cheated on, they try to keep their emotions bottled inside of them, thinking that this is somehow “taking the high road”.
While we certainly don’t condone screaming at your partner on the top of your lungs, it is important to wear your heart on your sleeve and make sure your partner knows exactly how you’re feeling about them cheating. Don’t be afraid to cry, grieve, and talk about your pain with your partner.
Letting yourself be 100 percent emotionally vulnerable in front of your partner can help you break down communication barriers in your relationship.
2. Don’t Ignore What Happened
One thing that’s even worse than holding in your emotions is to ignore the issue completely.
If you do this, there will constantly be an elephant in the room and you will never be able to rebuild your trust. And, you will never get down to the bottom of the underlying issue in your relationship.
Now, this isn’t to say that you’re at fault for your partner cheating. However, there may be an issue that, if you addressed it, would make your relationship a million times stronger.
Also, getting to the underlying issue can help you decide whether your partner is worth sticking with or not. For example, if they say the reason they cheated was because of something you did, and they try to shift the blame onto you entirely, it may not be worth fighting for your relationship.
3. Don’t Be a Helicopter Partner
We’ve all heard of helicopter parents. But, partners can be helicopters as well.
Many couples make the mistake of thinking that building trust means watching your partner’s every move. As tempting as it can be to do this, this will actually end up destroying trust in the long run.
If you’re checking your partner’s texts and emails, checking in with them a million times a day, tracking them on their phone, or engaging in any other behavior that involves keeping a close eye on them, you aren’t building trust. All you are doing is giving them a constant reminder that you, in fact, don’t trust them.
4. Stay Present and Future-Oriented
When you’ve been cheated on, it can be easy to fall into a routine of constantly living in the past, dwelling on the incident and pitying yourself because of what happened.
But, this is not how you build trust after cheating. In order to build trust again, you need to make your best effort to focus on the present and future. Rather than focusing on what you or your partner could have done to prevent cheating, focus on what you can do now and in the future to make your relationship stronger.
5. Go to Counseling
One very practical solution to rebuilding trust in your relationship is to go to counseling.
Sometimes, all it takes is an impartial third party to help you figure out how to get your relationship back on track. While talking to friends or family can be helpful, oftentimes, they end up being a negative influence. This is because they love you and hate to see you get hurt. Therefore, they have personal biases that will cloud their advice on the situation.
Plus, sometimes it just helps to have your feelings heard by someone who isn’t your partner. Many couples who have happy, healthy relationships go to counseling too. There’s no reason to feel embarrassed about seeing a professional.
6. Trust Yourself
If you can’t trust yourself, you are never going to be able to trust your partner.
Oftentimes, the partner who was cheated on starts developing doubts about themselves. If you find you’ve been asking yourself questions like, “Should I have done something different?” or, “Should I have seen this coming?”, then you need to take a step back.
Remind yourself that you’re smart, you can trust your own feelings, and that you’ll be okay moving forward. Also, it’s important to remind yourself that if your partner cheated again, you could survive it.
It’s only when you have full trust in yourself that you can have full trust in your partner.
7. Communicate About Communication
In a lot of cases, couples who have been through cheating had communication issues before the cheating happened.
This isn’t to say poor communication is an excuse to cheat, but excellent communication can help strengthen your relationship. While there’s a lot of argument out there about why cheating occurs, usually it has to do with one partner feeling like their needs weren’t being met.
So, when talking about the cheating incident, address why there was a communication problem and what both you and your partner are going to do to solve it. Sometimes, saying something as simple as, “You can always tell me when something about our relationship is bothering you,” is enough to strengthen your communication.
Trust After Cheating: Time to Build It Back Up
Building trust after cheating is a lot of work, but it can be done if you follow the tips outlined in this article.
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