How to regain trust after infidelity

How to regain trust after infidelity

By Emmeline Peaches, 12.09.2018

It’s a fact – people who have cheated once are 350% more likely to cheat again in their lifetime.

That’s not exactly what you want to hear right now but it is the unfortunate truth.

It’s also why so many people struggle to trust their partners after an incident of cheating.

However, although we’d often like to attribute cheating to one particular mind set, or to suggest flippantly ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater’ the truth is that cheating is a very complicated and multifaceted action. There is no one definitive type of cheating, nor one definitive reason as to why someone cheats and, as such, it’s pretty impossible to say if a person partner will fall in to that 350% likelihood of repeat infidelity or if faithfulness is the way forward for them from then on.

Because of this fact, this article is not going to try and convince you whether or not to take back a cheating partner (or how to get taken back if you are one).

Instead, we’re here to look at how you can do your best to restore that broken sense of trust after a partner has cheated and you’ve both still decided to continue in the relationship.

Let’s mend some bridges.

For The One Who Was Cheated On

  • Before anything allow us to commend you on your bravery and mental fortitude. It takes a lot of care, consideration, and durability to decide to invite someone who has been unfaithful back in to your life. However, for your own sanity as much as for the longevity of your relationship there are a few things you may wish to consider moving forwards.
  • The important first step for you moving forward will be to know that rebuilding your sense of trust and emotional wellbeing may likely be a long-term process. There are no quick fixes when it comes to something as fundamentally relationship-shifting as cheating, so allow yourself to experience whatever emotional rollercoaster you may find you’re going through.
  • As hard as it is (and as much as we just gave you permission to acknowledge the way you feel) you are also going to have to work hard to notice and let go of any feeling of paranoia, jealously, distrust, or anxiety that you might have.
  • If you’ve agreed to take a partner back that means that you’re saying you trust them not to cheat again, this means you have to exercise this trust by avoiding monitoring their life or outside activities to an extreme degree. Yes, we know it’s hard, but if you act as if you don’t trust your partner not to cheat then you may just find they start wondering why they should stay with someone who doesn’t truly trust them.
  • More than anything it’s important that you talk, talk, and then talk some more. Establish why the cheating happened and what might have led to the unhappiness involved. Don’t just sweep it under a rug and never feel like it’s something to hold as off limits conversation. You know what they say about those who refuse to learn from history.
  • Finally make time to plan for dates, cosy evenings in, and active healing together. You’ve made a huge step in your relationship by still wanting to continue but your partner has also agreed to show up for this so show each other that you both mean business by making clear time for each other. Who knows, you may find that you rediscover each other all over again.

For The One Who Cheated

  • Firstly it’s important to note that by claiming ownership over your actions in this situation you will have already taken the first important step needed to rebuild and repair your relationship.
  • From here the most important second step you can make is to trust the process and to give yourself and your partner time to work through whatever steps need to occur from here.
  • You may think that owning up and saying that you will never do such a thing again is reason enough for your partner to begin trusting you again. But, remember: Cheating itself is an abuse of trust and shows a certain level of deception As such, even if you are being honest and working hard at your affirmation your previous behaviour may still make it hard for your partner to trust you for quite some time.
  • If you want things to work it is important that you accept this and don’t push to always know if your partner 100% trusts you or not. Let your actions demonstrate your commitment to making things work, rather than just stating your intent frequently and getting frustrated if your partner is not ready to believe in your sentiments. Again, this is all part of the process of rebuilding trust.
  • Do make sure that you offer up a certain amount of accountability and presence in the relationship. If your partner calls, do your best to answer back, if they text then likewise. If you’re busy it’s okay to leave things until a later point but always do make sure that you reconnect when next readily possible. Communication is the foundation of a relationship and a lack of it leads to more than just worry.
  • Speaking of communication: Time to start practicing authenticity and honesty. No more ‘white lies’, ‘half-truths’ or ‘partial disclosure’. You don’t always have to reveal your entire day to your partner but if you catch yourself wanting to lie then try to detect and defy that habit.
  • Equally it’s important that you assert your boundaries and space in a reasonable manner so as to avoid creating a co-dependent situation between yourself and your partner. Know and try to meet your partner’s needs and support requirements where possible but never put then in the ranking as ‘greater than’ your own.
  • Although you have blame to take account for that doesn’t mean you lack personal worth and strong relationships come from an interdependent existence between two fully functional, self-confident individuals. Work towards fostering this dynamic over time and, hopefully, you’ll eventually be a relationship powerhouse again.

And That’s That!

If you find that you’re severely struggling or that you really can’t see any way forward through your actions then it may also be worth getting in a professional councillor to help you work on your problems in a professional capacity.

This is something that you’ll have to decide among yourselves but, whatever way you move forward together, know that recovery is not hopeless and that you do have a chance to mend and progress together.

All the best to you in your attempts to rebuild the trust and beat the odds when it comes to repeat infidelity!

Emmeline Peaches

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