How We Learn to Trust Again After Infidelity

How do we learn to trust again after infidelity in a relationship?

Sometimes in a relationship there is a difficulty where one of the partners might be attracted to someone other than the mate. This can also lead to some flirtation, some exchange of emotion, and even more.

Both People Have to Work to Recover From Infidelity

Damage surrounds infidelity, leaving people upset like the couple pictured.

When this happens, there is a big rift between partners. The one who was not involved in the emotional affair often feels betrayed and can’t believe their mate would do that to them. Their heart feels torn and they might even wonder, “How in the world can I heal from this?”

Well, unless an individual is doing an awful lot of work on themselves to pull themselves out of the difficulty, this kind of situation often takes the two people involved to go through it together in order to get better.

Talking Through What Happened and Why is a Key to Healing

Talking through the circumstances surrounding infidelity in therapy, like the couple pictured, is part of healing.

So, you might wonder, “How do you get better?” Well first there has to be complete honesty between partners. The one who strayed must tell their truth about what they did and what they were feeling and why they think they did what they did.

This is a very tall order for some people. That’s why counseling is a good way to dive into this kind of serious problem. What the one who feels betrayed needs to hear is the partner taking responsibility for what they did.

This is the key to healing. If the partner who strayed can acknowledge that they did what they did and their actions hurt their partner, and they can actually relate to how the partner is feeling, that is a very good start.

The partner who was wounded needs to know that their mate understands the amount of hurt they caused. This is part of the healing process. The hurt partner requires that the other understand how they wounded their mate.

These actions are like the amends that happen in 12-step programs. One recognizes that they hurt someone they love and tells them what they did to hurt them and then tells them they are sorry that they did what they did.

Understanding Helps People Heal and Forgive

Understanding, forgiveness, and a commitment to doing better can bring you back to hugging like the couple pictured.

This is true honesty. And hopefully the partner who was hurt will feel understood and give up their anger toward their mate. But there is no guarantee. All we can do in a situation where one hurt the other is say, “I am sorry I hurt you. I was wrong. I love you.”

And there has to be some sort of understanding that this behavior can not ever happen again. There has to be some sort of promise for the one who was hurt that the one who did the action is changed and will not stray again.

One more thing, the one who was hurt may feel better in the moment when you apologize, but that doesn’t last. They will need reassurance that you love them and won’t do that again. And you may need to say that many, many times until they learn you are trustworthy.

I know it’s a big hill to climb. I also believe it is worth it.

Learn How to Discuss the Feedback You Both Need

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to improve communication in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel closer, more understood, and more loved. Give it a read.

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