How to rebuild trust after infidelity.

You never imagined that you would be searching for ways to rebuild trust after infidelity. So your partner has been unfaithful, and you don’t know if you can get over the betrayal and mistrust. If your partner has been cheating and you don’t know if you can trust them, here are tips on  how to rebuild trust after infidelity to prevent an affair happening again.

Before deciding if you want to work on building trust after the betrayal, there are some things you need to consider. As a couple therapist, here are the reasons why it might be difficult to repair after an affair.

Before deciding to work on your relationship, you must know if the affair is definitely over. Often the affair partner is difficult to let go of and in some cases this is painful to end. But you might not know this. If your partner is not ready to end the affair, they might not necessarily tell you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and this allows them to continue the affair to some degree. I tell my couples that you cannot work on your relationship if the affair partner is lurking around in the background. Usually, an unfaithful partner will minimize their affair or make excuses for it if they do not take ownership of it. This is usually a clear sign they are not ready to let go of the affair partner or not ready to work on your relationship.

If you sweep it under the carpet because it is painful to talk about the affair, then the issues that led up to the affair are not addressed. In most cases, an affair will happen again if the underlying causes are not addressed. Another reason why couples don’t build trust after cheating is that it’s hard for couples to talk about it without anger and resentment getting in the way.

Ways to rebuild trust after cheating and prevent an affair happening again:

  • Honesty and disclosure
  • Let your partner know you are happy to work on the relationship as long as the affair is over and that they take steps to end the affair on their own accord. It has to be their decision to take responsibility for this, otherwise they will do this begrudgingly. If they are not willing to do this, you will not establish trust.
  • Don’t get too caught up on getting all the dirty details, telling everyone or seeking revenge.  This can back fire later if you decide to work on the relationship. Sit with your feelings before you do anything.  Don’t act upon impulse to release the hurt.
  • Be curious and not furious – find out what led up to this affair,  the underlying causes or issues in your marriage.
  • Listen to the underlying feelings  without accepting the behavior – it is important for each of you to listen to how  you feel and acknowledge it, on both sides.
  • Invite your partner to be vulnerable and let them know they have nothing to lose by being honest and opening up, but everything to lose if they don’t.
  • Express your feelings of hurt without anger or resentment. Prevent trying to punish them to prove their love.
  • The most important part is that your partner can accept responsibility for the hurt caused to you and acknowledge this.

If the partner who betrayed you cannot accept responsibility and acknowledge the hurt caused to you, then it is very unlikely the relationship will be repaired after an affair. In many instances therapeutic interventions are necessary to help overcome mistrust from an affair and deal with the underlying causes to prevent an affair from occurring again.

Nancy Carbone is a relationship therapist who helps individuals to deal with the underlying issues that underpin the affair so they can get over the mistrust caused by the betrayal and rebuild their lives. You can sign up on her newsletter to get the latest details of her new book and more.
Back to Blog Home
Enquire Now Enquire Now