Finding out that your partner has been cheating on you is devastating. It shatters your self-esteem and crumbles your trust.
In many cases, relationships automatically end after a partner has stepped out. But in others, the couple decides to stay together and work on the relationship.
Couples that choose to remain in the relationship after infidelity have a lot of work to do. Before they turn their focus on rebuilding trust, they’ll have to understand why the cheating partner did what they did.
People cheat for all kinds of reasons such as: falling out of love, seeking variety, neglect, anger, impulse, self-esteem and specific circumstances that may arise.
Here’s what you need to know about rebuilding trust after infidelity:
It’s a Process
As much as you’d like to move past what has happened, know that getting through infidelity is a process; it can take years of good actions, decisions, communication, and patience.
The cheater can’t expect their partners to forgive them overnight. They need to be prepared for anger outbursts, emotional meltdowns and will have to understand why their partners are distant.
Identify the Root Cause
People that have been cheated on are desperately looking to make sense of the situation. They’ll ask their partners to explain why they cheated in the first place. Although there is no good answer to the question, it does force the couple to take a good look at their relationship and identify issues that need to be addressed.
Be Completely Honest About Everything
A cheater needs to put in extra effort into earning their loved one’s trust. They’ll have to be proactively honest about where they’re going, who they’re going to be with and when they’re going to become back.
It’ll take a while for a partner to trust a cheater again; being proactively honest about everything helps push the process along.
Commit to the Relationship
When partners first get together, they have an understanding between both of them; you trust your partner to be faithful to you.
After infidelity, the couple will need to make a pact. The cheater will have to acknowledge that they made a mistake and express how badly they want the relationship to work. The other spouse will have to be honest about their feelings and give their partners a chance.
If you or your partner is struggling to overcome infidelity, consider working with a marriage counselor.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a marriage counselor at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling based in Palo Alto in the Bay Area. She specializes in helping couples move past infidelity and rebuild trust. She also has training in training in cross-cultural marriage counseling.
Call (650) 206-9973 to book an appointment.