Regaining Trust After You’ve Cheated

September 6, 2016 at 6:25 am | Cheating | No comment

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After an act of betrayal, the wronged person doubts everything said and done by the one who broke the relationship.

When trust has been broken through infidelity, couples struggle to find their way. The betrayer finds hope scarce. However, this does not mean a possibility for a future ends at the point of cheating. One of the most important things when rebuilding trust is it takes time and patience. Proactive steps brings couples closer as they work through the process of rebuilding the trust.

Assume Responsibility

This seems to be clear, but often gets ignored. The first step is a clear apology with assumption of the wrong done to the other person. Though the first step, the act will never resolve everything. Things will not move forward productively without an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. The one who committed the act needs to resist explaining, offering excuses or being defensive despite the temptation to do so.

Be Consistent

After an act of betrayal, the wronged person doubts everything said and done by the one who broke the relationship. This makes things challenging because it calls into question previous events along with things moving forward. For this reason, it becomes critical the person rebuilding trust do all the things they say they are going to do when they say they will do it. The size of the act does not matter because each will have the same weight at this point. Set reminders as necessary to prevent a slip up and maintain stellar consistency. This will demonstrate the level of reliability.

Do Not Press

A strong urge to “get things over the awkward hump” creates a desire to move things forward. Throwing things past the difficult stage causes two serious concerns for the one who has been wronged.

1. Not Really Repentant: Rushing toward resolution gives the impression one is not truly sorry about what they did. No one enjoys being on the hook for harming their partner. In the end, it is better to be that position than presenting a position of apathy about the relation shattering act.

2. Turning a Blind Eye: Fear of relational loss and shame over the damaging behavior can cause the betrayer to jump to the place of acting as though everything is fine. While understandable as a reason, this only takes into account one person’s feelings and it is not the one who was betrayed.

Give Time to Grieve

The loss of trust in a relationship is no small bauble like a misplaced magnet. Because of its value, time needs to be taken to mourn its loss. Both people must wrestle with what happened, how the relationship has changed and the feelings they have for one another now. An inclination exists this step is only for the person who was wronged. This is not the case because the loss of trust hurts both people. Ignoring the pain will likely lead to a state of being bound to the damaging feelings rather than getting free to move forward.

Love Them As They Need

Letting the person who was hurt take the lead gives a clear indication as to how to proceed. If they wish intense contact and conversation, then take the time as a critical investment into the relationship. They may need acts of service as physical manifestations of the repentance the betrayer feels. This shift makes things much more difficult because the natural tendency in any relationship is to provide what is most convenient. One nice aspect of the focus shift centers around how they wish to be treated when things are not bad. Moving forward, this will help when times are good to bolster the relationship.

Hang In There

As stated previously, rebuilding trust takes time. There will be instances when it will seem things are no closer to being resolved than when the betrayal first came to light. Perseverance during this time will be the difference between couples that break under the pressure and those one the other side with a stronger relationship than before. Remember how much they mean and they are worth fighting for.

Relational trust, like a fine piece of china dropped on the kitchen floor, shatters easily sending tiny bits throughout the space. Some of the fractured pieces will never be found and the repair process leaves something with cracks running throughout it. Both partners need to share, listen and put in the time to rebuild the trust. This is the only way to move forward for without trust the relationship ends up being a relic on a high shelf no one looks at or uses. Do the hard work and rebuild the trust.

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