When a spouse or significant other cheats on you it is a deeply painful experience. Most of us go into a relationship with love, hope, and trust, and when that trust is broken it takes a lot of work to rebuild it. For couples that want to work it out and try for a second chance, there are some important steps you can take.
1: Acknowledge What Happened
Rebuilding trust in a relationship starts by openly admitting and discussing the infidelity. Simply saying “I’m sorry” and hoping to move on is not enough. The person who cheated must be willing to accept responsibility for the mistake, and the person who was betrayed needs to be willing to talk about it openly. Be honest with each other about what led to the affair (without blaming, bringing up faults, or using accusatory language) so you can create healthy boundaries and discuss ways to avoid it happening again.
2: Take Time to Heal
Feelings of betrayal are powerful and will take time to heal. If you cheated on your spouse or significant other, let that person take as much time as they need to process what happened, accept it, and be ready to move forward. It’s unrealistic to expect your partner to get there overnight. If your spouse or partner wants some physical separation while they go through this process, respect that and give them the space they need.
3: Put Everything on the Table
After a sincere apology, the person who cheated will need to demonstrate that you can be trusted. That means opening up your life to your partner and making changes to demonstrate your commitment to a relationship by:
- Telling your partner if you run into the person you had an affair with
- Checking in throughout the day, or providing complete travel itineraries when you are away from home
- Talking openly about your emotions and how you are feeling, especially if you start to feel some of the same things you felt before the infidelity
- Asking your partner what you can do to improve your relationship (and doing it)
- Providing passwords and access to things like your phone, email, and bank account
- Moving or changing jobs to get away from the person with whom you had an affair
If you are the person who was cheated on, you also need to talk openly about your feelings and what you need from your partner (be specific) to rebuild trust.
4: Seek Help
One of the best things that any couple can do from the beginning of the process to rebuild trust in a relationship is to seek the help of a professional. Marriage counseling in Salt Lake City is an essential part of healing, learning to communicate, and working through your challenges. Having an unbiased counselor to discuss your feelings and learn how to move forward can help you get through the hard parts and hopefully create a stronger bond in the future.
Call us today to discuss whether marriage counseling is the right step for you.