When you made the decision to get married, there’s a pretty good chance that one of the reasons why you did it was because you finally found the one person who you loved, liked and trusted more than any other human being. That brought you a lot of comfort because what it essentially meant is you could rely on your spouse to support you in ways no one else would. It also meant that you could depend on them to do all of the things that they promised you as they recited their marriage vows during your wedding ceremony.
But what happens when the person you trust the most actually breaks your trust by having an affair with someone? Whether it’s a physical or emotional affair, there’s no doubt about it. It can be truly traumatizing on so many levels.While initially it may seem like it’s close to impossible to recover from an affair, the truth is that if you focus on restoring trust after infidelity in marriage, you can be well on your way to having a healed and even better relationship. Here are six tips for how to do just that:
1. Sever all ties
Say that you’re the person who was involved in the affair. If that’s the case, there is absolutely no way that restoring trust after infidelity in marriage is possible if you’re going to try and maintain some level of connection with the person you had an affair with. If news of the affair came out after it ended, severing all ties may have already happened. If not, you need to cut the relationship off as soon as possible. This means not seeing the person, talking to them on the phone or communicating with them via text or online. For trust to be restored within your relationship, the affair must come to a complete and total end.
2. Be very honest with one another
When an affair happens, it’s pretty common for both people to look at one another in a very different light. The irony is that the breach of trust can actually result in them both getting to know one another a lot better. That’s because, if ever there was a time to be “brutally honest”, this would be it. Although it needs to be done in a productive manner, share how you feel. If you’re the person who had the affair, talk about why. If you’re the person who’s the victim of it, express how their choice makes you feel. Many people have affairs because they sense a real disconnect with the person they are married to. Using this time to reveal “the real you”—good, bad or otherwise—can help you both to know one another more profoundly than you already do.
3. See a marriage counselor
There’s no doubt about it. Affairs are painful. So, while feelings are tender, it’s a really good idea to see a marriage counselor. Being that they are skilled in how to deal with all kinds of marital problems and challenges, they will be able to help you to see the situation, and one another, in a way that can help with restoring trust after infidelity in marriage. Plus, they can provide both of you with perspectives that you may have not considered otherwise.
4. Do what’s asked of you
It’s Dr. Phil who once said that when it comes to restoring trust after infidelity in marriage, the person who committed the affair needs to be willing to do pretty much do whatever their spouse requires of them. Yes, this needs to be within reason, but one thing the affair did was show that you’re capable of keeping secrets. Therefore, if your spouse wants to check your texts or social media accounts (at least for a season), that’s something that you should be willing to do. Whatever your spouse needs in order to believe that you are not being deceptive, that is what you should be willing to offer them. It’s a step that can help to rebuild trust.
5. Make the decision to trust again
Although that initially might sound a bit simplistic, it’s actually one of the best things that you can do for your relationship. What a lot of married people do when an affair happens is focus so much on the betrayal and how it makes them feel that restoring trust never really comes to their mind. However without trust, there isn’t much of a relationship. And if you’re the victim of an affair, waiting until you “feel like trusting again” may be a long time coming too. That’s why trusting doesn’t need to be an emotional reaction. Trusting again needs to be a conscious decision. The good thing about making this choice is that it’s the kind that can ultimately restore your marriage in so many ways.