‘My wife cheated; what do I do now? How can I trust my wife again?’ Struggling with these intrusive thoughts and not knowing what to do can be devastating. Cheating may be an immediate deal-breaker for some people.
But, some people still want to stay with their partner and fix their relationship after being cheated on. If you’re reading this, chances are you don’t want to give up on your marriage and wonder if you can rebuild trust and salvage your marriage.
Well, all isn’t lost, and it’s possible to regain trust after cheating and getting your heart smashed into smithereens.
The short answer: yes. But, after recovery, the new normal might not look the same as it did before the cheating happened. Finding out about your wife’s indiscretion can indeed drive a wedge in the marriage. It may shake the foundation of even the strongest relationship.
Not only did your spouse break a wedding vow, but it also broke your heart and the trust you’ve built over the years. So, both of you have to work hard to rebuild trust and restore your relationship from the ashes of your wife’s betrayal.
The good news is provided your wife cuts all ties with the other man, is genuinely remorseful, and promises to stay transparent so that you can rebuild trust, your relationship may not only survive but also become stronger than before.
But, you need to remember that it can’t happen overnight and the path to healing from your cheating spouse’s affair isn’t linear. There will be days when you may feel stuck and keep asking yourself the same old questions,’ How can I trust my wife again after the infidelity?’
‘Is trusting a cheater even wise?’ You’ll need lots of patience and support from your wife on those days. Also, if she seems to put in the effort to mend fences with you, you have to choose to forgive her even when you don’t feel like it.
However, it’s important to remember that if the pain of betrayal is too hard to overcome and the cheating spouse doesn’t show genuine remorse, it might be nearly impossible to go back to normal.
How to forgive a cheating wife and fix your marriage?
‘How can I trust my wife again?’ you keep wondering. While it might not be easy and take a considerable amount of time and work, it’s possible to regain trust after cheating. Your marriage can still be salvaged, given that both you and your wife are willing to put in the effort and be committed to fixing the relationship.
Take a little time apart
After getting to know about your wife’s cheating, your feelings might be running high, and being around her may be too painful for you. It’s a good idea to spend some time apart and take that time to process your feelings.
This doesn’t mean you’re getting separated from your wife or your relationship is doomed to fail. Taking some time to cool down and accept your emotions may be good for both of you before learning how to trust a cheating spouse again.
Have a heart-to-heart with her
How to rebuild trust after cheating? Taking a break to think things through may not be enough to fix your relationship. A good place to start would be having an honest conversation with your wife, no matter how difficult that feels at the moment.
Tell her exactly how her betrayal has affected you and made you feel. Ask her if she has ended the affair and is willing to give your marriage her best shot. Make sure you don’t end up blaming each other or saying things you might regret later.
If you start to lose your cool, take a break or help a therapist. Get everything off your chest and give them a chance to talk. Try to listen without judgment and don’t dismiss her. You might disagree with her, but communicating healthily is what you’ll need the most moving forward when you’re thinking, ‘How can I trust my wife again.’
Don’t blame yourself
‘Why did my wife cheat on me?’ ‘What couldn’t I give her that she had to go to someone else?’ You aren’t alone if you’re constantly asking yourself these questions and can’t stop ruminating over your wife’s cheating.
Maybe your marriage wasn’t perfect, and there are things you could’ve handled better. But, remind yourself that your partner’s infidelity is in no way your fault. Watching this video may help you feel secure while you work on your marriage.
Your wife has to take accountability
Your wife’s response to the affair matters a lot when fixing the relationship. Is she willing to take responsibility for the affair? Is there genuine remorse and commitment to go the extra mile to save your marriage?
She also has to be open to answering any question you might have about the affair. However, it might not be a good idea to dive deep into the details of infidelity. Instead, focus on knowing when the affair started.
Ask her if it was a one-time drunken mistake or an ongoing affair, whether she’s ended it for good or is still in touch. The affair has to end, and your wife needs to be straightforward with you about having any contact with the other man for you to stop wondering, ‘how can I trust my wife again?
Identify the underlying problems
Figuring out the reasons why your wife ended up cheating on you might be helpful for your future together. Identifying the underlying issues won’t justify her cheating. That was a poor choice that she made and broke your trust.
She might have been feeling bored or lonely in the marriage. Her emotional/sexual needs probably weren’t met, or maybe her impulsivity made her more prone to giving in to temptation.
Working on the root causes and being committed to building trust is what you need to protect your relationship from infidelity in the future. Don’t try to sweep it under the rug and act like the cheating never happened while in your head you’re always thinking, ‘how can I trust my wife again?
How to rebuild trust after cheating: 5 steps
How to rebuild trust after cheating and lying? Well, it’s going to take a lot of time, dedication, and hard work for you to stop asking yourself, ‘How can I trust my wife again. You can’t just flip a switch and expect things to go back to the way they used to be before the cheating happened.
Here are 5 steps you can take to restore relationship trust.
1. Communicate effectively
‘My wife cheated on me, now what?” ‘How to trust your partner again after cheating?’ When you get stuck in a loop, your wife needs to validate your feelings and questions instead of dismissing them outright. Communicate your needs clearly and ask for reassurance if you need it.
Remember that, while you may feel like you’re the victim here, both of you will need to acknowledge, accept and empathize with each other’s feelings.
2. Be transparent with each other
Your wife needs to be brutally honest and transparent with you. She needs to be willing to let you check her call history, texts, or emails to put your mind at ease. Initially, you might want to know where they are and who they are with all the time.
Your wife needs to understand where you’re coming from and answer all your questions patiently. She also needs to be honest and keep her promises to start trusting her again. However, make sure not to make her feel like she’s on trial all the time.
3. Restore emotional intimacy
After spending some time apart to process your feelings while grappling with the question,’ How can I trust my wife again? Gradually start spending time with your wife. Be vulnerable and give them a chance to reconnect with you. Trust that they aren’t going to cheat again, but even if they do, you’ll survive.
Let her feel appreciated for making the efforts to get things back to normal. Slowly try to get your sex life back on track when you feel like you’re ready for that.
How to build trust after cheating when you can’t stop thinking about your wife’s betrayal? It might be one of the most challenging things you’d ever have to do but don’t bring up the affair every time you argue.
Since you decided to give your marriage a second chance, hanging their indiscretion over their head or throwing it in their face every time you get angry can only result in resentment. Rather focus on the present and work together as a team.
5. Seek professional help
It might be unsettling if you can’t stop asking yourself questions like, ‘My wife cheated on me; how do I get over it?’ or ‘My wife cheated; what are my rights?’ or ‘How can I trust my wife again?’ You may struggle to keep your cool when you’re around her, which can jeopardize the relationship even more.
Consider couples therapy or professional counseling so that both of you can have someone unbiased to help you mediate the situation peacefully. A skilled therapist can help you process your emotions and gain a clearer perspective.
They can also help you identify the underlying issues in your marriage and develop an effective strategy to rebuild trust. Research has found that couples who struggled with restoring trust after infidelity has seen optimistic results after seeing a professional therapist.
When two people refuse to give up on each other no matter how difficult things get, they manage to find a way to make things work. You may not know how to trust your partner at the moment and keep struggling with the question, ‘How can I trust my wife again.’
But, with full transparency and unwavering commitment, not only can you rebuild broken trust in your marriage but also repair your wounded relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.