Rebuilding Trust After an Affair- What Couples Should Know

It is not uncommon for couples to battle the pain and realities of infidelity. Many couples went through the stage where a spouse go astray and engage in an affair with another person and then realized in the end that their marriage is more important than any affair. Although the adulterous spouse came into his or her senses and the cheated spouse decided to give another chance, still the damage had been done and the result… broken trust. Can this broken trust be restored? Rebuilding trust after an affair is not easy but it is not impossible. Many couples decided to fix the damage of an affair than take the path of divorce.

The journey of healing and rebuilding trust can be long and painful. While there is no one size fits all solution in restoring a broken trust, these tips can be very helpful in rebuilding trust after an affair.

Willingness from both parties to cooperate and restore the broken trust. Rebuilding trust after an affair requires teamwork from both spouses. While the adulterous spouse should be more accountable, the cheated spouse should be willing to share the responsibility to make the relationship work again. Re-establishing one’s integrity after cheating is not easy if the other party is not cooperating. The guilt and repentance of the adulterous spouse is not enough to rebuild a broken trust if the cheated spouse is not willing to forgive and help the relationship move on to the next level. Both spouses should work as a team in rebuilding broken trust after an affair.

Do not get tired of answering questions. The cheated spouse will surely ask unending questions about the details of the affair and when you think the questioning finally ends, he or she may start asking questions again. You might have to answer the same questions over and over again but never get tired of your spouse’s questions and be willing to answer them with patience and kindness. This questioning may go on for weeks, months or even years. After quite some time, the questioning may decrease but it will still come up once in a while. Understand that those questions were not asked to make you feel bad but those were healthy questions to create better understanding and better communication to both of you. A better and stronger marriage has no secrets. You were united as one under the matrimony of marriage so no more secrets, no more it’s “hers” or it’s “his” but now it’s “ours.”

Mutual respect. In rebuilding trust after an affair, it is important to respect one another. For the betrayed spouse, show respect to your spouse even if your spouse even if you’ve been betrayed. If you cannot show respect at this point, restoring the broken trust would be impossible. Admitting one’s mistake and trying to revive one’s integrity after an affair are not easy but your spouse is willing to do those things, he or she deserves some respect. Not everyone can do that. For the adulterous spouse, respect the emotions of your hurt spouse. The pain of being betrayed is not easy to deal with and you have to respect what he or she is going through.

Be transparent. As the one who broke your spouse’s trust, be transparent and do not hide anything.  Instead of making your spouse suspicious again, feed all the information to your spouse. Be an open book and let your spouse know everything to help you restore the trust in your marriage. Let your spouse know if your ex other woman called or contacted you. Give your spouse access to your emails, phone and social media account to prove that you are keeping your promises and you have nothing to hide. Of course, you also have to remind your spouse that your being transparent is not something that he or she can use to manipulate or control you. Both spouses should be mature enough to recognize that this transparency about everything is important in rebuilding trust after an affair but not to manipulate each other.

Stay committed. The process of healing and rebuilding trust after an affair doesn’t happen overnight and even the most committed couples may waver when faced with difficulties. Sometimes, it can be frustrating to find yourselves making one step forward and two steps backwards but stay committed to your goal of rebuilding trust in your relationship. Continue working as a team, forgive more and love more.

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