Infidelity is not an uncommon thing. Did you know that research shows that 20-25 percent of married men and 10-15 percent of married women cheat? While a lot of people consider infidelity a dealbreaker, a not inconsiderable number of people try to make the relationship work. Are you and your partner like them? Are you trying to make things work between the two of you after infidelity? If so, are you having a hard time rebuilding trust with your partner?
It’s normal to struggle with this. Trust isn’t an easy thing to rebuild, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you need a little help figuring out where to go from here. These four tips might be able to help you find a good way forward.
1. Don’t Ignore What Happened
It might be tempting to pretend nothing happened, to never speak of it at all, but that will only harm you in the long run. The anger, the guilt, all those feelings will fester and your second chance together will be over before it even started.
Instead, you need to sit down and talk things through. The conversation won’t be easy. It will be painful. But it’s the only way to start rebuilding trust. After all, without a real, honest conversation, how can you ever hope to move forward? You can’t build trust on a shaky foundation. In order to build a solid one, you need to have these difficult conversations.
2. Spend Time Together
You both might need some time on your own before jumping back into a relationship, and that’s okay. But if you’re serious about wanting to stay together, wanting to give this relationship another chance, then you’ll have to spend time together, eventually.
You can’t rebuild trust by staying apart, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find it easy to just jump back into things. So, start slow. Do some things you used to do together, for example, going to the movies. And if you find you can’t do that, then do new things together. Find comfortable ways to reconnect again, to slowly rebuild the trust and emotional intimacy you used to have.
3. Give It Time
Rebuilding trust after it has been broken is difficult. It will take time, and progress won’t be linear. It’s not something that can be forced, either. If you force it, then you’ll just be pushing big issues aside and pretending they don’t exist. But those issues do exist, and unless they’re resolved, they’ll come back to haunt you in the future.
It’s normal to get impatient, to want trust to be rebuilt in a matter of days, but it’s not that easy. You have to put in the work, and most of all, be patient. Give it time. You’ll be able to rebuild trust in the end.
4. Try Counseling
Sometimes, you’re not sure how to handle certain things. Other times, you and your partner struggle to do things together, just the two of you. Rebuilding trust is hard, and it’s normal if you want or need outside help.
Friends and family are wonderful, but they can be biased in one’s favor or the other. Counseling involves a non-biased third party, a professional that can help you sort out your feelings and help the two of you rebuild that trust that was shattered.
And if your partner does not like the idea of couples counseling, that’s okay. You can still choose individual counseling. It can be really helpful to have someone to help you sort out your thoughts and navigate this delicate time. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment for the Gottman Method for Counseling. We’ll help you in any way you need.