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Marriage Help Articles

How to Start Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity

Trying to rebuild trust in your marriage after an affair can be a difficult process.  Regardless of whether you are the cheating wife or cheating husband, or the spouse who was cheated on, infidelity causes you deep emotional issues.

Finding out that your spouse has had or is having an affair often creates feelings of helplessness, vulnerability and uncertainty about who to trust or where to go from here.  While it’s understandable that the injured spouse would have these feelings, many times the cheating spouse has similar feelings of being alienated and unsure of what to do.  Although you may be coming from different perspectives, knowing how to move forward after an affair is unfamiliar and frightening territory for most couples.

All couples who recover from affairs in their marriage go through the discomfort of reopening lines of communication in order to begin the process of understanding what the issues are behind the infidelity.  Here are three things to keep in mind as you start to rebuild your relationship:

Be patient with each other.

Saving a marriage takes effort and time to regain both trust and trustworthiness.  Be patient with your spouse and with yourself. Allow yourself the time to comprehend the situation and absorb it. Realize that it is ok to feel pain; in fact, feeling pain is part of getting on the road to recovery. Be realistic.  Don’t expect or pressure the other for life to be back to normal overnight.  Remember that trust recovery is a process, not a quick step. Talk with your spouse to find out what he or she needs as part of this process.  Patience and understanding are integral in rebuilding trust. So is a forgiving spirit.

Keep an open mind.

As with all marriage conflict, how infidelity is affecting your marriage is unique to your relationship. While many other couples have faced these issues, remember that you and your spouse are experiencing this as a couple in your own set of circumstances.  It is important to keep an open mind about solutions and approaches to rebuilding trust. Discuss what you want to do and make changes as you see fit. Many times these discussions can help other marriage problems as well.

Seek guidance and professional help.

It’s normal for you and your spouse to feel overwhelmed. Often, the burden of responsibility is too great to bear as a couple alone. Many couples seek the guidance and help of marriage professionals.  Consider counseling and/or participating in a marriage crisis workshop to help rebuild the trust that was lost to the infidelity.  Many times seeking out this help can show you and your spouse how much you truly value your marriage.