Today’s video is for anyone who has found themselves in a tough spot after your partner has learned of an affair that you have been having, or that you have had in the past. As you know, once trust is broken in a relationship, it is very difficult to recreate.
If you’re familiar with my philosophy then you’ve probably heard me say that trust is something that trust arrives on foot and leaves on horseback.
In other words, it takes a long time to develop and can be broken in the blink of an eye. Now, the good news is that it IS possible to rebuild trust. It is something that will take patience, motivation and perseverance, and if you want to learn how to do it, you have come to the right place.
In today’s article I am going to explain what is going on in your partner’s mind after they learned of an affair, and what steps you can take starting today to put the pieces back together.
I want to tell you right off the bat that despite how hopeless things might be feeling right now, the period that follows an affair can be an incredible blessing in disguise, and I will explain why that is. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
How to regain trust: The importance of empathy
When I begin working with someone who has come to me for help with regaining trust after an affair, the very first thing I explain to them is the importance of putting themselves in their partner’s shoes. Many people think that they totally get it, that it makes perfect sense that their partner is hurt, but they just want to make everything right already.
The problem is that in many of these cases, the person I am working with does not yet realize that their partner actually really needs space.
They’ll be so mortified and guilty about the affair that they will incessantly apologize to their partner and beg for forgiveness without realizing that they are only suffocating their partner and are making matters worse. When a person receives an emotional blow like this, they absolutely need some time to digest the information and let their emotions calm down. There will be hurt, rage, and sadness.
There is no denying it, but if you don’t give your partner the space to come out of that place, you are only going to inadvertently make them associate you with MORE negative feelings. At this point, he or she associates you with the pain of the affair and this is what is going to have to change. We need your partner to associate you with a bright future, so you need to give them the space to breathe so that you can clear the palette, so to speak.
Many clients panic when I tell them this because they get scared that their partner will run off with someone else if they give them space, but that is not how this works. Your partner needs time and space to heal and if you inadvertently do not allow that, it will only add to the resentment he or she feels right now.
So, empathy goes much deeper than acknowledge their pain. It entails understanding their pain and allowing them the space they need to heal. Of course, it is imperative that you apologize! There is no doubt about that. But empathy is the first step to rebuilding trust after an affair.
It is important that you express your regret to your partner and that you express your willingness to give them space until they are ready to talk. When they’re ready to talk, you can be present and answer all their questions… But we’ll get into all of that in a moment!
How to rebuild trust after an affair: moving past the affair with your partner
This article is going to be split into two parts. The first section will be comprised of what you will need to do with your partner in order to regain trust after an affair, and the second part will be what you will need to do on your side.
When a person cheats on their partner, it has a direct impact on the way that their partner views the relationship, but another thing happens that can actually be even more damaging. The affair directly impacts the way a person’s partner feels about themselves. It calls so many things into question in their mind. They’ll start to wonder if they’re not lovable enough, if they’re not a good enough partner, what they maybe did that resulted in you straying outside of the relationship… when your partner starts to question how worthy of love they are, it becomes one of the biggest challenges that arise after an affair. It’s not just about rebuilding the trust in your relationship, it’s also about helping your significant other rebuild their relationship with themselves and reminding them that they are worthy of love. That they are worthy of a whole and complete love.
It’s going to be crucial that you work on reminding them of their value because their self esteem has taken a sizable hit. Once you’ve given your partner a moment to calm and collected their thoughts, it is going to be your responsibility to give them the boost that they need to feel better. When I say this to clients, they often think that they have to do these grandiose gestures and proclamations of love every single day, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about doing the simple things on a regular basis that show him or her that you care and that they are worthy. You can take some chores off of there To Do list, you can bring some flowers just because, you can draw them a bath with some candles while you take care of something they were meaning to do, you could prepare dinner, you could leave a love note on the bathroom sink… The list goes on and on.
In addition to that, your partner is going to be going through so many emotions and sometimes the biggest thing that you can do for them is to allow them to yell at you about your mistake. I know that no one wants to endure this, but your partner will need to feel heard and they will need to release these emotions. If you don’t let them talk to you about what your actions have made them feel, it is going to be incredibly difficult to rebuild trust after an affair. Make sure you acknowledge your faults because as long as they are your faults, it means that they aren’t their faults. This is how you can help them to recreate their sense of self-worth.
By justifying how much pain your partner is feeling, they can start to move past it. The worst thing you could do is refuse to validate their emotions or try to sweep everything under the rug. That would be the perfect recipe for disaster.
It’s also important to note that if you deny their emotions, and if you deny what happened even though they know what happened, you are only showing them why they need to leave you. You’re only showing them that trust and respect don’t live here anymore and that the relationship isn’t worth fighting for. If you don’t validate their emotions or deny that this ever happened, it will be impossible for your partner to feel safe and vulnerable in this relationship with you. But, as uncomfortable as this process may be, the more you validate your partner’s emotions, the faster they will learn to trust you again.
Rebuilding trust after an affair: Identifying the reason
As much as I know that you want to have your relationship back on track as fast as possible, it’s crucial to understand that this is going to take time. Remember, good things take time and you’re going to have to invest your time and energy into creating a new foundation for this relationship. It is unrealistic to think that things are just going to snap back to normal from one day to a next and that you’ll both just forget about this.
The truth is that if an affair occurred in your relationship, it means that there is something that hasn’t been working. Infidelity is a symptom of a deeper issue, so both of you are going to have to take a look at what element in the dynamic of your relationship could have directly or indirectly led to this affair. Did the relationship become monotonous and predictable? Was there a lack of communication, affection, or excitement? Was there too much jealousy, neediness? Did you feel neglected? Did you two become disconnected over the last few months or years? It’s important to really take some time to zero in on what exactly happened within your relationship to make you look for something outside of your relationship.
And it’s going to take time. And the key to success here is consistency. I can tell you right now that there will be moments when you feel frustrated as well and you will feel impatient. But the moment you stop being consistent with your efforts to heal your relationship and rebuild trust after your affair, your partner will lose faith in you. Consistency creates credibility, and this is essential. You just have to keep going so that you can earn the credibility. It’s going to make all the difference.
So take this time to really do some introspection and pinpoint what lead you to cheat. By having a very clear view of what happened, you will give yourself a very clear roadmap of how to make sure you don’t do it again. Cheating, as I said, is typically a symptom of something bigger that isn’t working, and it’s usually something that’s missing. Sometimes it’s affection, sometimes it’s validation, sometimes it’s attention, sometimes it’s communication… something is missing from your life and your relationship so you attempt to fill the void with another person. On a subconscious level you do it because you hope that somehow it’s going to make you feel better. As you now see, it doesn’t make you feel better and now you have to face the consequences.
So if you really want to make sure this doesn’t happen again, start with yourself. This is why it is so incredibly important to spend the time to dive into why exactly you did this. Was it something you thought about for a long time? Was it spontaneous? Were you sober? What were the circumstances?
When something is broken, the only way to fix it is to identify how it broke.
Focus on making the changes and then worry about whether or not your partner is recognizing it. Don’t make changes and then go rushing to your partner to tell them all about it when they still need time and space to heal. Once you’ve made the change and it is a full-time part of your life, you can bring it to him or her. Be very careful to avoid making promises to your partner about things and not following through. This will ruin your credibility beyond repair.
Change first, then share it with your partner. In doing so, you steer clear of the risk of making empty promises. I don’t want you to think that you’re trying to attempt some impossible task. I have been a love and relationship coach for many years now and I have seen thousands of couples work through this! It is by no means impossible. It’s just challenging and it just requires change. What I can tell you is that out of all the couples that I have witnessed rebuild trust after an affair, it’s the ones that welcomed in change who were able to breathe new life into their relationships. The ones who tried to just sweep the problem under the rug typically wind up reencountering the problem a few years down the line. It can be in another shape or form at another time, but if the problem isn’t nipped in the bud, it tends to resurface.
Rebuilding trust after cheating: Working with us
One of our specialties is helping people rebuild trust after cheating. As you are fully aware, this is one of the most challenging things that a couple can go through, and the process of putting the pieces back together is no easy feat. But when you have a professional in your corner to help you repair the damage, it becomes exponentially easier.
It is our goal to help you through all the curveballs and challenges that love throws at you, so I wanted to let you know that we have a plethora of content available to you. If you check out our YouTube Channels, you will find many videos about how to heal a relationship after cheating. The other thing I wanted to bring your attention to is the benefits of one on one coaching. By working with me or a member of our team, we can ask you specific questions about your situation that will enable us to define a custom action plan that will get you the results you want. Each and every relationship is unique and there are details about each situation that will help us define the best solutions. To work with me or a member of my team, all you have to do is click here.
There is also a brand new program that we created to help you overcome infidelity in your relationship. It contains powerful tips and tools that are designed to help you heal your partner’s pain, restore your relationship with yourself, and transform your relationship into something better than it ever was before. And this is what I was talking about in the very beginning of this relationship. I often tell my clients that a challenging period like this can be an incredible catalyst in a couple’s relationship and it can end up being a wonderful blessing in disguise. I know it doesn’t feel that way right now, but sometimes a couple needs an electroshock like this to set them out on a new path. An affair is such a shock that it really shines a bright light on what need to change within the relationship, and once the couple takes the time to do this, they find that their relationship becomes better than it ever was in the past. By experiencing the shock and pain of an affair, and by experiencing the possibility of losing the person you love, you realize how willing you are to make things right. So you’ve got the motivation to change and a bright line being shone on the issues within the belly of your relationship, so as you can imagine, this is pretty powerful fuel for positive change.
So, it would be our pleasure to help guide you through this difficult period.
Remember, first you are going to have to give your partner the time and space he or she needs to heal, and you will have to take this time to do some introspection. As I explained, it is crucial that you dive deep into the source of why you felt the desire or need to search for something outside of your relationship. Once you are able to do this, you can begin to work with your partner on defining the solutions that would strengthen the foundation of your relationship and ensure that this never happens again.
This can be the beginning of a new relationship for you and the person you love.
I sincerely wish you all the very best in life and love
Your coach when you want to know how to regain trust after an affair