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Learning to trust again after an affair


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For most couples, an affair is the utmost act of betrayal and if you have discovered that your partner has been unfaithful then you might feel like you will never be able to place your trust in anyone again.  It is natural to feel distrust and suspicion if you’ve been cheated on and lied to and, however much you want to, this is difficult to overcome.  If you resolve to stay with someone who has cheated on you it isn’t easy to forgive or forget their betrayal.  Even if you decide to end the relationship, a time will come when you meet someone else and you may struggle to put your faith in your new partner.

Trusting your spouse again

Infidelity does not always mean the end of a marriage or relationship and with commitment from both parties it is possible to rebuild trust.  In fact, many couples that stick together and repair the damage eventually find their relationship becomes stronger as a result


It should go without saying but the honesty of both spouses is a crucial element in how quickly and effectively they will be able to move on.  The partner who feels betrayed should be completely honest about how the affair has made them feel.  Only then will their partner be able to understand the hurt that has been caused.  Similarly, the cheating partner should not lie or try to cover up anything that has happened.  It might seem to them like they are trying to protect their spouse but from the opposing point of view, it just adds to the deceit and doesn’t do anything to improve trust or reconnect the bond that has been broken.

Be patient

There is no specific time frame for rebuilding trust in a relationship.  One day you may feel like you’re almost there but the next day it can be lacking again.  Don’t expect things to go back to the way they were the minute you decide you want to stay together.  It will take time to come to work through your emotions and come out the other side.  Putting pressure on yourself (or your partner) to ‘get over it’ won’t help in the long run.

Get to know each other again

It might feel like you don’t know your spouse anymore.  Talk to each other about your feelings, the things that are going on in your life and your hopes and dreams for the future.  Make time to go out together and remember why you fell in love in the first place.

Trusting a new partner

Your head might know that your past relationship doesn’t define future ones but your heart might not be willing to let its guard down in case you get hurt again.  This can make it difficult to trust a new partner and can spoil a new relationship before it has even properly begun.

Trust yourself

In many people, the inability to trust others is rooted in a distrust of themselves. Remember that you didn’t make a bad choice in your ex; they made the poor decision to cheat.  Have faith in your own judgment of character and remember that your friends and family wouldn’t place their trust in you if you weren’t worthy of it.

learning to trust again after an affair

Let go

It’s impossible to control the actions of another person and in trying to do so you risk losing your new partner. Snooping on text messages and social media accounts will drive you crazy and make your partner defensive and resentful. A healthy relationship isn’t built on control so it’s important to try to let go and see where the relationship takes you.

Open up

Telling your new partner about things that have happened in a previous relationship may not seem like a conversation you want to have but being open about where your lack of trust stems from will help your new partner see where you’re coming from.  Sharing your insecurities will help build trust and the way in which your partner reacts will show you whether or not that trust is deserved.

Share the small stuff

Trust isn’t all about fidelity, it’s about having faith in a person doing what’s right by you.  Do they usually turn up when they say they will? Are they consistent?  Consider how they talk about friends and colleagues – do they gossip or slag them off in private?  If they tick all the right boxes then confide in them about some small things that are going on in your life.  If they show that they are trustworthy then you can build on that and gradually open up to share the important stuff.

Read the signs

If your current partner treats you with love, affection and respect the likelihood is it’s because that is how they feel about you.  When someone’s actions display a love for you then it is generally safe to trust that they won’t intentionally make any decisions that will hurt you.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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