Trying to rebuild trust in a relationship after cheating on your partner is like mending fences after breaking them. It is wrong. Nevertheless, a salvage attempt is possible if you are willing to change.
Most partners who get cheated on prefer to cut ties and move on. It could be done amicably or out of contempt. Some are unable to get over it quickly and prefer to give their relationship another chance.
Even if you get a second chance to save the relationship, it might be quite challenging to restore shattered trust. Knowing that you were unfaithful all this while, your partner may still feel like you are still cheating behind his or her back.
In this article, I will help you understand how to re-establish lost trust in a relationship.
What Happens After You Cheat?
This section discusses the negative effects of cheating.
Simply put, it is a horrible feeling for the person who is cheated on. Let us call them the victims for the sake of better understanding.
Knowing that you were seeking intimacy elsewhere is extremely heartbreaking for your partner. The impact runs deep and may have long-term repercussions. You must understand the consequences before you initiate reestablishing trust with your grieving spouse/partner.
The following pointers describe what goes on in the mind of the victim (the person who you betrayed)
- It causes a huge emotional void in them. It is intensified further by a sense of utter worthiness
- The impact affects all aspects of the life of the person who was cheated on
- The victim feels profoundly vulnerable. And starts having serious trust issues with everyone in his or her innermost circle
- Broken trust shatters the relationship to bits and pieces, causing extreme anguish
- The victim starts questioning the past events in the relationship, raising doubts about every aspect, every move, every incident
- The victim may feel rejected and may get overwhelmed by feelings of self-doubt
- The effects of infidelity raise concerns about the future of the relationship
- Infidelity creates a mixed pot of conflicting emotions – the victim is confused about whether to end the relationship or continue
- The victim becomes insecure, fearing more betrayal by their partner
- Infidelity triggers significant damage to one’s self-esteem and identity
- In extreme cases, the victim may not feel very safe around the person who betrayed his or her trust
- The communication becomes difficult when trust is broken. So, the betrayed partner may find it hard to put their sentiments into words
- The victim withdraws himself or herself from most social interactions
Ways to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship After Cheating
In this section, we will explore the various effective tactics to help you repair broken trust in your relationship.
Expressing Genuine Apologies
Offering a sincere apology is a no-brainer if you want to start rebuilding trust. You are the one who has cheated. So, naturally, you are expected to admit it and take responsibility.
Think about how you would feel if you were betrayed. How would you expect your cheating partner to convince you? This way, you can come up with a better apology based on empathy.
However, apologizing once may not cut in most cases. If you value your partner and the relationship, you need to go the extra mile when expressing regret.
Also, an apology without a corrective action will make no sense. So, asking for forgiveness only to cheat on your partner later is toxic manipulation. Most importantly, do not just say sorry because you got caught this one time! That is obnoxious behavior.
Quit being a red flag and making your partner’s life even more miserable. Make sure you do not repeat your mistake EVER, knowingly or otherwise. Rather, repeat your apologies if it is worth it. Show your partner that you are serious about making a positive change in behavior. Prove it through both your actions and words!
It will gradually restore faith if it is meant to be. However, you must keep at it with constant determination.
Frequent, honest communication in the healing process will foster empathy and mutual respect. Reassuring your partner at all times and keeping them in the loop is underrated. It is often one of the major culprits for most broken relationships.
In a nutshell, if you keep secrets, you lose your partner. So, be upfront about your feelings, plans, and decisions.
Also, do not expect your partner to be a mind reader. You cannot be mad at your partner for not understanding something about you that was not openly told by you.
This will push your relationship into an endless loop of dangerous blame games. There might be no excuses to give for cheating, as there are none. So, do not go down the “justification” road supporting your unjust actions.
Instead, focus on your partner’s emotional well-being to show that you care for him or her. And be there every step of the way.
Speak to the Experts
If your proactive attempts to reconcile fail, you and your partner can consider taking couples therapy. However, it has to be a joint decision. This way, you can explore your relationship at a deeper level emotionally and connect better.
Moreover, a therapy clinic is the safest place for the most awkward conversations. So, both of you can express freely and identify what triggers arguments. It will be the most honest teamwork that can go a long way in rebuilding lost trust.
The therapist will help you with various effective techniques, joint activities, and trust-building tools. This process can ensure you eventually develop the best partnership with your spouse for the time to come.
Do not kid yourself with false expectations and unreal goals. If it does not work out in the end, be mentally prepared to let go of the relationship.
Even if you were able to rebuild some amount of trust, it is probably not enough for your partner. Forgiveness may not come easily to some people. So, it is better to back off if your partner is no longer interested.
Be realistic and embrace the reality that despite your best efforts, you still may not be able to save your relationship. Yes, it may be hard to digest this fact, but the real world is far too cruel. It is, therefore, advisable to forget and get going with the next chapter in your life.
The key is to keep learning from your mistakes and move on. There is a lot more to look forward to in life. However, if you find it hard to control your emotions, I would recommend talking to a therapist. It is certainly not the end of the world, so stay strong!
Rebuilding broken trust in a relationship is no easy feat. The reconciliation, if it ever happens, will take some time. When you are dealing with this, you need to give your partner enough time to recover emotionally.
The above tips can help reestablish love and commitment over time. However, go slow, for which you need unwavering dedication and honest efforts. There is no point hurrying through the journey.
Broken people cannot forgive and forget instantly. They deserve the time to make it through this ordeal. So, demonstrate that patience and persistence.
Give it your best shot and leave no stone unturned for a fresh start to a renewed relationship.
She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Writer with a decade of expertise in psychology. Skilled in assessment, therapy, and patient care. Committed to helping individuals through clinical practice and mental health writing at Therapyjourney.co. Passionate about promoting mental well-being and awareness. Open to aligned opportunities.