Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity. “My love language is when people’s words match their actions.” – unknown Couples who come in to see me after a breach of trust due to some kind of infidelity; whether they were caught having intimate conversations with an old high school sweetheart online, new friend from a chatroom, or having a full blown sexual affair, ask the question “how can I ever trust my partner after what they did?” In Marriage Counseling people who have experienced infidelity talk constantly about the need for trust and want to learn to trust that their partners won’t stray again. When you say you’re going to do something, follow though is very important. When there is no follow through, I believe it is an integrity issue where you cannot be trusted. Follow through makes all the difference to regaining trust when trying to rebuild it.
Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity
In rebuilding trust the more the couple talks about the affair and what they learned about it the better the chances are for their relationship to move forward. I know, that sounds counterintuitive in that nobody wants to talk about it as much as they want to put it behind them. When the Hurt Partner brings up their feelings of hurt, anger and mistrust, it is recommended that the Affair Partner exercise a process where they show empathy and validate those feelings so the Hurt Partner feels heard and understood. Empathy is a very powerful tool in regaining trust for someone who has betrayed you. Showing empathy rather than becoming defensive or offering excuses for your inappropriate behavior shows the Hurt Partner you are truly remorseful as the Affair Partner is not concerned about caretaking their own feelings or defending their actions. It shows a good change in character to be concerned with someone other than themselves when they stop defending their affair and validate and show empathy for their partner who they have caused distress.
In Marriage Counseling I help couples learn a process that includes Reflective Listening, Validation, and Empathy to help with developing an emotional connection to reach a deeper level of intimacy to be able to want to trust again.
Through the process of affair recovery rebuilding trust after infidelity can be restored if both parties are sincere about making the necessary individual changes to move the relationship in the desired direction.
For more information about rebuilding trust and affair recovery please contact me at (858) 735-1139.