Infidelity is one of the most devastating events that can happen in a relationship. It shatters the trust that is the cornerstone of any healthy partnership. Nevertheless, there is hope for those who still wish to save their marriage or relationship. Rebuilding trust after an affair can be a difficult process, but it is possible with patience, communication, and effort. The following are steps to follow to stop obsessing and move forward:
1. Acknowledge the pain
The first step to rebuilding trust after an affair is to acknowledge the pain that both parties are feeling. The person who was betrayed has every right to feel hurt, angry or betrayed by the other party’s actions. It’s important to be honest with each other about emotions and have open communication about what has happened. The partner who cheated must also take responsibility for their actions and be accountable for the hurt they have caused.
2. Seek professional help
Both parties should be open to seeking professional help and counseling services from a qualified therapist who can help navigate the healing process in a healthy way. Therapy will help both parties address the underlying issues that led to the infidelity, help the betrayed party heal, and teach the cheater how to manage the guilt that they feel.
3. Cut ties with the other party
The person who cheated should distance themselves from the other person they were involved with, whether it was a physical or emotional affair. This step shows commitment towards the relationship and creates a sense of safety for the partner that was betrayed. It’s important to establish clear boundaries with anyone who could potentially interfere with rebuilding trust.
4. Communicate honestly
There needs to be clear and honest communication between both parties about the affair. Discussions should be framed as opportunities to understand the emotional and psychological factors that contributed to it happening; it’s important to listen and understand the reasons that led the person to cheat. The cheating partner should openly answer any questions the other party may have to provide clarity and reassurance, but they should avoid becoming defensive or attempting to shift blame.
5. Set goals for moving forward
A goal should be set to rebuild trust and restore the relationship. Create plans that establish clear boundaries and expectations, and that promote positive progress to help rebuild the relationship. It’s important to be patient, and for both parties work together towards the goal of healing the relationship.
6. Practice forgiveness
Forgiveness is necessary to move forward. While it may be a difficult step, it is essential to let go of the past and focus on the potential for the future. But forgiveness doesn’t mean that trust is automatically restored. It takes time to rebuild trust, and a lot of work on both sides is required before it can happen.
Rebuilding trust after an affair is a process that requires work, commitment, and patience from both parties. It is an opportunity for couples to learn and grow from the experience and move forward in a positive way. Avoid dwelling on the past, focus on what can be done in the present to rebuild the relationship, and allow time to process the pain and changes that lead to the affair. There is hope and there are resources available to help you if you’re able to work together and commit to the process.