3 Steps to rebuild trust. Healing after betrayal or infidelity is painful and hard work. This requires vulnerability and this cannot occur without the offending partner’s continual expression of remorse.
Reflecting on the experience is especially important to re-establish confidence in the relationship.
- Both partners must also take some time to gauge their emotional space
- Unearth a lesson from the experience.
- Spend time reflecting on what it is that caused you or your partner pain
- Reflect on the actions taken that broke the trust, to begin with. What did it make you feel?
- How are you feeling now as a result of everything that happened?
Remember that people can be trusted
When someone betrays your trust, it’s easy to question all of your relationships, romantic and otherwise. But be mindful to not allow yourself to get caught in this negative spiral. “Look at your other relationships with family, friends, and other connections, and remind yourself that the majority of people want to be good and want to keep your trust.
I sit in my counselling practice and sometimes I can see which couple are going to be able to move through this. Why? because the offending person is feeling remorse and really feeling it through every cell in their body. This couple has so much more chance of being able to move through this and to create a new relationship. It’s easy for the offending person to assume that if they have said sorry once, then they’ve taken responsibility and the debt is enough and let’s just park it. It is not enough. I can assure you to apologise one time and then expect the conversation to be over is not going to work.
Remorse: is recognising the need for that hurt person to hear again and again the offending person is genuinely sorry. It cannot occur if the offending person applies some of the blame on that hurt partner.
The offending person must take responsibility for the painful way that he or she chose to deal with the circumstances. And at the same time, the injured person must continually work on forgiveness. It is a decision to be able to work towards that. If the injured person gets stuck too long in the hurt and the anger stage, the offending person they might feel like he or she just can’t win.
The injured person, they must agree to work on his or her part of this relationship and it’s staying in the adult. Not attacking or verbally insulting.
When the offending person really gets the enormity of what they’ve done and they, from their heart and from every cell in their body, they connect with their partner and they show that remorse, incredible shifts in a relationship can occur.
What has happened is there’s been a massive interruption to trust.
- Behaviour change, transparency and verification
- Understanding what went wrong
- Explore offending persons reason for return
- Exact a high cost for future betrayal
- Begin to forgive
Re-building: Is about remaking of trust and this takes time. This stage comes after remorse in which the couple emerges with tentative forgiveness and where a new relationship is forming.
Both partners, they acknowledge the need for forming this new kind of relationship and the old one obviously wasn’t working, you cannot go back there.
What I do as a therapist is create a space for couples to work through the emotions because it’s deeply painful. However, being able to sit in their uncomfortableness and that vulnerability. I’ve seen some couples create the most incredible relationships through taking a risk because there are no guarantees with any of this. But taking a risk and sitting with what you’re feeling and sharing, it’s huge. People find that inner voice because it’s all about understanding your own inner world and your partners.
When your needs aren’t being met inside of a marriage, you are going to move into a state of emotional pain and in time you will want to meet those needs. Infidelity smashes it open and is an opportunity for healing and growth.
Connection: As human beings, we are biologically hardwired to attach. The third phase of recovering from an affair is attach. This is where the ability to attune reaches the bedroom and manifests itself in attachment. A great relationship consists of great sexual intimacy. The key to connection is an ongoing intimate conversation.
Couples who are able to work through these three different stages, they will then be able to get to a place where they’re not really triggering each other. Because if you do not clean up the infidelity and the fear and you continue to stay in your relationship, you will trigger each other.
A closeness and a trust begin to build between a couple when they take the time to work through this. A brand-new relationship is formed and its about moving on to create new memories. For other couples, they part ways as they are unable to get past this but at least an attempt was made so no regret comes up later.
Focus on the future
To leave the past behind you, both you and your partner must focus on what’s ahead rather than dwelling on past mistakes. Having open and honest conversations about how you both want to move forward into a new phase of your relationship. Design a vision of your future together and how you want it to be, and touch on both the short-term and long-term goals.
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth.
3 Steps to Rebuild Trust – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/