Cheating is relationship cancer. First there’s the shock of it, then the resentment which, if left unchecked, grows slowly over time until it kills all that was ever sweet and good between the two of you.
In most cases, cheating proves fatal to love, but there are stories of couples who’ve overcame the trials of infidelity to persist and grow stronger together. What’s their secret? I have no idea, but I suspect it has a lot to do with forgiveness and trust.
4 Ways to Regain Her Trust
1. Listen to Her Concerns
Even if it’s painful, and even if she brings up the same things over and over again, listen. Don’t get defensive and argue your side. Honor her feelings and give her room to express herself. If she’s angry, let her be. Don’t try to soothe her, or suggest that her emotions are extreme. She’s entitled to her rage and getting it out is part of the healing process. If she’s crossed the line and become abusive, that’s not okay.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is take time out, or walk away altogether.
2. Give Her all the Time She Needs
If it’s safe for you to remain in the relationship, settle in. Put in the time it takes for her to process her feelings, and show her that you’re willing to commit all over again. Don’t complain that she isn’t moving through things as quickly as you would like. Understand that she’s feeling incredibly betrayed and is probably in no hurry to forgive you.
Patience and empathy are key to gaining her trust back. She probably feels robbed of power and control, so give her the chance to regain her strength.
3. See a Couple’s Therapist
If the two of you aren’t making any progress, or you want some guidance in terms of next steps, seek out professional help. A couple’s therapist is trained to help in these exact situations. Not only will going to the appointments show your partner that you’re serious about making things work, it will give you a new shared experience and solid coping strategies—two things that will help to build trust back up in your relationship.
Be absolutely dedicated to the process. Show up on time every week, and put in the work.
4. Keep a Clean Record
Above all else, never cheat again. Take responsibility for your poor behavior and the pain it caused, then do better for the rest of your days. If this feels like too much pressure, take it a day at a time. Decide that you are a trustworthy partner regardless of the past and go from there. It sounds cheesy, but you have to gain trust in yourself before you can meet the challenge of rebuilding your relationship with confidence.
Stop beating yourself up for past mistakes, and know with certainty that you both deserve to be happy.
Do you have experience with cheating, on either side? How did you resolve it, or not?