Category Archives: infidelity

Rebuilding Trust after a Betrayal

Rebuilding Trust after a Betrayal
Trust is a fundamental component of a connected and thriving relationship. Trust allows us to open up with our partner and share more vulnerable parts of ourselves.  But how to do you rebuild trust when it has been violated? When couples enter my office after a betrayal, they are often confused about where to begin. Rebuilding trust is a complex and delicate process. Here are some steps that you can take to jumpstart that process.

Tips to Rebuild Trust:

1. Rigorous honesty- Healing occurs when we are willing to look openly and honestly at ourselves. When we have betrayed our partner, it is easy to lie in attempt to protect them from further pain. Regardless of our intentions, these lies can further violate trust and make it harder to heal the relationship. Therefore, it is best to be transparent about all areas of life, even when it is uncomfortable or painful.

2. Be consistent- It is important for the betrayed partner to know that positive changes in the relationship are not just temporary. Think of ways that you can show up for your partner on a daily basis and stick to them. Some examples may include calling your partner during your lunch break or waking up early with your partner to go to the gym on weekdays. These are simple ways to communicate to your partner that your relationship is a priority

3. Don’t push for forgiveness–  It’s important to remember that forgiveness isn’t just  for the wayward partner, it’s also for the betrayed partner, too. The betrayed partner is feeling anger and resentment. When we push our partner towards forgiveness, we are asking them to suppress that pain. And a lot of times we’re pushing them to forgive simply to keep from being confronted with our own guilt and shame. Forgiveness is something that is felt in your mind, body, and soul. Healing needs to occur before forgiveness can.  So focus on healing the relationship and forgiveness will usually come along naturally.

4. Reduce defensiveness- Defensiveness, excuses, and denials are forms of self-protection and preservation. When you are defensive you fail to create space to hear – and heal – your partner‘s pain. you also send unintended messages that your partners’ feelings are wrong or unacceptable. Instead, work towards understanding your partner’s experience by asking questions and reflecting back what you are hearing in your own words. Some of these messages you’re hearing from them hurt because they’re about you. But put yourself aside for a little bit while your partner is healing. It hurts for now but the payoff is worth it in the form of a deeper, more satisfying relationship down the road.

Betrayal within a romantic relationship can be a traumatic experience. It causes the betrayed to not only question their partner, but also their own intuition and instincts. The process of rebuilding trust following a betrayal can be slow moving and full of ups and downs. It is important to be patient and walk alongside your partner as they take steps towards healing.

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author:
Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old.

Trust Was Broken – Now How Do We Rebuild It?

Trust Was Broken – Now How Do We Rebuild It?

Trust is important in any relationship, but especially important in your romantic relationship. When trust is broken, it is often difficult to even process how to start rebuilding trust. Trust can be broken in many ways, but there tends to be pretty consistent necessities to rebuild trust. If you and your partner are working to… Continue Reading

Are You Breaking Your Marriage’s  Sex Contract?

Are You Breaking Your Marriage’s Sex Contract?

When you get married, you sign a marriage certificate. This certificate says that you’ll live together as a lawfully wedded couple until death do you part. But along with this marriage certificate, you’re also signing a series of legal contracts as well. These contracts state that if you divorce (i.e. break the marriage contract) that… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: He Cheated So How do I Trust Him Again?

He Said/She Said: He Cheated So How do I Trust Him Again?

Dear Aaron and Rachel, He Cheated and I just can’t trust him anymore. It’s not that I don’t WANT to trust him because believe me, I really do. I just CAN’T trust him. Literally, can’t. I go to sleep at night just thinking of all the things he told me today and I try to… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Shouldn’t I know EVERYTHING about the affair?

He Said/She Said: Shouldn’t I know EVERYTHING about the affair?

Dear Aaron and Rachel, I caught my husband having an affair about 3 weeks ago. After some thought, we’ve decided to try to work through things. But he’s not being completely honest about everything. I told him that if we’re going to make it work he needs to be 100% honest about what they did,… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: He Cheated and I Want to Know Everything!

He Said/She Said: He Cheated and I Want to Know Everything!

Dear Aaron and Rachel, I caught my husband having an affair about 3 weeks ago. After some thought, we’ve decided to try to work through things. But he’s not being completely honest about everything. I told him that if we’re going to make it work he needs to be 100% honest about what they did,… Continue Reading

He Said/She Said: Sex After an Affair

He Said/She Said: Sex After an Affair

Dear Aaron & Rachel, I hope you don’t mind, this one’s pretty complicated. My wife and I have been together for seven years. But throughout the seven years our sex life has never been great. I’ve always wanted more but she’s never wanted it as much as I have. I’ve been pretty respectful of that… Continue Reading