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 pick them apart to see if what he says is lining up. Then something comes up that makes me second guess something he said. And when he’s not home I can’t help but wonder if he really is where he says he is. I mean, he’s lied to me before and I believed him so how do I know he’s not lying about stuff now? I’ve thought about using that find my phone feature to see where he is but I don’t want to be THAT girl (but believe me, I’ve thought about it). I feel like I’m going crazy. I just wish there was a light over his head that told me when he was telling the truth or not. Any advice on how to trust again would be really helpful,
I Might be Going Crazy
Dear I Might Be Going Crazy,
I’m truly sorry that you have been cheated on and are now struggling to trust your partner. The impact of infidelity shouldn’t be underestimated. It is very challenging to deal with. In other words, the feelings that you have are totally normal. It is hard to just be able to turn your trust back on like a light switch –despite your desire. It’s going to take time for your partner to prove that he is trustworthy. Do not hold back the doubts or negative feelings that you have. The key to getting past this is communicating how you feel so that he can have empathy. If he understands your view and truly wants to be with you, he should be willing to do whatever it takes to prove that he is trustworthy
Ugh! I can’t tell you how heartbroken I am for you. I hear people tell me all the time they think they’re going crazy because of how much their partner’s affair affects them. People can never truly appreciate how much cheating affects someone until they’ve experienced it.
The BEST thing I’ve found that helps people learn to trust again is for the participating partner (the one who participated in the cheating) to put the proof in the pudding and be transparent so you don’t have to just rely on their word. Afterall, their word is pretty meaningless right now because of all the lies they told to hide the affair. He needs to be transparent about where he’s going, what he’s doing, who he’s talking to, when he’ll be home, etc. Depending on the details of the affair, it may also be helpful to have bank account statements, Facebook passwords, etc, too. It can feel kind of icky for you as his spouse to “snoop” but once you know that he’s really serious about making the relationship work, and his actions match his words then all those feelings of you going crazy will go away. Like Rachel said above, if he’s serious about making the relationship work he’ll do whatever it takes.
That said, transparency shouldn’t last for too long or else now you’ll just become the crazy partner who couldn’t get over the affair. Once he has proven that he is trustworthy, it’s time to start getting back to each other having your own privacy. This usually lasts a couple to a few months depending on the severity of the affair, and if there are any new lies that get caught.
About Rachel: Rachel Russo is a Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach who works with marriage-minded singles and couples in NYC and throughout the US. Checkout her website at RachelRusso.com
About Aaron: Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado and writer for various websites on marriage and relationships.