In a previous article I talked about how couples can survive an affair. One major aspect of successful
resolution is the restoration of trust. The number one question I’m asked by people recovering from
infidelity is, “How do I restore trust?”
There’s no easy answer and no quick fix but there are ten aspects to healing to be considered:
- Give it time. There is no set time for healing to occur but a safe bet is that it will take longer than you may think. You need to be patient and take it one day at a time.
- Be willing to lose the relationship in order to save it. Both partners must grow in authenticity
and transparency without fearing the other from leaving. This requires courage and a combination of self-respect and respect for the other.
- Restore yourself first. You cannot trust another or expect anyone to trust you if you do not
trust yourself. As you do repair on yourself, your relationship will experience meaningful growth and healing.
- Accept the illness in the other. An affair is indication of something that is out of order in the relationship and/or the person who participated in the infidelity.
- Admit mistakes promptly. Avoid blame and work to be honest and accurate – it doesn’t matter who’s “right.”
- Share spirituality. Nearly every recovery program includes a spiritual element – explore ways to be spiritual together. This will help you find meaning in your suffering and in your relationship.
- Make amends. Express regret for what you’ve done and do something to make up for it – daily! Reverse the blame habit by taking responsibility for your mistakes and taking concrete steps to make up for the error.
- Remember it’s never going to be perfect. Allow each other to be human – there are going to be mistakes along the way.
- Develop a support system. Spent time with others who can support you through your re-building process.
- Have fun together. All work and no play doesn’t work. Healing comes through shared experiences, especially the fun ones. Play, in its own way is an act of trust.
This work is not easy, but there is hope. Therapy with a Licensed Professional Counselor accelerates the process and provides support and guidance as a couple rebuilds their relationship and re-establishes trust.