Feelings of betrayal and loss of trust after an affair or other situations is one of the greatest challenges couples can experience. A healthy relationship is built on a foundation of mutual trust. When trust has been broken it takes a toll on relationships. It’s very difficult to repair trust and a huge amount of commitment, effort and time is required.
Some people make the choice to give up, leave and end their relationship, as they feel totally devastated. They make final decisions in the heat of their anger and never get a chance to process all the different factors that could have caused the betrayal.
Other couples decide to commit to the healing process and are able to grow and move into a place of connection and rediscovery. According to Ester Perel, international bestselling author: “Most of us in the West today will have two or three marriages or committed relationships in our lifetime. For those daring enough to try, they may find themselves having all of them with the same person.”
Here are seven steps that serve as a way of restoring trust in your relationship:
1-Take ownership– Genuinely apologizing is important. You need to show your partner that you understand where you went wrong and are accepting responsibility. Taking ownership shows your partner that you hear them, and they are validated in their feelings.
2-Schedule Regular Talks -Making time in your schedule to talk on a regular basis can prove helpful. You want to be honest and open with feelings and process each other’s subjective experiences. Don’t focus on solutions just actively listen to your partner’s feelings and concerns. You want to follow through with these talks as you don’t want to hold back feelings which could eventually lead to resentment.
3-Be Honest and Open -If your partner needs to ask questions or requests details about anything make sure you give them what they need. Don’t be concerned about privacy at this time as building trust is the priority.
4-Express Empathy– Your partner needs to know that you understand their pain and the emotional impact it had on them. You and your partner must mourn, experience and express all the emotions attached and related to the feelings of betrayal. Expressing empathy is a critical part of the healing process allowing you to move forward as a more solid couple.
5-Developing Emotional Intimacy: This step helps the relationship experience a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of the betrayal. You want to learn, “why did he/she have an affair or why was he/she dishonest? Unexpressed feelings and childhood issues that were never discussed become a new part of the relationship.
6-Give you Partner Time: Time is essential when rebuilding trust. You and your partner need to be patient with the process. Once you are able to move past the hurt and pain of the betrayal and work on a trusting partnership, you may feel it was well worth the hard work.
7-Consider Getting Help: Counseling can be instrumental in rebuilding trust in your relationship. It is helpful to have an unbiased third party to facilitate and guide the conversation. Marriage and couples counselors also provide feedback that can be helpful in developing deeper understanding and empathy in the relationship.
If you and your partner are committed to the process, you can develop healthier communication and dynamics in your relationship.
The Relationship Suite
We are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.
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