When a partner cheats on them, for some that means an automatic breakup. For others, depending on the circumstances, they are willing to give the partner a second chance to prove themselves. How then does one go about rebuilding the trust enough to restore a sense of normalcy in the relationship?
Be honest with yourself
Sometimes, the best thing to listen to is our gut. If there are red flags that the partner has been cheating for an extended period, then it is worth asking if you’re willing to risk a rerun. It is best that, after this time, you take a break to assess the pros and cons of going through with rebuilding the relationships. The reasons to stay should be able to anchor you for times ahead. They shouldn’t, however, be at the expense of what is best for you on a personal level and for those who will likely be affected by the eventual decision.
Keep communications lines open
Just as a personal injury lawyer trying to get to the bottom of what happened, emphasize the importance of communication. Make it clear you expect the entire truth about and honesty in subsequent conversations. When mending the relationship, do the same with them. However, at all costs, do not bring up the past. Work to move ahead. If your partner continually feels attacked with passive aggressive comments about what they did, they are likely to shut down or leave. Though the relationship breakdown was their fault, they might buckle under a cloud of negativity. Instead, look at the relationship as a clean slate to begin again.
Ask for help
Couples counseling is one of the ways to work through what happened and other underlying issues. You want to get to the reason why the partner cheated to weed out the problem to the root. Though some might feel they were the victims, it is possible that they played a part in setting off the chain reaction and resulted in the affair. Therefore, be open to fixing things on your end. At the very least, walk in for a session with the mental awareness that no one is perfect.
Know when to let go
If after applying these steps and others like them and your anger, hurt, resentment and sense of betrayal haven’t subsided, it might be an indication to quit the relationship. It means that you’re unable to rebuild trust, and without it, a relationship does not stand a chance. Trust yourself to make the hard decision to break away. Once you do, take time to heal and restore a sense of trust in others before getting into another relationship. That way, you don’t carry baggage to the next relationship.