AFFAIR: HOW CAN I REBUILD TRUST?

It is probably the biggest breach of trust in a relationship: the partner is cheating. But does an affair really have to mean the end of the partnership? Liebling + Schatz knows how to proceed in this exceptional situation.

Content:

    • Rebuilding Trust: When Will It Be Possible?
    • Affair forgiveness or separation?
    • Relationship life after the infidelity
    • The crisis as an opportunity

Whether it’s a one-off affair or a longer affair – if the “cheating” comes to light, it can put a relationship to the test more than almost any other crisis. Above all, however, trust has been shaken. It is not uncommon for the self-esteem of the betrayed person to be hurt, and the unfaithful partner may struggle with feelings of guilt and fear. The mix of blame and justification can often open up further wounds, and yet many couples know that giving up is not an option. But what really helps to rebuild the destroyed trust?

Rebuilding Trust: When Will It Be Possible?

At the very beginning there is the inventory. Talk as openly as possible about the problems in your relationship. This is because there were often aspects that had already put a strain on the partnership before the cheating. It always takes two: Only if both partners take responsibility for their relationship can there be hope for a future together. What is certain is that it is a lengthy process to forgive an affair and come to terms with its consequences.

And: Don’t rush! When emotions are strong, it is sometimes difficult to have a constructive conversation. Give each other time before judging breakup or new beginnings.

Why cheat on a loved one?

The reasons for sexual infidelity are varied. The following points often emerge in the consultation:

  • Change: Monotony and the lack of communication about (sexual) needs in the relationship
  • Rejection: Those who are physically or emotionally unable to get through to their partner seek closeness on the outside.
  • Self-worth: This may already be the case with the cheating person or may arise from a lack of appreciation in the relationship. There is a desire for independence and affirmation.
  • Fury: Suppressed anger towards one’s partner or a simmering conflict can also be a reason for infidelity.
  • Insecurity: If you are not clear about your feelings, you may be more likely to make a misstep.

Opportunity: Alcohol and a situation you just didn’t say no to.

Affair forgiveness or separation?

If you’re at the point where you don’t know if you can continue to imagine partnering with each other, the following questions can be helpful for both parties:

  • What do you have in common?
  • Do the future plans and life plans still coincide?
  • Ask yourself: why did you enter into the relationship in the first place and what do you appreciate about your partner?
  • Is the love on both sides basically still there?

How much information do you need?

After cheating, the desire for clarification about the exact circumstances and motives for the infidelity is often great. But the truth is: the deceived person does not get more security from more information. On the contrary, the agonizing mental cinema may be intensified. We therefore recommend that you have as few analytical conversations as possible.

Better: Agree on rules!

  • What can you both do specifically to make the betrayed partner feel safer again and possibly be able to forgive?
  • How do you deal with it when the “third” person gets back in touch?
  • How do you deal with it when discussions can no longer be conducted constructively?

Relationship life after the infidelity

At this point, we would like to give you three concrete tips that may make living together a little easier after a breach of trust.

  1. Make the basic decision: After you have given each other enough time and become clearer about your feelings for each other, the decision to make a new start may not solve all problems, but it can give you more security again.
  2. In order to create a new basis of trust, the person who committed the infidelity should be transparent and treat the partner lovingly and patiently when thoughts of jealousy arise.

By analysing conversations about the past, especially the affair, the relationship cannot regenerate. Instead, create new shared experiences and ideas for further togetherness.

The crisis as an opportunity

As is so often the case, a crisis also offers the opportunity for change and can set the course for a new beginning. Because the confrontation with previous patterns in the relationship as well as the honest communication of your wishes and needs can take a partnership to a completely different level and ensure a positive transformation. The prerequisite is that both partners must be determined to stay together and to engage in the – sometimes painful – process.

We at Liebling + Schatz are happy to accompany you in emotionally processing an affair and its consequences for your relationship or yourself. Based on our years of practical experience, we know that it is even possible to know and love each other once again on a new level. If you would like our support, contact us!

Would you like to learn more about couples therapy with us? Then feel free to take a look here.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Alex Shute

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