How to Rebuild Trust
This material is coming from my upcoming book (which should be available as a download from YourMarriageCounselor.com in April 2012.)
Helping Relationships and Marriage Heal From the Trauma ofInfidelity (for the faithful Partner).
When a partner has been unfaithful, the biggest issue that exists for the person who has been cheated on is the issue of the is trust. A parent says to their 8 year old child, “trust me, just fall back and ill catch you.” and then the parent moves a way, and the youngster falls on the ground. That child has learned a difficult lesson; the youngster will have a hard time ever again letting their parent catch them again.
The really difficult work ahead is to begin to rebuild the trust that has been lost. The first thing to realize is that trust is not given it is earned. In order for trust to be rebuilt five things have to occur:
1. The couple must learn to communicate with each other more effectively with each other. Whenever I have counseled the couple who are dealing with Infidelity even before the discovery of the unfaithfulness partners tell me how they are not able to talk to each other. They spend little time taking with each other. Sharing concerns both about the relationship and about their lives in general.
2. The person who has strayed must be consistent . They must do what they say their going to do and be where they say they’re going to be.
3. The unfaithful partner has to show a regular effort to be open to their partner. The unfaithful partner has to let the partner know where they are, to give them access to passwords to phone, computers etc… This may be difficult for many people, but the other person. Even the act of giving this level of accountability is reassuring. Whenever I ask the partner who has been cheated on what is important to them they say; How can I forgive if I can’t know what the other person is doing”. The core issue for the faithful partner is will my partner do this again?
Though being open doesn’t mean the situation can’t be repeated the attitude of openness shows the partner that they have nothing to hide and that is really important.
4.The person who has strayed must be patient and consistent. The person who has cheated must realize that it will take months maybe even a year for thre to be a comfortable level of trust.
5. Spend time together. Building trust in a relationship requires time and contact with someone; you can’t trust someone you don’t know. When you and your partner first met you probably spent a great deal of time together and frequently thought about each other when you were apart. Eventually though, everyday life takes over and time is spent focusing on jobs, careers, children and hobbies. Since there was some personal connection that initially drew you together, it is important to rekindle your relationship.
Trust is earned a little bit at a time
Dr.Marty that was written for me..thank You..My husband has and still is unfaithful to me,all the tell tale signs lets me know it’s still going on after 1 1/2 yrs..he of course denies it is..I don’t recognize the man I have been with for the past 5 yrs..he’s become a great lier and a mean man..this man had a gentle heart and now is cyclical,and critical..As a substance abuse counselor, and worked in behavioral health for over 20 yrs,I would almost believe he has a substance addiction..but what I do see is an addiction..to sex..I am in individual therapy and we also attend weekly marriage counseling..with not to much progress..the affair is at his job..The disappearing for an hour or two..perfume on his shirt, stains on his pants..his distancing from me..I am still with him in hopes that it will get better with therapy..we are both 65..a young 65 I might add..I love him and I am still hopeful..my husband and I spoke at one time of
making an appt to see you, but I found out through you that you don’t take our Insurance..we have BC BS Horizon..not sure if we had this one at the time..if you do except this,I would consider
counseling with you…he does not work at our relationship as he should..because there is still that third person..I would so appreciate hearing from you..Thank you, and God bless..
I would be glad to work with you. As to wheither or not I would see you individually or as couple, we can do it either way. The most important
thing is that you are both most comfortable. So you and your husband decide, if you would like to begin as a couple or individually.
As to makeing progress in your current therapy, here is guideline I use with my clients, each session should be meaningful. It will take a while
to turn things around, but at the end of each meeting you should feel as though some progress has been made.
Hope that helps,