When a couple is impacted by the devastation of a sexual betrayal, – usually resulting form sexual addiction or infidelity – trust is lost leaving the relationship unsafe and unstable. Because trust is an essential part of any relationships, the relationship dies without it. The thought of rebuilding trust after betrayal can be very discouraging and many couples don’t know where to begin. This article will help you to recognize 5 important steps that must be taken in order for trust to be restored.
Honesty is essential for healing. There can’t be secrets, omissions, deceit, manipulation or lies. Even a half-truth can damage or hurt the relationship. Integrity involves complete honesty in communication and in deed. And integrity is required for both the addict and the partner. Both members of the couple will need to venture into new and deeper levels of self-awareness, openness, transparency and vulnerability.
#2.) Affirm Worth
Affirming the worth of your partner and showing genuine compassion towards each other is an essential part of rebuilding trust. Giving your partner value and showing them empathy will allow your spouse to feel heard and understood. Relationships break down quickly when neither partner can clearly see the inherent human worth and the pain that the other person is in. Affirming the humanity in your partner keeps the human connection intact while the foundation is being rebuilt.
#3.) Grow Together
Rebuilding trust will involve sharing and enjoying mutually beneficial activities. Having fun, playing together and creating new memories are all helpful in shifting the focus away from the pain of the betrayal and toward the growth of the relationship.
When rebuilding trust, you must remember that you can’t control your spouse. You must realize that you can only control your self. Trust is rebuilt in relationships that allow each person to make their own choices, feel and share their own feelings and deal with their own emotions. Respecting each other’s choices, and realizing that every choice has consequences, will make rebuilding trust a possibility. I will not come easily but it can be done.
#5.) Trust Instincts
Slowing down and trusting your inner voice will allow you the opportunity to be present and to listen and learn about yourself and your partner. Listening to each other’s thoughts and feelings will allow for your partner to feel heard, validated and understood. In meeting your spouse’s emotional, verbal, psychological and spiritual needs you can become a trustworthy person.
Rebuilding trust isn’t easy but if you work hard, persevere and remain consistent it is possible to experience trust after betrayal. One day you may say it was worth all the effort. If you would like to begin the journey of rebuilding trust after betrayal, please reach out to one of our counselors. We’d be honored to help.