You lied, cheated, and have seen the damage it caused, and now, you want to earn back your partner’s trust after cheating.
As easy as it was to break the trust that you and your partner built over the years, it would never be easy to repair it. And it’s the hard truth you need to face head-on.
Even though your partner is willing to forgive you and put all your wrongdoings in the past, it wouldn’t guarantee a relationship free from insecurities and trust issues.
I have seen relationships that initially survived infidelity and were given another chance but failed to thrive because the cheater wasn’t able to rebuild the lost trust.
As a consequence of all the lies and deceits, they had to go through extreme hardship to earn back the broken trust every single day.
Unfortunately, not everyone can put up with this challenge, and so the relationship they wanted to save reaches its end.
A fundamental lesson to remember here is that trust plays a vital role in any relationship, so you should never take trust for granted.
Why is trust so important in a relationship?
Trust is like a treasure that one must cherish, take care of, and protect because trust can’t be earned back easily, especially after cheating.
It is one of the basic foundations of any relationship, which assures the person that they are safe and okay to be vulnerable.
It gives a sense of security and stability that makes up a healthy relationship. Hence, a broken trust means a shattered union and a lost partnership.
As the famous quote said:
“Trust is the glue that binds relationships. Without trust, it’s nearly impossible for any relationship to last.”
For the person who got cheated on, it’s like waking up and seeing a stranger inside their home. They don’t feel safe, they don’t feel comfortable, and they want that person to leave.
And for the cheater? It’s like waking up and having to remind their partner every day that it is also their home.
So, what happens when you break your partner’s trust because of your lies and infidelity, yet you don’t want to lose your partner, and you still want to save your relationship?
There are two things to keep in mind: first, earning their trust back is possible, especially if they are willing to forgive your wrongdoings.
Second, although it is possible, earning their trust back won’t be an easy task.
Earning trust back after cheating
You may have your reasons for cheating on your partner, but whatever it is, it will never justify the pain you have inflicted and the damage you have caused in your relationship.
You may have only realized it by now, and you want to correct your mistakes so you and your partner can move forward.
Sadly, moving past cheating requires a lot of time and effort, especially when trying to earn your partner’s trust.
The good news? Although it’s going to be extremely difficult, it’s still doable.
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Meaningful apology
Saying you are sorry won’t mean anything if you only repeat the mistakes you apologize for.
If you want to save your relationship and gain your partner’s trust again, start by sincerely apologizing for all the things you have done and all the pain you have caused.
Do not do it just because you got caught, and don’t do it just because you feel like you have to.
Do it because you know very well in your heart that your partner deserves it.
And do it because you acknowledge that you did something terrible, and you will make it a mission to never do anything again that will compromise your relationship.
And most important of all, do it because you feel remorse for what you have done to your partner.
2. Take responsibility for your mistake
When you apologize to your partner, make sure to take responsibility for your cheating if you want to earn back their trust.
Do not point fingers at anyone – not at your lover for supposedly flirting with you, and most especially not at your partner.
Even when you feel like your partner and your relationship contributed to what happened to your relationship, it was still your decision to break their trust.
Additionally, justifying your wrongdoings, making excuses for your behavior, and putting the blame on others won’t make them trust you again.
Instead, it will only give your partner the impression that the apology you are giving is not sincere enough and that there is still a possibility that you might go astray once more.
When you take responsibility, you also try to answer the “whys” Why did you do it? Why did you lie? Why did you cheat on your partner?
A few studies have shown that taking responsibility and admitting fault will allow you to change and fix your behavior.
By doing so, you are not only improving yourself but your relationships as well.
3. Practice open and honest communication
The next step to take after deep-diving into the root cause of your infidelity is to be transparent and be willing to show vulnerability in front of your partner.
You cannot just expect your relationship to move forward without having that much-needed conversation.
And you cannot just expect your partner to forgive you and trust you again without them knowing all the necessary details about your infidelity.
How long has it been happening? How many times have you cheated, and can you earn back their trust?
Being defensive and telling more lies at this point won’t do you any good.
By being open and honest, you give them the impression that you are genuinely trying to save your relationship.
And even after having this conversation, you will have to continually practice having open and honest communication with your partner.
Never forget that communication is also a part of a healthy relationship, and it is a good and efficient way of resolving a conflict.
And therapy can sometimes help you two if you struggle with communicating your thoughts and feelings. You can read more about it here.
4. Get the necessary help that you and your partner need
Healing from the pain of infidelity is not the same as healing from a physical wound.
It takes longer to heal and recover from it, mainly because there is emotional trauma.
Of course, you and your partner can choose to heal yourself, but there are times when it won’t be enough.
After all, you and your partner are dealing with a conflict that, if not resolved, will ultimately end your relationship.
And there are a lot of negative emotions involved here – resentment, embarrassment, shame, guilt, blame, anxiety, depression, and so on.
Blindly navigating through these emotions will be extremely difficult, so you might need to seek support from a counselor or a therapist.
They can help you and your partner find healthy ways to deal with your infidelity and find a path towards forgiveness and reconciliation.
Moreso, going to therapy can help you earn back their trust by helping you both deeply understand the reason or motivating factor behind the cheating. You can learn more about it here.
And lastly, whatever your partner needs to heal, give it. Whether it’s therapy, honesty, time, or space, it is your responsibility to help them find healing.
5. Give your partner time to heal
Yes, your partner may have given you another chance and is trying to forgive you, but bear in mind that it will be a tremendous process.
After all, your partner is going through a difficult chapter in their life that includes pain, heartache, and possibly grief.
There is also the possibility of shattered self-esteem and self-blame, which may very likely delay their healing.
In other words, you will have to be prepared and understanding of your partner because healing will surely include an emotional rollercoaster ride between the two of you.
Because of this, you, as the one responsible for your partner’s current emotional state, should be very patient in waiting for your partner to fully and genuinely heal.
Rushing the healing process will only result in a more complicated phase in your relationship.
6. Commit to the intention of saving your relationship
When your relationship is on the verge of falling apart due to your cheating, always ask yourself these crucial questions if you want to earn back your partner’s trust:
- How much do you want to stay in your relationship?
- Will you be willing to go the extra mile to save it?
- Can you bear the possibility of losing your partner?
As you might already know, relationships will always go through a rough patch.
It will constantly change even though you are still comfortable with where you are and aren’t ready to move along.
And there is no such thing as smooth sailing when navigating through the complexities of any relationship. Up and down. Up and down. It’s a bumpy road.
You see, relationships are already complicated, and it will be even more challenging to handle if there is cheating involved.
That being said, you must never forget to commit to saving your relationship, especially if you know that it is worth fighting for.
If your partner is already giving you a chance at redemption, don’t waste it. And if distrust has finally returned to trust, don’t take it for granted ever again.
Cheating can cause a lot of damage to your relationship, and it will most likely break the trust that you and your partner cultivated over the years, and earning it back can be quite the challenge.
“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”
And, even though your partner is willing to move past the infidelity, earning their trust back is necessary to keep your relationship going.
Recommended: Can Therapy Help You Stop Cheating?