Not trusting someone after they’ve cheated on you is quite normal.
Your trust was taken for granted by the person you trusted the most, after all. And the pain of the betrayal feels unbearable right now.
Despite that, you are still in a position where you want to give your partner another chance and to try and keep your relationship going. But is that even doable?
Although cheating may ideally sound like the end of the road, some people still do not let it determine the course of their relationships.
As I’m sure, you have already heard a lot of infidelity stories of relationships falling apart and hearts broken due to their partner’s betrayal, and yet, they remain together.
The Health Testing Center even surveyed 441 people who admitted to cheating, and here are the findings as summarized in Best Life:
54.5% immediately broke up after finding out about the affair; 30% tried to make their relationship work but failed, and 15.6% remained together and survived the infidelity.
Although the number isn’t that high for those who succeeded in moving past the betrayal, it only shows that there is still a chance that your relationship might work.
Now, it may sound easier said than done but always bear in mind that the trust has already been broken, and it’s going to be a bumpy road to mend your shattered relationship.
Is It Worth The Risk To Rebuild Broken Trust?
Trusting someone is like a gamble: you win some, you lose some. Sadly, in your case, we can definitely say that you are currently losing.
Now, is it worth the risk to try and save a relationship that is already falling apart? Or to trust someone again after they break your trust? Is there still a possibility that you might win?
If I’m honest, the answer will mostly depend on you and possibly, your partner.
After all, you are the ones inside the relationship, and only the two of you will have a say on whether your relationship is still worth saving or not.
You were the one who had to endure the pain of betrayal and deal with the emotional trauma caused by your partner’s infidelity.
Of course, if you choose to stay, there is still the possibility of having to deal with another heartbreak and disappointment once they decide to cheat on you again.
Remember, you are already dealing with the emotional trauma brought upon by your partner’s betrayal, and trying to fix things will put you at risk of another trauma.
So, before you decide to stay in the relationship and give your partner another chance, give yourself a moment and try to consider these two things:
1. The reason behind the infidelity
People cheat because of several different reasons, and determining if they deserve to have another chance will depend on their “why.”
Cheating is indeed a choice, and no matter what the reason is, it will never justify the pain it caused you.
But, sometimes, this choice is only a result of unresolved conflicts and the feeling of being trapped in them.
If this was your partner’s reason, perhaps there is still a chance that they won’t do anything that would hurt you again.
On the other hand, if the reason behind it was mostly because of their narcissistic ways, giving them another chance will only be a waste of time.
2. Your partner’s behavior after the truth was revealed
When you found out about the affair, did your partner seem remorseful? Did they seem devastated after seeing the consequences of their actions?
Did they ask for your forgiveness and wanted to make things right with you? And are they really trying their best to prove that they are sorry? If they did, then it’s a good sign.
But, if, after finding out about the affair, they didn’t show any remorse and pointed fingers at you, then you are only setting yourself up for another disappointment.
Trusting Your Partner Again
If you are still confident that giving your partner another chance is a good choice for you, there is still some work to do after considering those two factors.
Your trust has been broken, and it’s not something that can be fixed overnight, but it can be achieved over time.
Here are some things you can do to be able to trust your partner again after they cheated:
- Give yourself time to grieve.
- Learn to forgive.
- Practice healthy communication.
- Seek help or support.
- Set boundaries.
To go more in depth:
1. Give yourself time to grieve.
When someone cheats on you, you not only lose the trust you initially gave them, but you also lose the idea of a good, healthy, and honest relationship.
And it can be as devastating as losing someone you really care about.
The truth is, it’s going to be a tough time, so you might as well give yourself the much-needed time to grieve what you have lost.
Give yourself some space to reflect on what happened to your relationship, to understand the situation, and to love yourself even more.
Do not dwell on self-blame and the “what-ifs” because you will only hurt yourself instead of finding a path towards healing.
And when you are finally fully healed from the trauma of being cheated on, regaining the lost trust won’t be as difficult as before.
2. Learn to forgive.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do when someone we loved and trusted caused us unbearable pain.
But even though it’s complicated and needs a lot of effort, holding on to the grudge and the pain will feel heavier and heavier as time goes on.
Moreover, not letting go of those negative emotions will unconsciously manifest in how you treat your partner even when you try to deny them.
You will start to feel resentment towards your partner and yourself, you will start to blame either on you or on your partner, and you will always doubt their intentions.
Everything they do will raise a question at the back of your head, like:
- “Are they doing this because they are planning to do something behind my back again?”
- “They are going out without me. Are they going to meet their ex-lover?”
And when this happens, you might tend to become a helicopter partner, in which you will hover over your partner’s day-to-day activities.
When this happens, your relationship might become even more problematic and will need extra work to keep it going and for you to rebuild your trust.
Now, remember, forgiving your cheating partner doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will go back to the way it was before, just like that.
But, forgiveness is vital for your healing, especially when you want your relationship to move past your partner’s cheating to trust them again.
3. Practice healthy communication.
Trust requires honesty and being open about what you feel is necessary to make your relationship work after the infidelity.
To find the path towards rebuilding your trust, you and your partner must be willing to talk about the problems you’ve had and what you could do to avoid them from happening again.
“Nip it from the bud,” as the saying goes, taking away the root of the problem could make the situation better and easier for you to build up the trust you have lost.
After all, moving on without tackling the problem could leave a “bad taste in your mouth,” and that particular thing will hold you back from giving an open arm.
4. Seek help or support.
Healing from the emotional trauma, trying to fix your relationship, and rebuilding your trust is more complicated than a simple rough patch.
Even when you try to “talk things out,” you will only realize that there is more to it, and you might need professional help to move past these issues.
Going to therapy will give you the chance to understand what caused your partner to go astray, and it might help you move forward and forgive your partner. You can learn more about it here.
Also, trusting your partner again after being cheated on is a ragged path.
As even when you are willing to rebuild it, you will still have to deal with the insecurity, worries, and fears of being betrayed again.
Even when you think you can deal with these negative emotions independently, a counselor or a therapist can help you find a healthy way to work through them.
5. Set boundaries.
After the infidelity, your relationship can’t remain the same, as if nothing damaging has happened.
Of course, there will be changes, and it is up to you to decide what they will be. But whatever these changes may be, do not forget to include boundaries in your list.
When you set boundaries, it doesn’t mean that you’re not truly giving your partner another chance, or you’re not really trying to rebuild your trust.
It only means that you are giving yourself what you certainly need, and that is time and a safe space to reconstruct what has been damaged within you and in your relationship.
If your partner truly wants to earn back your trust and save whatever’s left in your relationship, they would be willing to get around the things you need to heal.
Just like what Catriona Boffard, a London-based sexologist, said to Elite Daily:
“Trust will take time, and as a couple, you need to appropriately negotiate how you can work together and what specifically you can do to repair trust in the relationship.”
Getting betrayed, lied to, and being cheated on is no doubt devastating and will surely hurt and cause trust issues.
Even though it’s easy to say that once infidelity occurs, the relationship should immediately end. There are still some people who want to save whatever’s left of it.
However, it won’t be an easy thing to do. After all, the trust has been broken, and the almost perfect image of the relationship has been shattered.
But fixing the relationship is still doable, as long as you are willing to find a way to rebuild the lost trust.
Recommended: Can Therapy Stop Your Fear Of Getting Cheated On?