It’s no secret that infidelity, affairs, and cheating break down the foundation of a relationship and create trust issues.
It can also lead to a sense of insecurity because most people at the raw end of infidelity blame themselves for their partner’s cheating.
Finding out that your partner has cheated on you is a shock to the system. The emotional effects of infidelity are long-lasting and can end up disrupting your view of reality.
Once upon a time you felt safe and loved and suddenly you discover the possibility that neither may be true. So what else in your life isn’t real?
While dealing with infidelity can be damaging, it’s also an opportunity to experience growth and change. If you decide to leave your partner, you may find yourself increasing your standards when it comes to dating.
Or, it may be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship if you decide to stay.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to ending or continuing your relationship. There are certain steps you can take to overcome the trust issues caused by infidelity.
1. Be Honest About Your Emotions
After your partner has cheated on you, you may feel compelled to hide how you feel. Maybe you think you are “taking the high road” or perhaps you don’t want your partner to “win” by knowing how much it hurts.
However, it’s important to be honest about your emotions and let your partner know how you feel. You’re allowed to cry and show your grief.
Doing so will not only help you process your emotions but may also help you and your partner overcome communication barriers in your relationship.
2. Don’t Ignore the Issue
Infidelity is not an issue you can sweep under the rug in hopes that it will go away. Ignoring the problem isn’t going to reduce your pain or protect your sense of trust.
You can’t rebuild trust with this issue looming over your head. Plus, if you ignore what happened, you’ll never discover the underlying issues in your relationship.
Knowing the underlying issue is the first step in deciding whether or not you want to stay with your partner and fight for your relationship.
3. Don’t Stalk Your Partner
If you decide to stay with your partner, don’t make the mistake of watching your partner’s every move like a hawk. It may be tempting but it will not help you overcome your trust issues.
In fact, it will likely destroy all trust in the end.
You can’t build trust if you are constantly checking your partner’s messages or tracking their whereabouts.
4. Try Not to Dwell on the Past
As I said, it’s important not to ignore the issue but you also need to look forward to the future whether you are staying in the relationship or not.
When you allow yourself to dwell on what happened, you can’t build trust with your partner. And if you’re going out on your own, you’ll have a hard time trusting other people.
To look forward, allow yourself to process the feelings of what happened in the past but focus on how you want to approach relationships, or your current relationship, from this point on.
5. Don’t Blame Yourself
If you’re dealing with infidelity, it’s not your fault. Even if there are issues in your relationship that you are responsible for, the only person to blame for cheating is the person who cheated.
When you play the blame game, you are likely going to develop insecurities. You’ll constantly ask yourself, “Why me?” and pick out all of your flaws in an effort to justify what happened.
From here it’s difficult to heal and overcome trust issues. Take these moments of introspection to look at what role you played in the relationship and how you can avoid any common patterns when entering a new relationship.
6. Work on Yourself
On that note, this is a good time to start working on yourself. This doesn’t mean fixing your “issues” – it simply means developing a stronger sense of self-worth and self-awareness.
When you work on yourself, you are also working on trusting yourself. You can then enter into relationships knowing that you can take care of yourself no matter what happens.
You’ll have the confidence to establish boundaries and communicate more effectively.
7. Don’t Stop Trusting People
When you are trying to overcome trust issues after infidelity, you may think that you will never be able to trust anyone ever again.
Fortunately, trust is something that can be practiced and you can start with turning to your friends. Open up to your trusted friends, share your feelings, and seek support.
This will help you “practice” trust so that when you enter another relationship, you’ll know how to build this foundation there too.
8. Seek Counseling
Overcoming trust issues after infidelity is something you’re going to have to work on whether you choose to stay in the relationship or not.
It can be a very confusing and emotional time which is why perhaps the best solution to dealing with this is to seek counseling.
An impartial third party can help you gain perspective on the situation and get yourself or your relationship (or both) back on track.
Family and friends are great to talk to, but they can often be biased and negative because they don’t want to see you get hurt.
Overcoming Trust Issues: We Can Help!
My name is Ryan and I have worked with many clients when it comes to trust issues caused by infidelity. Some improved their relationships while others left and improved themselves.
I don’t know how your situation is going to end but I can help you get there by supporting your journey to rebuilding trust, building self-confidence, and improving your self-awareness.
Ready to get started? Contact me today.