Ask The SEXpert: Trust After Infidelity

Question:
How do you learn to trust your partner after an infidelity ?

Response:
This is such an important question and I know many people struggle with this. Thank you for sharing! I know it took some courage and vulnerability on your part.

First off, ask yourself the question “Am I willing to truly forgive and let it go?” Often times we say we forgive and forget but we don’t actually let it go. Then it comes up in weird ways at unexpected times. It is going to take work on both of your parts. Your partner needs to be a person of their word and show they are trustworthy. You need to forgive, let go and actually be open and vulnerable to trust again.

I have seen trust rebuilt in a relationship where one partner was seeing someone else for a period of months. It took a lot of work, on both of their parts, to really look at their relationship and ask what was needed. They loved each other deeply and were willing to fight (for and with each other) to stay together.

It will take some very open and honest dialogues as to what each of you want out of this relationship ultimately. If you are on the same page, then the question becomes what will it look like to provide that for each other? What does each person want, need and expect of the other?  It can be an invaluable opportunity to redesign your relationship if you have chosen to stay together and work it out.

A key thing to remember: Whatever is spoken of and decided between the two of you, make sure it comes from a place of love and respect for one another. Come from a perspective of “I love this person and want what is best for them.” Because at the end of the day that is what is real and true. Let it guide the rebuilding of trust in your relationship.

Good luck to you. And your partner.

CS Photoshoot II

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2 Responses to Ask The SEXpert: Trust After Infidelity

  1. Aaron F. Steinberg February 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    I think you spoke to this well. I most agree with the part about it coming up at unexpected times even after you thought you let it go. I want to add an individual component as a corollary to that aspect. Being cheated on is a traumatic event that leaves an imprint on you. Because of the structure of our brain, this scar can pull strings in your feelings and decisions even when you’ve decided you’ve moved past the issue. Therefore, I think part of moving past infidelity also has to do with really understanding how the event has affected you and working on yourself, understanding how this changes your beliefs, feelings, and views on yourself and your relationship, and perhaps even bigger worldviews.

    • Natalie February 16, 2013 at 4:39 am #

      Thank you for the additional information Aaron and the spin from the psychological perspective. Agreed wholeheartedly.

      XO,
      Natalie

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