Ideal relationships, like ideal people, do not exist. 23% of men and 19% of women admitted to cheating on their partners. But other data is of greater interest. Of those couples who turn to a psychologist for help after infidelity, 70% stay together. In this article, we’ll show you how to work on a relationship to regain your partner’s trust or how to repair a relationship when trust is broken.
Bright Side collected tips that psychologists most often give to couples who survived betrayal and decided to keep their relationship no matter what. Both men and women cheat, so the advice will be helpful for both partners in a couple.
1. Do not try to reduce the pain caused by the act.
It is very important for a deceived person to know how everything really happened. When you are sincerely trying to answer questions, you may or may not be deliberately withholding some details or limiting yourself to general answers. And at the same time, you will assume that you have not lied.
Your partner will feel like they are hiding something from him. And some details will emerge over time, and this will turn the life of the one who was deceived into a nightmare. Bit by bit, collecting everything that happened, he will constantly keep in his head a picture of a terrible betrayal, and his life will turn into hell.
But avoiding talking about what happened is not the best solution. There is no need to hide or understate something. To get through this difficult stage, you need to experience the worst and feel the pain, otherwise healing will not come. Do not try to minimize suffering, because the best medicine in this case is time.
2. Speak the whole truth and even a little more
Trust in a relationship is very fragile. If you’ve been caught in a lie once, the best strategy is to tell your loved one the whole truth.
Practicing psychologist Robert Weiss notes that trust can only be restored by making full transparency a mandatory part of your relationship. And this applies even to the little things. If you are going to a bar with a friend, tell your significant other. There is no need to come up with more “harmless” locations in which you are supposedly located.
3. Don’t go on the attack
It will be difficult for someone who wants to earn trust. Listening to negative remarks and comments in his address will become his daily reality at the beginning of the journey, and both partners need to go through this.
Don’t go on the attack. When you say, “You yourself are not an angel either,” you are trying to justify yourself, and this is a normal psychological defense reaction. But think about what it can do for you. The anger of your loved one is understandable. Do not say unpleasant things to him in return if the goal is to maintain the relationship, not destroy it.
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4. Give up the roles of defendant and prosecutor
When the worst – admission of deception – is over, the most difficult stage begins. If you decide to stay together, you should not play the roles of the defendant and the prosecutor. This behavior does not build trust; it produces the exact opposite result.
The “Accuser” will try to take out his anger, and he will come up with new and new quests and tasks for the one who has lost his trust. The “defendant” will try to get an indulgence, and he, too, will accumulate anger as the attempts end in nothing.
The best solution in this case is to remain calm and directly tell your partner that you are ready to atone for guilt, but constant reproaches and mentions of it will not help in this.
5. Don’t suck other people in
The decision to stay together after the betrayal was made by both of you, and the responsibility for this lies only with you two. That is why you should not involve other people in the process of sorting out the relationship, be it friends, relatives or your own children.
This applies to both the one who committed the betrayal and the one who decided to find the strength to forgive him. Conversations about what happened should be conducted only in pairs, without outside interference, condemnation and sympathy. Psychotherapist Joe Court is sure that the only one who can be the third in such conversations is a family psychologist.
6. Give your partner more access
Let your partner go into completely personal corners: social networks, SMS on the phone, calls. If you decide to be honest, then you still have nothing to hide. Such a step will help your partner calm down, trust you more.
Over time, the deceived person will understand that constant checks are not needed. And when trust in the couple is restored, they will stop.
7. Take symbolic actions
Dr. Jim Walkop, a New York-based marriage counselor, advises his clients who come to him with a desire to survive betrayal or any other betrayal to take symbolic actions. It could be something that gave you both joy when you first started dating and were happy.
You can go to the cinema for the last show, or go for a walk in the park, feed the swans on the pond. During such classes, you need to refrain from accusations and not remember what happened. This will help you build more positive memories together.
For fans of extreme sports, there are other options: go on a trip, move to another city or country. This is also a strong emotional shake-up, which both should perceive as a starting point from which the relationship begins anew.
8. Don’t expect instant forgiveness.
Do not expect forgiveness to come instantly, and you do not need to put pressure on your partner. It is unlikely that this will lead to anything other than new outbursts of negativity. The best thing to do is to start listening to your partner’s feelings and needs. The pain that he feels is very strong, it just cannot stop at once. This is normal.
Deciding to save the relationship after the betrayal, both in a couple must be prepared for the fact that everything will not be the same and at first it will be very difficult. Still, the statistics showing that 70% of couples stay together after family therapy is encouraging.
Have you had to deal with betrayal in a relationship and have you been able to restore trust with your loved one? Share in the comments.
Eric Cameron is a passionate relationship coach and counselor with a focus on helping couples reconnect and build strong and lasting relationships. He has years of experience working with couples and helping them to understand the intricacies of healthy relationships. He also provides guidance on how to maintain a healthy relationship and deal with difficult topics. Eric’s approach is tailored specifically to the couple’s needs and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.