Many of the comments recently as usual have centered on the trust issue.  Basically, the victims are having a hard time trusting the cheating spouse and believing what he/she is saying after the affair. To reconstruct a devastated relationship which has been shredded by lies, you want to form a new foundation of trust, one brick at a time.

Knowing with 100% precision whether the cheating spouse is lying to you could be a futile use of your resources. At some particular point, you have got to trust that your spouse is not lying to you, so long as the cheater conducts himself in a trustworthy way. What is common with most couples who have a commitment to this process is that the hurt spouse requires more from the cheating spouse after the affair than  just an acknowledgment of remorse. The hurt person wants to understand the cheater is aiming at a change of personality both inwardly and outwardly.

Here are some express actions you can take. Naturally, customize these to your relationship.

Step one. Define the Mistrust Triggers: Review your past week or past month. Think about some actions or inactions that were private triggers for mistrust in you, if you were the hurt person, or if you were the cheater, the way you have conducted yourself during the past. As an example, is he returning home an hour late and not bothering to call to tell you, causing a flash of scenes to pass across your mind?

Is she supposed to be at her desk all day, but doesn’t answer her desk telephone, and her cell-phone has been turned off, leaving you to ask where she is and what is going on? Or, are you the person showing up late or unavailable by telephone, making those triggers of distrust?

See also  The Mind of a Cheater – Ambivalence, Approach and Avoidance

Step two. Boost your Transparency: If you were the cheating spouse, look at ways to stay in contact more frequently and to be more open about your activities. As an example, select two times during the day when you’ll call and have a quick conversation to talk about how your day is going.

Step three. Remove a Trigger: Select one of the personal triggers, whether you were the partner who cheated or the wounded partner, and work on taking away the power of that trigger.  It may involve step two, where you open your life up to observation in some way. As an example, it could be that, if routinely you do not reveal details of your day, you share a real story today with your partner concerning your work life. Then, do it again soon.

Initially, some spouses argue that revealing their whereabouts and activities feels like they’re “checking in,” as if to a parent. If that’s your approach, you’re going to feel resentful. This checking-in disposition will interrupt your capability to rebuild trust with your spouse after the affair.

You may want to practice thinking of your new behavior as beginning a new age of transparency in your relationship. This is a loving gift you give your partner to prompt trust and show your zeal to your marriage.

The leap to transparency can be a big one as the two of you will be going through a growth process, perhaps learning new techniques of communicating with each other that you have never attempted before. Each of you will want to make a self-commitment to conducting yourself in a trustworthy way over some time to make a new and stronger framework inside which to reconstruct your marriage after the affair.

See also  Should You Confess Your Marital Affair?

For more information on rebuilding trust after an affair, check out our e-book “Journey to Trust:  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair” and learn how we were able to regain trust in our relationship.  There are also some great bonuses included where experts share some of their valuable  trust building strategies.  Click here now!

    14 replies to "Put an End to Mistrust After the Affair"

    • NotBroken

      My H and I have been doing all of the above, and I still don’t trust him. You know they say it takes years to build trust and seconds to break, this is so true. I feel like no matter what he does at this point my trust will not come back. I feel hopeless. This morning when he went to work, I had a mini panic attack. Just thinking he could be doing something with her or someone else. I have no reason to feel this way, but I can’t help it. It’s very frustrating.
      On another note, I asked my H this morning if he misses the relationship he had with the OW and he said no. He said it was a relief for him to be out of that situation. I don’t know that I believe that. Doug, please give me some insight on this. Do you ever sit back and think about Tanya and miss the friendship you had?

      • ppl

        hey, i wondered what happened to you. didnt see you post recently. glad to see your still notbroken and have not reverted back to broken. funny thing my wife once said to me that she “sometimes wished she were dating me rather than be married to me” . i am not sure whether she was referring to the responsibilties inherent in marriage or hoping for open relationship. expecting from our spouses what they dont want to deliver, is only setting ourselves up for failure. you cannot force them to WANT to be faithful. i have stopped checking on spouse. i am faithful out of my own desire to be faithful, not because i expect the same in return. believing this means you cannot be disappointed. this type of attitude also implies that if i feel like not being faithful its also up to me. my wifes ea was very liberating. i no longer feel the obligation to be faithful since that contract was broken. likewise i suspect that an unfaithful spouse has also crossed a line that is easy to cross again. they have already been willing to risk the relationship with the affair and it would seem easier to do again, not more difficult. i wonder if that is why cheaters tend to be serial cheaters. as a physician, i know that sexual histories i take have little truthfulness and should be taken with a grain of salt (actually probably cup of salt). why are all the spouses here guilty of their first affairs. in reality they are not usually the first, only the first one they were caught at.

        by the way did you ever try saying i love you to see if you could grow into feeling the statement?

        • Doug

          ppl, I have told Doug many times over that last year that I wish I were dating him rather than be married. I want him to see me in a different way, not the woman who does the laundry, cleans, etc. I want to be mysterious and not so available to him. I want to be his mistress for a little while, I know I would get tired out it and want our boring life back. I guess I want to fall in love with him again and I want him to do the same. Linda

        • NotBroken

          Hey ppl… I’ve been a little busy lately. I’m still NotBroken and getting better. Maybe your wife said she would rather be dating you because she sees dating as more carefree and fun than marriage?
          Maybe she wants that excitement back?
          I am still faithful also, I am hoping I get the same in return. I still check on my H, but not as frantically as I did before.
          I would hope that my H doesn’t feel he can “cross the line” again, just because he did once. I have a real fear that he will but I can only control what I do and not what he does.
          I think the term serial cheaters has some truth to it, but what can I do? I believe this is my H’s first offense, but who knows? Sometimes I do think that maybe this is just the first time he got caught. I can’t know for sure and I think I may never know.
          The other day my H told me that this EA was so out of character for him, and that he knows that he would have never let it turn sexual. He says he knows that he is a nice guy that just got lost and carried away with something so stupid. He also told me that I should know who he is because we have spent so many years together and that he is a decent man with good intentions.
          I just sat back and thought…. is he really who I thought he was? who is he now? should I believe what he is saying? did he just get lost and carried away? And you know what, at then end of all my questioning I thought…. I don’t know him at all. He is not who I thought he was, and now I have to live with this side of him that I don’t like and would have never known about.
          Also, I have not said I love you. I just can’t do it. Not sure why.

      • Doug

        Not Broken, Believe it or not, I feel much like your husband does. It was a relief to me as well when the affair ended, and outside of when I’m writing blog posts and such, I do not sit around and think about Tanya and our friendship. Besides, reconnecting on all levels with Linda, the process of educating myself about affairs, and learning more about myself along the way has made me realize just how misguided the whole thing was to begin with.

        • NotBroken

          Thanks Doug… you know I wish my husband would read about affairs and why they happen. I want him to know that it was all bullshit and not real. Having him know that it was just an illusion would make me feel better. I admire that you educated yourself about affairs, because i’m sure it helps Linda to know that you see your affair for what it really was.

    • Nancy

      Not Broken – I understand how you feel – as I often feel the same. My issue is I am the one going to work as my husband recently retired. So he is home all day- alone- with the phone and internet to keep him company. He has been open with me since I found out and we are getting along good – better than in a long time. But every morning on my drive to work, I wonder what is going to happen today to keep him from contacting her again. Or going to see her. Or someone else – who can fill those hours while I am gone. As many others have said on other posts, I feel I need to keep a little piece of my heart barricaded and safe as I don’t think I could go through all of the pain and emotions of another EA again. I also asked my husband a while back if he missed the OW and he said no. I think how can you tell someone one day you love them, break it off with them, and then you don’t miss them anymore? If he can stop loving and missing her just like that, couldn’t the same thing happen between us? So many wild and random thoughts somedays!!

      • NotBroken

        Nancy, I thought the same thing, how can you not miss someone you had a relationship with? How can you not have the urge to talk to them again?
        And I also thought, well if your so willing to drop someone like that, what the hell will you do to me!

    • Jennifer

      I would love to learn more about this topic. Sometimes I wonder if I am bipolar with the ups and downs I go through regarding triggers. One thing he does will make my stomach churn with suspicion, and a few minutes later he will smile at me or use a certain phrase and I am reminded of a favorite date we had or a loving moment.
      My biggest suspicion trigger is his texting. I have read messages on his phone before from other women. Now, whenever he starts texting like crazy I always wonder if he’s talking to another woman, even right here in front of me. And realistically it could be any number of people. Family, male friends, coworkers… but I always assume the worst, sometimes outrageous things. I have stopped looking at his phone and the URGE to look has subsided some. Any ideas on how to remove or change this particular trigger? Maybe I could send him messages myself?

      • Doug

        Jennifer, I bet that you are just experiencing the roller coaster of emotions with respect to his affairs and the triggers associated with it. Now I’m not a therapist, but to me the fact that you can change your pattern and consequently your emotions, is a good thing. You just need to learn to do it with respect to the trigger. I think that you have a good idea to start texting him, as that can be a good way to change your pattern with respect to his chronic texting. You can become his texting partner. The other thing you can do is pitch his phone in the nearest river 😉

    • surprised

      Here is a great video on How do you rebuild trust after an affair. This is from the website Marriage Today.

    • christina

      This is where my bf and I are stuck right now. He is in a spot where he says to me, “I can tell you I am not contacting or seeing her. But you won’t believe me anyway. So why say it b/c you won’t believe me anyway.” I see his point, however, I still think it is important to say. It is important to hear those words and begin to take them at face value again? I don’t know how to move forward from this spot of me asking questions about them seeing or talking and him understanding that I believe what he is saying. It also is not good that I am continuing to ask are you seeing her, have you talked, etc. How do I get over those nagging feelings and nagging questions that I feel compelled to continue to ask?

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