After infidelity, trust must be re-earned

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A friend of mine always says, “Monogamy is unnatural.”  If it is, then why does infidelity hurts so much?

Along with shock and disbelief, the spouse that has been cheated on will also experience feeling of lack of trust towards her spouse. In time, one usually gets over the initial shock and disbelief but somehow the feeling of mistrust seems to linger for a very long time.

When I was cheated on, I experienced feelings of anxiety each time my ex cell phone would ring; if he answered I wondered who he is talking to and if he doesn’t I felt it is because I am there.  I became very suspicious each time I hear the alert that a text message came in and felt uncomfortable when he spends excessive time on the computer.  When we go out and in the presence of other younger and attractive females I would check to see if his eyes were wandering.  I got very conscious about my body during love making as I would wonder if he is comparing or wishing my body was as flawless as those he may have seen.  Yes, I was extremely paranoid and for me this was no way to live.

Unfortunately, a relationship after infidelity will never go back to what it was, it is marred for life.  The cheating spouse must be confronted and if he shows remorse then both party can work together to put the incident behind them.  Note that I said both party because the one who was cheated on should not be the only one trying to make it work. It won’t be easy but is possible for a marriage to survive infidelity.

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In moving forward the cheating spouse must re-earn trust by demonstrating a change in behaviour.  A change in behaviour would means that the cheating spouse does the following:

  1. Ends the affair
  2. Cuts off all contact with the person with whom he had the affair
  3. Accepts responsibility and becomes accountable of his whereabouts
  4. Affirms his commitment to making the marriage work
  5. Truthfully answers questions that his spouse may ask
  6. Understands that his spouse is hurting and give her time to vent and heal; without acting like she should just get over it!
  7. May want to consider professional counselling.

Weeping and sorry without change of behaviour is just an expression of emotions and has no value.  In a situation such as this, actions demonstrating change must take precedence over the words of the cheating spouse.

You may also like to read “Common behaviour of a cheating spouse.” 

Also you may be interested in reading “Practical approach to dealing with a cheating spouse.”