Can trust be rebuilt after a betrayal?
If your spouse was exposed in the Ashley Madison hack or has cheated on you, you understand the raw agony that comes after the betrayal is revealed.
No one understands the depth that betrayal stabs—unless they have experienced it themselves.
When you’re cheated on, your sense of self is cracked. You now know that you weren’t enough for your spouse and that tears you up inside.
The intrusive thoughts haunt your every hour to the point that you can’t even function, and the shattering waves of emotions cause you to crumble into a puddle.
But only for a while… Eventually you will rebuild your self-concept, just like a mason putting up a wall, brick-by-brick. In the end you’ll admire your strength and the fact that you survived the ultimate betrayal, I promise.
Here’s Where Many Healing From Infidelity Get Stuck
Once you’ve made your decision to stay with your spouse, you begin to ask yourself, "How can I get passed the trust issues?"
It honestly feels impossible to go back down that road of reopening your heart to your partner. Even the thought paralyzes you in fear.
That’s normal. AND you can still move forward.
Because trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship, it seems difficult to go under the structure of your marriage and re-pour it.
How to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship
John Gottman describes the act of building trust as sliding door moments. Basically you both need to watch for opportunities throughout the day to show each other that you have one another’s backs.
For example, if your husband has plans to go to the gym after work, but hears the exhaustion in your voice over the phone, he now has a choice. There's an opportunity to lean in and build trust or turn his back. He can suggest that he get the kids from daycare and pick up dinner on the way home, or he has the choice to turn his back and get his cardiovascular needs met.
Little-by-little the smaller moments add up to bags and bags of the finest concrete to re-pour your foundation.
Like most things worth accomplishing, it takes time.
The truth is, you get to decide how to let this choice (the betrayal) define your marriage. Will you let it keep you stuck, scared, and angry? Or will you use it as fuel to launch the best marriage #2 imaginable?
You didn’t have a choice when you were cheated on, but you do have a choice in how much you let this define who you are.
Don’t let one decision permanently crack your sense of self. That would be a travesty. You would not fulfill your purpose here on earth, destroy any change of reconciliation, and harm your kids.
Trust issues can be HUGE roadblocks. Once you rebuild your personal structure (like the mason) you get to start over by watching for sliding door moments.
Start collecting your bags of premium concrete. Your foundation is ready to be re-poured.
For a personalized plan, set up a free phone consultation today! Jessica is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Mental Health Private Practice. Follow her on Twitter: @back_2_love_ #Ashley Madison #Trust #Trustissues