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Reassurance after Cheating: Rebuilding Marriage after Infidelity

Rebuilding Marriage after Infidelity
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Infidelity is one of the hardest things that any marriage can face. How do you move on from your spouse cheating on you? How do you forgive yourself for causing your spouse heartache? Rebuilding marriage after infidelity requires work. 

There are various practical steps you can take as a couple and as individuals to help you to continue to build your relationship after infidelity. Trust building exercises are one of them. We will look at some of them in this article. 

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Every couple’s definition of infidelity might be different. Each couple in a group of ten couples, for example, might have a varying set of ideas about what exactly constitutes infidelity in a relationship. Working around their definitions, once one partner in a couple has breached those limits, how do they go on to heal and re-establish trust?

Stages of healing after infidelity

Recovery from infidelity can be defined as “reported personal growth and increased relationship satisfaction” following an indiscretion within a marriage. This recovery occurs in stages. 

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According to research, the stages of healing from infidelity may be broken down into the following:

  • Gaining strength and courage
  • Both individuals taking responsibility for where the relationship is
  • Seeking professional help in the form of therapy or counselling to improve communication
  • Establishing healthy boundaries and making the decision to work on the relationship
  • Being honest with yourself and with your partner
  • Showing forgiveness and receiving forgiveness

Forgiveness is key as it is one of the most important ways to move on from infidelity.

READ: How to identify and cope with emotional neglect in marriage

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How to move on after cheating on your spouse

  1. Take accountability. As hard as it may be for both of you to do, you must try to pinpoint what you may have done wrong in your relationship. You know the old saying: it takes two to tango. For the spouse who has been cheated on, it may be especially hard for you to take any amount of responsibility. However it is important to do so in order to get to a place of healing. For you who has cheated, it is even more important. Your partner gets some reassurance from you after cheating if they realize that you acknowledge that what you did was wrong.
  2. Soften up. A hard heart will never be able to open up enough to give second chances. Even when you are the one who has cheated, you may need to soften up in order to truly relate to what you have put your partner through. That brings us to the next point.
  3. Empathise. Empathising with your spouse after cheating on them means trying to understand how betrayed they feel on an emotional and mental level. Doing this might give you some insight into how to get your relationship back on track.
  4. Forgive. Forgive your spouse for any failings you believe they may have had in your marriage. Also, forgive yourself for causing your spouse so much pain. Rebuilding marriage after infidelity requires you to start on some sort of a clean slate. You will not be able to forget the indiscretion but you can forgive it.
  5. Restore trust. Rebuilding marriage after infidelity cannot be done if you do not trust each other. It is time to build up trust again. A healthy relationship without trust is impossible. This can be very difficult to achieve when your spouse is so heartbroken. You should not expect it to happen overnight. There are trust building exercises you can try to get you to a good place in your journey to overcoming infidelity in marriage. 
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READ: Why does my husband hate me?

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5 Incredible Trust building exercises for couples after infidelity

Here are 5 examples of trust building exercises that you can try with your spouse after infidelity.

  1. Sustained eye contact. This helps you as a couple to slow down, focus on each and both literally and figuratively “see” each other. 
  2. Blind obstacle course. One spouse is blind folded and the other is trusted to lead them through an obstacle course. It fosters communication and teamwork – two things that are important for a good marriage.
  3. Count the ways. Sit facing each other and tell each other all the different reasons why you love each other. This helps to remind you both why you got together in the first place and makes you feel more appreciated. It is important for providing reassurance after cheating.
  4. Secrets. Share one deep and dark secret with each other. Explain why the secret is so shameful to you and let your partner know how vulnerable you feel sharing it with them. 
  5. Share your phone. Our cell phones usually have a lot of information about us on them. This modern day of social media has created a new kind of opportunity for trust issues. Allowing your spouse to go through your phone and see that there is nothing incriminating on it is a good way to reestablish trust.  
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You can also learn about trust building in marriage by reading books on the topic.

Cindy Beall’s Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New: *Healing the Broken Places *Resolving Unmet Expectations *Moving Your Relationship Forward and Caroline Madden’s After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust & Intimacy With Your Wife are good books to try out. They are not long and laborious to read. Both yourself and your spouse will benefit from reading them. Cindy’s book is perfect for you if you are a person of faith. She connects her advice on rebuilding trust to the Christian faith. It is also beneficial to read books on infidelity that are written by women. Such books are usually authored by men so it is interesting to get slightly different takes on the topic.

Are you working on rebuilding your marriage after infidelity? What steps have you taken so far that you have found to be effective?

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