Yes, you can trust a man after he cheated on you – if he is sincerely remorseful. These tips for surviving an affair include links to resources for rebuilding broken marriages.
First, here’s a bit of relationship advice from a marriage counselor:
“It’s best to come clean as early as possible,” says author and marriage counselor Gary Neuman. “Be honest with your partner when you’re just beginning to become interested in someone else.”
For more advice on recognizing and surviving emotional cheating, read The Emotional Affair: How to Recognize Emotional Infidelity and What to Do About It.
And, here are several tips for trusting a husband who cheated…
Can You Trust a Man Who Cheated on You? How to Survive an Affair
Trusting a husband or boyfriend who cheated on you is a very personal decision. It depends on your relationship, reasons he cheated, and many other factors – more than a single article (or book) on cheating can cover!
These are just a few things to think about…
Keep your expectations for your marriage realistic. You won’t be able to completely forget about your spouse’s affair, but you can stop nourishing your mistrust, hurt, and suspicious thoughts. That means accepting your partner at his (or her) word – if he says he’s left the past behind and is focused on building a strong marriage with you. To survive an emotional affair, you need to nourish healthy growth, trust, and faith in the future. (Easier said than done, I know).
Figure out your ideal healthy relationship. How do you want to be treated by your partner? What makes you feel loved and respected? To learn to trust a man who cheated on you, envision your ideal healthy relationship, and make a list of the small steps that create that relationship. Share this list with your partner – and don’t be afraid of ultimatums or being left alone. Being single is a far better option than being in a relationship that causes you pain, anxiety, frustration, and confusion.
Read books such as Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD): The Six Stages of Healing together, so you’re both aware of what it takes to reconnect and rebuild after a man cheats on you.
Understand and respect each other’s perspective. What does your partner need from you and your relationship? What do you need? To reconnect and survive an affair, be honest with each other. Don’t try to change your partner; instead, try and understand him.
Consider couples counseling or online marriage counseling. Individual or couples counseling will help you figure out the difference between your own insecurities and your partner’s emotional infidelity. Most of the time, emotional cheating or fights between couples aren’t about one specific problem – they’re about issues that already destroying the relationship. To reconnect with your spouse, you need to deal with those issues. And couples often need help dealing with issues in healthy ways (which is where marriage counseling comes in!).
If you know you can’t trust a man who cheated on you, read Marriage Crisis – Surviving When You Have Nothing Left.
Practice forgiveness. This tip for surviving an affair may be the most difficult one — which is why marriage counseling is so important. He made a mistake, and it tore at the fabric of your relationship – but that doesn’t mean you both have to pay for it forever! You have to forgive yourself and him in order for you to rebuild and reconnect. Forgiveness and love is a conscious choice you need to make every day. The more you choose to focus on love, trust, and forgiveness, the easier it gets. And, part of forgiving and reconnecting with a man who cheated on you is learning why he cheating in the first place.
The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It is a great source of information and insight.
Focus on the present and future – not the past. Focus on becoming more connected emotionally, spending time together, remembering what brought you together in the first place, and building a strong happy relationship. To survive an emotional affair, refuse to stay stuck in the past.
Focus on rebuilding your love, trust, and connection. You need to put the emotional affair behind you, because if you let your jealousy and insecurity affect your relationship, you’ll drive a wedge between you. Marriages are plagued with “a thousand tiny betrayals” – and to prevent those hurts from destroying your relationship, you need to forgive and let it go. Try to focus on reconnecting with your spouse (not rehashing the affair). Instead of staying stuck in the past, concentrate on your goal of rebuilding your marriage. A book like the The Magic of Making Up can be very helpful — and it can give you hope for the future.
Marriage coach Mort Fertel says cheating husbands may be less likely to cheat again. After an emotional affair, you may be able to trust him more than a man in a new relationship. For more info, read What to Do When You Catch Your Spouse Cheating.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.