How to Rebuild Trust After An Affair

Cheating infidelity

Dr. Shirley Glass wrote the book “NOT ‘Just Friends’ Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity.” This is an excellent resource for both the partner who cheated and committed the betrayal and the betrayed partner. Dr. Glass’ book is the basis for this post. The book helps normalize that being attracted to other people means you are human. It’s when acting on that attraction when in a committed relationship that problems arise. See the page on infidelity and cheating for more information not specifically tied to Dr. Glass’ book.

Dr. Glass discusses the slippery slope that is infidelity today. While most committed couples would agree that sleeping with someone else is undoubtedly an affair, the lines have become somewhat blurred in modern society. Some couples may find that a partner hanging out with an ex is perfectly acceptable. Some may find it’s immediate grounds for divorce. Emotional affairs can be just as damaging and traumatic as physical affairs. The internet has made it easy and convenient for couples to cheat or engage in questionable behavior. Opportunity is everywhere.

Both the partner who cheated on a marriage or relationship and the betrayed partner can suffer a form of complex PTSD. In some cases, PTSD treatment is necessary. The cheating partner can also feel intense guilt that can lead to anxiety and depression.

While Dr. Glass admits the position is controversial, but rebuilding trust may require that the betrayed partner be given free access to devices like phones (and/or location services turned on), email accounts, or the partner’s mail. The hypervigilance many betrayed partners feel may only start to go away if they have a way to track their partner until they feel comfortable.

Rebuilding trust may require the betrayed partner have the opportunity to ask as many questions they want about the affair, with the cheating partner providing fully honest answers regardless of what the question may be.

Recalling your past and why you chose your partner over anyone else in the world can help rekindle the relationship. Eventually, both partners will need to forgive themselves and the other. Sometimes infidelity is the result of so many ingrained problems that there isn’t an easy or realistic way out.

While sex addiction may factor into some affairs, they are often precipitated by a lack of bonding and connection. Affairs are most often not about sex but about trying to find someone with whom to create a strong emotional connection. Dr. Glass’ book goes into much more detail, and counseling can be a good place to process the ideas in the book or learn about them if reading a 400+ page book does not fit your schedule.