Relationship Advice: "How do I know my
partner won't cheat again?"
By Susie and Otto Collins
If your partner had an affair, you might continue to deal
with the aftermath of mistrust and residual feelings that
often come with infidelity.
Perhaps you and your mate have made an agreement to try to
restore trust and connection in your relationship and you
can even see that he or she is trying to make amends and
But you still have that gnawing fear that your partner will
betray you again.
You're not sure if you'll ever be able to trust him or her
You might be asking yourself...
"How do I know my partner won't cheat again?"
This is a painful question to be asking-- especially if you
want nothing more than to feel close, connected and in love
with your mate.
The answer to this question is that you really can't know
for sure whether or not your partner will cheat again.
As much as many of us would like a guarantee about our
future, there simply are none.
However, this doesn't mean that you have to go through your
relationship and your life fearing the worst and bracing
yourself for another bout of betrayal.
Living with dread and an overriding mistrust in your mate
(or others in your life) is not healthy for your
relationship and it's not healthy for you either!
Fearful jealousy can result from a belief that your mate
will cheat again.
Tension, nervousness and physical illnesses can actually
manifest in your body as a result of holding yourself in
this place of agony.
Disconnection will undoubtedly result between you and your
partner as you continue to wonder and worry about whether
infidelity will barge into your relationship again.
But, we understand. This is how you are feeling. It is no
surprise that you might have doubts and fears after your
mate already had an affair.
You are left in a place where you have many unresolved and
vulnerable feelings about the past betrayal yet you want to
work it out with your partner.
You cannot make decisions for your mate and you cannot know
with 100% certainty what will happen in your future.
But you still have choices.
You get to choose what to do with those residual feelings
and beliefs associated with the infidelity.
And you get to choose whether or not to stay in or leave
You get to choose the relationship and life you want for
yourself and then start moving in that direction.
Open up to your options.
If you find yourself fixating on a question like, "How do I
know my partner won't cheat again?" stop and take an honest
look at what's going on.
Dig deep within you and really consider all of the
possibilities in front of you. You can write this down on
paper if you'd like.
For the moment, put the past events behind you and focus
mainly on what's going on right now in your relationship and
Highlight the aspects that are troubling you and
then think about possible approaches to these challenges.
Let's say, for example, that your partner had an affair but
says he wants to make it up to you and prove he's
While your mate does seem to be more attentive to your needs
lately, he still seems to hold back and is not always
forthcoming about where he's been and who he's been with.
You don't want to hound him or make him feel defensive so
you don't ask if he doesn't tell.
The problem is, because of the past infidelity, you fear
that his omissions mean he might be having another affair.
After looking at such a situation you might write on your
paper something like: "I want more honesty and openness in
my love relationship."
A few of the possible options you might write down regarding
this desire might be:
"I could continue to remain silent about my mate's
I could ask him or her to be more transparent about what's
I could accuse him or her of having another affair and
I could ask my partner to make an agreement with me about
how open we will be with one another about our activities
I could leave this relationship and attract a new
Sometimes laying out as many options as you can think of
around a particular challenge can help you see that you do
have power-- even if you felt helpless before.
Make a choice and follow through.
Now it is time to make a choice. If you feel stuck when
coming up with options for yourself or you are having a
difficult time deciding which option you resonate the most
with, ask for help.
You might seek out a coach or counselor. You might also turn
to a trusted and open-minded friend or family member.
When asking for advice, be sure you are clear about what
kind of help you want.
Do you mainly want a sounding board so that you can think
this through yourself? Or would you like to know the opinion
of this trusted ally?
Be clear and obtain the support you are looking for.
Once you have decided which option from your list (or beyond
it) that you'd like to try, make a plan and follow through
Some options might feel more gradual and others more abrupt
or final. Feel into yourself and decide how big of a step
you want to take.
It is truly up to you.
Remembering your power and your capacity to make conscious
decisions about your future can help you get out from under
the worry and fear you might be feeling.
Continue to work on your residual feelings and release them.
At the same time, don't become paralyzed by fears that
another affair will happen.
Instead, reach into yourself and decide what you want.
Then begin to turn yourself in that direction.