"My partner is the one who cheated and
he's not doing anything to
make it right!"
By Susie and Otto Collins
Jessica was unsure when she agreed to take her boyfriend,
back after he cheated. She talked with her sister and
they all encouraged her to give him another chance.
"He's a good guy at heart," they all reassured her. "He just
bad decision," they claimed.
In the past months after finding out about his affair,
become even less certain of her decision to stay in this
She is trying to forgive David and put the
them, but it doesn't seem like he is doing anything at all
things right again.
She has suggested that they meet with a relationship coach.
intentionally leaves books about trust and communication out
apartment hoping that he'll pick one up and read it.
proposed agreements that will help rebuild trust, but David
to talk about his affair, their disconnecting habits or
He often accuses Jessica of just trying to "stir up
As far as Jessica can tell, David continues to be just as
evasive and closed down as before he cheated. She's worried
is lying to her, just like he did before.
She's not even
he's really stopped sleeping around with other women.
Rebuilding trust and repairing your relationship after
take time and deliberate effort. When you make the choice to
the relationship-- even after your partner had an affair--
taking a risk.
There is no guarantee that your efforts to rebuild trust
effective. There's no iron-clad assurance that your partner
cheat again or that you two will be able to be happy once
Especially if it seems to you that your partner is doing
nothing to change the habits that contributed to the
the first place, you might be feeling anxious and worried.
What can you do?
Be clear about your role in the distance.
As obvious as it is to you that your mate is NOT doing
things that could bring improvement to your relationship,
moment, set those observations aside.
As much as you might
hurting from the affair and your partner's continued
probable that you're playing a role in this dynamic too.
We're not suggesting that you put up with being lied to or
mistreated. Absolutely not! You deserve the kind of respect
relationship that you want.
However, if you are choosing to stay in this relationship
at least) you're going to need to take responsibility for
that you might be doing that are also moving you two further
If you have a habit of being jealous, resentful, critical or
grudges, own it.
Recognize whatever it is that you do that
role in the disconnection and invite yourself to learn and
Set boundaries and create agreements.
By all means, if you have reliable evidence that your
continuing to lie, flirt, cheat or otherwise act
others, set some boundaries.
It doesn't matter how much you
or her and how much you don't want to lose this
don't need to allow yourself to be betrayed again.
Be clear within yourself about what is most important to you
setting a boundary. If, for example, you find yourself
boundaries in the form of ultimatums or threats to leave
aren't willing to really follow through), stop yourself.
Think through a boundary or a request to create an agreement
talking about it with your partner.
Make sure you are
focusing in on
the need that you have and not something extraneous that may
upsetting but is not the core issue.
Make decisions that are in your best interest.
Whether you're setting a boundary, proposing an agreement or
the decision about whether or not to stay in this
urge you to continually ask yourself what is in your best
This isn't you being selfish or ignoring the effect of your
decisions on your mate, your kids or anyone else.
sense that when you make a decision that is in alignment
you most want and need, you will be better able to be
others (like your kids).
On the other hand, when you ignore what, deep down inside,
is best for you, the effect is generally upset, resentment,
disappointment and regret for all.
Give yourself permission to consider all of your options no
what you are deciding to do.
If you're not seeing any evidence that your partner is
contributing to trust rebuilding in your relationship, it's
Be clear and make sure that you are
the whole picture and not just reacting from the past.
Once you've stepped back and made an assessment of what's
right now in your relationship and weighed in about what you
want for yourself and your future, then you will more easily
what your next best decision is.