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Affair Aftermath: How Can I Trust Again After So Many Lies?
By Susie and Otto Collins

Pinocchio's nose grew when the puppet-boy from the famous fairy tale told a lie. If your partner told you lies to cover up his or her affair, you might wish that the Pinocchio effect was real!

Even if the infidelity happened awhile ago and you two have made strides putting your relationship back together again, trust might still be weak.

You might still wonder-- in the back of your mind-- when you'll find out your mate is lying to you again. If only there was a way to really know if he or she is telling the truth.

If you and your partner have decided to re-build trust and focus your attention on healing yourselves and your relationship, the last thing you probably want to find out is that you are being lied to-- again.

At the same time, it's likely that you don't want to be caught off-guard and surprised by deception and betrayal as you were before.

It can seem like a tricky situation. If you keep your defenses up and are always on the look out for signs that your partner is lying to you, there will undoubtedly be a wall of suspicion that keeps you two further apart and stands in the way of healing.

But to completely open yourself up again may make you feel quite vulnerable. It's probably your intention to never feel that kind of pain or hurt again.

Jim and Keri have been working hard to re-build trust after Keri's affair last year. She has done whatever Jim asked in order to make amends for her actions, including giving him access to her
e-mail account and cell phone records.

They have had countless talks together to better
understand the disconnection between them that contributed to Keri's choice to cheat.

No matter how transparent Keri has tried to be during these past months, she feels like Jim is never fully convinced that she is being truthful with him. Jim often asks follow up questions and sometimes requests the names of friends or
co-workers who could verify her "story" if he
chooses to investigate.

Many times Keri feels more like she's on trial being grilled by an prosecutor rather than in a relationship that's supposed to be about
re-connecting and love.

Jim is just torn up inside. He is well aware of how hard Keri is working to prove that she is trustworthy. Many days, he can see and appreciate the extra efforts she's making to help build trust between them.

But just when he starts to relax and have fun with Keri, remembering why heloves her so much, there is a clenching in his stomach and a wave of memory of the day he found out about her affair.
In those moments, he is transported back to the past and it's almost as if the hurt is fresh and new.

At times like those, Jim wonders how he can ever trust Keri again after so many lies were told to cover her infidelity.

Learn to trust yourself and your "gut."
When you've been hurt by lies and your partner's affair, a first step is to learn how to trust yourself again. Yes, the person in the relationship who cheated needs to learn to trust him or herself again and believe that agreements can be kept. But even the person who was cheated on has to
be able to believe what his or her "gut" is indicating.

There might be a lot of confusion within after finding out that the relationship you thought you had, is based-- at least in part-on lies. This feeling of the rug being pulled out from under you that comes after discovering the lies and the infidelity can cause you to doubt what you

And in some cases, it can leave you suspicious of
everything you hear or think you know to be true.

Begin to practice by tuning in to yourself when you are feeling calm and relatively positive about your life. Take a statement that frequently bounces around in your mind. Feel into yourself and try to get a clearer idea of where that statement is coming from. If you notice anxiety or fear surrounding this statement, then perhaps you would benefit from further information.

On the other hand, if the statement or thought seems to spring from a sure feeling, from the "gut," then this might be more reliable. Pay special attention to whether this statement seems to come from a past experience or from thispresent moment. Bring yourself back to the present.

Jim realizes that when Keri works late, he starts creating scenarios in his mind about Keri having another affair and lying to hide it. He tunes into himself and discovers that this these scenarios definitely derive from his fears and from what happened in the past.

Just recognizing this allows Jim to calm down and stop the scenario. And from a less intense and fear-filled place, he can ask Keri for more information about her workday.

How Jim feels and the degree to which he soothes his fears can mean the difference between Keri feeling like she's being interrogated or merely being asked questions from a place of curiosity.

Take a reasonable risk.
After your partner has had an affair and you are aware of the lies and betrayal that have happened, it is a risk to trust again.

Let's face it. Everyday is filled with risks
of all types and intensities. Walking down the street, eating at a restaurant, undergoing a medical procedure, and being in a love relationship.

When you are rebuilding trust after infidelity, you are given the opportunity to love again. And you are given the opportunity to take a reasonable risk.

Keri finally breaks down in tears one evening after Jim slips back into his interrogating and suspicious mode. She shares with him that she doesn't know what more she can do to prove to him that he can trust her. She feels helpless and even fearful that they will ever be happy again.

After this breakdown, Jim and Keri make an agreement that they will both take reasonable and conscious risks during this trust re-building process.

Jim and Keri set a new intention for their relationship. They will now make it a point to look for signs that they can trust one another. Jim will begin to notice when Keri follows through on what she says. He will check within himself before launching into checking up on her "story" or
interrogating her.

Keri will acknowledge the times that Jim asks her about her day from a place of curiosity and will take care to answer without being defensive. They both will make note of the ways that they connect and when they move closer together.

There are no 100% guarantees that your partner will never lie to you again or even that he or she will never betray you or break agreements. You can only know what you determine to be true by tuning out your fears and tuning in to your "gut."

Love is a risk. But it is a risk that many believe is worth taking. Stay conscious and aware and allow
yourself to open more and more to connection.







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Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
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