Rebuild Trust After Infidelity... Even When You Have to See the "Other" Woman
By Susie and Otto Collins
Brenda used to love Wednesday evenings. This is her
orchestra practice night. For over 10 years now Brenda has
the violin in her city's orchestra. She has made many
friends among the other musicians too.
About 6 months ago, however, that all changed. Brenda's
Rick, admitted to her that he had a brief affair...and it
was with a
woman who is a member of the same orchestra!
Not only did Brenda feel shocked and betrayed that her
cheated, she began to dread practices and performances of
She considered quitting the orchestra, but then
to stay because she loves being a musician so much.
Brenda and Rick have been working hard to rebuild trust and
pieces of their marriage back together again.
Brenda goes to an orchestra practice and sees the woman with
Rick had the affair, she feels like the wounds just re-open
waves of anger, sadness and mistrust come up all over again.
She doesn't know what to do.
If your partner had an affair and you have decided to stay
to heal your relationship, when your path crosses with the
woman (or the "other" man), it can be difficult.
all of those emotions that you felt when you first found out
the infidelity might come washing over you again.
This can most definitely stand in the way you and your mate
able to rebuild trust.
So, what can be done?
In certain situations, it may be nearly impossible to avoid
the person with whom your partner cheated.
If you two work
same building, live in the same neighborhood or have similar
of friends, you might feel like you have to make painful and
It might be helpful to change what you can so that you don't
cross paths with this person and be reminded of the affair.
you might not be willing to give up the activity, job,
or group of friends in order to avoid seeing him or her.
You and your partner need to make the best choice for your
Here are some tips to help you rebuild trust...even when you
see the "other" woman or the "other" man:
#1: Stay focused on the present.
Our advice is actually pretty simple, in theory. Keep your
attention and energy focused on what's going on right here
now in your relationship and life.
When you happen to see the person with whom your partner had
affair, resist the urge to go back in time in your mind to
when they were cheating together.
Stop imagining how this
person got together with your partner, what your partner did
this other person and any other past-oriented memories or
that might pop into your mind.
This will not help you to heal, let go of the pain of the
move forward to a healthier, closer relationship.
Instead, remind yourself of what you know to be true at this
Make sure that you and your partner have set up clear
about him or her being transparent with you, for example.
helpful to make a mental note of the ways that your partner
showing you that he or she is trustable.
No matter where you are in the process of rebuilding trust,
bringing yourself back to what is going on now-- especially
recent improvements in your relationship.
#2: Stay focused on you and your partner.
We advise you to essentially put on blinders when you have
around the person your partner cheated with.
in on you and your mate. Or, if you are with friends or
members, give your attention to your interactions with those
your support system.
It's probably not going to be in your best interests to
make snide comments to (or loudly about) the person who your
had the affair with or make a scene in some other way.
Although it might feel "good" in the short-term, this will
take you away from what your priority needs to be right
is to rebuild trust with your partner and start to create
the kind of
relationship you both desire.
When your path crosses with this other person, it might be a
time to shift your focus back to the love that you are
with your partner.
Offer your attention, thoughts and energy
relationship and how it is improving and healing.
This may require determination and perseverance, but it's