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Rebuild Trust After An Affair: Ask the Tough Questions
By Susie and Otto Collins

If you or your partner had an affair and you have decided to try and put your relationship back together again, it's probably obvious to you that rebuilding trust needs to happen.

With weakened or no trust, it is virtually impossible to have the close relationship that you've probably wanted all along.

One way to begin to rebuild trust is to ask yourself what we call the "tough questions."

Inquire within and then be willing to share and listen with your partner.

These are some of the possible thoughts that you might be puzzling over in your mind:

"How could infidelity have happened in our relationship?"
"When did we become so disconnected and far apart?"

"What can we do to fix this?"

"Is our broken relationship fixable?"

It is important that you and your partner consider these tough questions so that you can better understand why the distance between you formed in the first place and what contributed to the affair.

In fact, as you gain a clearer view of the possible ways that you both have played a role in creating the dissatisfying state of your relationship today, you are on your way to rebuilding trust.

*Please notice that among the tough questions listed above we do NOT include these:

"Why do I always attract bad men/women?"

"How can I get back at my partner for what he or she has done?

Questions that involve either you or your partner taking sole blame for the broken trust in your relationship might feel appropriate to you-- and there may even be a lot of evidence to support this.

However, if you decide to stay in this relationship and rebuild trust, it's imperative that you and your mate ask yourselves the kind of tough questions that will help you better understand all of the
relationship habits and dynamics that potentially contributed to the infidelity.

Start at the disconnection.
Try to adopt the role of a researcher or archaeologist. Make it your intention to find out reliable information and then learn from it.

Many studies have shown that a lack of connection is a primary cause of affairs.

For this reason, start your own research at the
disconnection between you and your partner. "Dig" back through your memories and feelings to uncover what happened.

Do you have a sense of when you began to notice distance in your relationship? This might take some time to think back.

It can be helpful to talk about this with your partner-- with your researcher hats on.

This means that you and your mate agree to
discover more information about when and why you became disconnected with as little blame and judgment as possible.

Remember, we aren't recommending that you re-hash the literal events of the affair.

Focus mostly on the thoughts, beliefs and habits that may have led the distance between you two to increase.

Quite often disconnection develops when one or both of you feel that specific needs are not being met in the relationship.

These needs could be sexual, emotional, intellectual, financial, physical or might take other forms.

Look within yourself and make note of the unmet needs you feel today. They might be the same as they were when the distance between you and your partner began.

It is more important to identify the possible unmet needs and other factors that may have contributed to disconnection in your relationship than it is to pinpoint the day or event during which this might have occurred.

Tough questions can lead to rebuilding trust.
Be willing to honestly share with your partner what you discover about your unmet needs or other feelings, thoughts and habits that may have contributed to disconnection.

As you share, be sure to own how you are feeling (or how you felt) about a particular issue and speak mostly in terms of what your needs are.

It's a great idea to also share specific ways in which your needs might be met.

This information can be difficult and invaluable to your partner.

It might not be easy for him or her to hear that you need more variety in your lovemaking, for example; but it can be a means by which the two of you begin to make changes and restore trust.

Listen with openness to what your partner shares.

As you know, this is not always comfortable information to share about (or to hear).  Ask for more information if you feel triggered or confused by what he or she has to say.

Once you have both shared your feelings and unmet needs that may have contributed to the disconnection and the affair, create some
agreements that you both can follow through with.

For instance, you might agree to check in with one another emotionally for a specific amount of time every evening.

This agreement can address an unmet need that one or both of you have and it is also an effective way to restore connection and trust.

As you make and follow through with agreements and you both continue to tune in to what you need in your relationship, trust can begin to rebuild.







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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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