Infidelity Aftermath: How
Could An Affair Have Happened In My Marriage and Can
We Recover Trust?
By Susie and Otto Collins
When infidelity hits your marriage or relationship,
rock just about everything you think about yourself,
partner, and your ideas about relationships overall.
Whether you made vows to one another in a marriage
or made other types of relationship promises, when
agreements are violated, trust can most certainly
broken-- and so may you.
After all, as you were growing up, you probably did
envision infidelity as part of your dream future.
an adult, you may characterize in your mind the
marriages or relationships as those where cheating
And, in what feels like one fell
what used to appear to you as a "good" relationship
moved over to the "bad" category in your mind.
If you find yourself thinking along these lines,
to affirm to you that "good" and "bad"
not move you out of the pain you may be feeling.
want to recover trust, letting go of your
notions and beliefs may help with the healing.
Carl used to think he and Lydia had the perfect
That is until a month ago when she admitted to him
was having an affair with a friend of theirs. Now in
infidelity aftermath, Carl finds himself questioning
anything and everything.
"How could this have
us?" he wonders. "Is there something wrong with me
drove her to cheat?" he worries internally. Or, "Why
didn't I see this dark side of Lydia before?"
Lydia has ended
the affair and promised to do whatever it takes to
heal and rebuild trust, Carl wonders if he can even
her again. None of this is the way Carl thought his
Let go of beliefs and assumptions that don't
One way for Carl to begin to make the shift toward
and re-connection with Lydia is to take a look at
beliefs and assumptions. True, it is Lydia who
trust and their wedding vows.
But it is unlikely
will truly be able to rebuild trust within himself
Lydia until he lets go of his ways of thinking that
don't serve him.
Only Carl, or you, can determine what these limiting
are which can feel confusing, especially at this
helpful clue is to hone in on a particular thought
frequently surfaces in your mind.
Ask yourself if
this to be true.
For example, Carl used to feel
of couples he knows or sees on tv who cheat on one
Before Lydia's affair, deep down he believed that
those people and relationships were deeply flawed
inferior, otherwise the affairs wouldn't have
that his marriage is on par with those he used to
he's at a loss for what to think.
Once you identify and begin to release those beliefs
assumptions that just don't serve you right now, you
find a more expanded space within yourself.
mean that it was ok for Lydia to have an affair or
should act as if the affair never happened.
mean that Carl cannot feel angry or hurt about what
happened. The expanded space allows room for
or you, are feeling AND it allows space for a shift
healing and rebuilding trust.
Stay focused on what you want and create
trustable moments to get there....
Within the expanded space that was once bounded by
assumptions and beliefs, you can begin to focus on
If you want to stay in this relationship and
trust, keep your primary focus on that goal.
decided that you want to leave, you can make it your
to open up to the kind of future you want for
Either way, creating trust is essential.
Carl has decided that he does not want to end his
to Lydia. There is still a lot of healing that needs
happen and work between the two of them to be done,
was able to sit down with Lydia and make a plan for
can begin to rebuild trust.
With this plan--
agreements-- written down, they both have a visual
of what to stay focused on.
It may be tempting to return to the old ways you
think about relationships, yourself, or your
remind yourself of those that just won't take you in
direction you want to go and then release them.
mental note of those trustable moments that happen
and often go unnoticed.
No matter how insignificant
may appear, a lot of little trustable moments can
just as (if not more) important to rebuilding trust
more obvious moments.