According to a book by Mark Di Vincenzo, about 75 % of marriages survive if the male is cheating, and about 65 % survive if the female is having an affair. Some facts on marriages that survive cheating state that marriages in which males cheat are more likely to survive. Therapists say that it is because men are less likely than women to have an emotional attachment with their mistresses.
12 ways to rebuild trust in your marriage after cheating
When married, both partners seek in each other a sense of calm and security. When cheating comes into the picture, these feelings are disturbed and replaced by a sense of uneasiness and self-doubt. When your partner sees you, all he/she sees is your betrayal and it is difficult to regain the trust, especially if you want to make this marriage work.
When it comes to recovering from infidelity, some partners choose to ignore it and push around to keep it going without addressing the issue, while others choose to vent out their feelings and talk it out. For some, it is just over, no matter how sorry you are. Rebuilding a marriage is like an attempt to stack uneven stones on top of one another carefully, trying to ensure that they don’t shatter and come down again. It requires small steps that will lead your partner back to you. Here are 12 ways to rebuild trust after you have cheated in your marriage.
1. Break all ties with your fling
The first step is to sever all ties with your fling. If you want your partner to see that you are trying to mend things with him/her, do it by showing them that you will have nothing to do with your fling any more. By ending the affair, you have taken your first step towards regaining your partner’s trust.
Once your partner sees that the threat is gone, he/she will feel a sense of relief and will start to think about you, your efforts and your marriage. This is the foremost step that you should take when trying to regain your spouses’ trust.
2. Show accountability of your actions
At times when cheaters get caught, they start playing the blame game. Playing the blame game doesn’t justify your actions; it just drives your partner more away. It was you who cheated, not your partner, whatever the reasons of your extramarital affair. It was your decision to have an affair, so own up to it. Show accountability of your actions by telling your partner the truth about the affair.
Give your partner every detail of how and when it started. Tell him or her how you regret the same, and how you’d like to work on ways to rebuild trust that lies shattered. Owning up to your mistake will make your partner think about giving you another chance.
3. Let your partner vent it out
After your partner comes to know about the affair, he/she might not react. By not giving any reaction, your partner is suppressing his/her inner feelings, which will just keep piling up until it’s too late to recover from them. Talk to your partner and allow him/her to take out all those boxed up feelings. Coax, cajole and force your partner to react- shout, scream, accuse you of ruining the sacred bond that you share.
You too need to know about how much damage this affair has caused to your marriage and your partner.
4. Become as transparent as possible
Whether you are going out with your sister or texting your maid, tell your partner. Be back when your partner is expecting you. If you bump into someone, let your partner know about it. Ensure that you show full transparency from your side, so that your partner sees the efforts you are putting in to bring this marriage back together.
Imagine yourself as a CCTV camera reporting all your actions to your partner. If you think that this is too much, think about what you did to bring it to this point.
5. Take it slow
Rebuilding someone’s trust isn’t an easy job. It requires baby steps- small things one at a time. Don’t expect your partner to forgive you immediately after you end things with your fling and close the chapter of your extramarital affair. Your partner is in a vulnerable situation where even the smallest mistake could make them take steps back.
Give your partner the time he/she requires to feel that sense of security again. Sooner or later your love will lead your partner back to you.
6. Have ‘the talk’
You and your partner may be avoiding talking about what happened because of embarrassment or the fear of losing each other for real. But, it actually helps to talk about the problems you have in hand instead of bottling the issues and suffering silently.
Communication between two partners is very important when it comes to infidelity. It helps both partners to address the issue and take steps to work on rebuilding the marriage.
7. Honesty is the best policy
True that honesty is the best policy. The only way to win back your partner is by telling him/her about your secret fling/flings and other possible secrets that partners should not keep from each other. The past has a way of coming back to haunt you in the worst possible scenarios. If your partner comes to know about these things from another source, your marriage is beyond saving. This could be the only chance you have at saving it.
Vow that you both will be honest with each other from now on and share all your dark secrets.
8. Try to reconnect, both emotionally and physically
It is important to form a bond with your partner again so that both of you can feel a sort of bond between you. Reconnecting with your partner emotionally helps you and your partner to again have those feelings that you both would feel before. Simple things can make your partner feel loved and wanted and ease out the insecurities, apart from making your marriage stronger. It is important to revive that lost love.
By physically connecting with your partner you will be able to reach out to your partner in a way that will help trigger his/her emotions for you.
9. Try to start afresh
Maybe your marriage had too many problems, which led you to fill those voids elsewhere, which in turn could have triggered the affair. Address the issue and try building your marriage by focussing on what it lacked. Starting afresh by avoiding those mistakes that you made before the affair will prevent you from going through those paths all over again.
You can now focus on your marriage as a new and more mature person.
10. Avoid walking down the same road to infidelity
You know the events that led to the affair. It could be a moment of weakness, a rebound, a medium to reduce your stress or frustration, a one-night stand, your ex or just some old habits. There are many tempting roads to infidelity, but you know your weak spots and you need to avoid them. Ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Take steps to not land in same situations that may cause you to have an affair outside the marriage and hurt your partner again.
11. Seek relationship counselling
Married couples are entangled so much in the individual issues that they don’t listen to what their partner has to say and ignore their perspectives. In such cases, the advice of a professional who is unbiased is something that will help you both focus on your ‘Us’ instead of your individual problems. Infact, a few signs in a marriage indicate that you may benefit from marriage counselling and you should not hesitate to try it out.
Your partner would be more inclined to listen to a stranger who doesn’t remind him/her of you or your infidelity and has a third party stand.
12. Set some rules in your marriage
At times, you need to make ultimatums or set rules for ‘in the event of’ something that could threaten the relationship. It could be things like your previous flings, drunken weakness, too many fights, issues with spending time or even physical intimacy issues. All possible threats could be thought of and both of you can decide beforehand the way these situations can be handled in a way that your marriage doesn’t get hampered.
Before thinking about rebuilding your marriage, it is important to contemplate whether you and your partner really want to move forward with each other.
Maybe you got married too young or you went into a marriage thinking that your fairy tale of a relationship would continue to be the same. But on marrying, you both matured into different people, not the ones you thought each other to be. Deep down you both know it but are in denial and pushing a relationship that is a dead end. Many couples continue to stay in marriages because of their children, but that too, leads to further complications. In the attempt of giving your children a family, you are disturbing their idea of a perfect family.
Think these factors through before continuing your marriage. because you could be complicating things so much that there is no coming back from it.