“Infidelity, I don’t know the exact premises of its definition but I committed that mistake (sin as my husband would call it) when I got emotionally entangled with my school classmate. We met on Facebook and took our conversation to the Messenger. From there it went to a more convenient WhatsApp on a regular basis. Then it ended up with FaceTime. In a matter of a year we became closer than any friends I had. Talking to him became a compulsion and I lost control of my safety lines and we went into a physical relationship also. Soon I was exposed and my husband and I had a yearlong estrangement. Following that year we decided to give our marriage a second chance. And this is where I have started panicking. I can’t trust my husband. I know it sounds strange as I am the one who cheated but now I fear he will cheat on me and thus I am paranoid.”
This was the dilemma of Usha who confessed her infidelity.
I admit it was my fault
At no point did she blame her husband. She admitted that she just slipped into a new relationship which happened naturally. When she got back with her husband after the estrangement she had lost all trust in relationships. She suspected that he would now take a chance on an extramarital affair.
“I’ve completely lost trust in marriages. I have this stone cold realisation that I messed with the best gift marriage gave me, my partner’s trust. I feel guilty and keep thinking that what I did to him, he will do to me. Loss of trust is the crux of infidelity and if I have to restore the marriage I have to first work on my trust which is deeply damaged now. I have come clean of the infidelity but I also feel the need to prove my honesty in every other aspect of life too in the moment and ahead too. I’m working very hard on me to restore trust, but am working twice as hard to ensure he isn’t cheating. I am trying to retain trust through consistent and sometimes emotionally painful truth-telling and accountability. I have set limits and boundaries for me though he didn’t insist one. But I am also wishing he adheres to the same boundaries, as now I am scared he will go astray.”
Related reading: I’m cheating on my wife – not physically, but emotionally
Rebuilding the trust takes time
The good news is that trust once broken can be rebuilt and go on to make the marriage even better. The bad news is that it is time consuming and requires a lot of hard work. There are also side effects while rebuilding the marriage, like the one Usha is experiencing, because when trust is broken the belief system gets shaken to the core.
“Umang has completely cut off sex life after I was caught with another man. Umang and I had a very active sex life and he is a physically very expressive person, so when he cuts off physical needs I am totally concerned. My insecurity developed from the fact that when I came back home after one year we sleep on the same bed, but he is completely okay without even a cuddle. I strongly feel he has vested his physical interests somewhere else. It could be true or it could be my guilt.”
Related reading: Reasons why women have extramarital affairs
No time for insecurity
You have to let your partner know that you are indeed genuinely sorry for what you have made him go through and what you have made him feel. He has to be reassured that you are seriously reliable and he will be safe trusting you. Rebuilding trust also means rebuilding credibility; in the process don’t do anything that will spoil the slow process. Keep your guilt in check and this is not the time to suspect the non-cheating partner. It is only natural to think that the other partner now has the license to cheat. Keep such feelings and doubts away from the other partner and let him take the time to heal and get back into love mode again. Regain the balance and bring the trust back into marriage by being dependable, consistent and responsible.
Regain the balance and bring the trust back into marriage by being dependable, consistent and responsible.
“I’ve started suspecting calls from his female friends. I get paranoid when he comes home late in the night. I stalk his Facebook daily to see who comments and likes his postings often. And then I go and stalk that lady. Instead of restoring trust, I am ensuring that he doesn’t have a counter affair. I feel that one day he would take revenge on me and have an affair,” confessed Usha.
It’s a hard task
This is ideally your partner’s time to vent his feelings and even blame you if he feels like it. So this is not the time you play the victim. He might want to ask you a lot of questions; do be available to answer them, as this is his trust building process. He is also feeling inadequate at this time. There will be a lot of inconsistency in the relationship as you move one step forward and then two steps backwards. Sex is a powerful way to heal after being cheated, as there is some amount of temporary trust and intimacy and that’s why Usha feels the void in that aspect. The stage of reconciling is also a time to rebuild the bond, so Usha has to keep her insecurities in check.