Getting trust back after someone in a relationship cheats is a difficult task. Once you find that your spouse/partner cheated, it is very difficult to get the trust back and get over the anger. Often, you track their every move. You check in with them, surprise them when they aren’t expecting you, ask people who they were supposed to hang out with if indeed they were hanging out. Then there is the question of “Do I want to know the specific details of the affair?” These are all very personal questions therefore the answer is going to be different for everyone. One question to ask yourself is “Do I want this relationship to work?” How you make this decision depends on the situation, of course. But one way to start is by evaluating how long you have been in the relationship, what are the good qualities in your partner, and what was the relationship like when it was good. When you make a decision if the good qualities outweigh the bad behaviors (cheating, for example), then you have to decide how long you feel that your partner should “pay” for their actions. Many spouses hold on to their anger and mistrust for years. For those people, I would urge you to keep in mind that even criminals have to serve a sentence, and then they are free again. It is also important to keep in mind, that although the behavior of cheating was not a good way to ask for help or to say something was wrong, that often times the person who cheated was missing something in the relationship. Again, this is not an excuse for cheating, it is just a reason that many people do cheat. Building communication again is an important step in regaining that trust and letting go of the anger. When you can be assured that if there was another problem (for example, something missing from the relationship) your partner would come talk to you rather than get their needs met elsewhere (cheating), then the trust does often times start to come back. The main thing to remember is that when someone cheats, the ball is in your court. The decision is yours as to if you believe the person and/or the relationship deserve forgiveness and what your partner needs to do to regain the trust. I would recommend talking to a therapist about your decision before you make it so that you can have an objective viewpoint as to what YOU want to do. Often times, friends and family have their own agenda. You do not want their agenda (even if it is well meaning) influencing such an important decision in your life.
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