The loss of trust in a marriage can occur when one partner is not honest with the other. Although, such a lapse of trust might be the result of a number of things such as making major financial decisions without consulting one's spouse, allowing a child certain privileges unilaterally or making a career move that will uproot the family, most often infidelity of a spouse breaches trust in a marriage. Trying to re-gain trust after cheating on a spouse requires time, effort and good communication between spouses.
"Trust in relationships is very important and one affair can well destroy one partner's trust in the cheating party," Sally Webb states on the blog, Cheating Spouse Alert.com. "If you want to regain the trust in your partner - or you just want to rebuild trust in relationships that has been peppered with infidelity, there is definitely more to do than just promising to 'never do it again'. At this time, action speaks louder than words and the behaviour of the cheating party is more important to regain the spouse' trust."
Once an affair has been discovered and trust has been broken, the cheating spouse's first act may be to confess and apologize to the other spouse in hopes of absolution. However, as necessary as a mea culpa is that's just one step in many that needs to be taken if trust is to be restored. Any violation of a contract between two parties, which marriage is, often requires not just an admission of guilt and an expression of humility, but often it's necessary to re-negotiate some or all of the contractural terms.
When marriage vows are broken, this means full disclosure from that moment on and no secrets. "Apologizing is only the first step towards finding a way of how to regain trust after cheating," according to blog, Rescue Marriage Now. "Part of this process includes cutting all ties with the other man or woman....it is important to tell [your spouse] where you are at all times. If you are going to be late back from work, call them to explain. Leave your cell phone unlocked, your email accessible and credit card statements on the table. This may be hard to do but it shows you have nothing to hide. Your life and behaviour must be completely transparent." Then the real work begins. Not only is transparency absolutely essential following infidelity, so is communication.
Often when adultery occurs communication between spouses has been lacking in some respect. Maybe there isn't time due to busy schedules or the importance of good communication was not understood. Married couples who don't communicate well may not even have clear concepts if what constitutes cheating in a relationship. Many married people believe that as long as their is no sex involved, they haven't cheated on a spouse. "Marital infidelity can be many things: sexual involvement with another person, secret Internet relationships, secret exchange of emails, instant messaging or secret phone calls with a 'bosom buddy,' so-called platonic relationships that operate secretly. Extra-marital infidelity and cheating runs the gamut from passionate sexual affairs to 'platonic' dinners done in secrecy that betray your spouse and undermine your marriage," states "How to Re-Build Your Spouse's Trust After an Affair," wikiHow.
Once a couple communicates what constitutes infidelity in their relationship and can openly discuss their feelings about such betrayals by a spouse, the communication gap will start to close and the real work on healing the marital relationship can begin. "As trust begins to develop and within the first few weeks after disclosure, work on the marriage can proceed and each person will have the chance to speak and be heard about their needs, desires, complaints, hopes and wishes for the marriage," according to "How a Cheating Spouse Can Re-gain Trust," from blog, Retirement Relationships. The most important element in a marriage, communication, as previously, stated is also the most effective tool in restoring trust and healing the pain of infidelity.
Once a couple has committed the time and effort to saving a marriage from the train wreck of an adulterous affair, communication that is honest, open, sincere and continuous will create a new level of trust and respect between them. "Regaining the trust in your marriage is a learning and growing process," is the advice offered on the blog Getting Over an Affair. "You will need to change the way you and your spouse conduct yourselves, and also learn to to communicate better." Improved communication and a real, concerted effort to re-gain trust after an affair will have positive results given time. Both parties will have to be patient, however. It will take time to re-build a relationship that's suffered the kind of damage caused by unfaithfulness.