Building Trust

Being cheated on in a marriage with kids.

Q1. How do you move on and rebuild trust?

Q2. How to stop doubting your partner (even in small action like smiling at his/her phone makes me think that he/she is chea ting again)

We’ve talked, and there was also reassurance etc. Promises and clarity has been made too. I’m trying my very best not to think negatively and to trust again. But sometimes just can’t help with the thoughts and doubts.

I know that time heals etc, work on something or hobbies that you like and so on, but it doesn’t really help for now.

Q3. So, how much time does one normally take to really heal and trust again?

Q4. Should you or should you not check your partner’s phone?

From past experience as well, checking partner’s phone means you’ll find out that they are cheating.

There’s a saying that it’s better to not know than to know.

Q5. So if it’s you, would you rather know or not know?

Dear Anonymous307,

I really appreciate you opening up about what you’re going through. Being cheated on in a marriage, especially with kids involved, is incredibly painful and challenging. It’s completely normal to feel deep emotional pain and fear of being hurt again. The struggle to regain a sense of security and peace of mind can be overwhelming.

It’s also natural to feel frustrated and hopeless when the typical advice, like “time heals” and “find a hobby,” doesn’t seem to help. And those feelings of anxiety and insecurity, especially when triggered by small things like your partner smiling at their phone, are incredibly tough to deal with. I want to acknowledge the strength and courage it takes to share these feelings and seek support. It shows a deep commitment to healing and moving forward. Let’s take it one step at a time.

Q1. How do you move on and rebuild trust?

Rebuilding trust after betrayal is incredibly tough, and I completely understand why you’re feeling the way you do. It’s a process that takes time and effort from both sides.

Firstly, emotionally, it’s important to let yourself feel whatever comes up. Anger, sadness, fear – all these feelings are valid. When I’m able to talk about these emotions, it helps. Sharing your feelings can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself. Recognizing our emotions allows us to give ourselves room and space to feel less overwhelmed and equip ourselves with the skills to clearly call out any negative or unhelpful thinking.

Try to remind yourself that rebuilding trust is a journey. It won’t happen overnight, and that’s okay. I’ve found that changing how I think about trust can be helpful. Instead of thinking, “I can never trust them again,” try to reframe it to, “Trust can be rebuilt with time and effort.” This shift can help you feel more hopeful about the future.

Finding pillars of trust to hold onto daily can also help. Look for small actions that show commitment and honesty. Holding onto these moments can help you cope without getting lost in extreme rumination. It’s all about taking small, consistent steps. You can start with clarity about boundaries and expectations. Maybe we can agree on more openness about daily activities? Simple things like letting each other know where or who you’re with can build trust over time. Also, finding activities that you both enjoy together can help reinforce your bond.

It’s also okay to accept that things have changed. The betrayal happened, and it’s natural to feel like the victim. Efforts are needed from both parties in the relationship, it’s possible to create a new path forward.

Remember, rebuilding trust is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient with yourself and your partner, and take it one step at a time. How does this feel so far?

Q2. How to stop doubting your partner (even in small actions like smiling at his/her phone makes me think that he/she is cheating again)?

I understand how hard it is to stop doubting your partner after what you’ve been through. Experiencing infidelity is like going through a form of grief. You’ve lost the relationship that made you feel safe, and now the person you thought you could rely on feels unreliable. The conflict within you is loud and persistent, bringing up the painful memory of betrayal over and over. Even small actions can trigger big reactions, and that’s totally normal. You mentioned that you’ve talked about it and received reassurances and promises, which is a great start. It shows that both of you are working towards rebuilding trust.

Your feelings of anxiety and insecurity are valid, but sometimes, just naming the emotion (“I’m feeling anxious right now because…”) can help take away some of its power. Sharing these feelings in a non-accusatory way can also help, you might say, “I can’t help but get anxious when I see you smile at your phone.” This can open up a dialogue and help your partner understand your perspective better.

When those doubts become persistent, techniques like deep breathing or even stepping away for a moment to clear your head can be really effective. Engaging in activities that you enjoy or that distract you can also help break the cycle of negative thoughts. Additionally, creating a plan with your partner for moments when you feel triggered can be helpful. Understanding the intentions behind transparency helps signal openness to communications.

When you feel calm, ask yourself, “Is there a reason to distrust them right now?” Remind yourself of the promises and reassurances that have been made. This can help reduce the intensity of the doubt. Also, consider asking yourself, “How can I take care of myself right now to help reduce this doubt?” Reflect on times when you’ve been able to trust and how you managed those feelings.

Healing and rebuilding trust are very personal processes, and what works for one person might not work for another. Sometimes it takes trying different strategies to find what works best for you.

Q3. So, how much time does one normally take to really heal and trust again?

There’s no set timeline for healing. Healing is a personal journey, and everyone’s timeline is different. The important thing is to be patient with yourself and recognize that healing isn’t linear. There will be good days and bad days, and that’s completely normal, it is about the quality of the healing process. Trust yourself and the steps you’re taking.

Q4. Should you or should you not check your partner’s phone?

This is a tough one. On one hand, checking can give temporary relief, but it often feeds into the cycle of mistrust. And this continues to be infectious and unhealthy for the relationship. In fact, it might be more beneficial to focus on building open communication, such as agreeing on certain boundaries and sharing feelings openly, which can help rebuild trust without the need for checking devices.

For example, you might say, “I feel anxious and insecure sometimes. Can we agree on ways to be more open with each other?” This can help you both feel more secure without resorting to checking. Finding a balance that works for both of you is key. It’s important to remember that rebuilding trust takes time and effort from both sides. Focus on actions that foster trust and understanding, rather than those that might temporarily alleviate anxiety but ultimately harm the relationship.

Q5. So if it’s you, would you rather know or not know?

This is such a personal decision.

On one hand, knowing can bring a sense of closure and control. It can help you make informed decisions about your future. Some people find that knowing helps them process their emotions and move forward. On the other hand, knowing every detail can sometimes cause more pain and make it harder to heal. It can lead to overthinking and increased anxiety, which can make it difficult to rebuild trust and move on.

I want to remind you that it’s okay to have all these questions and doubts. It’s part of the healing process. And I also think it would depend on how beneficial it is for your emotional health. You’re not alone in this, and taking small steps each day can lead to big changes over time. Ultimately, it’s about what feels right for you. You know yourself best and what you need to heal. It’s okay to take your time with this decision. Keeping open communications with your partner and seeking support from a therapist or trusted friend who can help you navigate this complex situation makes a big difference.

How does this perspective feel to you? If there’s anything more you’d like to discuss or adjust, let us know.

Take care,