Part I of this series dealt with the impact of finding out your partner cheated as it relates to your self-esteem. Part II focuses on trust within the marriage.
From the moment you find out that your husband has cheated on you, you question everything. Trust is shattered like a broken window. You not only question what he tells you about his affair, but everything he has ever told you—and everything he tells you for some time after. For example, he could tell you he is going to the store and you may wonder, “Is he really going to the store, or is he going to see her again?” You may think this whether the affair was two days, two weeks, two months, or two years ago.
Building that trust back after the affair is difficult, but possible. Why is it so difficult? For starters, some women can’t get over the fact that their own husband could lie to them repeatedly. “How could he lie to me so easily?” Then you start wondering if your entire marriage was built on a lie, and if you even know him at all. You start beating yourself up for trusting him, to the point where you do not even trust yourself anymore.
Rebuilding trust takes time and hard work. First, your husband has to be open, meaning nothing is in hiding anymore, email accounts, phones should all be accessible and not hidden. This is a difficult concept for some cheaters but an important step in rebuilding trust. As a couple, you should talk about the actions that he has to take in order to start to build the foundation again. Communication and openness is important in rebuilding trust. Last but definitely not least, you have to work on trusting yourself again.
Part III will explore the final part of the impact an affair has on a marriage.