Just how long and what will it take to regain that trust again after the affair? Do you find yourself unable to believe a word out of your spouse’s mouth? Can’t tell the truth from the lies anymore?
If your spouse has broken your trust, you have good reason to be mistrustful. That’s your instincts trying to rediscover the lay of the land, armed with this new knowledge that your spouse is capable of being deceitful–and your instincts are trying to protect you from further hurt.
Many victims blame themselves for believing their spouse–and then getting duped.
In this blog, we’ll look at your mistrust triggers–and I’ll give you three steps to move forward, away from them. Read on…
On A Truth Quest
Anyone can be duped by a good liar. Even law enforcement and intelligence officials can be duped. It’s difficult to become good at spotting a lie. There’s no magic formula, so it’s not something that’s easy to pick up. However, once bitten, twice shy, yes?
Once you’ve been devastated by the realization that a portion of your marriage was lived in a lie, it’s hard to know what’s real anymore. This is natural. You’re going to doubt reality until you redefine it based on this new information: your spouse is capable of being an accomplished liar. This doesn’t necessarily mean your spouse will lie again, but once you know that he or she is capable, you tend to sit up a little straighter.
After the devastating news of an affair, you may want to trust your spouse, but it’s a process that takes time, and a willing partner to work through that process and earn back the right to your trust. And I mean earn: they don’t get an instant pass for saying “sorry” and then all is right again in the world. They’ve betrayed you, and they have damaged your trust in them. This is no small matter.
Obviously, detecting a lie can be a challenge for a good majority of people, with a rare few having a natural ability to know immediately when someone is lying.
Undo Mistrust Triggers
To rebuild a devastated relationship that has been shredded by lies, you need to create a new foundation of trust. At some point, you have to trust that your spouse is not lying to you, as long as the cheater has done the work to show they are behaving in a trust-worthy way.
One of the recurring themes for affair victims is that they need more from the cheating spouse than a claim of remorse. The injured person wants to know that the cheater is working toward a change of character, from his or her deepest depths inside to the most obvious behavior on the outside.
Here are some specific actions you can take:
Step 1: Define Your Mistrust Triggers
Review your past week or past month. Think of some actions or inactions that were personal triggers for mistrust: in you if you were the injured person, or if you were the cheater, the way you’ve conducted yourself in the past. For example, is your spouse coming home 40 minutes late and not bothering to call to let you know, causing a flurry of scenes to cross your mind?
Is your spouse going out of town on business, and when you call, her cell phone has been turned off, leaving you to wonder what’s going on? Or, are you the person showing up late or not available by phone, creating those mistrust triggers?
Step 2: The Cheating Spouse
If you were the cheating spouse, look at ways to stay in contact more frequently and to be more open about your activities. For example, choose two points during the day when you will call and have a brief conversation to discuss how your day is going.
Step 3: Remove a Trigger
Choose one of the personal triggers, whether you were the spouse who cheated or the injured spouse, and today work on taking away the power of that trigger. It may involve Step 2, where you open your life up to observation in some way. For example, it may be that, if normally you don’t reveal details of your day, you share a true story today with your spouse involving your work life. Then, do it again soon….Regaining that trust you once believed you shared will take some healing time after the affair.