Here is a summary of rebuilding trust. One of the biggest obstacles following an affair is restoring trust. How can it be rebuilt when the betrayal sticks in ones side like a rusty sword? It is difficult but it is possible. Both parties have to be willing to be accountable for their time. Even so there is no surety another affair will not occur. The best defense against an affair happening again is honesty and intimacy on all levels.
A Few Ideas
1. Rebuilding trust and intimacy is a GRADUAL PROCESS. It takes time…You are building a totally new relationship, not going back to the façade of the old relationship.
2. There is NO formula…it is a constant consideration of how the other person feels. These are only GUIDELINES.
3. There are NO guarantees…this can be frustrating and freeing.
4. Real intimacy is the best guarantee against an affair happening again.
5. Discuss the harsh realities of a broken marriage.
6. You may come to a point when you are living by obedience, letting God work at his pace.
7. Explore Family History.
8. Accountability and examining issues come first. Apology and forgiveness is the final phase…if done too early, it is hollow forgiveness. The final forgiveness brings closure to the affair, but this does not necessarily mean all the pain will disappear.
9. In the beginning, the infidel needs to account for 1440 minutes of the day, every day.
10. Try to remember what drew you together. This helps provide a vision for the future.
11. Keep the infidel focused, don’t let them just say I’m sorry and move on.
12. Spend time alone together…no kids, no friends, no TV, no radio, no phone…
13. Secrets need to be disclosed at the start. Any and all secrets. If another bomb is dropped halfway through, the work that has been done is destroyed. TOTAL HONESTY IS A MUST.
14. When arguing, it is more important to explore the issues, not who is right or wrong. Both of you should be moving closer to Christ, therefore closer to one another.
15. If the topic is still painful for you, there may be more that needs to be talked through.
16. Trust is built by sharing one’s self, by accepting the reality of who the other person is, by making and following through on commitments, by working together to resolve differences, and by having fun together. When these issues have been addressed, not only is trust rebuilt, but a stronger sense of self develops, one that is independent of the spouse. This stronger self is able to face reality, problem solve, act responsibly, and knows it.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks again to Janis Abrahms Spring in After the Affair for some of these thoughts.