After infidelity, you and your partner may be ready to move forward, but you may be unsure how to move past cheating. You may wonder if it’s even possible to do so. The answer is “yes,” but it’s a long road. And both of you must take the necessary steps to heal.
Understanding Betrayal Trauma
Betrayal trauma happens when a person in your life betrays your trust, leaving you emotionally wounded. This betrayal can cause you to question every aspect of the relationship and your judgment. Betrayal trauma is common when an intimate partner has an emotional or physical affair.
Signs of betrayal trauma include:
- Loss of self-esteem or self-worth
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Intrusive thoughts about the affair’s details
- Inability to trust others
- Stomach pain
Healing from betrayal trauma requires leaning into difficult emotions and confronting what happened.
Committing to Rebuilding the Relationship
How can you tell if you can save your relationship? Here are some signs that rebuilding your relationship is worth a shot.
You Still Enjoy Being Together
After someone in a relationship cheats, there are probably more contentious moments and arguments than ever. But even under those circumstances, you may be able to see what made the relationship work in the first place.
In some relationships, the foundation is solid. Each partner still enjoys spending time with the other, and you still care about each other despite the infidelity. These are signs that you can rebuild the relationship.
Both Partners are Willing to Work for It
Rebuilding a relationship will take hard work, commitment, and cooperation. The partner who was unfaithful needs to show remorse and openly express it to their partner. And the betrayed person must be open to forgiving their partner.
Both partners need to meet in the middle to figure out how they would like the relationship to move forward. Pride is often an obstacle, with one partner not wishing to express remorse and the other unwilling to forgive. But if both people are willing to work together, there’s hope for the relationship.
Open Communication is Key
It’s difficult to dwell on old wounds. But communication about the affair is necessary. Without open communication about what happened, couples risk resenting one another or cheating again.
Talking openly about infidelity from an objective standpoint will be difficult. It will bring up a lot of emotions. But learning to do so will help your relationship move forward, allowing you to heal together.
Be Open to Forgiveness
In some cases, the person who cheated finds themself trying to woo their partner back. This approach won’t work in the long run. It keeps both partners stuck in a cycle that revolves around the affair and doesn’t allow either of them to move forward.
The betrayed partner has to be open to forgiving the person who cheated. While forgiveness takes time, working toward it is part of the healing process. It enables a healthy relationship.
Be Open to Treatment
Counseling can be an integral part of rebuilding a relationship after cheating. Time can’t fix everything. In some cases, having an impartial person in the room to facilitate discussions or guide the healing process is helpful.
It’s essential to remember that, to move past cheating, each party needs to heal. And there are many counseling programs available to help both parties move forward in the relationship.
How to Move Past Cheating
Once you determine that you can rebuild your relationship, it’s time to work toward moving past cheating.
Mourn the Loss of Your Old Relationship
If you choose to stay together, the relationship will differ moving forward. You can build a new relationship. But it’s critical for both partners to understand that the relationship won’t and shouldn’t be as it was before. Both partners must let go of the way things used to be and work together to build something new.
Understand Why Betrayal Happened
There are many reasons the betrayal may have happened. It’s important to pinpoint why if you choose to rebuild your relationship. If sex addiction is the cause of cheating, then treating the root causes of that addiction is necessary for healing.
If you’re dating a sex addict, understanding sex addiction can help you see how it negatively impacts your relationship and how you can work together to heal.
Seek Professional Help
Speaking with professionals and following a guided plan for healing can help both partners move past cheating. Begin Again Institute offers a 14-Day Men’s Intensive for sex and porn addiction. The program treats the root cause of addiction while also stopping the damaging addictive behaviors. Our Partner Support Program helps partners regain a sense of safety and clarity and build a solid plan for their future.
How BAI Can Help
Infidelity trauma can take a toll on a relationship and the partners’ health. Making a plan together to heal is an excellent step toward rebuilding the relationship and treating the root causes of infidelity. If you’re ready to take action toward healing your relationship with your partner to move past cheating, reach out. We have resources and programs to help in your healing journey.