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Cheating is one of the biggest tests a relationship can face.
It’s not easy to build back trust the lost after someone is
unfaithful, but some people do manage it.
Matthew Hussey told Business Insider: “Cheating is a fundamental
relationship-altering event and it’s a huge breach of trust on a
“Even if you can overcome what happened, it plants this seed that
For someone who never even considered the possibility of their
partner cheating before, it can become a constant possibility in
their head, he added.
“Whatever justifications you give for your actions — that you
were feeling insecure or going through a bad time — you’ve shown
me your reflex response to those emotions and now I’m terrified
that any time you feel like that again, this is your logical end
point,” he said.
Here’s Matthew Hussey’s guide to rebuilding trust after
Firstly, know it’s a long healing process
But the good news is, Hussey does believe that damaged trust can
be earned back, but through what he terms as a “process,” which
is by no means instantaneous.
“It’s something that you build, there’s no getting around it.
It’s a long, slow process of good decisions and actions everyday
that build that wall again. There are no short cuts,” he said.
“Anyone looking for that quick fix pill… is not living in the
He added: “It can happen, you can get back to a place of trust
and I truly believe you can get stronger after cheating, but it
will take time and you have to care about that person and the
relationship enough to get through the process.”
Next, establish the “root cause”
According to Hussey, communication is key. The perpetrator must
ask themselves why the infidelity happened and then communicate
this to their partner, to assure them that it won’t happen again.
“Things that will help [the process] are communicating to that
person that this is something that won’t happen again, and in
order to do so, you need to tell them why it happened.
“The why part of the process is something lots of people don’t
do, but people need to explore why it happened in the first
place. Were you weak, selfish, insecure or looking for attention?
Understanding the root cause is really important.”
He went on: “You’re not just going to say this won’t happen
again, you need to explain why. Because you resolved your issues
or insecurities or found a better way to manage them? So that you
come from a place of credibility rather than blindly saying
sorry, it’s not enough. You need clarity.
Hussey believes that a lot of hurt felt by the cheated on partner
can be alleviated by helping them to understand what’s going on
in your head.
Be proactively honest
What Hussey likes to call “proactive honesty” is also crucial to
this process. This, he explains is when you offer up additional
information and details first, rather than simply answering
questions, or “reactive honesty.”
“For example, if you went out last night, give more details than
you normally would on who you hung out with, what they would have
‘loved,’ that you were talking about them, etc.”
Going out of your way to make them feel secure and comfortable
will help put them at ease.
Finally, make a trust pact
Finally, Hussey said that if you’re really committed to building
back the relationship after someone has cheated, it’s absolutely
essential that you do one thing: Make a pact.
“The pact is this: I know what I have to do to keep you, I know I
have something to prove to you and rebuild, but I also need you
to do the hardest thing in the world and give me your trust
“You’ve got to be able to hit the rest button and start again.”