How to Rebuild Trust in a Cheater

Three Parts:Considering your well-being foremostMoving forwardMoving on

Did your spouse cheat on you, but returned afterwards? You're still mad at him/her, but there's a part of you that wants to move on and trust your spouse again? Well then read on.

Part 1
Considering your well-being foremost

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    Take some time to think. Is this person really worth trusting again? Keep in mind that if someone cheated on you, they can do it again if they have the chance. So really think about it. Just because your spouse promised you he/she won't do it again, doesn't exactly mean he/she won't. Figure out if this person is trustworthy enough to be trusted.
    • Think about the person you fell in love with. Is that person still there in your mind? Is it possible for you to rediscover that person despite what has happened?
    • A second chance may be all that is needed for your spouse to never do such a terrible thing again. Once bitten, twice shy, lesson well and truly learned. However, only you can decide that. For some people, cheating is about making a choice, not making a mistake, and that can hurt a great deal.
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    Consider whether you still love your spouse. If you still do, love can often find a way. Love is likely to be the pathway to restoring trust too. Without love, the path ahead will be harder, although it is always possible to nurture it again if both of you are willing.

Part 2
Moving forward

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    Decide whether to take back your spouse or to end things. If you do decide to move forward, realize that there will always be a concern in your mind about the faithfulness of your spouse, so a lot of talking needs to be done.
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    Discuss what has happened. Initially, it is only fair for your spouse to explain what he or she has done. It is also important to ask whether your spouse is committed to you and willing to start over, bearing in mind how much this has hurt you.
    • Inform your spouse that you haven't yet made up your mind. This will encourage your spouse to understand the seriousness of the situation and that you're not simply going to let this person come back into your life as if nothing has happened. This person has shattered your intimacy and has a lot to do to win it back.
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    Consider getting couples therapy. This might help to find specific issues and to find ways to bond back together again. An independent party might be able to help you see things that neither of you have been able to focus on yet.

Part 3
Moving on

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    Avoid bringing it up again. Once you've decided it's worth giving a go, and you've both talked it through and reached an understanding that you both want to go on together, let it rest. Remember, part of trusting again is letting go of past offenses. Yes, your spouse did cause lots of pain for you, and it isn't going to be easy letting it go. But it happened, and there isn't much you can do about it.
    • Beware those moments when you might be tempted to raise it in anger down the track. Consider walking away from an argument before resorting to spitting it at your spouse.
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    Work hard to regain what you once had. Go on date nights together, rediscover each other as if all is new again. Try to do romantic things and things that you used to love doing together. Do what you can to restore the spark and to give your spouse a chance to show the he or she is trustworthy again.


  • Healing takes time, as does the death of a wayward passion. Allow time to heal and let the wave burn out.
  • Let your spouse know that you want to discuss feelings more openly from this point onward, which includes raising your own feelings of insecurity for any reason. It is important that your spouse is aware that he or she may be giving you the impression that things are suspicious or unhealthy; nipping gut feelings and worries in the bud is the only way forward when trying to re-establish trust.


  • Re-establishing a marriage after cheating has occurred is an enormous challenge. It can feel okay after you think you've reached an acceptance, only to rear its head again and haunt you all over again with just a glance, a word or a missed anniversary. Do not take re-establishing your marriage under such conditions lightly; it will really test you and you may be found wanting something quite different.
  • If there is a pattern of cheating (more than one affair), ask yourself if you are willing to put up with this. It won't stop unless your spouse decides to make it stop, something you can never be guaranteed of and something over which you have no control.

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Categories: Cheating in Relationships