Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

7 TOUGH Qs To Ask If You Want To Get Over Your Spouse's Affair

Photo: weheartit
 Post-Affair Answers for the Questions Keeping You Up at Night
Heartbreak

Pave a pathway to rebuild trust after cheating.

When you close your eyes to go to sleep (or even in your waking hours), what images run through your mind? If your partner has had an affair, those images may be emotionally crushing and anxiety-inducing

Try as you might to heal and move forward, you can't get beyond the memories of the cheating, the pain, the uncertainty, and the questions:

Questions like these can take you into some dark and painful places ... and they're understandable if you're still reeling from being cheated on. How do you rebuild trust after an affair?

It's important to give yourself the time to make a conscious decision about what truly is best for you.

If you don't have reliable evidence that the affair has ended or you aren't seeing that your partner is taking responsibility and will work with you to fix the damage, these may be signs that it is NOT healthy for you to stay in the relationship. 

Look at the facts. Where do things stand with your partner right now? Ask yourself what you need to begin to move forward.    

If you're going to stay in your relationship, you've absolutely got to rebuild trust and make changes to address the weak points.   

It is virtually impossible to have the close relationship that you've probably wanted all along and to take your next step toward re-connecting when there's shaky or little trust. 

One way to begin to rebuild trust is to ask yourself what we call the "tough questions."  

We call them "tough" because the answer may not be something you want to admit to or even think about. These may be questions that have been filling your mind for quite some time, but because they make you uncomfortable, you push them to the side and kind of hope they'll resolve on their own or simply go away. 

We get it. Nobody enjoys delving into topics or considering possibilities that are emotionally painful!

These questions may challenge the way you have always believed things are (or have to be). Tough questions take you to places you may not want to go, but they can also mark a vital turning point for your healing and your relationship.  

When you find the courage to ask — and honestly answer — tough questions like these, you can start making not just short-term positive changes, but those that will help you and your partner rebuild a much better relationship than you had before the affair! 

The tough questions that benefit you and your relationship are not the same as they will be for another person or another couple. Use the questions below as a starting point.  

We recommend that, as you read through this list of questions, you pay attention to the thoughts and physical reactions you have to the words.

If a question sparks a strong emotion and triggers or "catches" you (e.g. tensing up, tearing up, feeling anxious, clenched jaw or stomach, etc.), that's probably a question that would be helpful for you to explore.  
 
Keep in mind, if your first reaction is to dismiss a question or mentally throw it out as "useless" or even "stupid," that could be another indication that spending a little time considering your answer to it would be useful to your healing.  

Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to process whatever comes up for you as you approach this tough questions exercise. Be specific about words and behaviors as you come up with honest answers.

The less you can focus on establishing blame or who's "right," the more informative this will be. When you stick with this exercise and engage as fully as you can, there will be benefits!  

As we said, everybody's tough questions are unique. Use the examples below as a way to get thinking (and observing yourself) and then come up with your own list.  

Tough Question #1: "In what ways do I feel most disconnected from my partner?"  

Tough Question #2: "What are my partner's habits that add to mistrust and distance?" 

Tough Question #3: "What are my habits that push my partner away and add distance?"  

Tough Question #4: "What's one specific action (could be a repeatable action) I would like my partner to take to help rebuild trust?"  

Tough Question #5: "What am I willing to do differently to bring positive change to our relationship?"  

Tough Question #6: "What is one sign that my relationship is starting to heal?" 

Tough Question #7: "What type of support would I like to receive (from my partner, my friends and family, or even from myself)?" 

Rebuilding trust and your relationship can take time. Be sure to return to the tough questions you have (and these may change as you go along) and keep engaging with the questions and honoring your answers.  

Susie & Otto Collins are Dating, Divorce, and Relationship Coaches from Columbus, OH. Watch their free video with "The Secret to Building More Trust" at our Trust Triggers website for more ideas about how to heal and move forward after infidelity. 

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor