If you believe your marriage has a future after infidelity, stay and fight for it.
If the Ashley Madison hack revealed that your spouse is cheating or has cheated on you, you understand the raw agony that comes after betrayal comes to light. No one understands the depths of hurt it can bring — unless they've experienced it themselves.
It can feel unbearable.
When you’re cheated on, it damages your sense of self. The intrusive thoughts that follow can haunt your every hour to the point that you can’t even function. But only for a while.
Eventually you’ll rebuild your self-concept. And here is where many healing from infidelity get stuck. They ask themselves:
"How can I ever trust again?"
But you CAN rebuild trust in your relationship.
John Gottman describes the act of building trust as sliding door moments. Basically, you both need to watch for opportunities throughout the day to show each other that you have one another’s backs.
For example, if your husband has plans to go to the gym after work but hears the exhaustion in your voice over the phone, he has a choice. There's an opportunity for him to lean in and build trust or turn his back. He could suggest that he get the kids from daycare and pick up dinner on the way home, or he has the choice to turn his back and get his cardiovascular needs met.
If he chooses to lean in and support you, little-by-little these moments add up to bags and bags of the finest concrete to re-pour your foundation.
Like most things worth accomplishing, it takes time.
The truth is, you get to decide how to let this choice (the betrayal) define your marriage. Will you let it keep you stuck, scared and angry? Or will you use it as fuel to launch the best marriage imaginable?
You didn’t have a choice when your partner cheated on you, but you do have a choice in how much you let this define who you are.
Don’t let one decision permanently crack your sense of self. That's a travesty, preventing you from fulfilling your purpose here on earth, destroying any chance of reconciliation, and depriving your children of your authentic self.
Trust issues are HUGE roadblocks, but once you rebuild your personal structure (like the mason) you get to start over by watching for sliding door moments.
Start collecting your bags of premium concrete. Your foundation is ready for you to re-pour.
For a personalized plan for trust issues, set up a free phone consultation today. Jessica is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Mental Health Private Practice. Follow her on Twitter: @back_2_love_
This article was originally published at JMiller Coaching. Reprinted with permission from the author.