Before you can trust someone after an affair, you first need to take a look at yourself.
Learning to trust someone again after an affair can be really difficult... but not impossible.
When my ex left me for another woman, it threw me into the depths of despair. The situation had me questioning myself over and over, and it stripped away my self-esteem, leaving me feeling crushed and angry.
Maybe you've felt this way. Most of the clients that I've worked with have described their experiences identical to the way I felt. But now, I'm able to see it through different eyes and I'm here to tell you that you can learn how to trust after cheating again.
1. Realize your future is different from your past.
Your past does not equal your future. I learned this concept in a seminar once and I never really understood it until a few years ago. Just because you've been hurt in the past doesn't mean you'll get hurt again.
When there's a pattern of behavior or a situation that keeps repeating itself, it's important to clear the past so that you can start with a clean slate. Bringing someone new into your life will be a lot easier and you will find that distrust is no longer an issue.
Imagine carrying a ton of rocks with you in a bag and as you go along, you collect more and more rocks. How do you think you will feel if you keep carrying the rocks? Tired, right?
What if someone came along, emptied your bag of the rocks, and you were able to keep walking? You would feel much lighter, right?
Well, the same is true for creating a clean slate! Sometimes we need support to create something new, so you can always use this opportunity to work with someone who can help you.
2. Know your beliefs about others.
Our beliefs can either carry us forward or hold us back. Whatever you believe, you will attract it. The key thing here is to identify what beliefs you're holding about the affair and how it has affected the way you see others.
There is a very true principle: what you focus on expands and that you only experience what you believe, and that's what you end up attracting. One of the reasons you may feel that you cannot trust others is because you think it. If you think it and believe it, you will attract it.
One way you can become aware of your beliefs is by filling in the blanks in statements like, "I don't trust people because..."
Once you're aware of your beliefs, you're in a position to change them.
3. Start trusting yourself again.
This one is really key! When we find it hard to trust others, it's usually because we don't trust ourselves. The thing is, you're already a wonderful person. You just can't see it because of the negative beliefs you have about yourself and how you interpreted what happened in your ruined relationship.
Not having trust in your own judgment will usually come from thinking that you've been proved wrong many times. However, if you keep distrusting yourself, you'll keep distrusting others, which creates a vicious cycle.
Instead, write down a list of at least 30 or 40 good decisions that you have made in the past. This will start making you see that you can trust your own decision-making.
4. Understand it's not all about you.
Our thinking will drive our behavior, and there's no exception to this truth. It's also thinking that lures certain people to cheat.
Now, I'm not defending their behavior, nor the hurt that they've caused, but please understand that they did not cheat because of you. They have done so because of their thinking.
When we experience pain, the first thing we ask is, "Why did they hurt me?" You may never know and these sorts of questions will drive you crazy. It's time to let go of the notion that your partner cheated so they could hurt you.
5. Nurture yourself.
It's key to do nice things for yourself, as this will prove to you that you can look after yourself and that you're worth it. This will immediately make you feel better. There's something very powerful about doing something for yourself when you may not feel like it.
Part of building your confidence is to look after yourself and realize that just because you perceive that someone has done something nasty to you, you will be okay. You can cope on your own.
Marina Pearson is a living coach, international speaker, blogger and best-selling author of Goodbye Mr. Ex.