Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

5 Steps to Rebuilding the Trust

The following is condensed from information distributed by Dr. Frank Gunzburg  Ph.D., P.A. For over 30 years, Dr. Gunzburg has worked as a full time marriage and family counsellor in America.  Here are 5 things he recommends to rebuild the trust, honesty and safety back into your relationship after an affair.

Share Everything without Attaching Yourself at the Hip.

You need to start telling your partner about your life. You will want to tell your spouse where you are going to be during the day. You need to share information about your work. You need to open up and tell about your life.
You need to be honest and forthcoming, and you need to share information freely. If you tell about your day, but make it seem as if you are being coerced or as if you were reporting to a superior, you are violating the spirit of transparency and will create the reverse effect on your marriage.

Openly Express Your Thoughts and Feelings

Avoid building up resentment by sharing your thoughts and feelings openly. Tell your partner immediately when your feelings get hurt, when something angers you, when you are upset in some way, about things you plan, and about things you like and dislike.

Using Suspicions to Zero in on Problems

Suspicion is a common problem after an affair. To get past your suspicions it's helpful to develop a "suspicion filter" to analyse your suspicious thoughts and feelings. This consists of two things:
- Filtering out unlikely suspicions before you act on them.
- Confronting your partner when a behaviour or issue is significant enough to make its way past your "suspicion filter.

Develop a No-Lies Policy and Reveal Everything

This is a two-step process for cleansing your relationship. If your marriage has been haunted by lies, you need to clean out that grime to get a fresh start. Start by getting everything you have ever lied about out on the table.

Once you have accomplished this, you will have a starting point for complete honesty. Then, you make the choice, inside yourself, never to lie to your spouse again, and you do everything you can to keep that internal promise. (This step should be done in the presence of a professional relationship counselor. It is important that the information is revealed in a non-damaging way and that each issue is dealt with effectively before moving on to the next one.)

Keep the Door Open

There are both verbal and nonverbal ways that you can shut someone out.  Keeping the door open means avoiding these behaviours. Don’t change the subject, don’t walk away from a conversation, don’t argue your point before the other person has finished talking. It is also important that partners allow each other to express their feelings without fear of being “shot down” or mocked.