It can happen to the best of us in what we assume are the happiest and healthiest relationships. All it takes is one not-so-innocent text or an inappropriate email with a coworker to tear down the wall of trust around your relationship. It happens more often than you would imagine, and with today's technology there are more opportunities to betray your partner's trust and more opportunities to catch a cheating partner.
Let's say the worst happens and you find out that your once trusted partner has been sneaking around behind your back. It doesn't really matter if it was an emotional affair or a physical tryst, your trust has been violated. You now have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on.
The Keys to Trusting Again
See Your Partner for Who They Are—Don't be tempted to fall into the trap of seeing your new partner as the person who betrayed your trust. Start fresh and don't hold them accountable for someone else's actions. Once you start to feel that nagging sense of worry and suspicion, take it out and examine it closely. Is this nagging worry based on rational evidence or fears from the past? Most likely it's your fear of betrayal trying to get the best of you.
Don't Go Looking for Trouble—Be confident in your decision to enter a relationship with a new partner. Know that you see something special in them and that they bring out something special in you. You are choosing this relationship because it is healthy for the both of you. Let your confidence guide you to trust. If you are confident that you picked a strong partner, you don't need to snoop through texts or locate them on GPS when they are at a work dinner.
Share Your Hurtful History—As with any new relationship there will be a time to share your past experiences with your new partner. Determining when it's the right time can be difficult, but it is very important. You will want to share your trouble with an understanding partner before it negatively impacts your relationship. It can't hurt to tell your new partner that you find it hard to trust because this and that happened in your last relationship. This may help give context to your actions when you become overwhelmed by irrational jealousy or the urge to snoop. It's often best to fess up to these urges before giving into temptation. You need to stop this behavior and move forward.
Invite Openess with Openess—Trust is not a one way street. In order to earn trust, you must also give trust. Open your life to your new partner. Don't revert to secretive actions, sneaky behaviors and little white lies. Show that you have nothing to hide with your actions and expect the same respect in return.
Once you've been wounded it can be difficult to move forward, but trust is a vital element to any satisfying relationship. You owe it to yourself and your relationship to let go of jealousy and suspicion so that you may embrace trust and love in your new relationship.