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After an Affair: Foolproof Ways to Restore Trust

Aug 17, 2007
Become consistent and somewhat predictable. Be consistently who you are. When a spouse begins to think, what is going on? He has never acted like this before, suspicion begins to percolate. The goal is to create an atmosphere that helps your partner feel safe so that she is not continually apprehensive about the possibility of an unpleasant surprise popping-up.

When a spouse suddenly shaves his beard, buys new clothes and starts coming home at odd hours it can build fear and mistrust.

Any behavior that may suddenly arise that is at odds with your routine patterns can easily become suspect by your partner; trust can quickly dissolve.

Although trust and predictability go hand in hand, you should also intermittently salt your behavior with playfulness and fun. Playfulness often requires some spontaneity, but it should be nicely embedded in an overall behavior pattern of consistency.

Be true to the person you have always been and be that person consistently! To trust, your spouse has to have the feeling she knows who you are. She should not have to be worried about who is going to walk in the door.

However, no one goes through life without any changes. People do grow, move forward and change. Inform your partner when you do start to experience some important changes or any confusion that may result from them.

Sometimes we may be pretty puzzled about where we are and where we are headed.
Life can get very erratic and confusing.
Growth and change in an individual can be often accompanied by confusion, distress or some chaos. Unless your partner is aware of these changes, she may jump to the conclusion that something is wrong.

Accept these bumps and changes, but let your partner know what you are experiencing so she does not become anxiety-ridden.

If necessary, acknowledge that you don't know what is happening, but stress that everything is generally OK and you will figure it out.

Ask her to be a little patient.

Emphasize that you might do some odd things, but your intent is not to worry or scare her. Ask her to accept your pre-occupation as normal and not to panic over it. Fundamentally, things are still OK.

Make sure your body language and words match your message.

Be honest about your feelings. Do not create any unnecessary suspicion by having your tone of voice or lack of eye contact signal deception.

When your partner hears one thing in your words but your body language and facial expressions signal something different, you trigger your partners anxieties.

Do not omit things. Your spouse wants to know you are telling the truth and even though uncomfortable, saying something diplomatically and politely to her that she may not like can build trust. Just do not get carried away and she will appreciate your honesty.

Trust and have faith, that in the context of a caring relationship, your spouse, deep down inside, with your kind support, has the resilience, strength and ability to cope with your honesty.

When important things are left unsaid or omitted, there is an invisible but real hippopotamus in the room that grows to take up a huge amount of space in the relationship. Important secrets, omissions and deceptions insidiously erode trust and deplete positive energy .

This does not mean that you suddenly confess all of your illicit past behaviors. Use common sense.

However, as your relationship grows, you may find yourself naturally sharing some of them as you discuss your present and past with your partner.

However, you have a problem that needs to be addressed if a secret or deception holds so much power and energy that it holds you back from increasingly sharing more of yourself when your relationship should be growing.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert marriage counselor and psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt or learn more about counseling at: http://www.nextdayappointment.com
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