Feel your emotions

If your partner has cheated on you, you will be feeling deep pain and possibly heartbreak. The best thing you can do is to start accepting how hurt you are by your partner’s actions. If you are the one who was disloyal, then feel your guilt. Do not try to dismiss it and pretend it never happened. You need to feel your feelings before you can begin to move on.

Take accountability

If you were the unfaithful person in a partnership, then you need to take full accountability for your actions. Accept what you did, admit it to your partner, and try to fix the damage that has been done. This includes ending things with the person you cheated with and not blaming others.

Cut all ties with the fling

If you are the one who cheated, it is essential that any link between you and the person you cheated with is ended. This includes friendship and chances to be in a room alone together. If you work together this can be a little bit tricky, but if there was an emotional side to your connection, you relationship will be unable to move on without this.

Don’t become controlling

You cannot build trust back if you are being overly conscious of each other’s every move. Tracking your partner to make sure they are where they say they are is not going to make you feel any better about things. In fact it will likely lead to you having even more constant questions of what they’re up to. If you need to look at your partner’s phone every day, you are just reminding both of you how little you trust them.

Be transparent

Talk about all of it. Talk about what happened, how long things went on, who it was. If they had a full romantic affair, it will be a different matter to a drunken fling but it should be talked about regardless. These differences really matter to some partners and having that transparency will help in rebuilding trust.

Stay true to your word

If you say you will be in touch at a certain time, follow through on that. If you agree to take care of certain house chores, actually get them done. Staying honest and true to your word is one of the best ways to start rebuilding trust. If you are able to prove yourself as trustworthy in the simple things then that trust is able to grow.

Determine your needs

If you are the one whose trust was betrayed in the first place, you need to determine your needs. This is what will guide both of you and the relationship moving forwards. Figure out exactly what makes you feel uneasy about your partner’s actions, and what you need to change in order to work towards feeling more comfortable.

Lay ground rules

In order for the partner who was cheated on to feel comfortable again, they may feel better with ground rules being set for the relationship so you can both move forwards. This may include not sharing a bed for a certain amount of time, the disloyal partner being home between certain hours, or updating their location with their partner in the evenings.

Let it all out

If you are the partner who was wronged, then you are having some big feelings. You need to give yourself the chance to let out all those negative emotions, both to outside supportive people and to your partner. If they never hear exactly how badly they affected you, then they may not change accordingly well enough to build trust back up between the two of you.

Put it behind you

This is a hard one if you were the one who was cheated on, but if you are committed to staying together and rebuilding trust, then it is a vital step. Acknowledge that you cannot erase the past, because neither of you can use what happened as a threat to your relationship in any way if you want to stay together in a healthy way.

Stay rooted in the present and the future

In connection to leaving the situation in the past, make sure you focus on the present and future of your relationship. Dwelling on the past will do nothing but cause you more strife. If you focus on the present and on building a future where you will both be happy, then trust and happiness can follow a lot more easily.

Practise affection

If you have experienced infidelity in your relationship then getting comfortable being affectionate is going to take time. No matter how affectionate you were before, things are probably feeling stilted right after the fact. Getting back to normal will take practice through making sure you have little acts of affection every day. Eventually this will start to feel normal and the two of you will learn to trust each other with touch again.

Place your blame correctly

Many people who are cheated on blame themselves for not being enough for their partners, or for not being what they wanted. They also often end up blaming the person their partner cheated on them with regardless of how aware they were of the cheating. You should be blaming your partner for cheating, not the people around them, and definitely not yourself.

Get counselling

Many people are resistant to counselling and therapy, but when you go through a situation like cheating especially in a long-term relationship, it can be the best option. Getting relationship counselling provides you with a third party outsider who not only isn’t biased but who is a professional when it comes to knowledge about relationships.

Spend more time together

Schedule out a date night, or something of that ilk. It is so important to spend time together in learning to trust one another again. Having time scheduled out for you to spend with one another will make the two of you connect. It can allow you to rediscover why you love being together and what you love about your partner.

Do not forgive immediately

If you forgive your partner for their infidelity immediately, you are robbing both of you of actually having the time to process what happened. This processing time is important in figuring out how the situation made you both feel and what you want to do about it. It can also result in you hiding your own emotions about it but not feeling like you can broach the subject again since you already technically forgave them.

Trust yourself first

There is no way you can begin to place trust in others if you cannot even trust yourself. If you are having thoughts about how you might be partially to blame for your partner’s infidelity, you are not in a place to rebuild your relationship yet. First you must trust your own feelings. You’re a decently intelligent person, and you are not wrong for being upset.

Do not get defensive

It can be natural if one person has cheated to be defensive about the situation on either side, but this is something you must avoid at all costs, even if you are the person who was cheated on. Being defensive distracts from the issue at hand and will stop you from healing and growing together. Even if you were cheated on, it is important to listen to your partner if you want to get through things.

Crack down on communication

If there was cheating in your relationship then you likely had some relationship issues before the cheating began. Now that everything is out in the open, it is more important than ever not just to communicate, but to communicate about communication. Talk about what communication styles work best for both of you, and what a healthy solution could be when it comes to sharing your lives and thoughts with one another.

Utilise your support network

When dealing with a difficult situation, it is so important to spend time reaching out to the people around you such as family and friends. Situations of relationship infidelity are no exception. Sharing your feelings with people you know support you is part of the healing process for many. It should be up to both parties in the couple whether you share the situation with others, but ultimately the person who was cheated on should get to decide.

Don’t try to get even

If you were cheated on, it can feel natural to strike out in retaliation. This could be through spreading the information around or being unfaithful yourself. While you may have been grievously hurt through your partner’s actions, do all you can to stop yourself from acting in this way. In order to rebuild a healthy relationship together, you must both be willing to not harm one another in this way.

Take it slow

When rebuilding the trust in your relationship, you have to understand that it might come slowly. This sort of thing shatters relationships, and if you were the cheater, you should be grateful for you partner’s willingness to work on things rather than end the relationship entirely.

Practice talking about feelings

Talking about your feelings outside of the infidelity probably feels a bit strange at the start, but in rebuilding trust, be sure to work at it. Talking through your feelings when it comes to work or friendship issues is a great way to emotionally connect again after going through something difficult.

Don’t listen to others’ opinions

There are those out there who say if your partner has broken your trust once, it is inevitable that they will do so time and time again. This might be true for certain people, but it isn’t for everyone. You know your partner better than anyone else does so focus on your relationship rather than listening to what others have to say.

Reconnect physically

Once you have been cheated on, being physically intimate can seem like a long way off. Being able to reignite your sensual sides will ultimately be what saves your relationship. Sexual connection and chemistry goes a long way in keeping a relationship alive. Starting off by incorporating some kind of touch into your everyday will help with this.

Take precautions to not do it again

If you were the unfaithful one, make sure you won’t repeat your behaviour. Think about what lead to you cheating in the first place. If it was stress, find out a different, more productive way to relieve it. If it was relationship issues, take an active role in repairing those issues and recognise your contribution to those issues.

Share responsibility

Yes, the partner who cheated is at fault for the infidelity. However, dealing with the outcome is a joint burden that you will both have to carry. Sharing this will make healing easier. It is also important to share responsibilities at home so you are contributing equally to the relationship.

Don’t take it for granted

You should value your relationship for what it is: a commitment of love and companionship. Do not forget how lucky you are to be involved in this relationship, especially after going through an experience as difficult as cheating. Practice gratitude and remind yourself of why you want to be in this relationship regularly.

Respect each other

If your partner cheated on you, you might have lost respect for them to some extent. It is crucial that you find respect for them again if you want to continue the relationship, though. Infidelity is a large mistake to make of course, but if you have decided to keep the relationship going, then respecting your partner is paramount.

Check in with each other

Have a regular check in time weekly. Talk to one another about your relationship. How has the last week been? Did anything make you feel particularly good about your relationship? How about particularly bad? What has been taking up the most mental space in your minds? Having these check ins can help you target areas of your relationship that need work as well as recognising where you have done well.