Make allowance for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – Colossians 3:13 NLT
Rebuilding trust after infidelity is a heavy task. It requires vulnerability, patience, and God at work. The emotions you are experiencing are probably all over the place. Shock, guilt, shame, sadness, condemnation, and grief. These are all normal responses. Remember, you are grieving, and grief takes time to process.
Most importantly, don’t forget there is hope. Do not give in to the lies of the enemy.
Reconciliation and the grace of God are available to you and your spouse. However, if you’ve cheated on your spouse, here are some practical steps you can take as you move toward rebuilding trust.
1. Tell your spouse you are willing to share any information requested. This takes courage, but it is required. Be honest and direct if your spouse asks you to share what took place. Don’t hide anything.
2. Choose to have accountability. Accountability is critical in rebuilding trust. Surround yourself with those who can check to see if you are taking the proper steps toward healing. Yes, you need to let them get into your business.
3. Don’t minimize or rationalize the offense. Remember, your spouse is hurt. As you answer questions, remember that your spouse is carrying a heavy load. Stay away from phrases that minimize the sin such as “It was just”, or “It was only.” Do not minimize what happened. The painful weight is heavy on your spouse.
4. Set boundaries. Decide to cut contact with the person you had an affair with. This includes phone numbers and all social media outlets.
5. Guard your heart against bitterness. Depending on your spouse’s responses, getting bitter and making yourself a victim will be tempting. Do not give in. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you guard your heart against bitterness.
6. Focus on honoring God and building your marriage. You must take the attention off yourself and ask, “What does God want me to do?” God wants you to walk in love, forgive, and grow in your love for Him and your spouse. As you do that, He will lead you toward reconciliation. Spend time with God daily and look for ways to serve your spouse. This can include scheduling a date night, taking walks, or finding creative ways to fuel the marriage.
1. What is one way you can serve your spouse this week? Act on it today.
2. Decide to get help as soon as possible. Reach out to a licensed counselor, church leader, or pastor. There is no shame in calling for help.