Are you in a new and wonderful relationship, but are you now realizing that you may need to learn to deal with trust issues that stem from infidelity in a previous relationship?
Did learning that your ex cheated on you devastated you, and left you with residual PTSD?
Struggling with trauma is common among people who enter into new relationships after an affair torn apart their old one.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to deal with this trauma and move on.
Here are 5 ways to deal with trauma from your past infidelity so you can have a healthy, new relationship.
1. Talk to someone.
If you have an ex or two who cheated on you and you’re struggling to cope with your new relationship, then most likely you are having trust issues. You likely believe someone new will do the same.
The best way to get rid of these trust issues is to talk to someone – either a therapist or a life coach.
These professionals can help you process why these trust issues exist and provide tools to manage them so they don’t control your life or destroy your new relationship.
However, if you don’t enjoy talking to someone, do your research online. There are many articles out there that cover trust issues and how to manage them.
What you shouldn’t be doing is talking to your friends about these issues.
Your friends were likely there for you when you fought. They might encourage you to be suspicious of a new person, especially if they too have been cheated on in the past.
Friends are great, but they often bring their own stuff to a conversation and that doesn’t help you overcome these trust issues.
2. Examine your role in your old relationship.
Infidelity doesn’t happen in a void. There are two partners in any relationship, and their problems are usually the result of both parties.
I’m not saying it’s your fault that your ex cheated on, but your relationship was so fragile that your partner got lost and tried to find something that was missing.
When my ex cheated on me, I was devastated. Although I am not responsible for his cheating, I later realized that I had helped create the Petri dish that my partner’s infidelity developed in.
I despised him and always wondered why he did or didn’t do things. We often lived apart because of work or children. We never had sex. I was always responsible and had all the power.
Neither of these things made him feel loved or respected and eventually he met someone who made him feel both. So he went.
Since then, I’ve been working hard in my relationships not to create an atmosphere where my partner looks for love or affection elsewhere.
I communicate instead of being passive-aggressive and treating my husband with contempt. I make sure we have sex and that the power in the relationship is even.
It’s not always easy because old habits are hard to break, but this has kept our relationship strong and unfaithful.
So take a look at your behavior in your new relationship and make sure you don’t repeat the old story yourself.
3. Remember that your new partner is not your old partner.
You have a new partner and you are wonderful. You fell in love with her for a reason. You are not your old partner.
One of the biggest challenges in new relationships is when we bring luggage in. Past feelings that come into this relationship with us can wreak havoc.
Having done trust work outside of that relationship makes it easier for you to see that this new person is someone you can trust until they show you something else.
You are not your old partner, this is not your old relationship, and you are not the same person you were before.
Even if you haven’t done official trust work, you can work on realizing it. Your partner is not your ex, and you can love and trust them until they do something that makes you question them.
4. Work on communication.
An essential part of trusting someone is communication. If you have any uncertainties about infidelity, it is important that you address them beforehand by discussing it with your partner.
It is important for your new person to know that you have these trust issues and that you have trauma due to your past infidelity. It’s also important for them to know that you are working to trust them until they turn out to be untrustworthy.
If you suspect that they are doing something that makes them untrustworthy, it is important to consider whether it is all in your head or whether there is concrete evidence.
I have a client whose new partner is sure he is cheating on her with his old girlfriend. And how does he know she thinks that? Because she talks about it with her friends, not him.
He’s not cheating, but because she doesn’t talk to him about it, she has this image on her mind that he’s cheating – one that could be erased if she discusses it with him.
So, if you are dealing with a past trauma about infidelity and it is affecting your new relationship, speak to yourself.
It will help you manage your fears and hopefully lead you to a healthier relationship.
5. Believe that you can have a healthy relationship.
After everything you’ve been through, it might be hard to believe. You have been betrayed, maybe repeated, which has likely affected your self-esteem so badly that you wonder who in the world you are.
Why do you think anyone would ever love you again?
Don’t make you believe this! Infidelity happens for a variety of reasons, but none of them are because you are a bad person or not being kind.
Relationships are tough and can end badly, but that doesn’t make you any less than. That makes you human.
It is important to believe that you are worthy, lovable, and amazing, and that your new partner would be a fool to cheat on you.
Talk to your friends and family and people you love so that you can get a clearer picture of how wonderful you are and how happy your new partner is to have you.
Because it’s true – you deserve to be happy!
Learning to deal with trauma from previous infidelities is an essential part of building a healthy new relationship.
Get help managing your trust issues, take stock of your role in your failed relationships, reset your new person to your ex comparison, communicate with them before problems arise, and believe you deserve it , to be happy.
If you can do all of these, your new relationship will flourish and you can live happily.
It may not be easy, but you can do it. You can be happy as you deserve to be
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Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based, certified life and love trainer. Let her help you find and keep love in this crazy world we live in. Email them at email@example.com and get started!