Earn Forgiveness and Rebuild Trust after Betrayal

Earn trust after betrayal

Whether you divorce or reconcile, it remains paramount to earn forgiveness for betraying our spouses and work diligently to build a renewed trusting relationship. This process set out below, will not only bring healing but will lay the foundation for respectful and amicable co-parenting where children are involved.

To err is human,
to take full responsibility for it and face and pay all the consequences, divine.

I can imagine millions of people who have been cheating on their spouses through prostitutes or lovers, or tiptoeing into their dens and home offices to lose themselves in the world of pornography, scurrying around to erase phone numbers and delete computer files and swear to themselves that they will never engage in such behaviour again.

I can also imagine these people looking more guilty than usual and raising the suspicions of their partners.

Finally, I can imagine volatile confrontations that finally expose marital infidelity of one form or another.

If such activities are exposed, can the damage be undone? Once betrayal breaks trust, can one regain it?

Read 7 Ways Infidelity Destroys Your Children

There is a road back, but it takes practicing the 4 R’s to respond to the 4 H’s you triggered in the other person by betraying their trust.

The 4 H’s:

When you betrayed your spouse:

  1. They felt HURT by you taking away trust and safety.
  2. They HATE you for turning their world upside-down.
  3. They’re HESITANT TO TRUST and be hurt by you again.
  4. They’re HOLDING ONTO A GRUDGE to protect themselves from accidentally lowering their guard and being vulnerable again.
The 4 R’s:
  1. To ease the HURT, you need to demonstrate REMORSE to show that you know you damaged something in them, by looking them directly in the eye and admitting you’re truly sorry, with no excuses. (This is the stumbling block for very narcissistic people and something Bill Clinton had trouble with during the Monica situation.)
  2. To respond to the HATE, you need to show RESTITUTION and offer a payback for what you took away from them by giving up something that matters to you or letting them verbally punch themselves out at you for making them feel crazy while you lied to them.
  3. To lower their HESITATION TO TRUST, you need to REHABILITATE yourself to let them see a new way of dealing with those situations that caused you to stray and that you actually prefer to your old destructive behaviour.
  4. To get them to stop HOLDING ONTO A GRUDGE, you need to REQUEST FORGIVENESS after practicing those 3 R’s for a minimum of six months, so they can become a part of your personality.

If the other person still cannot forgive you after that, you are no longer unforgivable (if you haven’t gone beyond betrayal into abuse), they are unforgiving.

Read 7 Steps to Forgiveness

It’s clear what is in it for you if they forgive you, but what’s in it for them? When you earnestly practice the 4 R’s above, you enable the person you injured to go from fear and loathing to feeling safe and trusting and even liking you again — and that feeling is called “euphoria”.


Extracted from an article by Mark Goulston, which originally appeared on www.divorcemag.com


Take Stock of Your Own Divorce and Put a Personal Plan in Place


Posted by Sinta Ebersohn (creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Cape Town RSA)