11: How Can I Ever Trust You Again?

Rebuilding trust is a decision involving all the parties.

The realization this week we both have secrets creates the need for an emotional Cesarean. The reality of the trauma will have to be cut away to get to the beautiful life ready to be born.

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Of all of the threats to a committed relationship I have treated in four decades of working with couples, the most difficult to heal is infidelity. When a trusted partner in a committed relationship betrays the sacred trust of the other, the relationship will undergo severe instability.

The partner who has been betrayed is emotionally tortured and humiliated when knowledge of the infidelity emerges. They are clearly in trauma and experience the same array of symptoms that professionals now describe as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Similar to any others who have suffered threats to their physical or emotional well-being and security, they are disoriented and confused by what has happened.

Relationship partners of both genders experience similar of the classical symptoms of PTSD:

-Repeated intrusive thoughts.

-Unstable emotional regulation.

-Out of body experiences.

-Alternating between feeling numb and striking out in retaliation.

-Inability to stop scanning for any new…

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