After an infidelity there is a timeline of several stages where each step starts to rebuild trust. I took my questions to Susie and Otto Collins as they are two of the leading relationship coaches on the topic and asked them about the infidelity recovery stages.
I interviewed them and they were very kind to share what they have learned over the years.
Helping many couples deal with issues of trust and affair recovery therapy.
Here is a download link to the same audio in MP3 format. Use the right-mouse key to save it to your computer. Audio Link
Michael: Hi Susie and Otto and welcome to OJar.com and let’s start by asking you who is Susie and Otto Collins?
Otto: That’s a great question Michael. Thanks. We are relationship coaches, teachers, and speakers and we’ve done this type of work since 1999. We are the creators of Passionate Heart that is an organization that helps people experience more of the gift of connecting.
We do this through a variety of ways, we write books, seminars and one on one coaching. We also do Teleseminars. So we do a variety of things. At this point we have worked with thousands and thousands of people and through our website we have gotten many 1000’s of people get our newsletter and courses and we have people all over the world that get our materials.
That’s what we are all about. Helping people and making a difference in their lives in as many ways as possible. Glad to be here to share with you and the people that visit your website.
Michael: So, if people are looking to learn more about your products where can people find more information?
Otto: The best way that they can go to find more information is ojar.com/collins
It has more information about us and it is specific information about us.
That page has a listing of all our products and they can also sign up for our newsletter and mini course.
Why is building trust so important in a relationship?
Otto: The reason why building or rebuilding trust in a relationship is because everything about a relationship – and it doesn’t matter what kind of relationship – hinges on trust!
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together or how good your relationship has been in the past. If you don’t have trust in the relationship that you’re in, then you have no relationship (that I believe) can be happy and harmonious or successful. Trust is the “glue” that holds people together.
If you are talking about sex, a lot of people, especially men they want sex. Women want connection. I am not suggesting women don’t want sex as much as men. Sex is only going through the motions if trust isn’t present.
Trust can create problems at work. If there are trust issues going on. There can be no semblance of a relationship is there is no trust. In our work with hundreds of people we work on this issue of building and rebuilding of trust is that if you don’t have trust in your relationship then you’re going to put a question mark in front of everything your partners says to you or what they do.
When you want to be in a relationship where there is trust where there is ease and a flow. When trust isn’t present in a relation it can be pervasive and it can go all over the relationship.
Susie: We work with a lot of people on jealousy issues. It core issue is trust. We find that it isn’t just jealousy of a mate but it extends throughout a persons life.
Does everybody have trust issues? Or is it unique to specific individuals or couples?
Susie: In our way of thinking everybody has it, us included. I will give you some small examples.
It is like reminding someone to take out the trash. You don’t trust that one person, there is one person in the relationship that is super responsible and the other person isn’t as responsible. There are issues that come up where the one person says, “did you did this?” or “are you going to do this?”
The more the person pushes in one direction, the other person’s pushes back.
It causes resistance and trouble.
We have seen trust issues in our own lives and other peoples lives. What happens is they build.
Otto: Fortunately in our relationship we have the skills to work through these things. These are things that we teach and talk about in our course and talk about in building trust and relationships.
In your opinion what the big reasons people have big issues in their trust relationships?
Otto: One of the big reasons and the reason they have these problems is they are not honest with themselves or their mate. They continue to do things that support mistrust. This destroys trust.
Everyone in every relationship has agreements. Some of these are spoken and some are unspoken and what happens is when trust issues come up is that some agreement isn’t being honored.
A lot of people won’t understand what they’ve done.
A quick example. There is a woman that we found out about the other day, someone had emailed us about. He was asking, “should I trust my partner if she wants to go to bars with her sister who is looking for a partner at a singles bar?”
This person wondered could I trust my partner?
He was thinking that she was really the one looking as she wouldn’t commit to the relationship with him and he was looking for some kind of deeper commitment.
What usually ends up happening is that people do things over and over that foster mistrust.
A couple of other reasons. Stuff from our past.
We drag stuff from our past into current relationships. We transfer those things to the people we are in a relationship with now. We treat them (our present partners) like they are the people from the past.
If we don’t heal those things then they are just going continue and the trust issues are going to be there. So you have to work through those things and that’s why it is important to work with someone like us so you can see things from a higher perspective, as you can’t really see those things that you’re doing. That is the problems and challenges you are creating in your relationship.
Another thing a simple thing can be communication can cause trust issues. Words and deeds not matching. The words then don’t match the message. For example, yes I will do something but they don’t follow-up.
It can be small things or big things like affairs or infidelity but trust is about the degree and the tools and the strategies we have to work through those. The whole goal is to have closer and more connected relationships.
When trust is broken is it really possible to fix that?
Otto: It really is possible but here’s the key. Both people have to want it.
As long as both people want it then it’s absolutely possible to build trust. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. But if both people want it, it can be done. It can start with one person.
They don’t have to have confidence but if they have some hope, some idea, then the idea that they can rebuild the relationship to create something we once had, or something better. It is that desire and where it comes from (that makes it possible).
If I find myself not trusting someone that is very important to me in a “trust emergency”, what should I be doing to resolve that?
Susie: The first thing is to absolutely, and we talk about this in our course is to figure out I have 3 choices.
I can either hold onto the fear and the judgment and the blame and everything that goes with that. Or, I can acknowledge the pain and I can move towards healing myself and not stay in the relationship.
Or, I can acknowledge the pain openly and honestly and decide, we are going to make a go of this. Will your partner make the decision to heal it?
We teach that people have those choices and often the first choice of holding on regardless of what happens they don’t realize that they are doing. That what is they are doing.
Otto: That’s what we teach. What Susie was just saying.
How to get out of that cycle where people are stuck in their fears and judgment and blame. We teach people how to move from there. Those are the kinds of things people are living with all the time.
How to move from fear to trust and empowerment.
Let go of blame and judgment and being right. Using clear and honest communication.
What if only one wants to rebuild the trust?
Otto: One person can be the catalyst for rebuilding trust. This is huge. A lot of times in our coaching someone will say, “I really want this relationship to work. I want to save my marriage”.
They ask us, “How?”
If you are more motivated then the other person there are specific skills and strategies. You want to really show your partner how much pain you are in because of these trust issues that are going on. If you are motivated and you want to rebuild this relationship and the other person isn’t as motivated as you, then in our opinion that’s one of the key ways that you’re going to be able to get them interested. Nobody wants to see another person in pain. At least someone that they care about.
A crazy example. If another person were walking into an oncoming car at 60 miles an hour then you would do what you could to push them out of the path.
It is the same in our relationships. If you see someone you care about or did care about, and you see them in pain or expressing that pain or upset, then you are going to want to on some level get rid of that. If you had something to do with that.
If you have any hopes of rebuilding the relationships that one of the ways we suggest you do it. We have to completely let them know how much pain you are in. You also have to let them know that you want to rebuild the relationship and it’s causing you a large degree of pain. You want their help.
So that is a big key to it.
Susie: Also, you want to change and make changes to fix the relationship. It is never one person in a relationship. Even if there has been infidelity it’s always both people have done or have not put the energy into it. It isn’t to lay blame at all. It is just say that if one person wants to heal trust this is what he or she needs to do. They must, how will I be more different.
Can you give me specific examples (of healing trust)?
Otto: The kind of things you can expect from us, we’ve been talking about the kind of attitude that you’re going to need from fear and blame and judgment to be able to rebuild trust and empowerment. That is one of the things we are going to do. Give you some specific skills and ideas on how to shift your attitude.
We show how when building trust you need firm and loving boundaries. We are going to take you through some processes to remove blame and being right. We talk about in our book and audios about creating conscious agreements that help you build or rebuild trust.
The power of clear honest communication and what you should do after trust has been broken. For example an affair or infidelity. We cover 4 specific steps needed after something like that happens.
Susie: There is a section on trust emergency. We take a person who has caused the person that caused the mistrust and also for the person who has been the victim of this mistrust.
Otto: Those are a few of things we cover. The course is an entire book that we offer. Also there are also 4 audios that are about the whole idea of trust. There are also some bonus audios that are part of the package.
To learn more about affairs and cheating read this interview I did on the topic Cheating Karma Quotes with the Infidelity Coach
For 30 years, Susie has been a student of relationships, spirituality, energy and the life force. Her search for physical, emotional and spiritual healing has led her to the study of Polarity Therapy, cranio-sacral therapy, reflexology, Hatha Yoga, the Enneagram, and much more. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Science degree in education, a Masters degree in Library Science, is a Registered Polarity Practitioner with the American Polarity Therapy Association and a Certified Comprehensive Coach. Susie is a veteran teacher and university librarian with over 30 years experience teaching in the public schools and university classes.
Otto has spent over 20 years as a successful salesperson and marketer of a variety of products and services. Many years ago, as a result of pondering three of life’s greatest questions– Who am I, Why am I here and What’s this all about– Otto turned his life’s focus to bear on the practice and study of spirituality, personal growth and relationships.