Learning to trust again after an affair has ruined a relationship can be really difficult, but not impossible. If you have been left for another person, it can throw you into the depths of despair. The situation can strip away your self esteem, leave you feeling crushed and angry, and have you questioning yourself over and over again. But it is possible to learn to trust again, regain that sense of self after going through something as heartbreaking as infidelity. Here are the best ways, out of the many, to help you begin.

Realize your future is different from your past. Your past does not equal your future. Just because you’ve been hurt in the past doesn’t mean you’ll get hurt again. However, if you find yourself getting into relationships with men who cheat over and over, that’s something worth looking into. When there’s a pattern of behavior or a situation that keeps repeating itself, it’s important to clear the past so that you can start with a clean slate. Bringing someone new into your life will be a lot easier and you will find that distrust is no longer an issue.

Know your beliefs about others. Our beliefs can either carry us forward or hold us back. Whatever you believe, you will attract it. Identify what beliefs you’re holding about the affair and how it has affected the way you see others. There is a very true principle: what you focus on expands and that you only experience what you believe, and that’s what you end up attracting. One of the reasons you may feel that you cannot trust others is because you think it. If you think it and believe it, you will attract it. One way you can become aware of your beliefs is by filling in the blanks in statements like, “I don’t trust people because…” Once you’re aware of your beliefs, you’re in a position to change them.

Start trusting yourself again. This one is really key! When we find it hard to trust others, it’s usually because we don’t trust ourselves. The thing is, you’re already a wonderful person. You just can’t see it because of the negative beliefs you have about yourself and how you interpreted what happened in your ruined relationship. Not having trust in your own judgment will usually come from thinking that you’ve been proved wrong many times. However, if you keep distrusting yourself, you’ll keep distrusting others, which creates a vicious cycle. Instead, write down a list of good decisions that you have made in the past. This will start making you see that you can trust your own decision-making.

Understand it’s not all about you. Our thinking will drive our behavior, and there’s no exception to this truth. When we experience pain, the first thing we ask is, “Why did they hurt me?” You may never know and these sorts of questions will drive you crazy. It’s time to let go of the notion that your partner cheated just so they could hurt you.

Nurture yourself. It’s important to do nice things for yourself, as this will prove to you that you can look after yourself and that you’re worth it. This will immediately make you feel better. There’s something very powerful about doing something for yourself when you may not feel like it. Part of building your confidence is to look after yourself and realize that just because you perceive that someone has done something nasty to you, you will be okay. You can cope on your own.