The betrayed partner is entitled to the truth about what happened. Hearing the truth isn’t easy, but telling the truth demonstrates that the party who is at fault is being cooperative and honest. Such conversations also help get the basic details out in the open, which reduces uncertainty about what happened. Knowing the truth is also useful because it serves as the foundation for identifying solutions to the problem at hand.

Step 3: Make/Accept Sincere Apologies

Sincere is the operative word here. Some people robotically say, “I’m sorry,” and it ends up sounding fake. People often apologize hastily in order to get out of trouble without addressing the problem. In many circumstances, saying “I’m sorry” before validating a partner’s feelings and owning up to the facts can give the appearance of being more concerned about ending a difficult conversation than about trying to address the issues.

An apology is much more likely to be effective (and accepted) when the betrayed individual’s feelings have been acknowledged and the betrayer has taken responsibility for their actions by admitting to what they did.