When you find out your partner had an affair, it can seem as if the world stopped and you are frozen in the feelings of pain and hurt in the aftermath of betrayal.

As the reality settles in, you might be confused and conflicted about whether or not to take back your mate.

You might be promising yourself that you will not be caught off guard by infidelity ever again. At the same time, you might wonder if your relationship can be saved. After all, you've heard about people who were able to rebuild trust and ended up closer than before.

Jake is still livid when he thinks about his wife Camille's affair. About a week ago, he found out that she'd been cheating. Jake has been staying with his brother who lives in the same town ever since Camille confessed having an affair.

Now Jake feels that it's time for him to make a decision about the future. Camille agreed to give him space to think, but she has also made it clear how filled with regret she is and how much she'd like to work it out.

Jake realizes that the next move is up to him. He's just not clear about whether he should stay in his marriage or file for a divorce.

What do you need right now?
When you're reeling in the aftermath of infidelity, take the time to be gentle with yourself. Don't rush into any final decisions at this moment. Instead, tune in and ask yourself what you need right now.

It could be that, like Jake, you need space and a bit of distance from your mate who cheated. Or it might be that you want to be near this person and get more information.

You might be given a lot of advice at this time and you might feel pressured by your mate or those close to you to stay and work it out or to get out of the relationship immediately.

Try not to jump to an absolute decision about whether to stay with this person or to breakup as you are in the middle of intense feelings.

Keep listening within and take steps that will bring you relief.

Jake agrees to meet Camille at a coffee shop. He tells her that he is not prepared to make a final decision about whether he'll continue their marriage or not.

But, Jake does say he is willing to begin meeting with a relationship coach. He wants to figure out what happened in their marriage and what led Camille to cheat. He doesn't promise Camille anything more than that. He also tells her that he plans to stay with his brother for at least another week.

Figure out your next step and don't worry so much about the “big picture” at this time if that's at all possible in your situation.

Jake decided that he still needed space and is not ready to share a home with Camille right now. But he doesn't want to close down to her completely. With the help of a coach, Jake is eager to learn more about what happened and to begin to heal.

What agreements are you willing to make?
A first step to rebuilding trust in your relationship after an affair is to make a shift and change the direction you two are going. Making agreements around being transparent-- open and honest-- is one way to encourage a shift towards trust.

If you are still trying to decide whether you should take back your partner after an affair, ask yourself if you are willing to request and make agreements with your mate.

Is this a level of engagement you are open to right now? If so, ask yourself what agreements would help you feel like the two of you are making a positive shift?

When you make an agreement, be sure it is clear and you both understand what you are agreeing to.

Set an agreement that feels realistic and doable to each of you. You might even come up with conditions that may indicate that you are each keeping to the agreement.

After a few sessions with their relationship coach, Jake is willing to move back home with Camille.

He's still hurting but he's also starting to get a fuller picture of the disconnecting relationship habits that contributed to the infidelity in the first place. He is now able to see that there were dynamics they both contributed to.

Jake and Camille create some agreements about being more open and honest with one another. This also means they will each take responsibility for being honest about their feelings rather than stuffing them inside and withdrawing--- which is what Jake has habitually done in their relationship.

Jake feels comfortable focusing mainly on the short-term and is also feeling a greater sense of relief and even openness as he and Camille continue to identify their relationship habits and make agreements and changes.

Even when infidelity has not happened in a relationship, it can be beneficial to remember that you get to choose whether or not to be in your relationship every single day.

You can take rebuilding trust or even being in the same room with your mate who had an affair at your own pace.

Keep checking in with yourself and listen to what you hear. When you can really listen, tune in to what your partner wants and see if the two of you can form agreements that will help move you closer together.

Use the information you receive from your internal listening and to what you hear from your partner to guide you in making decisions one step at a time.

Author's Bio: 

Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" and "No More Jealousy" are experts at helping people get more of the love they really want. Learn how you can make the best possible choice of whether to stay in or leave your relationship by visiting http://www.StayorGo.com