It's been a turbulent couple of years for Selena and Robbie. After living together for over 5 years, Selena was shocked and outraged to learn that Robbie was having an affair with another woman who also lives in their apartment building.

She was so upset about this, she packed up her things and moved in with her sister. During that time apart, Selena broke up with Robbie. She couldn't see a way to forgive him for cheating even though he told her how sorry he was and that he'd end the affair immediately.

After Selena agreed to communicate with Robbie again (this took over a month), he kept in regular contact with her and has been trying very hard to win her back ever since. Almost a year later, Selena decided that maybe she could forgive him. He has made his life transparent to her and wants to try again with their relationship.

Selena agreed to be back in a relationship with Robbie again. But, after the infidelity and the time that they've been apart, she doesn't know quite how to act. She doesn't want to just pick up where they left off and pretend that the affair didn't happen, but she also wants to move on and stop living in the past.

If you are back with your ex, it might be a confusing time, even if you are happy that you two are reunited. Perhaps the time during which you were broken up was weeks, months or even years.

Do you two treat this as a brand new relationship and try to forget your history together-- especially if it was a painful one with cheating? Or, do you consider the break up as merely a pause in your former relationship and build on the rich past you two shared together?

There is not one absolutely “right” answer for every couple. Quite often, it is a mixture of these approaches.

You need to look at your unique situation and really listen to yourself and your partner to know what is the best approach to take. Regardless of what you decide, pay particular attention to re-building trust.

No matter how “fresh” a start you choose to take, you've got to make sure that trust between you two is healing and stays healthy.

Stay present.
It is valuable to learn from the past. However, it is detrimental to LIVE in the past. Make sure that you are responding to each and every situation with your partner from the present moment.

Even if you are aware of the past-- including his or her infidelity-- don't let that past stand in the way of you two creating the kind of future together that you desire.

Make it a priority for both of you to practice honesty and openness. Keep in mind, this won't work so well if only the person who cheated is expected to be honest and open.

Practice going within yourself to know how you are feeling and what you truly want in any situation. Find ways to communicate about what you want that are not ultimatums, criticisms or blame. Focus mostly on what you DO want instead of what you don't want.

Continue to forgive (both your partner and yourself) for the pains of the past and release it. This is an ongoing process for most people.

Stay on top of disconnecting relationship habits.
When you notice yourself and your partner falling into familiar and undesirable habits, address them as soon as you can. Again, do this without blame, but with a sense of love and clarity.

For example, Several weeks after the two of them moved back in together, Selena noticed that Robbie stopped calling her to let her know when he'll be home for the evening. She knows that he often gets caught up in projects at the office, but she also knows that in the past this was one thing that contributed to her jealousy and played a role in his cheating.

Instead of letting her jealous fears get the best of her, Selena sits down to talk with Robbie. She does not blame him for her jealousy. But she does say this: “I feel worried when you do not call me and you are late coming home. I look forward to re-connecting with you in the evenings and I would appreciate you calling or texting to let me know if you are going to be late.”

When you recognize and turn around disconnecting habits as soon as you notice them, they are almost always easier to handle.

Remember, in every circumstance, you get to choose how you will respond. Instead of reacting to your partner from the past, you can look at what is going on right now and talk about ways that you two can work together to make changes that will rebuild trust.

Author's Bio: 

Get more tips about how to rebuild trust after infidelity from Susie and Otto Collins by clicking here for their free trustbuilding e-mail mini-course.

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the passionate relationships they desire. They have written these e-books and programs: Magic Relationship Words, Relationship Trust Turnaround, No More Jealousy and Stop Talking on Eggshells among many others.