Rebuilding Lost Trust In Marriage
Trust is the foundation for happy, healthy, and lasting relationships.
Obviously, there are other factors, too. But when a husband and wife lose trust in each other, the marriage will end eventually. Even if they don’t get a divorce, the relationship won’t recover unless the trust is restored and solid footing reestablished.
A husband and a wife must be able to trust each other. Period.
Lost trust sours the relationship with doubt, suspicion, and assumptions.
Specific actions destroy trust.
Betrayal, abusiveness, lying, having sex outside of the marriage, engaging in an emotionally intimate relationship (which is also an affair) with someone other than your spouse, breach the marriage vows.
Infidelity is more than “traditional” adultery, a.k.a. sleeping with the wrong person.
As you can imagine, regaining lost trust is very hard.
Here’s the good news, you can regain trust and save your marriage. Will it be easy? Far from it. But those who work hard to regain each other’s trust say it’s absolutely worth it.
These are three pillars of rebuilding trust when you’ve made an absolute mess of things.
Whether you like it or not, or even agree with it, there was a reason why trust was breached.
What caused the breach?
In the case of infidelity, what triggered it? Emotional and physical adultery are usually symptoms of deeper, unresolved issues. In general, spouses don’t typically engage in emotional cheating or physical adultery for the thrill of it.
Please understand that infidelity is never okay; it’s wrong. Period.
But to regain trust and restore your marriage, you must identify what led to emotional or physical infidelity to keep it from happening again.
Communication is huge.
You’ll likely need the help of a counselor or therapist to navigate that conversation. Hopefully, your spouse will go with you. If not, go by yourself.
A husband and wife create all kinds of misunderstandings and assumptions when they don’t communicate.
Start talking. Listen. And even if you don’t agree, do your best to understand the issue so you can do your part to improve things. Care more for the marriage than your ego.
It’s never a good sign, at least in my opinion, when a spouse resists attending marriage counseling with their partner.
Be Consistent AND Dependable
Consistency and dependability build trust.
Keeping your spouse guessing doesn’t.
Be reliable. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Be where you say you’re going to be. Keep your word. Demonstrate that you don’t have anything to hide!
Also, whatever you agree on together to rebuild trust applies to both of you, not to just one of you.
Transparency and reliability are building blocks of trust because they create security and certainty.
In general, don’t engage in behavior or activities that trigger uncertainty in your spouse. I say in “general” because, unfortunately, there are controlling, abusive spouses for whom nothing you do will ever make them trust you. But that’s a different issue entirely.
(However, if you think you might be in a situation with an abusive spouse who wants to track your every move and control your every action, seek counseling immediately to form a game plan for moving forward, which might include an exit plan for your protection.)
But for spouses who don’t have severe emotional or clinical issues or personality disorders, consistency and dependability engender security.
Demonstrate to your spouse that they can absolutely depend on you. Don’t be flaky. Keep your word by following through on what you say you’re going to do; keep your commitments.
Lies, secrets, and withholding information erode trust.
If your spouse finds your secret stash of candy, they might wonder what else you’re hiding.
Dishonesty іѕ а common marital problem, unfortunately.
There’s no place for deception or misdirection in a marriage. Be honest. Transparent. Do the right thing. Have integrity.
Admitting yоur mistakes and errors, and taking responsibility and sincerely apologizing for them, along with demonstrating а genuine effort tо nоt repeat them, paves the way for you to rebuild trust and reconnect with your spouse. And with time (along with forgiveness and a lot of patience, grace, and work), you will have a happy marriage again.
Rebuilding trust isn’t easy. But neither is the alternative.