Trust in a marriage is an important factor to keep the relationship smooth and satisfying. It gets damaged through what we call ‘trust breakers’, incidents ranging from lack of information, deliberately leaving out details of what has been happening, lying through to deceit and affairs. If you are committed to making your marriage work after such an incident, you must make rebuilding trust a priority. In the following article, we will look at ways to rebuild trust.
Trust builds up with time in gradual development. It is dependent on the following factors: reliability, consistency of actions, words and behaviour, truth and honesty and confidentiality.
Sometimes trust breaks because of something we fail to do, for example letting our partner know that we are planning to stay out late, and sometimes it breaks because of something we do, like having an affair. Trust is a delicate structure that can more easily and quickly be broken than repaired. Once it is damaged, it takes much longer to rebuild than it originally took to create it.
Rebuilding trust needs to be a joint goal. Both partners need to be prepared to accept that a ‘trust breaker’ has happened and that the intention is to continue in the committed relationship. Remember that this is a process of time, depending on the severity of the ‘trust breaker’.
Choose from the following tips. Some might apply to your situation, some might not.
Tip 1: Be attentive to your partner. Both of you are hurting or feeling guilty and it is important to be mindful of your partner’s present state.
Tip 2: Be honest and speak the truth. In most cases it does not serve to re-build trust if you leave out important details that might be revealed later. If trust is once broken and then rebuilt, it might not survive another break due to the same issue.
Tip 3: Stay true to your word. Stay away from empty promises, no matter how small they are. If you can’t follow through, don’t promise!
Tip 4: Allow time to heal. Rebuilding trust will take time and it might take different amounts of time for your partner. Don’t rush yourself, don’t rush them.
Tip 5: Think carefully who you talk to. Your friends will give you their opinion and perspective on your issue based on their history; it might not necessarily be helpful to you. You then have to not only deal with yourself but also with their view on it.
Rebuilding trust can deepen and strengthen a marriage if you both support each other in dealing with it.
my husband cheated on me about 2 months ao for 3 months and i found out 4 weeks ago but for some reason im so calm about it i do love him and would love to get my trust back for him but its hard and i just cant understand why im so calm is it the calm before the storm or is it because its still new , plus my head is seein what they could of been up to and i cant stop it please i need help he says he will never do it again and the only reason it happened was because we was going through a bad patch which we was and he says it was her who made the first move
Nathalie Himmelrich says
From your comment I guess you’re still partly in shock and disbelief at what has happened. This is a normal reaction. You might find that you’re going through the cycle of grief, where you pass through the stages or disbelief & shock, anger, bargaining, sadness & grief, acceptance. They might not come in that order and you might stay various time in the stages – there are no rules to which one when and for how long.
What kind of support do you have? It is very important that you are able to talk to someone who is not involved in the whole situation.
I’ve written an article on ‘How to Support People Who Are Grieving’.
There are plenty of other article in regards to relationship, affairs, trust etc, which you can find on the blog – go to articles and look in the appropriate category.
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Wishing you all the best and do let me know if I can be of assistance to you – I offer Counselling / Coaching over the phone/skype as well as in person.