How to Rebuild Trust in a Marriage (After it’s Been Damaged)

When you get married, you are giving your heart to another person, trusting that he is going to take care of it. We have the expectation that our spouse will always be the one person we can rely on. That’s why it’s so devastating when a partner lies, breaks promises, or cheats.

But trust that has been broken can be rebuilt. It can be difficult, but if you still love him – and if you both want to save your marriage – these 5 steps can help make it work:

Have Patience

Regaining your trust isn’t something that will happen overnight, especially if the transgression is particularly serious. Both partners need to have patience and give the process time to happen.

It may only take a few days or a week to get over a small lie, especially if it’s something that hasn’t happened before. But an affair can take months or years to completely recover from. Both partners need to have patience and give the process time to happen.

Understand you aren’t the First to go through this

Even the happiest looking marriages can have trust issues, and many of them have survived whatever it is that you’re going through. You may want to join a support group for people with unfaithful spouses, or even go to a counselor who can help walk you through the steps of rebuilding trust.
Even the happiest looking marriages can have trust issues, and many of them have survived whatever it is that you’re going through.

There are sure to be books written from the point of view of others who have dealt with the same trust issue you are. You may want to join a support group for people with unfaithful spouses, or even go to a counselor who can help walk you through the steps of rebuilding trust.

Be Who you Promised to be

Your marriage vows promise to be there “for better, for worse” – well, this is one of the “for worse” parts it was talking about. You made the commitment to stick with your spouse through all the ups and downs, and not to quit when things got hard.

It can be tempting to feel that your spouse has not kept up their side of the bargain by whatever they did that broke your confidence in them, but it does no good to either of you for you to hold on to your resentment.

Be Honest with each other

Both partners need to admit that there is an issue if you want to start rebuilding trust. You can’t fix it if you don’t admit that it’s broken!
Both partners need to admit that there is an issue if you want to start rebuilding trust. You can’t fix it if you don’t admit that it’s broken!

Both partners need to be completely honest about what happened, what their actions were that led to the issue and what their feelings about it are. While it can be difficult to talk about, getting it all out in the open is often the most healing step.

Avoid placing blame

It’s perfectly natural to hold on to your hurt and anger; and it can be very hard not to throw it back in your spouse’s face every time an argument or disagreement arises. But each time you do, it rips the scab off the pain and slows down the healing.

Statements like “I told you so” do nothing to help build trust; in fact, they do the opposite. It’s a prideful statement that belittles your spouse and does not foster healing.

Be consistent in your actions, do the best you can to forgive, even if you can’t forget. Truly forgiving is the real secret to rebuilding your trust.

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