October 29, 2015

Learning to Trust Again….


Trusting and Loving After Dishonesty.

Trust. That is a BIG word. Being able to truly trust your spouse means everything in a relationship. You need to be able to rely on them no matter what. So how do we learn to trust again after being lied to, cheated on, or mislead?

Rebuilding trust after dishonesty.

We love what we do, dating our spouses and providing all of our fabulous readers with ideas to help strengthen their marriages is a passion of ours that we don’t take lightly. Living in a world where marriage is sometimes not as highly valued as it should be, we are proud to represent strong marriages and help all of those around us try to strengthen theirs as well. Sometimes however, it takes more than just a fun date night {or two} to get your marriage back on track. Unfortunately there are topics that have to be tackled that are very tender and we do so with the utmost respect as possible. With that being said today’s post is about Learning How to Trust After ______.  You fill in the blank. Pretty much, learning how to trust after any situation that has made you, for whatever reason, doubt the trust that you and your spouse have in one another.

As we pour though our Dear Diva letters every month, it breaks our hearts when we come upon letters asking us how in the world they are supposed to trust their spouse again. So many of these have come up that we wanted to tackle this topic head on and let all of our readers know that we truly feel for you and there are steps that you can take to getting your marriage back to not only where you were before but hopefully even better!

“Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, no risk-taking.”a

Learning how to trust your spouse again.

1. The first thing that you both must do is identify why you have lost your trust. What event caused this? Sometimes we have lost our trust because of major things like an affair or cheating of some sort. Other times it is possibly not as huge of an issue but still something that needs to be resolved like you or your spouse continually saying that they will do something and never following through with the promises. “The wrongdoer must admit that he or she has inflicted a deep hurt, and the victim must look at what he or she could have done to make things different.”a

2. Once you have identified the issue/issues, you must be willing to acknowledge that, while they unfortunately happened in the past, you are stepping away from the issue and plan to change your actions moving forward. If trust has been broken, only repeated acts of trustworthy behavior will be able to repair the damage that has been done. “Over a period of time, your trust can be rebuilt with repeated positive experiences.”a

Rebuilding Trust

3. Now that you both know what initially broke the trust and have agreed to discontinue the behavior you can begin to move forward. Note the quote at the end of point two and how it uses the words “over a period of time.” You now have to start the process of moving forward acknowledging that it will take some time to rebuild the trust that was broken. If you are the one trying to build your spouse’s trust back you need to know that they cannot simply forgive and forget. While you are both working toward moving past the issue, it is a process and it will take time. The spouse that broke the trust has to “give up control of his or her life at least for as long as it takes to rebuild trust. He or she gives up control by becoming an open book to his/her spouse. No secrets allowed.”b

4. As you take the time to heal and begin moving towards a stronger marriage you must also be able to identify why the action that lost your trust took place. “Don’t get so focused on the thing that blew up your life together that you fail to deal with the real moral, ethical, or good judgment issues that allowed it to happen. If you merely treat the symptoms without fighting the disease, you’ll soon be back in crisis mode in your marriage.”Why was your marriage pushed to the point that the act that forced you to lose trust even happened in the first place? Acknowledge this reason and work toward strengthening that point in your marriage as you work towards rebuilding your trust. {We have an excellent program called the Marriage Masters Program that we would HIGHLY recommend. This program will help heal and strengthen different pieces of you marriage that my be damaged or even broken.}

How do I trust my spouse again?

5. You know that as you begin to move forward ,it is going to take time and repeated actions to earn back the trust. However, moving forward what else is there that you can do? Here is a great tip! “Start compiling a written list of at least three things every day that you like and/or appreciate about your spouse. It will help you begin to change the way you see him/her, and help you train your brain to look for the good {again} instead of the not-so-good in them.”d It would be a great idea to take some time in your nightly pillow talk to share these with one another as well! {p.s. if you aren’t doing pillow talk each night, here is a great post to help you get the conversation started!}

6. As well as looking for the good in your spouse, it is also recommended to set boundaries going forward. What is and is not ok and where do you draw the line? “Trust should begin with a commitment to be thoughtful and honest.”You have to remember that, by rebuilding trust, you are essentially building from the ground up, starting fresh. So, moving forward, you need to define rules or outlines of what you can both agree on and what you agree is ok. This way you both know the black and white of the situation and know “that commitment must be followed up with thoughtful and honest behavior.”e There is no longer any grey area because together you have written out what the lines are for your marriage.

How do I trust my spouse again?

Trust is the belief that your spouse won’t do anything to hurt you and will be honest with you. It assumes a level of care that forms a protective envelope around you.”e

7. The last point that we would like to share is LOVE! Remind one another not only of three things that you appreciate about them from that day, but also that you love each other enough that you want to work past this bump {or mountain}. Learn one an other’s Love Languages {if you do not already know them} and show love in that love language! {If you have not heard about Love Languages or just haven’t taken the time to learn each others, here is a great post 100 Ways to Show Love to Your Spouse that will help you get started. You will also want to pick up the book The 5 Love Languages as well!}

We know that you have come to this post because you are hurting and possibly feeling broken.  Work together to rebuild a marriage that stands on a strong foundation of trust. Love each other, work with one another and know that over time, if you both want to, you can regain trust.

Looking for more tips on how to help your marriage? Check out these phenomenal posts.

12 Books That Will Transform Your Marriage

How Pornography Affects Marriage

16 Ways to Protect Your Marriage from Infidelity


While we would love to say that we are experts in all things marriage there are many out there more studied than we are. We have turned to multiple resources for this post, here is a list of our resources.

a. psychology today.com
b. growthtrac.com
c. imom.com
d. ldsmag.com
e. marriagebuilders.com 

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