If one or both of you has broken promises or lied in the past then there will certainly be trust issues in your marriage. As you would have discovered, losing your spouse’s trust can happen overnight but restoring it will take considerably longer. So follow our five simple steps to regain trust in your marriage.
- First off we siggest you discuss and accept the trust issues in your marriage. There’s no point ignoring them because whatever has happened in the build up to this situation you are now left with a marriage in drastic need of attention. A marriage without trust will either not survive or will be an unhappy one. So, don’t be defensive or throw blame around, just allow each other the opportunity to list all those things that create suspicion and once these are on the table you have the starting point to your road to recovery.
- Forgive your spouse if they have been untrustworthy in the past and likewise ask your spouse to forgive you if you have been untrustworthy. It is very hard to move forward if there is still resentment between the two of you. If the betrayal has been significant, for example an affair, then forgiveness is no easy feat. In this case perhaps the best you can hope for initially is for acceptance – acceptance that it has happened and that you or your spouse want to move forward and put the past behind you. You also need to acknowledge that change is possible.
- The next step is to pledge, from the heart, to rebuild the lost trust in your relationship. Just accepting the things that make your partner feel insecure (even if there is no betrayal behind your actions) is important. As long as they are reasonable take each one of them seriously. You now have the opportunity to draw a line from the past and move forward to put things right in your marriage.
- Discuss the causes of the breakdown of trust in your marriage. It is important to identify these. For example emotional infidelity is often caused by a loss of friendship in the relationship. So if your spouse is overly close with a work colleague to simply change job or sever the relationship is not enough. If this is done in isolation you are not tackling the cause; what you really need to do is re-connect as a couple. Whatever the cause of untrustworthy behavior, discussion needs to take place on what is lacking in the marriage and how it can be regained. By restoring those parts of the relationship that need attention you remove the driver for untrustworthy behavior.
- Discuss the triggers that create suspicion and the ways you can rebuilt trust in these areas. Get the basics right; be where you say you are going to be, stay in the same room when you speak on your cellphone and leave it on the table if you leave the room. You may feel that you lose some of your privacy when you do this but restoring trust comes at a price. Secretive behavior has to go out the back door to re-establish trust and honesty between you. Over time if you prove that you are trustworthy then your partner will slowly begin to believe you.
Trust really is crucial in any relationship and it cannot be restored without discussion and action; it will not simply right itself over time. Although we just list five simple steps in this article, make no mistake that each one of them may be a journey in their own right.
Restoring trust in marriage takes time but it is achievable. We’re all human and make mistakes; being open about these and having the strength and determination to put things right will enable you to turn around your failing marriage.
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