HOW TO REBUILD TRUST IN A MARRIAGE
If a marriage has problems, the chances are good that trust has been broken. And yet, trust is a central component for a successful marriage. So how do you restore broken trust? And how do you do it without spending months in marriage counseling?
Trust can be broken in so many ways. The most common culprits are an affair, hidden addictions, lying, and financial secrecy.
But if you look deep into the heart of a distrusting spouse, it goes beyond the usual trust busters. Trust is weakened in a relationship when a spouse is frequently late, unreliable, or insensitive. Hiding a few empty beer cans can damage trust between you. It doesn’t take much to shake trust.
But it sure takes a lot to rebuild it!
We live in a microwave world of fast food, express delivery, and speedy-print. And so we figure, if we lost trust in an instant, there must be a way to rebuild it in an instant too. NOT!
Trust is built one small step at a time. There’s no other way. There’s no Herculean event that can deliver instant-trust. In fact, by definition, trust is about CONSISTENCY. That’s what it means to trust someone…to be able to PREDICT their behavior. Predictability is a function of repetition. Repetition comes with TIME.
Think about it. When you trust someone, it means you can RELY on them. But before you can rely on someone, you must depend on them time and again and NOT be disappointed. If you’re disappointed, even once, the trust is broken.
I often compare the building of a relationship to the building of a house…both happen one brick at a time. And every brick is significant because it strengthens the foundation. The stronger the foundation, the more room you have for error. For example, how damaging is it to ruin one brick when you’re working on the 3rd floor of a house? It’s no big deal, right? You have a strong foundation, the house is in tact, you clean up the mess, and you build on.
It’s like that in a relationship. If you have a strong foundation, you can make a mistake without ruining everything. It’s no big deal. You can move on.
But trust is DIFFERENT. One mistake kills you. Because trust is about CONSISTENCY.
Building trust is NOT analogous to building a house; it’s more like climbing a ladder. You don’t have a foundation to support you. If you slip, you fall all the way to the bottom.
That’s how trust works. It’s unforgiving.
So if you’re trying to restore trust in your marriage, and you’re expected to meet your spouse for dinner before your marriage counseling appointment at 6:15PM, don’t arrive at 6:19PM. For you, 6:19PM might be a matter of 4 minutes and no big deal. But to your spouse it might be about reliability, and you may have just slipped all the way to the bottom. You just broke whatever pattern of consistency you built prior to arriving late. And now you have to start all over again.
How do you rebuild trust? You make and keep promises. Make and keep. Make and keep. Make and keep. Over and over again. AND DON’T MISS! Nothing destroys trust faster than making and BREAKING a promise.
To be consistent (to build trust), you need lots of opportunities to come-through. So create them for yourself.
“Honey, I’ll pick up some milk before I come home.” And then do it!
“I’ll meet you at our marriage counseling appointment at 9AM.” And then do it!
“I’ll read it by tomorrow.” And then do it!
“I’ll say it differently next time.” And then do it!
Look for opportunities to make and keep promises. That’s your opportunity to build trust. Like a ladder…climb one rung at a time. It takes time. There’s no short-cut. And you can’t slip. You have to stay focused.
And just to be clear, the little things count big. If trust is about consistency, then it doesn’t matter what you promise. Just promise and come through.
Don’t think that just because trust came crashing down in one dramatic event (an affair or whatever) that you have to reestablish it with one dramatic event too. You can rebuild trust by making and keeping SMALL promises over an extended period of time.
More excellent advice HERE: www.MarriageMax.com
How to Restore the Trust After He Cheated (The Post Affair Agreement)
Can you ever trust your (cheating) husband again?
Most people would say that it’s impossible to restore the trust after an affair. That if he did it once, he can do it again. That the foundation of the relationship is forever broken.
Is that what you think too?
After all, he lied to you straight into your face, over and over again.
He told you he was at work but he was actually with her. He told you he was out with his friends, but he was in the arms of another woman, while you were taken for a fool.
Is it Possible to Restore the Trust?
Trust is the foundation of any intimate relationship. Everything else grows out of the trust you have for one another: your sense of safety, the feeling of companionship and even your love for one another depends on trust.
So even if you somehow manage to deal with unbelievable shock and pain caused by his affair, you will not be able to salvage your marriage without restoring the trust.
But no matter how hard you try, you can’t.
One night he comes home late from work and says he had a meeting, but you can’t for the life of you believe him completely.
And it’s more than normal.
But, it’s virtually impossible to try to heal from this crisis, communicate honestly and rebuild your marriage again when you’re constantly feeling suspicious and even paranoid, right?
Before we go on to the post-affair agreement, I would love to know what you think:
I’ve learned about the importance of transparency after an affair from Mort Fertel and his marriage counseling alternative program, and it’s the most important thing you and your husband need to address right now, before it’s too late.
Your husband needs to understand that complete transparency is the only direct way to rebuilding your trust in him.
No more weird phone calls, no more evenings out without a call home, no more secret mails and social media accounts.
With time, complete transparency will bring the trust back to your relationship and make room for rebuilding the love.
But what is complete transparency?
The post affair agreement is a list of changes both of you agree to make (but especially the cheating spouse obviously), to start the process of rebuilding the trust in your relationship.
The Post Affair Agreement
- My cell phone texts, contact list, pictures and calls are not a secret and can be viewed freely by my spouse. The cheating spouse will close out any e-mail accounts or telephone numbers associated with affair.
- My Facebook account, including private messages, is not a secret and can be viewed anytime by my spouse.
- I will not delete or hide any text message or Facebook message or e-mail of any kind.
- I will let my spouse know exactly where I am at any point during the day. I will not make my spouse wonder where I am or what I’m doing.
- I will call and explain in detail if I am to change my plans. For example, if I am going to be late from work – I will call before hand and explain.
- If I go out socially without my spouse, I will let him/her exactly who I am going to meet and where.
- 7. I will try to share more about my work, new people who come into the office and conversations with colleagues (female and male).
- I will make it a priority to be available on my cell phone when my spouse calls.
- I will offer to share more about my life, the things that trouble me (or make me happy) – as much as possible.
Husband Signature Wife Signature
Why the Post Affair Agreement is Not Enough
It may take some time, but committing to the post affair agreement will slowly (yet effectively) restore the trust in your relationship, and in your heart.
But you can’t stop there.
Next, it’s time to really face your emotions and rebuild the love in your marriage, if you want to make it better than ever.
In the next sections of Mort Fertel’s program, you will learn about how to rebuild the attention, the caring, the support and the stability in your marriage. And of course – the fun, the laughter and the happiness
It’s NOT impossible.
Trust CAN be restored.
Love CAN be rebuilt.
A marriage CAN survive an affair and become better than ever.
I wouldn’t claim so unless I was living proof of it.
You just need the right knowledge, and the willingness to make an effort.
I always recommend Mort Fertel’s free e-book and email series, it’s in my experience the best first step you can take to heal from the devastating emotions of his affair.