Can you trust your husband after an affair? It depends why he cheated and how you found out about the affair. It’s difficult to rebuild trust in marriage after an affair, but your bond may become stronger.
Trusting your husband after he cheated on you is “easier” (! it’s never easy!) if you know you’re not alone. Reading books like After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful can help you move from mourning to healing to forgiveness to acceptance.
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“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” ~ Doug Larson. If you’re dealing with the worst thing that you thought could happen in your marriage (infidelity, money problems or debt, illness, etc), remember that your relationship with your spouse could actually get better.
If you’ve tried everything you can to forgive and trust your husband after an affair, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love. And, here are a few tips on healing after an affair…
How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair
Use your husband’s physical or emotional infidelity as an opportunity to build a better marriage and take care of the things you were avoiding or letting languish.
Mourn the loss of your marriage as it was
Your marriage will never be the same after an affair, and it’s important to grieve that loss. You will never be the same – and either will husband spouse. It’s the end of one chapter of your marriage, and the beginning of another – possibly healthier and happier – stage.
Remember that rebuilding marriage trust takes time
It’s very difficult to trust a husband after an affair because infidelity shakes the entire foundation of your marriage. If you can accept and commit to the long, challenging process of rebuilding your marriage, your relationship stands a better chance of succeeding.
If you’re not sure if you want to trust your husband after an affair, read You’re Not Happy Being Married, But Unsure About Divorce.
Take responsibility for your role in the affair
It’s important to remember that in most cases of infidelity, both spouses carry some responsibility. I’m not defending unfaithful husbands or wives; you might want to read Why Men Cheat – Insights From a Marriage Counselor for an explanation of how both spouses contribute to affairs in relationships. To rebuild marriage trust, you need to accept your own culpability, because most affairs happen because of problems in the relationship.
Understand why the affair occurred
Take a step back and try to understand why your husband cheated from his perspective. What was he seeking? Healing and rebuilding trust involves seeing the reasons for your spouse’s behavior, and then figuring out what you can do to save your marriage and make your relationship better.
Be kind to yourself; you did the best you could in your marriage, with your spouse, and with your children. Infidelity may trigger feelings of guilt or shame – even in the spouse that wasn’t unfaithful. To rebuild trust, you need to forgive yourself for real or perceived mistakes.
Practice forgiving your husband
Forgiving a betrayal isn’t a one-time thing. Forgiveness is a process that you may have to go through several times a day, week, or month! If your husband’s behavior doesn’t change – if he’s still unfaithful or deceptive – then you won’t be able to forgive him. And if you can’t forgive him, then you won’t be able to rebuild marriage trust. So, your husband needs to take an active role in saving your marriage.
Tell your husband what you need from him
To trust your husband after an affair, what do you need from him? Do you need time apart? Proof that the affair is over? Regular phone calls throughout the day to reassure you that he’s where he says he will be? Figuring out and sharing what you need from your husband can help rebuild trust because it gives you some control. To make sure the control you’re taking is healthy, I encourage you to…
Make an appointment with a marriage counselor
If you want to save your marriage, consider seeking couples therapy so you can work out your issues together. A marriage counselor who has professional experience with infidelity can help you reunite and rebuild. If you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress because of the infidelity (or other life issues), consider going for individual therapy first or simultaneously.
You might also find 6 Signs Your Marriage is Over helpful, if painful.
I welcome your thoughts on how to trust your husband after an affair. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to share your experience. Often, writing brings clarity and insight.