Yes, you can learn how to trust your husband and rebuild your marriage – even after a betrayal. No, it won’t be fast or easy or fun…but it may be the best thing you ever do.
In Emotional Affairs Versus Innocent Friendships, Sherry (not her real name) described how her husband destroyed trust in him and their marriage. “I feel my husband is having an emotional affair with his female co-worker who is also married,” she says. “I met her and know that they are good friends. I was ok with him giving her rides to work, but I found out that he calls her when we are on vacation. He also also been deleting his conversations with her, which looks very suspicious to me.”
She adds that they are thinking of having another baby. “His behavior makes me doubt if I should bring another child into this. He left notes on the fridge this morning saying not to look for something that is not there, and that I and our son are his life. I am very confused and upset. Is he having an emotional affair but does not realize it? Or is he lying to me? How do I trust my husband after a betrayal like this?”
How to Trust Your Husband After a Betrayal
I can’t offer personal advice that is specific to her (or your) marriage because I know even less about everything that happened than anyone involved! So, it’s impossible for me to give specific advice on how to trust your husband after he betrayed you – or even whether or not you should try to rebuild trust in your marriage.
But, I can give you a few things to think about when you don’t trust your husband…
Besides the betrayal, what else makes you doubt him?
A few little things here and there shouldn’t cause you to stop trusting your husband – unless he has done something in the past to hurt you. Why are you suspicious of him? Has he betrayed you or lied to you before? If he left another woman (or his first wife) for you, maybe you’re worried he’ll leave you for someone else. Maybe you don’t trust your husband because you’ve seen him betray others.
You know your husband. The first step to learning how to trust him again is to be honest with yourself. You can’t see into the future, but you have a gut feeling about your marriage. What is it telling you?
About Sherry’s husband – it’s possible he didn’t even know he was having an “emotional affair” with the other woman. Men are – generally speaking – less relationship-oriented than women, and not as compelled to seek personal interactions. It’s also possible that her husband’s coworker was more emotionally connected to him than he is to her. Maybe the emotional affair happened on her end, not his.
Is your intuition giving you a red or green light?
Fear comes with the territory, regardless of whether you’re getting a green or red light! So you might feel scared and anxious because your intuition or gut instincts are telling you to learn how to trust your husband again because he simply made a (really bad) mistake and betrayed you. Or, you feel scared and anxious because your intuition is telling you that you need to end your marriage because it’s toxic.
Set your feelings aside. You’ve been overcome with pain, anger, fear and other negative emotions for long enough. Don’t allow your feelings to tell you whether or not you can trust your husband again.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself what is true for you. Is it true that you need to learn how to trust your husband again, or is it true that the betrayal was the end for you? Your subconscious is picking up on hints and signals that your conscious mind hasn’t fully comprehended yet. You know your husband. You know his lifestyle, his routine, and his normal behaviors. You also know when something is off. You need to honor your feelings.
Ask yourself the right questions
The right question is NOT “Will my husband betray me again?” There is no way to answer this question. It’s impossible for anyone to know the truth – even him! Nobody can tell you for sure that a betrayal is in the future of your marriage (unless, of course, he admits that he can’t stop betraying you).
The question you need to ask yourself is “Am I willing to do the work it takes to learn how to trust my husband after this betrayal?”
There is a reason you’re struggling to regain trust in your husband – and it’s your job to figure out that reason. Is it because he can’t be trusted, or because you’re understandably hurt and angry about how he betrayed you? If your husband can’t be trusted, then you can’t force yourself to trust him again. You’ll either live in a suspicious marriage, or you’ll leave your husband. If you know deep down that your husband CAN be trusted with your love again, then you need to choose to do the work that forgiveness takes.
If your husband’s betrayal was an emotional or physical affair, read Forgiving a Cheating Spouse and Rebuilding Your Marriage.
Think about what would help you regain trust in your husband
Maybe you need your husband to leave the environment that makes you suspicious, or cut off all contact with the situation or person who was involved in the betrayal. Maybe you need him to go to couples counseling or marriage therapy with you.
It would help if you could talk these issues and questions through with someone you trust and respect, who can help you be objective and wise about your marriage.
Maybe you need to get individual counseling for yourself, and learn how to forgive and trust your husband after a betrayal. I always encourage women to go to counseling on their own. The more emotionally and spiritually healthy you are, the easier it will be to make important decisions in your life.
What do you want and need from your husband? Take time to sit down and write down everything you want him to do. Be foolish, be realistic. Be funny, be serious. Throw it all in – just brainstorm a list of things that will help you trust your husband again. You can write in the comments section below, or your own private journal. You don’t have to show this list to him or anyone; it’s just a way for you to pour out your heart and figure out what you need.
What to Do Next
Read I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum. She is a couples therapist who can help you understand the stages by which trust strengthens in marriage when the rebuilding process is allowed to take place. You will also learn how you and your husband can avoid the mistakes that prevent healing and discover how to feel secure with each other again.
Read How to Save an Unhappy Marriage Without Couples Counseling if you’re not considering marriage counseling or couples therapy to help you rebuild marriage trust.
Be honest with yourself. What is making it difficult for you to learn how to trust your husband after he betrayed you? I welcome your thoughts on how to regain trust in your husband. I can’t offer advice, but writing might help you see your relationship – and your husband – more clearly.
May your marriage be blessed with peace, joy, and reconnection. May your love rebuild, and may you and your husband both be willing to learn how to rebuild trust in your marriage. May you take time to connect with God, to feel His presence and love for you, and to see His perspective of your marriage and husband. I pray for peace, joy, and love to fill your heart and home.