6 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Husband After Infidelity


It’s not easy to rebuild trust in your marriage after infidelity. You won’t suddenly start trusting your husband overnight, and you may even find it difficult to be physically intimate with him. A lot of it depends on his response to the affair, how you found out your husband was unfaithful, and what he’s willing to do to rebuild trust.

You are not alone. I wrote Healing From an Affair in a Christian Marriage for a reader whose husband was unfaithful with a church member. This wife wanted to stay married, and she needed tips on how to rebuild trust in her husband after infidelity. Many couples have rebuilt their marriages and lives together after a season of unfaithfulness — and you can, too.

These six ways to rebuild trust in your spouse after infidelity will help you reconnect, rebuild, and renew your marriage. Don’t lose hope! You can save your marriage after an emotional or physical affair — but it will take time, energy, and effort. Your relationship may be stronger and healthier after this experience…and you may find yourself unable to even imagine what your marriage was like before, because it’s so much better now. Wouldn’t that be awesome?









How did you find out about your husband’s infidelity? Talk about it. Tell me in the comments section below. You don’t have to share your real name or private details…but I encourage you to talk about it because if you hide the affair, it’ll consume you.

Are you ashamed about the affair? Sometimes wives whose husbands cheated take on unnecessary guilt, shame, and responsibility. If your husband’s affair seems to be more your problem than his, explore why. If you’re taking on more than your share of responsibility for the breakdown of your relationship, ask yourself where the burden is coming from.

Feel free to share your thoughts below. I don’t judge or give advice; this is a safe space to talk about what you’re going through.

Rebuilding Trust in Your Marriage

If you’re the spouse who had the affair, read How to Stop Cheating in a Relationship. I wrote that article for a wife who couldn’t stay away from her married lover. I thought it’d be easy to end infidelity – especially if you sincerely want to rebuild trust in your husband – but it’s more difficult than it seems.

1. Stop doing what doesn’t work

Learning to trust again after a physical or emotional affair isn’t a one-time event. Trusting your husband will take time and deliberate practice. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? He’s the one who cheated, and you’re the one who has to do the work of forgiveness and healing! Nope, not fair at all.

What is your husband doing to help you rebuild trust in your marriage? What do you need him to do? Tell him. Talk about it. If he can’t or won’t talk about his infidelity, find ways to learn what you can do differently. Don’t keep doing what you’ve been doing, because it doesn’t work. Don’t keep pushing him to talk about trusting, or rebuilding your relationship, or the affair itself.

2. Decide what you can live with

You need to decide if you’re willing to live with your husband as he is, because you can’t change him. Yes, people change – and it’s great! Yes, you can turn your marriage around. And yes, you can rebuild trust in your marriage after infidelity…but you have to know what you can and can’t live with.

What are your “deal breakers”? Decide what you need from your relationship, and what you can live without. Know what you need to start trusting your husband again. Tell him what it’ll take to trust him after the betrayal of infidelity. Don’t try to protect his feelings, or expect him to guess how you feel or what you need.



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3. Expect the “feeling” of trust to come and go after infidelity

You already know there aren’t any easy answers about trusting after physical or emotional infidelity, because it takes work to create a healthy marriage — even when everyone is faithful. You’ll find times when you trust your husband, and times when you’re wondering what he’s doing or where he is. Other times, you’ll feel more trusting. Trust shouldn’t come and go, but infidelity changes things in a relationship.

You need to decide if trust is a feeling, or if it’s a value you hold. This is really important, because if you think trust is a feeling…then your trust will come and go. Your trust will be based on your husband’s actions after he says he’s no longer seeing her. Your trust will change, depending on his behavior. So, instead of “feeling” like you trust your husband, commit to actually trusting him until you have reason to believe differently.

4. Commit to a plan for rebuilding trust in your husband

Again, with the hard work thing! What’s your plan for saving your marriage? This is where my next tip on how to rebuild trust after infidelity is most useful: it helps to have objective help creating a plan for trusting your husband again. Maybe your plan is daily texts, or surprise visits at work. Maybe you’re a numbers girl and you trust your husband 50% right now. Your plan is raise your trust level to 70% over the next four months.

Building trust in a relationship also depends on the type of infidelity your husband was involved in. According to research in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, men think physical affairs are more damaging to relationships. Women believe emotional infidelity is more upsetting, because their husbands are emotionally involved with the other woman. Emotional entanglements are difficult to unravel, which makes rebuilding trust difficult.

5. Talk to a counselor who specializes in rebuilding trust after infidelity

“You can’t read the label when you’re inside the bottle” is one of my new favorite sayings!

How to Rebuild Trust in Your Spouse After InfidelityThis means that it’s really hard to see yourself from the inside. We’re mysterious and complicated creatures, and it’s difficult to understand the hearts and intentions of others — much less our own.

Untangling emotional issues is confusing and emotional; a trained counselor can make a big difference. Marriage counseling doesn’t have to last for years or even months; sometimes it just takes a session or two to see what the issues are and how to resolve them. Then, it takes dedication to saving the marriage and the effort to love…

6. Remember that love isn’t just about saying “I love you”

In fact, saying I love you or even “I want to rebuild trust in our marriage” is too easy to be meaningful! Talk is the easiest, laziest part of love. Many people can confess love, but few can actually do it. Real, committed, healthy, romantic love is about how you treat each other, whether you respect one another’s wishes, if you can talk about your problems, if you’re emotionally and spiritually connected, and if you have the same goals for the future.

Also, you might want to think about accepting the fact that the occasional romantic fascination or attraction for other people is normal. Instead of fighting your feelings or attraction to another person, accept how you feel. It’s OKAY to be attracted to other people, even if you’re married. But, acting on those feelings of attraction can destroy a marriage and lead to divorce.

Help Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity

The Truth About Cheating rebuilding trust in husband

In The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It, M. Gary Neuman shares the revealing and surprising findings of a research study in which he interviewed and studied close to 100 men from 48 states who have physically cheated on their wives.

In this book, Neuman shares many shocking discoveries, including the prominent role of emotional dissatisfaction in motivating husbands who stray and how small a role sexual dissatisfaction plays. If you understand why your husband had an affair, you can learn how to rebuild trust in your marriage.

Another good book to read after infidelity is Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley Glass.

How do you feel – do you think you can rebuild trust in your husband? How does he feel, what does he say about infidelity in marriage? Your thoughts are welcome below…

xo





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5 thoughts on “6 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Husband After Infidelity

  • Mia

    It’s been 4 years since my husband cheated on me emotionally. There’s a long story behind it. But I wondered for couple months. I was too afraid to confront him about it. He started really emotionally cheating on my birthday. Our anniversary is 3 days after my birthday. We had a plan for me to trust him again. But as soon as I started to a tiny bit he stopped doing anything he planned to to gain my trust back. He either hasn’t cheated since then or he’s just really good at hiding it. My birthday is in 10 days and every year around this time I start having panic attacks every night, terrified that I’ll wake up to him in the other room on the phone with another woman. I caught them talking on the phone in the other room at 5am, saying really inappropriate things to each other and he told her he had this life that was completely false. He always tries to make my birthday so special and I feel bad for feeling this way. How do I really fully trust him and stop feeling this way all together? I don’t really doubt my trust for him any other time of the year.

  • Adriane

    A friend told me about my husband’s relationship with a woman at my work. (He works here too). I knew he was being distant, and I thought something was going on, but didn’t know who exactly, so every time I questioned him for months, he asked ‘who’ he could be with or ‘when’ he is seeing her. Upon initial disclosure, he denied it & convinced me that I was being insecure & crazy because the other woman is married & much older than us. She quit her job a few weeks later, to work on her marriage, and her husband contacted our work to have me get my husband ‘on a leash’ for continuing to contact her. I found out information through asking, him denying, and eventually admitting to, rather than him offering up anything to help me cope. He had inappropriate relationships with other women previously, all of which I would ask about because of a hunch & he would admit to because of my confidence in asking while using their specific names. Anyways, she left him cold turkey, stopped all communication & quit her job, when he went to her other job to see her, she told him not to come in (he called first) & had her husband call him to get him to back off. He isn’t ready to talk about any of it, and I’m afraid he will fall back into old habits of desiring the attention from other women before I even get the chance to forgive him and begin to trust him again. I’m having a hard time feeling comfortable with just about everything. He deleted all their text/ photo message conversations, so I have no idea how far it went, but I heard there was video footage of physical acts in her car in the parking lot. I have random people at my work looking at me with sad eyes, asking how I’m doing, and I was passed up for a few job opportunities now, not directly stated, but I believe it has something to do with how everyone knows what happened (they all seemed to know well before me & the gossip is how my friend found out) and now my judgment of character is being questioned. I, also, have no idea why it happened, or what he was looking for in her that he couldn’t get with me. I guess I want answers, real ones, and I have a hard time waiting around while he goes out to bars after playing softball, or talks to anyone while I’m not around and just deleting it when it is disrespectful of our marriage.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear sibongile,

    It sounds like your boyfriend isn’t interested in rebuilding trust after cheating on you. If a man continues with the infidelity, then it is impossible to trust him! At that point, you have a choice: stay with him, knowing he will always be unfaithful. Or, you can gather the strength and courage to leave him.

    You can’t make him understand how much he is hurting you, because he doesn’t care.

    My prayer for you is that you find strength, courage, and wisdom. May you find the energy and self-confidence you need to leave this man who keeps being unfaithful. May you know deep down inside that you are worthwhile, beautiful, and smart — and you will find a man who will love and respect you! But first, you need to love and respect yourself. I pray you find the self-love and self-respect you need to break up with this man, and learn how to love and trust someone else. Amen.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • sibongile

    I stay with my boyfriend bt he cheats alot& this affects me i told him how i feel he apologised bt he doesnt stop now the gels cal him on his phone n wen i ask .him &tell him i dont like its he say he told them to stop bt they dont n he would be angry at me pls tell me what to do because i love him even though hits hurts he doesnt understand me n my feelings how do i make him understand &stop what he is doing to me