It is Possible to Trust Again
Yaa Duku has been married to Yaw Asante for five years now. Yaw cheated on Yaa and she finds it hard to trust her husband again, but is also not interested in the option of a divorce.
“What he did really cut my heart to the core. I feel I can never open my heart to love him again. He tells me he loves me, but I find it difficult to believe that. I fear he may hurt me again. What can I do to trust him again and love him as I should?”
How do you trust your spouse again after he, or she, has lied to you, or after they have had an affair?
Think You Can
The Bible makes reference to the fact that a “man is what he thinks.” So, if you think you can trust your spouse again, you will be able to trust him, or her, again. On the other hand, if you create a mental block and make up your mind that you cannot trust your spouse again, you will never be able to trust your spouse again.
Therefore, you have to adopt the right mental attitude, and that will give you confidence that you can really trust your cheating wife (or husband) again.
Develop that mental attitude by saying words such as, “It is possible for me to trust Ike again. I don’t think it is beyond me. This is a challenge I must overcome. I can do it,” to yourself. This is how to start trusting your spouse again.
It will break down mental barriers and give you the inspiration you need to go ahead with the challenge.
Forgive Your Spouse
One thing that can help you to learn how to trust your spouse again is to forgive him, or her, from the bottom of your heart for what they did. Forgiving your wife, or husband, will pave the way to giving the person another chance, which will make it easier to trust them again.
How to forgive and trust your spouse again is to:
- Remember the many times you have offended people, and the many times these people have decided to let go. This will make you feel that just as others have been magnanimous towards you, you can also find it in your heart to forgive your spouse.
- Ask yourself, “Is it worth it holding onto a grudge? What will I gain if I don’t let go? What will I lose if I let go?” Ponder over these questions and you will see that there is really no point in refusing to forgive. It does not add anything of value to your life. It will help you to desire to move on, to look to the future and not the past.
- Your spouse has done some good things for you before. Consciously try to remember these things, and it will help you to see the other side of the person, which can be a catalyst to make you decide to forgive. Sit down and write twenty good things your spouse has done for you in the past. Reflect on these to help you change your mindset about your spouse so that you will be more willing to forgive.
- Take a few pictures from your photo album, pictures about times when you were both happy, and meditate on the wonderful times you have had in the past. Then ask yourself, “Should I throw all this away just because he messed up terribly?” Think about it. Look at the big picture and it will make you appreciate the fact that all hope is not lost, for people make mistakes and make amends.
- Do some research and read about the medical disadvantages of holding onto unforgiveness. Write 10 of them down. Then read about the benefits of forgiving someone. Write 10 of these down. Compare the disadvantages of holding on to unforgiveness with the benefits of forgiving a person, and weigh in your mind whether it is worth it to decide not to forgive and develop diseases such as hypertension and heart disease which sometimes afflict people because of unforgiveness.
Forget the Past
You must also learn to forget. Whenever what your spouse did comes to your mind, drive it out with thoughts about how nice he or she has been to you in the past.
Alternately, read a book or watch a comedy. Occupy your mind with something so that you do not focus on what your spouse did to you.
Deal with Fear
When you are hurt, there is a tendency to fear that if you trust the person who hurt you again, that person might hurt you again. This can make you hold back giving yourself fully to your spouse again, and that will make it very hard for you to trust your spouse again.
Therefore, you need to confront your fear and overcome it. How do you do that?
- Choose to be courageous. Courage means you know when you trust your spouse again, there is a possibility he or she can hurt you again, but you choose to give your spouse the benefit of the doubt and hope your spouse does not abuse your trust again.
- Choose to continue loving your spouse despite what he or she may have done. The power of love can drive away fear from your heart. It can make you feel you should give your spouse another chance to prove himself, or herself.
- Ask for God’s help to deal with your fear. In the Bible, the words “Fear not” occur 365 times, one for each day. God wants us to look to Him every blessed day for strength to overcome our fears. Many people who were tossed with inner storms of fear have found calmness by asking God for strength to help them overcome their fear. Pray and ask God to help you to learn to trust your spouse again.
Compare Your Situation to What Jesus Went Through
Jesus is a perfect example of someone who was betrayed, and yet found it necessary to trust some of the people who betrayed Him.
Read the story of how Peter betrayed Jesus, and how Jesus gave him another chance to make amends in the book of John, chapters 18 and 21, of the Bible.
Let it help you to face the facts of life. Tell yourself something such as, “If even the Son of God was hurt and betrayed, then who am I to feel I should never be hurt? I am nobody. It hurts, but it is okay if I am hurt. It is no big deal. I must learn to live with it and decide to give Ike a second chance. I choose to trust Ike despite what he did. Even if I am hurt again, so what? I can survive it.” You have to take risks sometimes in life, and thinking like this will embolden you to take the risk of trusting your spouse again.
In addition, remind yourself of the fact that when you give your heart to someone, it includes the risk that the person can hurt you, and that when that person hurts you, it does not mean you can never trust that person again.
Initiate Romance Again
The behavior of your spouse may have led to a widening of the emotional gap between the two of you. That is to say, you may have lost some of the feelings of love you felt for your spouse.
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You must take the initiative to bridge that gap by taking the initiative to be romantic again, if you want to trust your spouse again. Renewing romance may make him, or her, show you that they want to regain your trust. Seeing those signs will help you to trust your spouse again since it will tell you they want to make amends.
So, for example, offer to take your spouse on a date, and determine to make it an interesting occasion. This will give you an opportunity to re-establish the feelings you had for your spouse. As you continue to do this and start to have good times with him, or her, again, the feelings of bitterness will gradually be subdued, you will start to build your rapport again, and eventually you will not find it so hard to trust him, or her.
One Day at a Time
If you want to be able to trust your spouse again, you must take it one day at a time. You may find it very hard at first to even consider opening up your heart to him, or her, again.
On the other hand too, it is possible you may make good progress in the beginning, immediately after you are hurt, but be tempted to feel mistrustful of him, or her, again.
Recognize that this is perfectly normal. It may take some time for you to trust your spouse fully again.
There are some things for which you can trust your spouse. Focus on those things and let them make you see that there is something worth trusting your spouse for. For example, if your spouse cheated, it is possible he pays the bills on time each month, or he is a very responsible father. So you can think to yourself, “Ike cheated, but at least I can trust him to take care of the bills. He is also a good father. If he can be trusted to do these things, it means he can also stop cheating. Let me use them as a starting point to trust him again.”
Adopting this attitude will make you know that trusting your spouse again is not such a big mountain to climb. If you feel it is a big mountain to climb, you may feel overwhelmed and never try. But focusing on areas of his, or her, life where he , or she, is trustworthy, will give you the impetus to give it another try.
Deal with Negative Thoughts about Your Spouse
It is likely negative thoughts about your spouse will come to your mind, and fight your desire to trust your spouse again, or the attempts you make to trust your spouse again. You have to deal with them.
- It is possible you may think, “I can never trust Ike again,” or “I don’t want to trust Ike again,” or “I won’t trust Ike ever again for what he has done.” If you allow such thoughts to fester, you will only make it harder to trust your spouse again.
- When such thoughts assail your mind, or when you are tempted to adopt such thinking patterns, think thoughts such as, “I can learn to trust Ike again. It may be hard, but I will try and see how things go,” or “I will make an effort to trust Ike again. He married me because he loves me and I will give him another opportunity to redeem himself,” or “I want to trust Ike again. I want this marriage to go on and so I will do my best and learn to trust him again.”
- Control your imagination. If you imagine your spouse may abuse your trust again, it will make you tense, which will make it hard for you to trust him, or her. But if you imagine your spouse has the potential to become trustworthy if you support and encourage him or her, you will feel relaxed and be more willing to trust your spouse again.
Realize Your Spouse Can Change
The fact that your spouse hurt you yesterday does not mean they will hurt you again tomorrow. Therefore, you must give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Do what you can to help your spouse to change. When you begin the process of influencing him, or her, to change, you will realize you will let go of some reservations and find it easier to start believing in them again.
Trust is absolutely crucial for the success of every marriage, but it can be broken many times. The important thing to remember is to realize that when it is lost it can be restored if we adopt the right attitude, deal with negative thoughts, give our spouse another chance, and want the marriage to work.
How to Trust Your Spouse Again
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2017 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 18, 2017:
I totally agree. It takes time so the offended partner should be patient, but trust can be established again.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 17, 2017:
Each of us has our own "deal breakers" and "boundaries".
If someone has betrayed/hurt you then the onus is on (them) to earn or regain your trust! Not the other way around.
There is a difference between "forgiving" and "forgetting".
If a bank "forgives a debt" it just means they have given up on trying to collect the money owed them. It's a charge off.
However it doesn't mean they will turn around and offer you another loan! Forgiveness is not an instant "second chance".
The first step in my opinion to learning to trust someone again is (observing them) showing you genuine contrition for the harm they've caused you. They're bending over backwards to be transparent, engage in conversations regarding why they did what they did and (why they know it will never happen again).
They have told you they understand they don't expect you to instantly trust them and are prepared to wait for as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to (earn your trust) again.
Throughout the process you see it in their behavior towards you that they're being sincere and making the effort.
Nevertheless it's important to be honest with yourself.
Too often the "betrayed/hurt" person offers up forgiveness before they have had the time to do some introspective thinking to figure out if they really can forgive/trust again or if its a "deal breaker".
For example a wife discovers her husband of 10 years has been cheating on her. The combination of the shock of this discovery and the thought of going through a divorce may simply be too much for her to bear. Therefore she offers to forgive.
As the months go by all she can think about are all the times he lied to her about his whereabouts, possibly having sex with her after being with other women, spending (their money) on these women, and replaying all the details in her mind.
She may reach the conclusion later on that she simply cannot trust him again no matter what he does or says!
If you have to (force yourself) to "trust someone" it means they have not (earned your trust) and you run the risk of ignoring "red flags" by projecting what you want things to be.
Above all else be true to yourself!
Honesty is the foundation block which trust sits on.