Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I’ve been reading a couple of your articles on Facebook. I believe that you have a very unique gift from God. The information that I receive from your articles moves me to want to take action and acquire the change within myself. I never really reached out to anyone mainly because I was scared to do so. However, I have been married to my husband for 8 years now. Within those eight years we’ve been separated 3 times. The first time was due to my husband cheating with several other women.
How Can I Trust Again After Infidelity? I don’t feel like I can truly trust him again because a lot of things that he does reminds me of back when he was cheating.
Thanks for the compliment and I am glad that you decided to take action. I believe that it is important for individuals to understand what trust is and is not. Trust is about having confidence in a person and feeling good about being able to rely on another individual. Losing trust is similar to a man or woman losing his or her virginity – he or she can never get it back. An individual may become a born again virgin, but he or she cannot claim to be pure or free from immorality, especially from a sexual perspective. Unfortunately, once trust is broken in a relationship, the purity of the relationship is damaged forever. However this does not mean that the relationship will be damaged forever. Let me explain.
Just like a born again virgin, any individual can be renewed and experience feelings of purity if he or she comply with and live by certain rules. You cannot undo or forget the adulteration or contamination that occurred, but you can prevent further infractions. You can learn to trust your husband again if you comply with the following three trust restoring strategies.
Trust Restoring Strategy #1 – Realize that restoring Trust takes Time and Work. God created the earth in seven days. I mention this because it is important to remember that good things some take time. Restoring trust in your husband and marriage is a good thing and will take some time. It is normal to want and desire purity in marriage, but it is abnormal to expect for things to be good without being patient and working. The quality of your marriage will be determined by the quality of work that is put into it. Monitor your expectations and pay attention to unrealistic expectations. If you expect that your husband will cheat again, you will look for signs that may or may not be present. Make a commitment not to search. It is impossible to forget memories, but it is quite possible to start all over again. Try renewing your vows and turn to God. Allow Him to go to work in your life and marriage. Restoring trust in your husband will require forgiveness and a spiritual rebirth for both you and him. Like a born again virgin, you cannot regain what you lost, but you can clear up your future. A renewed mind and sense of self, will equip you to better deal with feelings of mistrust toward your husband.
Trust Restoring Strategy #2 – Express Your Emotions and do not allow them To Build. If your husband’s current behavior triggers emotions that you felt during his cheating phase, let him know without attacking and being negative. If you allow your emotions to build without expressing them, they will intensify. Suppressed emotions are not good because they eat at your soul. If your husband cares about how you feel and is serious about making your marriage work and last, he will work to change behavior that triggers negative emotions in you and the marriage.
Trust Restoring Strategy #3 – Be solution focused. Be careful not to persecute your husband. Spend time trying to figure out how to move forward. Discuss solutions or strategies that will prevent the adulterous behavior from occurring again. Being solution focused can help restore trust if both parties are willing to do what is necessary to create harmony. Keep communication lines open and take inventory of what is really important to you personally. Believe in yourself and your marriage. If you and your husband cannot come up with workable, reasonable and effective solutions, make an appointment with a professional counselor.
Restoring trust is not a simple decision, but it is process that takes time. View and experience the process with a positive mind. Restoring trust is a very delicate process that requires forgiveness and sound thinking. You can choose to either live in and be victimized by the past or look forward to and celebrate the future. Give it your best, let God and get help.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to [email protected]
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.