Married couples put so much time and effort into building and maintaining trust in each other that you’d think they could withstand anything life throws at them — including when one spouse’s trust in the other has been broken. But the reality is that even in the strongest of unions, trust is fragile. And once it’s broken trust is difficult to repair.
There are many ways for trust to be broken in a marriage.
Some are big, and some aren’t. Yet they all feel massive.
- One spouse is caught continuously lying to the other
- A constant string of broken promises
- Infidelity or emotional cheating
- Not being there for your partner
- Not listening
- One spouse isn’t sharing their feelings
Before you start to rethink your relationship or look at your partner differently, remember that every couple has trials and tribulations. And yes, every couple has doubts about whether or not their marriage will ever be the same after a mistake.
What matters is the ability to repair when things go wrong —
even when the trust you had in your spouse is gone.
When couples attempt to repair broken trust, they look for something deeper
When your spouse first broke your trust, what did you feel? We bet it was hurt, shock, loneliness, and betrayal. Depending on the circumstances, you were also likely angry, disgusted, and may have even felt physically sick to your stomach.
To repair broken trust in your marriage, the last thing you want to do is nothing at all.
Tips on Repairing Broken Trust:
Allow yourself to process what happened
If we avoid processing a negative emotional event, it will fester and most likely happen again. It will lead to defensiveness, less understanding of the potential reason behind the betrayal, and we’ll certainly have zero empathy or compassion if the offending spouse is sorry. When we process events, we can let them go and find ways to repair the relationship.
Have a structure and communicate
Connected couples use a structure to repair broken trust so they can talk about their underlying feelings. This helps them take responsibility for their part in the broken trust. This includes:
- Identifying their feelings
- Stating their view of the events
- Validating some part of their partner’s view of the events
- Taking responsibility for their role in the betrayal
- Both couples identifying what they can each do differently next time
If you want to repair broken trust in your marriage, you must forgive your partner. This may be easier said than done — and it won’t happen overnight. But great couples attempt to accept their problems as inevitable and work together with their spouse to fix those issues so that they never happen again. Being open to forgiveness keeps you from rejecting your partner and protects you from resenting them in the future.
Deal with hard or negative emotions (HINT: move toward the emotion)
Negative emotions aren’t bad. However, to repair broken trust in your marriage, you must learn to deal with these emotions as well. As a result you’ll deal even better with those feel-good emotions. It is natural to run in the other direction when faced with negative emotions, but you must practice this skill if you want them to go away for good.
No one says rebuilding broken trust in your marriage is easy. You may even question whether or not it’s worth it. This is all perfectly natural. All we’re saying is that your marriage is worth fighting for. You put all that time and effort into building trust and having a safe and connected marriage, so it follows you do the same in the face of adversity.
PS: If you feel that trust is what you’re missing in your most important relationship, let’s explore how you can be better using your unique ability. You’re the only one YOU can change anyway. Be the best You by joining the Brain/Heart Connection free mini workshop. No obligation, and no credit card required.
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is and always has been devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to know and understand how important trust in a marriage is for you and your spouse. Plus, we want to help other couples just like you. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here. Join us on social media. IG – MikeandSusanDawsonCo. FB – MikeandSusanDawson
What do you think? What are a few ways you have overcome broken trust in your marriage? We want to hear your stories. Send us a quick email and let us know. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com