Regaining trust in marriage is no easy feat.
Losing trust in your spouse is one of the loneliest and desperate feelings that a man or woman might experience. Whether due to finances, infidelity, distance, communication, or more, not knowing if you can still safely have faith in the person you love can be a difficult feeling to overcome for the strongest of marriages. Here are 7 tips for regaining trust in marriage.
1. Write Down Your Feelings
The first step to overcoming your feelings of distrust is to identify them. We highly recommend starting a journal. In your journal include entries about what happened to cause your feelings of distrust. This could be something your spouse said or did that set off a trigger. Or maybe it something deeply rooted within yourself that happened during childhood. Perhaps it was a tragic event prior to marrying your spouse. By identifying the root cause of your feelings of distrust you will be able to get to the heart of the matter.
Let us be clear: this isn’t an easy thing to do. Be prepared for a fight. Not a fight with your spouse – but a fight within yourself. It is totally normal to feel insecure and scared to delve into the root cause of your distrust – but if you want to have a healthy marriage, it is something you have to do. Journaling gets your feelings out of your head and in the open where you can look at them from a different perspective. Acknowledging your feelings and allowing yourself to feel as you do will help you to take steps forward to rebuild trust with your spouse.
As you continue to work through your feelings and take steps toward a stronger marriage, make regular entries in your journal so that you can review the road that you took along the way. It will amaze you how far you have come in your personal growth as well as the progress you’ve made in your relationship.
TIP: If you and your spouse both agree, share your journal entries with one another being intentional to pray together and respect one another’s feelings. While trust is a delicate subject, if handled with care it can be rebuilt and take your marriage to a level you never thought possible!
2. Be Honest with Each Other
Once you have come to terms with your feelings, be completely honest with your husband/wife. Share what events caused you to feel as you do and how your trust in your marriage has been bruised. Talk with your spouse about what you plan to do to rebuild your trust and ask him/her what steps he/she plans to take so that you may work together to rebuild your marriage.
Don’t rush this part of the process. This is the time when you will realize just how important focused listening, loving one another, and leaning on God for wisdom and patience will get you through this process. Also, don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you are finding your communication is breaking down and you are not making the progress both of you desire to see. It is very important to diffuse any arguments between the two of you and find some one to help you work through this obstacle.
Some places you can seek help are:
- pastoral counseling
- Christian marital counseling
- Christian-based support groups
Be sure to be completely honest with yourself and one another so that you can continue to work through this process of rebuilding trust in your marriage.
3. Identify Your Needs
As you work through your plan for rebuilding your trust, share with your spouse what you need from him/her. Explain what emotions and commitments you need so that you are in a place to continue to grow. In turn, ask him/her what you can do so that you can grow and rebuild your relationship together.
Don’t be afraid to admit if you aren’t able to give them what they need. Sometimes this happens. But if you are willing to at least try and learn to be able to give them what they need (so long as the need is healthy and not abusive) let them know that, too. There is no shame in admitting you need help in any area of life. It is best to be able to admit that rather than let it linger and silently grow into resentment.
4. Give Yourself Time to Heal
Regaining trust won’t be a process that happens overnight. It will require you to remind yourself of the steps each of you are taking and how, together, you’re working to rebuild what you had before the challenge to your marriage. Over time, the reminders, in combination with continued growth (from both of you) will lead to a renewed sense of trust.
5. Take Baby Steps
As you work together to regain your trust in your marriage, take tiny steps until you are ready for larger ones. Perhaps the passion disappeared with the trust…then don’t expect yourself to regain it immediately. Taking small steps such as making lunch or sending a “thinking of you” email during the workday helps add romance back to your marriage.
6. Date Each Other Again
Once trust has been lost, it’s important to go back to your beginning: dating each other again. When you’re emotionally ready, you must start from scratch at proving to one another why you were meant to be. Going out on a series of dates, complete with working to win one another’s heart, will help you to refocus on how your relationship began and where you can go (again) together.
7. Review Your Growth
Once you feel that you have renewed your trust in your marriage, review the entries that you made in your journal as you grew. Look at how far you traveled. Reviewing your journal will help prevent the challenge from getting in the way of your marriage in the future. It will also help you to see the personal growth that you’ve endured. Sharing your journal with your spouse will allow them to see into your journey. This shows the steps that you’ve taken so trust in your marriage can be restored.
MIKE + CARLIE KERCHEVAL
Reposted, and used with permission from Christian Marriage Adventure
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