Wondering about how to rebuild trust in a marriage? In this article, we discuss practical steps on how to rebuild trust in a marriage.
Trust is the foundation of a marriage. When it’s been broken by infidelity or dishonesty, you have to rebuild it.
Couples therapy and marriage counseling can help, but there are also simple things each spouse can do every day to show their commitment to the relationship.
Jen and Jake Broke Their Marriage
It was the little things that destroyed their marriage. The little white lies that gradually became bigger ones. The unspoken resentments that festered and grew. The lack of communication and intimacy. All of these things slowly eroded the trust that was once between them.
That’s the short story of Jen and Jake. Because they failed to establish a relationship based on deep connection and emotional security, their relationship began the slow downward spiral that ultimately ended in separation.
Without trust, their marriage was doomed. They started to grow apart, until they were living separate lives under the same roof. They argued all the time, about everything and nothing. They couldn’t even agree on how to parent their children.
The final straw came when Jake had an affair. That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. They separated soon after. Yet, because they didn’t want their marriage to end, they sought advice on how to rebuild the trust that was broken. They both realized, the affair wasn’t the ‘thing’ that broke trust; it was the fact they had very little real connection and neither felt emotionally safe.
Your relationship may not be as extreme as Jake and Jen, but you are here because trust has been broken and you want to know how to rebuild.
Here are some easy ways you can start rebuilding trust and create a healthy relationship.
#1: Don’t make apologies without admitting fault.
Don’t make apologies without admitting fault. You might think that because you’re apologizing to your spouse, you don’t have to admit fault. But that’s not how trust works.
For example, if you say sorry after an argument but don’t acknowledge why the argument happened at all—by acknowledging what part of their behavior triggered your response—the apology will ring hollow to them and may even damage your relationship more than it helps.
When you apologize with sincerity, they’ll know that you understand not only what happened but also why it matters so much (you should always acknowledge both when apologizing).
Make apologies specific to each incident and person involved to convey a greater sense of remorse and responsibility for the situation at hand (for example: “I’m sorry I yelled at you last night because I didn’t get enough sleep”).
All in all, when you apologize, you need to take responsibility for your actions and feelings. If you don’t, then you won’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong. And if you don’t feel like something is wrong, you won’t be able to change your behavior.
#2: Never lie about anything, no matter how small.
You might think that lying about a little thing won’t hurt and it’s easier, to tell the truth later anyway, but this is a slippery slope that can lead to serious problems in your marriage.
A lie here or there may seem harmless at first, but a little white lie will become bigger and bigger if you don’t stop telling them. Your partner will start to feel like they can’t trust you when you do eventually tell the truth—and then they might just stop believing what you say altogether!
If your partner feels like they can’t trust anything that comes out of your mouth, how long before your trust in other areas (like finances) starts wavering? It could take some serious work on both of your parts before this type of damage gets repaired—and even then, it might not be successful unless someone else steps in for counseling services!
This isn’t just about lies regarding cheating or stealing; there are so many ways we twist the truth without realizing it: exaggerating our accomplishments at work; lying about our age; making up stories about why things happened differently than expected (like an illness).
These things all chip away at the foundation of trust between two people. Even though they love each other deeply, without trust, there is no foundation to connect on a deep level.
When you are not trusting someone, it can be hard to have any kind of meaningful relationship with them.
When we don’t trust someone, we tend to get defensive and shut down. We may even lash out in anger or frustration. When we do this, we are actually shutting off our ability to communicate effectively. This means that if we want to really understand what another person is
Broken trust takes time to repair. But it doesn’t have to be a painful process. You can rebuild trust by being honest and open about your thoughts and feelings.
#3: Don’t get defensive.
It’s natural to feel inner tension when we have done something wrong or we feel accused and misunderstood. However, if we act on that emotional tension and get defensive, we accelerate trust issues in our relationship.
Resolving conflicts is a skill every couple must learn to create a healthy relationship. Here are two things to avoid at all cost.
What NOT to do when things get tense:
- Don’t get defensive. If your partner says something that makes you feel attacked, don’t respond in kind. If a friend tells you she doesn’t like your new haircut, the correct response is not “But my old haircut was awful!” or “You have terrible taste in hairstyles. You should see mine if you want to know what an actual bad ‘do looks like!” Instead, take responsibility for yourself and respond with something along the lines of: “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that reaction from anyone. I’m sorry you didn’t like it; maybe there’s another style that would work better for me? I appreciate your honest feedback.”
- Don’t blame your partner for anything he or she has done wrong in the past—and certainly don’t bring up past issues unless asked about them by him or her directly (and even then be careful). Some things are better left unspoken (or at least unsaid until trust has been restored).
The bottom line is we should strive to create a sense of safety and acceptance in our marriage. Even when things get tense.
How we handle problems is one of the biggest keys to a successful, healthy relationship. Plus, it’s important that you know how your partner feels about certain issues and what they want from you.
Therefore , it’s essential that you listen carefully to your spouse’s concerns and needs. It will help you build trust and respect.
#4: Don’t turn the blame on your partner.
We touched on this in the previous section, but it deserves focused attention because it is one of the biggest reasons couples have trouble reconnecting once an argument has occurred.
Don’t put the responsibility for your actions and behavior on someone else. If you make a mistake, own up to it and take full responsibility for it—don’t blame your partner for a bad mood or behavior or bad habits or bad choices that YOU made in life.
What’s more, don’t try to justify your mistakes by saying “I’m just human.” That’s not an excuse. It’s simply stating the truth.
When we do this, we’re not only blaming others for our failures, but we also send a message to ourselves that we aren’t responsible for our own actions. And that’s a dangerous thing to believe.
If you want to rebuild trust in your marriage, you need to stop putting the blame on your partner for everything that goes wrong in your relationship.
Also Read:My Husband Blames Me For His Unhappiness
#5: Don’t assume your partner knows what you want and need.
When you talk to your partner, don’t assume that they know what you want and need. If you’re going to rebuild trust in your marriage, be open and honest with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or say things like “I feel…” or “This is what I want from our marriage.” And make sure that you listen carefully to their responses. If they get defensive or angry, take a step back and try again later when everyone is calmer.
If it helps,write down all of your thoughts before talking about them with your spouse; this will help both of you stay focused on the conversation at hand instead of getting distracted by other issues that might pop up along the way (and trust me—you’ll be surprised at how many there are).
If possible, try making some compromises when it comes down to making decisions about different things like finances and children’s activities so both people feel equally invested in these choices without having too much control over one another’s lives while still keeping each other’s feelings in mind as well as considering what would benefit everyone involved most overall (even if certain aspects may not work out exactly how either person wants them too).
This can sometimes lead to disagreements even more than usual since now everyone has differing opinions about everything but hopefully, those disagreements won’t end up being used negatively against each other any more than necessary because otherwise, progress towards rebuilding trust between husband vs wife would stop altogether!
#6: Be willing to sacrifice some things for the sake of your marriage.
A relationship is not a one-sided event. You can’t just expect your spouse to sacrifice their wants and needs for you, without putting in some effort yourself. If it’s important to them, they have the right to ask for it and expect you to meet their needs as well. Likewise, if it’s something that isn’t important to you but means the world to them, don’t be afraid of letting go of those things even if they are small or insignificant in comparison with what you may want from them in return.
If there are certain things about your partner that bother you constantly but don’t seem like deal breakers when compared with all the other benefits of having him/her around then learn how not becoming too emotionally attached can help ease tensions between couples while still maintaining an airy relationship atmosphere where both sides feel comfortable enough opening up about any concerns they might have without fearing judgment or criticism from each other.
#7: Don’t keep secrets from your spouse.
Keeping secrets can be hard. It’s easy to forget that you’re keeping a secret, especially if the secret is something you’d rather not tell anyone.
However, keeping secrets is a riskier move than it seems because it can lead to distrust in your relationship. If you’re always hiding things from your partner, they may start wondering what else they don’t know about you and if there’s anything else they should be worried about.
Secrets also create a lack of communication between partners: when people are hiding things from each other, it becomes difficult for couples to talk openly about their relationships without worrying about what might come out later on down the road (and then potentially jeopardize everything).
#8 Do something nice for your spouse every day.
Make a concerted effort to do something nice for your spouse every day. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this will be easy, but also don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s not worth doing. Remember, this is about rebuilding trust in your marriage and showing your spouse (not just telling them) that you care about them.
Doing something nice for your spouse should be fun and playful—it should feel like something you want to do, not something you have to do. Be creative! Here are some examples:
- Call your husband at work and tell him how much you appreciate all he does around the house. If he makes dinner one night when he gets home from work, surprise him by making breakfast on Saturday morning while he sleeps in late; you can even set out a little note beforehand saying “I’m cooking up breakfast right now!”
- When she’s working late at night studying or grading papers, bring her dinner before bed so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking tomorrow morning (or worse yet go out for takeout).
- If she’s having a bad day at work where there were multiple problems with different customers/students/clients etc., send her flowers or leave her voice mail telling her that no matter what happens today with an X problem customer, etc., I love our life together and am grateful for everything we have been given together over these years.”
Building trust in a marriage is hard work but it can be done with communication, honesty, and compromise.
- Communication is a key to rebuilding trust in a marriage.
- Honesty is another key to rebuilding trust in a marriage. Be honest with your spouse about all situations, even the ones that are embarrassing or uncomfortable. It’s better to be open and honest than to try to hide something from your spouse because they will find out eventually, and then you’ll lose more of their trust.
- Compromise is the third key to rebuilding trust in a marriage: give up something you want so that your spouse can have what they want; compromise means “win-win”. For example, if you want a new car but he wants an expensive vacation trip then let him get his new car but go on the vacation trip with him instead of by yourself; this way both of you get what each of needs/wants without one getting everything while other gets nothing (which destroys trust).
Trust is an essential and fragile thing. It may be easily broken but it’s not impossible to rebuild it if you know what to look for and how to start the process. Hopefully, we’ve given you some tips on how best to do that with these nine simple steps!
- #1: Don’t make apologies without admitting fault.
- #2: Never lie about anything, no matter how small.
- #3: Don’t get defensive.
- #4: Don’t turn the blame on your partner.
- #5: Don’t assume your partner knows what you want and need.
- #6: Be willing to sacrifice some things for the sake of your marriage.
- #7: Don’t keep secrets from your spouse.
- #8 Do something nice for your spouse every day.
- Building trust in a marriage is hard work but it can be done with communication, honesty, and compromise.