To trust someone in marriage doesn’t mean to believe they don’t have the tendencies to ever treat you unfaithfully however it is that feeling of security in knowing that even though temptations come, your partner would still choose to be with you exclusively. Marriage in itself ought to start as a journey of trust but sometimes your trust could be betrayed. Once betrayed, it is very hard to gain back that trust especially when it is only one person trying to make an effort. If your relationship is still important to you, then it is important to try handling the trust issues as soon as possible.
It doesn’t matter if you were the one who betrayed that trust or if you were the one who got betrayed, one underlying truth is that you must be committed to the process to gain back your partner. This is some ways you could begin the process of healing and gaining back trust.
1. DISCUSS IT THOROUGHLY
It all boils down back to communication. Although you are not to be blamed if your partner cheated on you, sometimes the idea of cheating starts creeping in from the point when communication became disordered, sometimes this is not the case for a habitual cheat. Trying to skip this part of discussion might only put the issue on hibernation mode but remains unsolved. One day, it might come up again. If you were the one who betrayed your partner, be honest with giving all the details and how it all happened. Answer all the questions you might be asked in honesty as it will help your partner understand what went wrong. Sometimes, it may not have been as bad as your partner had thought but he or she will only understand it when you open up and discuss it in all honesty. If you are the one who got offended, you have to allow your partner to talk without being overly aggressive and dominating. Yes, you were wronged and you have the right to feel very bad but if you want to handle this situation, give them room to be very honest with you. Always have these verses of the Bible in mind whether you offended your partner or you got offended.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”Proverbs 15:1, 12:18
2. VENT YOUR SPLEEN
If you are the one who betrayed your partner, you have to swallow every display of anger and let your partner vent it all out! If you got offended, don’t try sucking it all up to your system because it could put your emotions and mental health at risk. If you feel like shouting, shout it out, cry it out and let it all flow. Let your partner know you feel very angry and bad about being betrayed, don’t try being so nice and calculated when within you, you are feeling very pained. If you don’t vent your spleen for the betrayal of trust, you may find out that every little thing or mistakes will start to trigger anger. Even as you show your disapproval for the wrongs, exhibit your anger with an undertone of love. Remember that nobody is perfect, we all have our times of ups and downs.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”– Ephesians 4:26
3. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
In marriage, you have become one with your partner in purpose. If you got betrayed, don’t feel it’s just the offender who has a part to play. The first thing to think of after betrayal is not divorce, sometimes divorce is just the quickest way to escape responsibility. If you can’t handle your first marriage correctly, you may obviously still never handle another marriage well unless you’ve learnt a lesson or two. It is important to admit your wrongs, show penitence and share in your partner’s frustration and pain. Although it is not something that wipes off the memory in a jiffy, you must be committed to seeing that both of you work towards reunion even when the memory lurks around. Try not to bring up the conversation again if both of you have moved on. Bringing up settled issues at the slightest provocation is an indication that mercilessness still lurks around your heart.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”– James 5:16
4. BUILD TOGETHER
As a couple, both of you must stand in unity to rebuild the broken fabrics of your marriage. It is hard to rebuild broken trust especially for the offender but it is not impossible. Forgiveness is a step in the right direction and as much as it is difficult to forget, you must move on from the past if you want the healing to happen fast. Promises will be empty when you aren’t making any conscious efforts to live by your words. When you are faced with a similar situation that made you compromise, speak out to your partner. For example, you travelled for a business meeting and you happen to be in an environment where you are being tempted, the better way to overcome this is to keep the lines open with your partner and tell him or her how you feel at the moment. You have to be accountable. Be transparent to your spouse, keep the communication flowing and try several things in marriage. You have no reason whatsoever to try justifying your wrongs in marriage.
Just like a house needs renovation, your relationship needs to be rebuilt and this means starting up again if things went bad. You don’t have to guess what would work for the both of you, you must be open to questions and answers. It is true you got offended but if you keep trying to see reasons why you shouldn’t trust your partner anymore, then you may really never have a sound relationship again. The relationship can only thrive when there is trust. So, you must consciously develop trust for your spouse again.
“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”Colossians 3:13
5. KEEP ANALYSIS
Always examine your relationships to know how well you are doing. A relationship requires work, it must be intentional and not casual. Keeping analysis gives you the opportunity to note where you are getting it correctly and where you may need to improve. Go on a date with your spouse, go on adventures together, buy surprising gifts for your spouse and sit back to analyze how it has helped in rebuilding trust.
6. SEEK HELP
Sometimes things can get out of our own control and sometimes we may not have the best idea on how to solve our issues. It is okay if it has gotten to a point it seems you can’t handle anymore and just before you say “I quit”, try to seek help elsewhere.
Prayer is a great way to start, God wants you to have a healthy relationship because it also reflects His relationship with us. By praying about the issues you can’t handle, you are putting God in the forefront and you are giving Him permission to intervene. Sometimes, God may have to use the people around us to help us. So, it doesn’t just stop at praying.
If you have very supportive and non-domineering parents, you may have to seek their counsel and know what worked for them and how they handled their issues. Sometimes, what worked for your parents may not necessarily work for you, but it can give you a clue and at least make you understand that your issues aren’t impossible to be solved.
You may also seek counsel from your Pastor or any elder whom you trust to possess some kind of wisdom in marriage-related issues which have been proven over time but also be careful to know what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. If these channels don’t seem to be helping you, then you may also need the help of a professionally trained relationship counsellor or therapist whose duty isn’t actually to tell you what to do but to help offer a neutral and non-judgmental space where you can talk openly about your issues including your assumptions and grievances. God could use a counsellor too! You may also be helped to manage your emotions and see from another perspective.
It is still possible to build and regain trust in a broken marriage. Though it is broken, it can be fixed if both of you are committed to getting it fixed. Hope this helps.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8
I’d appreciate your feedback on the comment section.
~ George O.N