Good Wednesday to everyone!

In an affair the cheating spouse almost always lies in order to carry on the infidelity. They told either deliberate lies, or lies by omission, or a combination of the two.

As you now try to recover from the affair and save your marriage, the question of whether or not your spouse is still lying to you may still linger. You probably doubt your ability to know what is the truth and what are lies at this point.

Rebuilding trust and honesty after an affair is a growth process. It involves changing the way each spouse conducts themselves, and your ability to communicate with each other in a transparent manner.

If you are the victim of the affair, has your spouse made an effort to be more transparent? What are they doing differently?

What are some of the things that trigger mistrust in your marriage?

If you are the cheating spouse, what are you doing differently to become more transparent?

Please respond to each other in the comments.


Doug & Linda

For more information on rebuilding trust after an affair, check out our e-book “Journey to Trust:  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair” and learn how we were able to regain trust in our relationship.  There are also some great bonuses included where experts share some of their valuable  trust building strategies.  Click here now!


See also  Discussion - How Has Anger Affected Your Affair Recovery?

    24 replies to "Discussion: Rebuilding Trust and Honesty"

    • cindy

      my husband has NC with the other woman after the EA ; however, she was a family friend and his mother and sister adore her and dont care much for me. Holidays are going to be very difficult and Easter is coming up. I am torn between holding my head up high because my husband realized his mistake or staying at home because it will be so awkward. Has anyone else ever had something like this happen? Also, the OW was usually the one to host the family gatherings (obviously never again) but im sure his mom and sister resent that too!

    • cindy

      oh and by the way, the OW told his parents and sister everything he ever said to her and all kinds of things about me. i am very hurt and resent that my husband has put me in this position. Recovering from this is hard enough without his entire family and their family and friends all know what is going on. I am having a hard time distinguishing between my feelings for him and my feelings for his family and what they now think of me. His family thinks he should be with the OW as she was a good family friend and like a daughter to my inlaws. How do you deal with that?

      • michael

        Going out on a limb here because I’m not in your position. But, if I were, I might be inclined to show up looking real good and being real pleasant to everyone. Don’t let them know that you cringe at their presence. Be strong. Don’t give them any reason to say “see that’s why we don’t like her”.
        Don’t over drink. Don’t bring negative attention to you. Don’t give them any ammo.
        I know the pain you feel. My ex girlfriend’s family hated me. But, I had the girl. And I didn’t care if they didn’t like me.

    • michael

      My wife has not made an effort to be transparent. She has tried to be more attentive but without communication it feels less genuine.
      The constant evolution of what she says is the truth, makes it very difficult to trust anything she says to be fact. This is compounded by the continuous discoveries of her lies.

      • Morrigan

        Cindy, i agree with Michael and would do what he suggests! What they think does not matter, remember that. They do not have all the information, they are ignorant for judging you if they should as they should realize they do not know everything.

        Michael, my CS is the same, making effort but not transparent all time, its hurtful really and holds up the healing process. But I feel he wants to just move on, and doesn’t understand. When I try he gets frustrated thinking we should just move past it all.

      • Ben

        So what did you do?
        Im in the same position!

    • Norwegian woman

      Has he made an effort? Yes. I have full access to his phone, his mail and facebook. Does that mean I trust him? No. Phonecalls and messages can be deleted and he has a work-mail he can use….
      To be honest, he has been through the whole list of lies and sneaking around. I only trust him when I see him. He could well continue to lie and sneak around, without me knowing it. How do I know….
      I still doubt that he has been totally honest with me, and that is the biggest problem. All though his actions is right, I have not gotten that BIG PROOF of him being totally honest. He tries to avoid talks, and when he talks it seems like he is trying to make it less than it really was. He minimizes his own role and actions. His actions, the timeline and his total disregard for me tells another story.

      My gut feeling tells me when things aren`t right. This gut-feeling has been right time and time again, and I trust that more than my H.

      • michael

        Norwegian Woman,
        About the facebook and emails,
        I have a distinct feeling of difference in having her email and facebook passwords and her actually offering them. I had to recover her passwords and discover on my own. Then, that’s not really enough.
        Having the ability to check them when I am able isn’t transparent.
        1st, if they can check them when you are unable to they can still delete ones they don’t want you to see. This happened to me.
        I saw an email joke from one of his friends after I told her she needed to be forthcoming with any communications that in anyway involve him including their mutual friends. I saw it in the morning, left it to her for the day and checked it the next day. She deleted them. I asked about them and she defended, avoided, deflected, and minimalized her actions.
        2nd, email and facebook accounts can be created easily. Just because he gives you this email account doesn’t mean there’s not another out there. I know a guy who has more than five email accounts including the one he uses to talk to his affair partner and ex-girlfriends. I even created one to contact my wifes OM. So do I think she has another? I Don’t Know.

      • Fiora

        I know exactly how you feel, Norwegian woman. I am going through those exact same things…he has told me all the passwords, actually thinks I’m looking at things all the time–which I’m not, though I do look–but hey, what he did BEFORE was use THOSE accounts to tell his OW privately (FB messaging) about his dreams, loves, spiritual awakenings, whatever…and to call him privately, to email to the account he set up that I didn’t know about, etc. He spends ALL his free time on the internet–a total addict. Most of that is just researching things he’s interested in, etc, but he also knows a LOT about different social networking sites, using gmail in all kinds of ways, and especially, how to hide from me if he wants to.
        So, yes, I have the same kinds of fears. Though he has become very attentive and loving with me, and we have resumed many of the old intimacies that had gone away during his EA, he also still minimizes or simply won’t talk about his relationship with her. And she’s a member of our regular circle of friends, so any party, music event, etc, is likely to put them in a place where I feel like I have to be hypervigilant for any signs they are “connecting”. A simple loving glance her way can let her know he still is in love with her. An eyeroll can let her know he’s just making a show of things with me–like he did before.

        I am still so hurt by this, I just don’t know how to heal or trust again.

    • There Are Moments

      I would say that my H has only recently began opening up and coming forth with the truth as well as his feelings after 7 months. The affair fog is lifting and this is when I feel he has become more transparent. He is offering up information but it almost is never about their relationship directly. He says he is now feeling the effects of what it has done to us, me, family and friends. The biggest difference is in our communicating.

      Unfortunately, Mistrust is lying just below the surface for me, I really doubt most all comments about his feelings for me. I do find myself creating the comparisons between the OW (what he has revealed) and myself. No matter what her fantasy character, I feel I am on the losing end, he has her as a perfect model.

    • changedforever

      Wow…some great comments I can so totally relate to…1st: my H has STILL not asked me ‘…is there anything I can do to help you thru what you are going thru, help you heal, etc?’ Even after I had him read that chapter from Richard Alan’s book, First Aid for the Betrayed…great handbook for healing by the way…in it it lists to ask the betrayed spouse this very question (even though I asked for this healing concept prior to getting that great book…) if I can ever get him to ask…I will ask more of the questions I need answered (as I continue to decipher thru all the lies and denials.) My H NEVER offered anything up…continued to lie until I literally pulled everything out of him….& this continues..we’re 5 mths from DDay…only 4 months out of the fog…it’s only after I have a ‘breakdown day’ that I can get him to admit to another lie…its almost as if on those days when everything comes crashing in on you…you know those days…he’s able to come clean. Can’t believe it has to happen like that…but it does. #2 I think we are at the point that he is so totally embarrased at his summer job affair with a subordinate 1/2 his age following a family drug related trauma with 1 of our 3 children, that he CAN’T offer anything up…still might be further embarassment ahead if he is forced to quit his summer public safety job that he’s had for 40 years…because of this affair …absolutely could happen…and #3 since he was still with the OW at the time I thought we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this past fall, THAT date is blown and the guilt & shame of that is something he is going to have to come clean about too….lies still being held back about how calculated that desecration was….especially as he has no issue with me referring to the OW as a psycho….so…learning to rebuild trust? I trust he will not physically harm me…he will keep up his financial responsibilities and I trust that he will never take us all down this horrible road again…but the rest? Must be earned by actions…not intentions…lastly, read Peggy Vaughn’s books…only thing that worked the OPPOSITE for us vs. Peggy’s version…? When I was able to catch him in a lie or get him to admit the truth to a previous lie? It wasn’t ‘the bowling ball thudding back down the stairs…’ it actually moved us a baby step forward. Each time this happened…up to a week ago. After all…a compulsive liar has to start coming clean somewhere…best wishes to all of you in your recoveries…thanks so much for sharing…

      • Healing

        I’m 6 months out from D day. Becareful what you ask when you get the opportunity. I wish now that I didn’t know. It’s more you will eventually have to flush from your memory in order to heal. It doesn’t help to know the details. It doesn’t make you feel better. The things you would find out become the triggers. Putting the details out of my mind is the best healing. Finding happiness in everyday life makes me heal.

    • Heartbroken

      These are great comments. I’ve been in and out of a dark funk for more than the last year and a half. Paranoid. Distrustful. Checking phone billing statements, data plans, texts, facebook…you name it.

      Just this last Tuesday, something snapped in my head where I am beginning to accept that the only my actions are within my control. I’ve gained more focus at work and slept better. She was texting someone on the couch next to me last night and I honestly didn’t care…didn’t even ask who. I don’t know if this means that I’ve given up or am finally making progress, but I’m going to try letting her rebuild the trust for a while so I can take a break and regain some sanity and hopefully sleep better too.

      • Phil

        I know how you feel. I’ve been that way for the last year. I was scrutinizing her every move by checking her email and Facebook and our phone records. It was driving me insane. Finally, I had to let it go. I realized that I can’t change her behavior. I can only change mine and that I needed to take care of my mental state. So I quit checking everything. I won’t say that it has been easy but it has been much better. I’m not near as paranoid and I’m starting to get some of my self-worth back.

        If she decides not to stay it’s going to be her loss. Not only a loss of a great husband and lover but her relationship with her children and granddaughter, all our mutual friends and people from church. That’s not a place I would want to be.

    • HOPE

      I too am a victim in this crazy dance of infidelity… I am a very optimistic person by nature, His lack of regard for our 15 year relationship built on friendship and trust, love and empathy has turned my world upside down.
      It’s been a month since D day, It actually was a family friend (his family, not mine) so I regarded her as an acquaintance. It lasted about a month… Since then I have been in Therapy, mostly by myself, he just started. I told him it’s the only way that I can attempt to rebuild anything w/him… The OW lacks any and all of those qualities listed above… I know that my relationship can be strong again… it’s the rebuilding part that will take time… I printed out what “Transparency” means to the Offended party in an affair(something I found online)… My reason for wanting him to open up with Transparency means that he’s trying to rebuild trust, and giving me that helps me understand that he’s not trying to protect her, and that he’s really giving me a window to open and put things in perspective. I now understand that I am a very strong willed individual. I would never do this to him or any man I would ever commit to. I know he feels terrible for not understanding that his actions have caused me deep sorrow, also that he is very impulsive, selfish and needs to get that in check, before we can commit to each other again.
      … We both hate what this has done to us and our family. I just hope that freeing his soul, understanding that his actions have repercussions… and truly being a Loving Couple will kill the external forces that seem to FIND these week hearted individuals we call our best friend.

      back to the Crazy Dance… A good relationship means that even when your partner isn’t on the dance floor with you… You dance with others letting them know you will behave as though your partner is on the side watching your every move… YOU LET THEM KNOW there is no room for a third party in a committed relationship and you behave like you’d have your partner behave for you in the same situation….

      Remember insanity is doing the same things you’ve always done and expecting different results…. break that insane behavior, save your sanity.

    • 4everchanged

      I am 10 months past d-day and am still checking phone records etc.. I wonder if I will ever be able to trust him enough that I don’t check up on him. I did read something last night that helped me.” I dont have to trust him.” He threw away the trust.Trust was a gift, a privilage and he destoyed it. For some reason reading” that I dont’ have to trust him ” helped me .

      • Doug

        You’re right. Trust is a gift, and you don’t have to trust him. But what kind of relationship will you have if you don’t? You both need to do some things to rebuild the trust in your relationship. There’s a term I read the other day somewhere…”Trust, but verify” Maybe that’s the way to go.

    • Enough Already

      Trust and Honesty? I don’t think I can live long enough to fully trust my H again. He don’t have a clue about honesty. He has never volunteered information about his EA. The only time I can get answers is if I uncover the evidence as proof. He told me that he had called her maybe 20 times and sent a few text messages. However, when I received the phone records it proved that in just over a month of corresponding with her he sent/received more than 600 text messages and the minutes to her number added up to over 9 hours of talking. This does not even include the emails and fb chat that took place. I gave him the opportunity to come clean about the phone/texts up to the very minute that I opened the records to read them. He still refused. He has lied about every aspect of this nightmare. When I ask questions he either says he don’t remember or he don’t know. In fact he told me yesterday that I just needed to “get over it”.
      I get so sick of hearing the terms “affair fog”, “addition” and all the other excuses used. Why not just call it what it really is? Premeditated murder of a marriage!
      I have decided that I am worth more than second place to a two bit whore…so therefore I have decided to kick this spineless, immoral, self centered, oxygen thief, to the curb!
      I hear people say that life is too short….but I think that life is way too LONG to be walked all over by these kind of people, and as for me, I have decided to just “get it over”.

    • Phil

      We’re coming up on 1 year since d-day and just last night she told me that she doesn’t have feelings for me the way that I do for her. She says that I’m smothering her by wanting her to be transparent. She’s done nothing to heal our relationship so it’s becoming clear that she is only here for the friends, status and family.

      I can’t trust her because I was really beginning to believe that she was falling in love with me again. She truly was acting like it. But was I fooled. How can I believe even her actions anymore.

      I’m getting ready to call her bluff and move across the country and in with our son. I don’t want to have any contact with her for a month.

      The biggest mistake I made was not kicking her butt out the door on d-day when she wouldn’t break it off with him until she talked to him in private. This would have been over a lot sooner.

      • Enough Already

        I understand where you are coming from. My H said that he would never have any further contact with the OW. However, the next morning after I found out about the affair, the records show that he not only called her 2 times and talked for almost an hour, but he also sent her numerous texts throughout the day. I have quit trying to get my H to be transparent. What is the point in beating a dead horse? Have you noticed how cheaters have so much in common. Every story I read on here sounds like somethin I could write. Lying, excuses, refusal to disclose. It goes on and on.
        Moving across the country sounds good to me too! I have always been a positive person, but this has changed my whole perspective on life. Take care of yourself and let your W figure out her own character flaws.

    • jessica

      Enough Already,

      I love your lines
      Premeditated Murder of a Marriage,
      And taking second place to a two bit whore.

      Your words made me laugh something I haven’t done in 8 months!
      Thank YOU!!!

    • Enough Already

      After a long career in law enforcement I have found that terms used in the cases I work sometime just fit in, such as the premediated phrase. But really it is true, isn’t it. I sometimes refer to the suspects I have arrested as “oxygen thieves” and never in my wildest imagination did I think that I lived with one.
      At any rate, I am glad you were able to laugh a little bit, because like most of us, I know that you have probably cried enough tears to fill a lake in the last 8 months. Good luck on your future endeavors, and remember…take care of YOU first, because no one else will, and find reasons to laugh!!

    • EnoughIsEnough

      Enough Already,

      I’ve been there, done that. I gave now EX-H the proverbial “boot” in a ranting email that he woke up to on Saturday. I ONCE AGAIN caught him trying to be sneaky and was voice chatting with his 16 year old (yes, a minor) EA just 15 minutes after I left his apt. for pizza and a movie. BTW, he is 40.

      Why don’t they understand how much they have to lose with us absolutely understanding wonderful people?!

      This was his 5th attempt in 10 months to “prove” his commitment to me. Why did I give him another attempt. Only God knows why. I truly thought that we were meant for each other and obviously it was one sided, despite the “you are my world” promises.

      My teen girls changed their name to my maiden name 2 months ago as I added maiden to the end of my married name. That was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” according to him. He was “distraught”. I guess my wonderful girls knew him better than I did (his EA used to be a friend of theirs and is a Sophomore in High School).

      If you haven’t already, divorce him and focus on yourself!

      We are strong and DO NOT deserve to be treated like we WERE treated! Key word is WERE.

    • Donna

      Not sure where to post what I wantd to say, so have done so here. I guess it is a little or a lot about about trust with my husband. You see, I have to wonder do you REALLY need to talk about the past in the beginning? When I say beginning, it has been a year since D day for me and in all the “talking/yelling” that we did for nearly 11 months, it really got me or us no where. My feelings were hurt, we said awful things to each other. In between there were alot of times with no arguing and lots of laughs and tears and love making all the while he was still carrying on with ow.

      It is a new year and since December 20th I have not mentioned the affair because I want to move forward and not keep living in the past. I know he hurts because yes, he misses the ow, because he has hurt his wife and his children and his extended family and all those that know him. He is hurting because he has lost the respect of so many who know him. He knows I am so deeply hurt etc… so really.. no amount of us talking about things is going to make any difference at this stage. To me his actions speak louder than any word he has to say.

      I know that sometime we will have to talk about hings, about how we as a couple can improve us. Really, although unspoken.. we BOTH know what we need to do and we are doing those things just not having talked about them. He knows what he has to do and I know what I have to do.

      I am not trying to push this under the rug so to speak, or try and forget that it happened becasue to much damage has been done for that to ever happen. I am so deeply wounded with many many scars that need to heal over time. We went away with our children this last weekend to a car show and I was so convinced that the ow was goingto be there. I hated that I thought this way, buyt the scars of deception go deep and I may feel like this for a very long time. I am sure he new how i was feeling, he can read me pretty well.

      I am grateful for all that he is doing right now and I will continue to pray for the best outcome for our family. I am so grateful to Linda and Doug for this site to let me or all of us put our thought down. So very much appreciated. You both give me strength and hope for the future.

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