Rebuilding the trust after infidelity is one of the most important steps you should take, as it is the foundation of any relationship.

trust after infidelity

By Linda & Doug

Trust is the foundation of any relationship and is just as important as love is.  So if you want to save your marriage and make it the tender loving relationship you have dreamed of all of your life, rebuilding the trust after infidelity is one of the most important steps you should take.

Those of you that have suffered from a betrayal of trust know why I’m saying this.  If you can’t trust your spouse, it changes every single detail of the relationship.  Effective communication becomes more difficult because you cannot believe anything that he/she is telling you, and you start worrying whether or not you can trust that person with your finances, your personal secrets, and every other detail of your life.  It also makes it difficult for you to trust that person with your emotional safety.  Being hurt so badly by someone tears apart the emotional connection that you need to have a healthy, happy marriage.

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Journey to Trust
Rebuilding Trust after an Affair

Discover that trusting again is indeed possible and is a natural process, if you both are committed to putting forth the effort that is necessary.

Follow our own journey to trust and the exact steps and experiences along the way.

Once the trust has been lost it can actually damage or even destroy the love. Therefore trust is the foundation on which love is built, and a lack of trust makes it almost impossible to have a good marriage.  So if you are in a relationship right now where there are trust problems, you need to repair this damage if you’re going to make your marriage last and make it all that it can be.

There are ways to rebuild the trust in your marriage.   But first of all you need to know that there are two different types of scenarios where trust can be a problem.

Here are the Two Scenarios:

1.  The first is the sudden trust destroyer of which a typical example would be infidelity. What usually happens in this situation is one of the spouses finds out about an affair (either an emotional or sexual affair) and in one single moment the trust has been destroyed.

2.  The second typical scenario is where trust has been destroyed in a relationship over a period of time, perhaps even from the beginning of the relationship. An example might be that one of the members of the relationship has always flirted a great deal with members of the opposite sex.  They’ve never really followed through nor has there been any infidelity, but it has caused a slow building up of mistrust.  There could also be additional issues that cause a build up of mistrust such as gambling or unethical business arrangements and things of that nature.  As you can imagine, since the mistrust builds up over time it can actually continue for many, many years.

Rebuilding the Trust After Infidelity: It’s the Cheater’s Responsibility

Most people agree that the responsibility for rebuilding trust in a marriage primarily lies with the one who broke it. If you have cheated or betrayed your partner and continue to act suspiciously, it’s your job to own up. You must do the necessary work to repair the trust if you aim to heal your relationship.

Ultimately, there are three steps that a person who broke the trust needs to take if they’re going to heal the relationship and rebuild what has been destroyed.

Step #1:  Change your behavior.

If you are currently in an affair, you must end it and take steps to prevent future temptations. You need to not only end the affair and change your behavior but also understand how the problem began. Additionally, you must be able to explain this to your spouse. This is the only way you’re going to create a situation for your spouse to begin to trust you again.

Step #2: Give a complete and full apology.

You must completely understand that you were wrong, how you were wrong, and take total ownership for that mistake.  You need to look at the infidelity from your spouse’s point of view and feel the pain that he/she felt.  Once you have taken ownership for the action that caused the mistrust, you have to show some effort and be sensitive to your partner about his/her feelings in this area and take care of those feelings as much as you can.  This means showing some compassion and sensitivity about the pain that he/she is in.  You should also make verbal reassurances about your commitment to the changes that you have said that you’re going to make, and obviously back this up by real change in your behavior.

Step #3:  Let them play detective.

The third and final step in trying to rebuild trust with your spouse involves giving the victim the tools that he/she needs to begin trusting again.  What this means is that the victim now gets to play the detective.  It’s natural for the victim to be suspicious and worry that his/her spouse might make the same mistake again.  After all, you betrayed their trust once and what is to stop you from doing it again?

If you are the victim, thoughts like these are absolutely natural, so don’t feel badly for feeling this way because when you think about it, worrying that your partner might betray you again is perfectly logical. Don’t try to bury these thoughts and feelings and don’t feel that this is an irrational behavior.  You will never be able to rebuild trust as long as you keep worrying about whether or not your spouse is telling you the truth.

Now this isn’t exactly a step that the person that betrayed you is going to necessarily like. It may involve checking emails, credit card bills, and cell phone usage, among other things, to satisfy your curiosity. Over time, tangible evidence disproving your suspicions will help diminish them. Eventually, they will fade away.

Demonstrating Change: The Essential Steps for Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity

If you are the one who betrayed your spouse, you must do more than promise to change your behavior; you must prove it. This means allowing and even encouraging your spouse to ask questions and seek clarity. You must share everything, making your life an open book. Remember, you broke the trust initially. Your spouse’s thoughts and feelings are justified. If you truly want to restore a healthy marriage, this openness is essential.

Trust can be lost in a heartbeat and it can take a long time to regain it.  But if you persevere it can be done.  Continue to move forward towards an open relationship and in time you’ll feel that trust has once again come back to your marriage.

Please share your experiences with rebuilding the trust after infidelity in the comment section below.  Thanks!


    11 replies to "How to Rebuild the Trust After Infidelity"

    • arlene

      i have been trying desperately for 6 months to just put it behind me but he constantly says but i did nothing wrong i f-n hate him in the 2 seconds it takes him to say it he claims to have not slept with these 2 women but they said otherwise this went on for a year i feel so stupid and im still so pissed off because he will not tell me the truth its just i didnt do anything wrong oh my god in just writing this i realise i have to leave and start my life over i am actually smiling for the first time in 6 months…….thank you

    • Lost

      I need help to save my marriage. I am not the victim but the one to cause pain. My husband and I have been together for almost 8yrs, (Nov.24) will be our 4yr anniversary. We now have 2 children. We have been through so much durning our time together. Before marriage he has cheated and I have cause a prior relationships to emotionally interfere with my current relationship. I don’t think that I have ever really gotten over that. He definitely denied it but never admitted to it. We have both admitted that we kind of rushed into the marriage but I have always wanted to get married and start a family. My husband i think was afraid and not ready….. then.
      When we argued he would always say hurtful things. Mentioned many times about how we are so different and how he wished he did things differently. He also has expressed how he feels that I trapped him and tricked him into the marriage, but he was the one who pushed me to get the marriage license. I know he loves me but his words have always stuck in my mind. Zero romance. We never we haven’t really gone on dates, we constantly juggled words back and forth in between managing the kids.
      I wasn’t thinking, I felt that there was a void, so ended up talking and getting close to a co-worker. There was some physical involvement as well as the emotional. Since everything has come out in the open my husband demanded I quit my job which I did. I have not contacted the other person at all since then. I have no desire to either. Although my husband believes that I will go back.
      I understand my husband is hurting and it will probably take awhile before he is completely healed. I see so much hurt in his eyes. We talked about my infidelities and at first lied to him when asked about specific. ( I thought I was protecting him by keeping details from him. I have learned that is not protecting) I have been honest from that point forward. Even things that I have told him and lied about I went back and cleared it up. There may be other things that I lied to him about that I am not remembering…. YES I KNOW I’M HORRIBLE!
      I completely see my husband in a differently light. I can’t believe how he responded when we were discussing this all. At first he blew up and then even when I told him the most horrible news he just calmly said I forgive you. Right now I fear what he is telling me about wanting to make “US” our “FAMILY” work I question it because he still makes harsh comments on the harsh acts I’ve committed and my betrayal. He fears I will run off again. He has dreams or nightmares about me committing other acts of infidelity so these thoughts are none stop with him. It is understandable since this all just came out at the end of last month.
      I am not sure what I can do to help the healing process and to start repairing our relationship. I have stop all contact with the other person, I went to the doctor’s on my own and spoke to him pretty much the entire time i was gone. I don’t really go anywhere with out him now. I am always in his face, following him through out the house, rubbing back, touching him, kissing him, and repeatedly telling him ” I LOVE YOU & I’M SORRY”. He told me my words don’t mean much of anything anymore.
      Someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me and tell me what I can to???

    • Myrna

      How I wish my soon to be ex have read this. He cheated on me in 2010, repeated in 2011 and continued the saga (non physical, but communication wise) with the prostitute he met in 2010 in a beer house and for which he had paid sex with her on four several periods. He could not let it go, the drinking became worse. He blames me for numbing him with my anger. He does not want to take responsibility for his action and in the end files for divorce saying “he wants to find himself”. “Finding himself”, I found out, includes bringing the prostitute back to his life. He and the prostitute are now cohabiting together in the Philippines. He continues to be a narcissist, not finding his fault, for the demise of our marriage of 11 years (14 total years being together). He said he is happy and thinks almighty when he is with her. This is typical of someone with narcissism behavior, who thinks acceptance is based on how he is perceived. He is still trying to exude same attitude towards me in his email, but thank God I am free now and I don’t have to respond or say “okay honey whatever you say honey”.

      To quote Mayo Clinic, my soon to be ex had this and I tolerated it for all those years:

      Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism

      To the end, when I presented to him his weaknesses, the fault was turned on me in that I numbed him. The bottom line is that he just cannot face the reality of his life.

      I must admit I became a co dependent for which I am now addressing extensively in my therapies. With God’s help, I will muster this.

    • michelle

      I have cried every single night since I discovered my husband’s affair. He came home and kept sneaking and I kicked him out. He went out on dates from online dating site and continued his affair then came back again, held me while I cried and said he had been depressed and I should he wouldn’t ever hurt me like that and bought me flowers and a card about healing (He was texting her while in the store buying my card; he was still actively pursuing and engaging his AP in the affair and he kissed her). He has lied and still lies. I paid for the divorce, and I ended up cancelling it allowing him to return home …again… He’s still home and says he’s stopped “this time”, but only after I sent a copy of their messages to the little girl’s dad, mom, fiancee, and her grandmother, oh and the director at their work (husband age 40, girl 22 year old employee). After that, she finally stopped telling me that she was going to send him her boobs if I liked it or not (I asked her to apologize for messing with a married man while HIS BABY WAS IN THE HOSPITAL BEING EVALUATED FOR POSSIBLE 6TH BRAIN SURGERY he was looking at her stupid texts and never even visited baby in the hospital. He never did anything for baby or me. Never any doctor appointments. Never sat through the surgeries with us. Neglected and betrayed severely. Porn lying and sneaking, hell the night I came home from C-Section with first child it was Christmas day, but he was up on the computer with Porn then left all day for Christmas with his family. My incision was infected, he wouldn’t look at it because it was “gross”
      I let him come back because I have small children and I can’t work as i have to take care of our special needs son. I’m working on a degree to get a job in three years that I’ll be able to take care of my son and support us on my own so I can go through with the divorce next time he slips up and gets caught.

      I’m 75% sure he’s still contacting her, but she did tell him to stay away after the fiancee found out, so maybe not. I’m sure since he enjoyed his affair so much that he will do it again next time he gets the opportunity. He’s only “faithful” because he doesn’t have any females to mess with right now. He was on dating websites while I was barely surviving and our 2 year old baby ran out of PediaSure (he can’t eat solid food) and I had to get SSI and thank God the Pediatrician got me cases from the company samples.

      I want to stay married and have a relationship for my children, but I don’t trust him – I trusted him so completely and deeply I thought he was my soulmate and he betrayed me to the deepest pain I can’t even. I’ll never trust him again. I don’t trust him. I’m trapped. I love him sometimes, but even then there’s a deadness inside my heart and distrust. All I see is betrayal when I look at his face and all I see is him kissing another woman.

      • Amanda

        Your story was heartbreaking to read. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that ‘someone out there’ is sending positivity and understanding your way.
        It sounds like this has been a struggle for some time and I’m wondering if he has shown off-and-on compassion or if he has always/consistently been more involved in his own ‘needs’?

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