Proven Methods for Rebuilding Trust in a Marriage
Trust is an elusive, but key element to any successful marriage. If you've got trust issues in your marriage, that marriage is very likely on its way to failure. Trust issues can arise from a variety of sources, including early childhood issues, low self-esteem, your spouse's poor reliability, broken promises or more serious sources, such as drug or alcohol abuse or an affair.
Regardless of the reason for your trust issues, you can make use of these proven methods for building trust in a marriage to get your marriage back on track and learn to trust your spouse again. Building trust in a marriage involves many considerations and sometimes changes in habit, for more in-depth information be sure to check out the Save My Marriage ebook.
Building trust in a marriage is a gradual process.
Regardless of whether your marriage trust issues stem from a dramatic event or a long series of let-downs, rebuilding trust in a marriage is a long and gradual process. The trust that came crashing down in an instant because of a poor choice or faded gradually over time will take time to build anew. There is no way to instantly restore trust to former levels, regardless of what caused the marriage trust issues in the first place. You must establish a pattern of reliability; give your spouse time to recover from the trust-breaking event; and BE PATIENT. Even if your marriage trust issues appeared overnight, they won't go away that quickly, so be prepared for a long process.
How to build trust in a marriage: start small.
Building trust in your marriage is about establishing that you are reliable. If you make and break promises constantly, your spouse will have no reason to trust you the next time you say you'll do something important. Conversely, if you make and keep promises every day, your spouse will learn that you are reliable and that you'll do what you say you intend to do. Promise to be somewhere at a certain time, and then be there. Promise to bring home milk on your way back from work, and do it. Promise to split a chore and then make sure it gets done. By doing these small things every day, your spouse will learn that he or she can begin to trust you again with more important tasks. Ultimately, your spouse may learn to trust you with emotional well-being and the intimacy that a good marriage requires.
Building trust in a marriage: the blindfolded walk.
This is a much more active trust-builder, but it's guaranteed to hit the hot spots and begin to rebuild trust in your marriage. Get a blindfold. Spend 30 minutes walking around blindfolded, relying only on the verbal instructions of your spouse. Your spouse may not touch you or guide you physically, but instead must provide you clear directions to follow to navigate your surroundings. You are not in control of the walk; your spouse determines the destination and is responsible for guiding you safely there. At the end of the 30 minutes, switch and lead your spouse blindfolded. This exercise is a great way to build trust in your marriage. It's not a good idea to undertake the blindfolded walk if you haven't already begun to work on your marriage trust issues, but if you've been reliable for a while, this exercise can be a great way to rebuild the trust in your marriage to the next level.
Communicating well is a great way to resolve marriage trust issues.
Before you can truly begin to deal with a lack of trust in your marriage, you must create a safe environment where both parties feel comfortable communicating. If your partner has let you down, don't bring it up every time your partner tries to discuss an unrelated issue. Conversely, if your spouse tries to gloss over the error, make sure you communicate how the situation makes you feel so that your spouse can understand your perspective. When building a safe environment for communication, never make accusations or call names. Instead, use "I" statements to talk about how you feel, and work with your partner to develop acceptable ways to resolve the situation. It's ok to fight in any relationship, but fight fair. Don't bring up past issues that were resolved long ago, and don't insult your spouse. If you find yourself getting angry, take a break from the discussion and go for a walk. Words spoken in anger can shatter trust just as easily as dramatic events, so be careful of your partner's feelings every day to ensure that your efforts to rebuild trust in your marriage are not in vain.
If you don't correct the underlying problem that caused the trust issues in your marriage, no amount of trust rebuilding will save your marriage. If you need to learn how to address common marriage problems or want some last-ditch advice to help save your marriage, check out our Free Marriage Tips Newsletter.