I don’t trust my husband, what do I do? If this is you, then you just stumbled on the right post. First off, I would like to commend you for making efforts to seek help – your quest to know more led you here. Some things cannot be faked, without mincing words, a relationship without trust is doomed to fail.
The good news is, trust – once lost – doesn’t have to be gone for good. It is not a rigid thing you break and can never get back. Rebuilding trust is not an impossible feat, though it is hard work.
Distrust does not just happen, the most common reason for this unpalatable thing in marriage is infidelity. But there are others just about as deadly, like a shift in priorities or continually lying unprovoked. Regardless of how you arrived at this juncture, let’s take a look at what you can do to remedy this cancer called distrust.
Knowing your husband will not let you down, no matter what (not intentionally anyway), is a bliss that every married woman deserves. However, this goes both ways, and the hubbies deserve this just as much. What is good for the goose is, after all, also good for the gander. ’’Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.’’ – Mona Sutphen.
The above quote emphasizes the word “mutual” because it takes all the people involved in a relationship to make it work. You both have to feel loved and secure in the marriage before it can be called healthy. Back to the subject, ‘’Trust’’. What most people don’t understand about it is that it is not a one-time subscription.
You don’t just earn someone’s trust and look away, especially in marriage. Trust is fluid, and that means it can go both ways. Left unnurtured, it can evaporate, but you can also solidify it by putting in the work. This work I’m talking about doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge gesture of commitment, sometimes it can be as little as kindness.
How do you react when they make a mistake, do you try to fix the problem when you argue or threaten to leave? Ask yourself, do you make your partner feel like your relationship would end if they stopped trying? Is the reason you don’t have faith in your husband anymore because he’s starting to mirror your behavior and you can’t have that? Check yourself.
There are different sides to every story. How did you arrive at the conclusion that you absolutely do not trust your husband? Did you catch him cheating on you, or you saw signs that have you convinced? Or is it more of a fear that’s being fed by your own insecurities? Have you considered you may have trust issues?
To be clear, these questions are not to make you doubt yourself. I only ask to help you see that while broken trust may be your issue, it could just as easily be something else. This article sheds some light on the underlying problems that you or your husband might be facing.
Understanding others goes hand-in-hand with trusting them. Even the best of marriages have rough patches sometimes, it doesn’t have to be a big deal when you understand where your partner is coming from. The occasional fluctuations in the level of trust are natural when you’ve been with your partner for a while because people unravel in various ways.
You can’t possibly know all there is to know about someone before marriage, no matter how long you’ve been together. Therefore, those fluctuations may just be a way of learning more about his personality. So, unless what [you suspect] your husband did is a deal-breaker for you, or it has become an ugly pattern, explore different perspectives before you count it as a problem.
Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt, however, does not mean that you keep things that don’t sit well with you to yourself. Like I said earlier, it takes two willing people to have a healthy marriage. I understand trying to avoid difficult or awkward situations, it is something I struggle with myself. Notwithstanding, spilling the issue is always a better bet than letting it pile.
Psychologist Perpetua Neo tells INSIDER in this piece about the dangers of keeping your emotions bottled up. The truth is, no matter how hard you try to rationalize what you’re feeling, the longer you keep it down, the more at risk you are of exploding. And we both know the damage is always more substantial when we wait for too long.
Don’t keep your concerns to yourself because that’s how you develop a neutral attitude. Your efforts to keep stuff repressed won’t always hold, there will be those moments of slipups, which eventually becomes a pattern. You become passive in the relationship, and there is a coldness and reluctance to you now that your partner will definitely feel too.
If your partner chooses to take that route as well, the cycle continues like that, and the bond you two share is what suffers at the end. Meanwhile, you can break that cycle by speaking up even when you feel like sweeping it under the rug. Normalize effective communication in your home. Again, you can keep an open mind about an issue, and still discuss how it makes you feel.
Since a relationship where there is no trust makes you insecure, you tend to develop a sort of thick skin if it continues for long. But once you’ve decided to give communication a try, make sure to shed some of those layers you’ve piled up so the conversation can be productive. Give your husband a chance again, and let him in.
This may be hard, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to open up again might just be the thing that saves your marriage. And as you pour your heart out, let him do the same. The tone you adopt when talking should also be put into consideration. Don’t attack, don’t yell, and whatever you do, don’t take up a tone that gets your partner defensive.
Remember, the goal is to fix the problem and get your family life back on track. Yelling or throwing tantrums will only unnecessarily confound the situation. Instead, discuss with the solution in mind, don’t just hear what they are saying to respond, but really listen. I know it’s weird that I’m recommending an open exchange with someone you don’t currently trust, but that’s only because it works.
Once you’ve done this and you have been able to identify your partner’s pain points (vice versa), finding your way back to trusting each other has only just begun. Keep that communication line open. If there are some issues you need to work through, make sure to let your partner know. Finally, don’t rush things, take the time or space you need to come to the best possible decision.
Let’s face it, despite our best efforts, we are only human. If your husband did something that made you lose trust in him, it had to have hurt badly. That kind of pain isn’t something you just forget because of a deep conversation, but it is one you have to forgive. Understanding why he did what he did might help you arrive at a decision sooner, but forgiveness is a choice you have to make.
You might also realize that you had been wrong in your prejudice all along, and the breach of confidence was, in fact, your fault. At this point, irrespective of whose fault it is, you and your husband need to meet each other somewhere if you intend to give trust a chance again.
The other day, I read an article about why you should forgive. The research-backed piece elucidates the several benefits of forgiveness, but the part that struck me the most is how freeing it is for people. In the post, Dr. Frederic Luskin explains that you’re not making forgiving for the sake of the individual who hurt you, you do it to aid your own healing.
Therefore, whether you think your husband deserves it or not, the person who benefits the most from forgiving him is you. And if the culprit is you, then forgive yourself as well. Couples who employ this essential skill often excel at conflict resolution and other aspects of their marriage.
Do you ever wonder how your relationship with your husband became this complicated in contrast with those days when everything seemed more straightforward? It’s because the butterflies don’t last forever, and when they stop fluttering, the marriage has to have a reserve to fall back on. Distrust happens because both of you lost touch at some point, and it’s not always due to an external factor.
Sometimes, it may simply be because you got too used to each other, so much that your partner is now more of a glorified roommate than a spouse. The spark is gone, conversation minimal – limited to day-to-day essentials only. Slowly, if left untethered, it might also creep into your sex life, reducing your attraction to the hubby as the distrust grows.
If this is your reality and you are tired of not being on the same page with your partner emotionally, then try mending the disconnect. Bring back stuff like date nights and any other ritual you had before marriage that was just for both of you. If you and your husband have never had a tradition like that, make one.
It doesn’t matter what you choose, just make sure it is an activity you both enjoy. Whether you decide to watch horror-comedy shows or go skinny dipping in the Bahamas, both of you liking it means you don’t have to force it. Also, the idea is that the activity helps you bond with your husband again, so try to leave cellphones out of it, if it’s not too much trouble.
To be frank, without trust in a relationship, it can be difficult to stay objective. When you don’t believe what your husband is saying, or his actions are not convincing, banking on just your judgment may not be enough. Seek other people’s opinions, not random strangers, but people you know hold the same values as your family.
No one understands your relationship as you, but you can explain the issues to your trusted friends if they are not already aware of the situation between you and your partner. Depending on how complicated your situation is, a family member or mutual friend might do. If all you need is a different set of caring ears to listen, they can offer empathy.
However, your relatives’ point of view might still be a bit biased. If you know objectivity is what your relationship with your husband needs, seek out a professional counselor. In them, you can have the objectivity of a total stranger, empathy of a loved one, as well as experience and professional opinion simultaneously.
The decision would still be you and your husband’s to make at the end of the day, you are not relinquishing control. You can think of it like this, the communication you have as a couple in-house is the good cop. When that doesn’t look like it’s getting anywhere, you bring the big guns therapist in, but the goal is still to get you and your partner on the same page.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was what you had. You may not have been conscious of it, but the confidence you lost with your partner built up gradually as your relationship progressed. If, during/after counseling, you choose to work stuff out with your husband, know that following through with that decision to trust him again will require a lot more work than it did the first time.
You were “in love” then, you still love him now, but you’ve realized that emotion isn’t all it takes to have a successful relationship. Re-establishing trust is a slow process, even more so if what broke it in the first place was a big deal. So, to guard yourself against that kind of hurt happening again, set the dos and don’ts while you’re both still listening.
Let him know that as much as you’re willing to make compromises for the sake of the relationship, and meet him halfway, these new conditions are non-negotiable. It doesn’t have to be formal or rigid, it could be a verbal commitment you make to each other to not let the past define your future together.
If the pace at which the relationship used to go is no longer sufficient, set a new one together and watch how you both adjust to it. Remember, forgiveness is for you irrespective of their attitude, but you don’t owe anybody your trust unless they’ve earned it. Don’t rush to award him credits yet, put up a little wall until you’re sure he’s genuinely back.
If your joint effort pays off and you see a semblance of normalcy return to your marriage, that is not the time to relax and see how it goes. All the conflict resolution skills and other stuff you picked up in the course of rebuilding your connection will come in handy in the future.
Problems will not stop arising, but you have to keep deciding as a couple to tackle them. Don’t become so comfortable when the dust settles that you forget what circumstances led you there in the first place. Remember, the fluidity of trust only works in your favor if you choose to maintain it.
It might help to ask yourself how you and your husband got to the point you almost couldn’t return from. Has distrust always been a thing in your relationship since your courting days, or is it a more recent development?
The answer to that will determine the amount of work still left to do. In the meantime, as you revel in your newfound spark, try not to slide back into habits that made you neglect it before, and don’t take that from your man either.
The thing about marriage counseling is that, even though the therapist won’t make the decision for you, it is an environment where you can really lay stuff bare. Whether you go north or south from there depends on your relationship and the situation that led you there. As probable as it is to see your husband in a new light after a productive session, that same light can make you ask for a divorce.
If, despite your best effort to forget, you simply can’t bring yourself to trust your spouse again, let him go. It is better to be single than to be in a marriage where your significant other would rather be with another. That leaves you feeling like an outcast, and you don’t deserve that kind of loneliness in a place you call home.
We have been operating from a perspective where you are both working to revive trust in your marriage. Unfortunately, reality does not always play out as we want. If you are only holding on to the relationship for sentimental reasons, with no effort whatsoever on your man’s side, you are only delaying the inevitable.
Like I often say, letting distrust thrive in your home is like leaving cancer to spread. It is better to do the whole body a favor by cutting a part out than to let the disease fester and take everything down with it. Know that ultimately, it is never on just you to make your marriage work. If the person you married refuses to step up to the task, that’s your cue to follow your instinct.
Trust is one of the things that make a marriage stable, even in turbulent times. With it gone, you begin to feel unsafe in your emotional investment with your husband. His actions and words no longer instill confidence in you, and you constantly feel insecure because you now unconsciously expect the worst from him.
You can stay married to someone you don’t trust, but only if both of you are committed to rebuilding it. It is a hard process, and it takes time, but it is a road you must travel if you want to have a healthy marriage. Else, trying to stay without fixing the trust issues will be like building on quicksand.
Lack of trust does not spring out of anywhere. Instead, it is caused by our actions – or inactions. Have a serious conversation with your partner and identify the source of the distrust. Whatever the cause, take responsibility for your part in it and try to forgive your partner too. You may seek professional support if you are having trouble letting them in again.
A lack of trust can be caused by many things. Unfortunately, it is not always as evident as an affair or constant lying. Sometimes, it is in the way they react to you, it’s the lack of warmth or affection. Other times, it might be a gut feeling, you can’t say what they’re doing wrong, but you just don’t trust them.
You have probably had bad experiences that have shaped you into this person who doesn’t need evidence of betrayal before feeling threatened. A good place to start would be to stop projecting your past disappointments on your current situation. You might also seek help and try to heal your underlying issues before committing.
‘’To love and to cherish one till death do us part’’ - we say these marriage vows with so much promise, hoping it will be enough to keep us together when all else fails. But when the foundation (trust) the vow was built on starts to chip away, we quickly realize that death isn’t the only threat to a lasting union.
What has broken trust done to your marriage? Do you think the list above can help you and your husband? Let’s have this conversation in the comments and share for other wives to join us.