Ground Rules for Restoring Broken Trust

When trust has been damaged or destroyed in a marriage, the rebuilding process takes a huge amount of patience, skill, and–above all–time. After your very foundation has been shaken, restoring trust in your marriage is literally a relationship makeover.

You and your spouse must work together over time to rebuild the trust you lost, and both of you have a lot of work to do to get there. But with determination and an absolute commitment to restoration, your marriage can be healthy again.

You might not realize it now, but if you’ve been betrayed by your spouse, you can begin to trust them again. And if you betrayed your spouse, it is possible to restore their faith in you.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the steps both of you will need to take in order to rebuild the trust in your marriage. It won’t be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

For the Betrayed

As the betrayed spouse, you must be willing to forgive your husband or wife. It’s a bitterly painful experience to be betrayed by the person you love most in the world, and the betrayal can wreak havoc on your life.

Taking on the hard task of forgiveness is, at best, a huge challenge. Forgiveness happens gradually, in stages. You can’t snap your fingers and suddenly erase what your spouse has done, just because you’ve decided to forgive. You must allow yourself the time to grieve, heal, and name the hurts in order to surrender your need to inflict hurt in retaliation.

In addition to maintaining a forgiving attitude toward your spouse, you must be open about the anxiety your spouse’s betrayal has caused. Be honest about the times that you are most likely not to trust your spouse, and tell them the things that trigger your sense of betrayal.

Although it’s important to name your spouse’s offenses and be open about your triggers, it’s also important to know when to start stepping away from the painful memories. As your spouse begins to prove his or her trustworthiness over again, you’ll have to discern when it’s time to start letting go of the offenses, a little at a time. This is part of your forgiveness process.

In order to truly forgive, heal, and avoid the seeds of bitterness and contempt taking root in your own soul, it’s critical for you to be able to know when to let go and allow your spirit to heal.

Take care of yourself and do whatever it takes in order to recover. As the betrayed spouse, it’s tempting to focus all your attention on what your spouse did and what they’re doing to set things right. A huge part of you is very invested in your spouse’s efforts to right the wrongs they inflicted. But if you don’t care for your own health and wellbeing in the process, your emotional and spiritual healing will be prolonged–or could even be prevented.

Above all else, stay in God’s word and keep your prayer life active. Surround yourself with support and love. And take comfort in the fact that your spouse is doing whatever it takes to make things right between you again.

For the Betrayer

No matter what you have done to hurt your spouse, you must make yourself open and willing to answer any questions they may have regarding your betrayal. The more serious your offense, the more likely it is that you’ll have to answer a lot of questions. And those questions may come up repeatedly over a period of time.

When you’ve betrayed the person who loves you most, assume that you have inflicted a great deal of anxiety, insecurity, and pain upon them. Since the two of you are working together to restore trust, you’ll need to be willing to provide reassurance and security any time your spouse expresses a need for it–and then some.

For a time, you’ll need to make yourself accountable for your time and actions, particularly surrounding your offense. This will feel invasive, but extra accountability is non-negotiable.

Accountability can hurt your pride, but leave your ego at the door. It’s hard to have to earn your spouse’s trust after you have injured them. You’d rather them just take you at your word and begin trusting you again since you’ve apologized for your actions, but you have to be willing to surrender that.

You and your spouse will have to agree on boundaries that surround the offending people, activities, or places. Keep temptations for repeat offenses completely off limits.

If you had an affair, have no further contact whatsoever with that person. Have no presence near the things or places that are tempting to you. You must be 100% determined to stay accountable. With effort and time, accountability will play a major part in the restoration of your marriage.

Reconnecting with God and healing yourself spiritually will also go a long way toward helping you and your spouse grow closer again. Spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking Christian counsel (either from others in your church or a trusted professional counselor) will help you to resist temptation and strengthen you for the days ahead.

In Conclusion

Don’t lose heart. The season of rebuilding trust and restoring your relationship is a very trying, painful time for both of you. But with grace, hope, kindness, and a lot of patience, the two of you will come out on the other side stronger than ever.

Have you faced seasons of trust-building in your marriage? How did you overcome hurts and betrayals, and come out stronger when it was all over? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.



  • This is one of the best, most succinct articles I have ever read on this topic. My husband and I are “survivors” of infidelity, almost 34 years ago now, and we have coached/mentored couples who are experiencing the pain, betrayal and agony of the fall out of an affair. But in every case, as this article points out, it is entirely possible to rebuild and certainly well worth the effort necessary to get to restoration. Continue to encourage couples and speak into marriages. We appreciate what you do.

    • Patty Davila says:

      Thank you! I have been trying to restore our marriage for 3 years now. 2 months ago, my husband said he’s been unhappy for the past 2 years…I have done everything recommended to rebuild his trust… The biggest problem I think we are having is that he wants to hang around with friends and family again like we use to but i think he feels ashamed for me and it can get uncomfortable. He told all his friends and family about my affair. I still don’t want to give up. I live with remorse and guilt. I pray every day for his healing and restoration of our marriage. Any suggestions?

      • Andrea says:

        Hi patty I hope this reaches you- long story short I found out my husband had struck up a ‘friendship ‘ with someone and was sending extremely flirty texts-(never went physical) and he said to me I don’t think I love you the same way ..broke my heart – but he also said he hadn’t been happy for a few years – turned out he had depression that he was self medicating with running to get the runners ‘high’ and also these texts giving him a lift and like any addiction as he got used to it the running increased and the texts became more and more inappropriate – we are now 5 years on and it has been a LONG journey and I have thought of giving up and walking away trust me – and on many times my kids have been the reason I stayed – my background to ask the question could there be more behind the ‘I havent been happy’ statement? Seems to be the type of sweeping statement that I used to get – wishing you all the luck in the world xx

      • Dustin says:

        In a nice way tell your husband, that if he intends on mending your marriage at any point in the future, the first step would be not speaking about the incident, or you in any negative way. If he forgives you and wants to start off clean slate, he’s got to let go & keep the incident and anything pertaining to it where it belongs, in the rear view mirror. And don’t look back ! Then make a pact to promise each other not to take any risk that may put your relationship in harms way or could cause potential harm to either side. And if you both trust each other, bc if u don’t have trust then that’s like trying to build a house without a foundation! It’s impossible! And will never work. All relationships require trUst ! And remember trust can be gone as fast as a millisecond but takes a long long time to restore into a person. And more than likely even if they forgive you, deep down they’ll always remember that time you betrayed them. So choose your next move very carefully. Mainly ask yourself before you decide on what your doing, would I want her/ wife doing this or saying that to me ? And if your answer is no, don’t do or say it. That’s how I make sure to never hurt my wife again and it’s been working for me so far and that’s been 2 years ago since our bump in the road, but anything is possible in life you just gotta really want it for yourself and go get it. Best advice my mama taught me was, A. A closed mouth don’t get feed. And B if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything!!

    • Morgen Rossmair says:

      I have betrayed my boyfriend of eight years multiple times. I have never had a real relationship with another person. I have thought about it and actively tried and stopped myself. He found out about all of this and that I was talking badly about him to friends of mine. We have been trying to work this out for a month now. I know it will take a great deal of time and that I have done many things wrong and that I have lied to him for a long time. I am not only working on myself but have also really thought about committing to him and regaining his trust. I have started reading articles and figuring out what I can do to reasure him and what I need to do to fix my betrayal. After reading that you and your husband were able to move past and now help other couples I was wondering if you could share some advice

    • Michael sampson says:

      How do you get your spouse to even begin to let you prove yourself if ud hurt them numerous times but after God has worked on you your willing to move heaven and earth to regain that trust?

    • Reena says:

      I have always been true and one man’s woman for my husband. one erreronous call to his ex boss makes him think that I have cheated him and betrayed him. He has pushed me out of our bedroom and speaks to a girl 15years younger to her through out the day and till 2am at night. It hurts me a lot as m punished for now fault of mine. I have loved him and only have him on life.
      Shattered though. It’s only me who is making efforts to build this marriage

    • Lacey Connell says:

      I hurt my husband in a way that isn’t with another person but in myself all together. I never realized how bad it had hurt him until he told me he wants a divorce. I finally got him to tell me the real reason for not wanting to be with me anymore. I want to work with him to were I have his trust back. Trust is everything and I broke that with him. But I don’t know how to even get him to consider trusting me again. I am willing to do what it takes to fix my mistake but I need some help understanding how else I can do that.

      • StevieBoy says:

        Wy did you have to call his ex-boss?

        • StevieBoy says:

          I tried deleting my post sorry. This is what I meant .
          “I hurt my husband in a way that isn’t with another person but in myself all together”. Elaborate if possible ty 🌪️

  • Stacey Pittman says:

    Thank you this article today. My spouse and I have been effected with his betrayal. We are divorced now and he wants to work thing out, me I’m not 100% sure yet.

    • November says:

      You should give him one last chance you found something in him when you married him may be you can find it again I broke my husbands trust I didn’t cheat I said some things that upset him he’s giving me one last chance to change it’s been 3 weeks now it’s gotten a little bit better he told me he still loves me but isn’t in love with me like he once was I am trying to rekindle it it’s hard especially when it’s just me trying to prove to him what do you have to lose it’s doeant work it doesn’t work but at least give it one last chance just for your own sakes

  • Arden Czaszewicz says:

    This is so good and so very true! I was the spouse who was betrayed at levels unimaginable to most. When the 1.5 years of betrayal came to light, I thought I was going to throw up and I felt like “killing” my spouse. Hopelessness came pounding at the door. About three weeks after the unveiling, God encountered me in my bedroom for about 2 hours, “speaking” to me in the Spirit, and giving me guidance, reassurance, and even a heads-up that my spouse would stumble again 3 more times! Of course I didn’t want to hear that part, but it was the kindness of the Lord to give me those warnings. I cherished His words that day in my heart, and when those three stumbles took place, I was sad but graciously prepared and thus able to walk in the Spirit, recognizing that my role in the process of restoration was/is to trust the LORD completely with my spouse. Now, 3 years after the unveiling, I stand at about 95% trust, which is huge given the degree of betrayal. The road has been rocky, but you are right, taking care of ME was the most important part of healing. I could write a book….and we have actually prayed about doing just that….but I will finish here. Thank you for fighting for marriages!

    • dj says:

      Wow, I got the Holy Spirit goosebumps reading through your story. Thank you for sharing your difficult but amazing journey, with God’s presence as your comfort and guide.

      • nancy hayes says:

        I like this article, but need to give voice that not everyone who is spiritual or in need of God is Christian. I wish this article was a little more inclusive or did I misunderstand and this just for Christians??.

        • Comfort says:

          Hi Nancy

          I don’t think the article excludes anyone as all the things shared can be replicated or helpful to anyone regardless of whether or not they are Christians. The authors are Christian and so can and should be able to give spiritual advice based on their faith. If others who read it are not Christians, then I think they will understand that means adopting it to their life however they want. They shouldn’t have to hide or downplay their faith just because they want to make it inclusive for everyone. They are free just like everyone else to express their beliefs. It’s not an article about beliefs but about helping others and their marriages in practical ways and by reading it, I think it does just that. Just my thought.

        • DeAnn says:

          I was thinking the same thing. It is very good advice but I just have to ignore parts. I wanted to share this with my husband but when he reads the religon in it, he will give it way less credit.

    • Robert says:

      Hi Arden, this is the most encouraging article I have read in the last 3weeks since my wife found out I was cheating on her. She calmly came and said she wanted a divorce, and wouldn’t give me a reason, I tried all I could to squeeze out a reason from her to no avail. Although deep down my heart I knew the affair could be the reason. 3 days after. she reluctantly agreed to go with me to the counsellor, it was there she confronted me with the affair. The needle has shifted very little from ‘Divorce” to “Separation” and now it’s “Controlled Separation”.
      I am on a journey now of facing the grim reality of my affair and how much hurt she is going through. I just wish Arden, you could chat/email my wife just to encourage her. She has practically shut me off herself, we no longer pray together, I have a deep regret for my actions.

  • Wonderful brief on the forgiveness process from both perspectives! I am the Executive Pastor of a Mega-Church, and my spouse met a man one evening, went home with him, moved in with him, left my 2 young daughters (2 and 4 at the time) and me, and filed for divorce. I begged and fought for the marriage, but she had a boyfriend. As soon as the divorce went through, she wanted to get remarried, but I stood my ground and invested in my daughters and myself instead. Three years later, she came back pregnant. I nursed her through her pregnancy, the birth of another baby girl, remarried her, and then after a few months found out she was back at it again with him. She was playing both of us and driving us both absolutely crazy. I had to give her an ultimatum: “choose him or your family; you can’t have both.” I am still waiting on her to make that decision, and we remain separated until she does. This article did a good job of describing the reality of the process for both parties. Good read. The Lord is forever faithful.

    • Countrymama6 says:

      So sad

    • JB says:

      I’m praying for your heart…for your healing and that your faith fail you not while standing. I am an ordained minister and have been in ministry/preaching for about 10yrs. I’ve been married for almost 14 yrs and separated from my husband for almost 3 yrs because of infidelity. We were going through the divorce process for yrs because he was overseas (military) and something just seemed to have kept blocking the divorce…I felt it was God’s way of lvg time to reconcile…for my husband to repent and come bck. Well the affair he was having, although long distance for the last couple of yrs was the same woman he was seeing when stationed away in her city 5yrs ago. When he and I began to have problems, instead of wrkg on our marriage he sought her out again, calling her his “safe place”. At any rate…the divorce hearing finally came about a month ago now, and he began to open up and tell me everything and said he had not spoken with her in months. He told me he wanted me and the children bck and he was willing to do whatever it takes…well a week after this happened, the other woman tells him she pregnant but wants nothing to do with him. I say alllll of this to say, I understand how you are feeling on probably almost every level. Me filing for divorce (initially because he said he wanted that) became my translation of being fed up with the deceit, the selfishness, the arrogance…just tired of me and our 3 kids (a girl and 2boys) coming 2nd to his lustful agenda. At the end of it all, I ask God “why now” every day…regarding us deciding to stay together only to find out a wk later that his unfaithfulness has gutted me again. This road is a long hard road and everyone can not endure nor is everyone equipped to stand in the gap for you. I sat myself down from the pulpit because I was just so hurt and didn’t feel I could really deliver as the Lord wanted. However, over time, ministry shifted for me and I began to help married couples through counseling, bible studies, authoring couple’s devotionals, etc…all while feeling broken. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom brother in Christ and incline your ear to hear what He’s saying concerning your family. The Lord sees and will bless your faithfulness.

      Gal. 6:9
      Isaiah 41:13
      Psalm 91

      Praying for Your Wholeness

      • Susie says:

        My husband is pastor. Ive discovered provocative material on you tube . Second marriage and first was cheating. Thought so much this one would be perfect.
        You I know understand my trust issues and heartbreak im going through. My heart aches and why did he do this????

    • Name Withheld says:

      Name Withheld.

      “Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” – Deut 24:4

      Righteousness is righteousness and it has never changed

    • Eli says:

      This is the only story as hurtful as it is, that goes a long way to illustrate the mighty things our faith in the Lord can do!
      The power of grace. No equal. Not any amount of money can buy the depth of forgiveness you have showed your spouse. Your testimony is powerful and has moved me even closer to Christ. Apostle Paul said in one of his letters that we human beings are no different from animals. Life has no meaning here on earth!!! But only through Christ and christ alone whose grace is with us. Ordinary human beings will NEVER understand the depth of how much this hurts! As Apostle Paul says, you have to DIE to the flesh to bear the Cross for this is where we surrender our lives and bow! God bless you brother. Your testimony is the most powerful encouragement l have come across in my life. If you could do it, l can for the Lords grace is with me.

  • Countrymama6 says:

    Betrayal of trust does not only arise from infidelity. Keeping financial secrets, confiding in kids but not spouse, also leads to loss of trust. The biggest question I have is how to handle complete denial of wrongdoing, continued secrecy, belittling of the issue, and generally lack of any level of repentance or willingness to enter into accountability. Unfortunately I’ve had to draw the line and am in separate accommodations – not because that is what I choose but because there is no acknowledgment or willingness on the other side. Heartbreaking. But I’ve learned you can’t do someone’s job for them….no matter how hard you try. What do you do when your spouse won’t say sorry or acknowledge wrongdoing or causing hurt, dismisses it and will not discuss or be accountable? How far do you “lay down your life” and overlook?

    • BeenthereDonethat says:

      I had a similar experience. My husband of 19 years would not even discuss my suspicions of infidelity, my feelings that things had changed between us, my dissatisfaction with the way he was handling our finances. It was always that I was blowing things out of proportion, seeing things that weren’t there, or I just didn’t have a realistic view of the world. I could go to counseling if I wanted to, but he wasn’t going to go because after all, I was the one with the problem. In hindsight I would say that I should have gone to counseling because maybe I would have learned a better way to deal with what I was going through. We are divorced now and I have met someone new. We are going through the SYMBIS books together because we both have been married before and want to make sure we get it right this time. I pray that everything works out for you.

    • Bart Teel says:

      Thanks to the Drs. Les(lie) for this great article. As a former offending spouse and current church staff member, let me recommend to you David Clarke’s book “What to do when your spouse says I Don’t Love You Anymore”. Dr. Clarke’s writing unpacks the issues you raise thoroughly and gives you a strategy to restoration for yourself and, by God’s grace, repentance for your spouse and hopefully restoration for your marriage relationship. God bless you in the struggle. He is faithful.

    • Desiree says:

      So sometimes the reason why a person acts a certain way is because of coping mechanisms they learned as a child. I had a less than ideal home life. I had 6 stepdads, all of whom had drug or alcohol addictions and half that were physically abusive and everything in between. I learned at a young age to lie through omission. For those that don’t know what that means, it is when you tell part of the truth, or word your sentence which is completely true but the implied meaning is completely different. It was how I navigated a life of violence to protect myself. I also become very guarded. I was very open, but no one really knew the real me, and I would never share with anyone how I truly felt about those I cared deeply about or where I kept important documentation like a passport. If you knew me, you would think I was a well adjusted, sociable, law abiding citizen. But what I really did was manipulate my surroundings through information to ensure I was always in a position of power. This wasn’t intentional and it was very much contained to certain groups of people.

      I fell in love with someone who valued trust and honesty above all else, and we would have conflicts about what he called lying (partial truths), and I would shrug it off as non consequential. No one got hurt, it didn’t affect him directly, there is no harm in what I share and sometimes throw it back at him saying, maybe you need to ask for things more directly, succinctly and clearly. I won’t go into details about what happened but let’s say I lied to him about something that devastated him. Thirteen years later, it came to light what really happened which was a bombshell as well. I thought we were over.

      Something incredible happened instead. He was angry but compassionate. In turn, I went to counselling because I realized that my partial truths were so hurtful to him and I didn’t want to hurt him. I truly love him. I told him outright, this is a sub conscious coping mechanism from when I was a child. It takes active conscious thought for me to mitigate it, and I suffer from panic attacks when I do. That it was probably in his best interests that we broke up. That I wanted him to be happy. That I couldn’t guarantee I would never lie again. Telling the truth on something so simple as what did you spend that $20 on, would make me have an anxiety attack. Anyways, I went through counselling to help me work through my childhood trauma, and through the process, my counsellor gave me tips on how to address certain coping mechanisms with my partner, and we worked through it. That sometimes meant him having to accept me saying I cant answer that right now because I am battling my desire to lie to you. That let him know that even if I seemed normal, physiologically and psychologically I was in a bad place. There are still times where if I feel really vulnerable, I have to tell him, I can’t answer that question right this second, and I need to go for a walk. Luckily for me, he respected those boundaries, even though I am sure he found it difficult. Once I calmed down, I would always answer him. That was the compromise. I had to feel safe, and he had to know I would tell the truth.

      But it gets easier every day, and we have become so much more intimate and accepting and growing together. It is so hard because he was wronged, but I needed the help. Yes, we had to rebuild trust. In some ways I wish this never happened because what we have is so amazing and I feel like I tainted our relationship, and yet had it not happened, we would still be living lives where we were pretending to have intimacy in our lives and feeling lonely instead.

      So, my point in telling you this is sometimes the problem is that the actions are so deeply embedded in our psyche, that the person doesn’t really even know they are doing something wrong (justifications), and because it is something that was learned as a self protection mechanism, your brain tries very hard to protect you. If this is the case, your partner needs to look deeply and she may not be able to share that with you. She can journal, especially when she doesn’t something that is the problem. So, finances – She secretly spends money on online gambling game. You find out from the bank statement. You confront her, she lies or says it doesn’t really matter because she made that on her paycheck. I would recommend, she journals and breaks it down – why is she not comfortable sharing that information with you? That seems easy but if I had to guess, there are feelings of shame, unhappiness, fear below the surface. So, instead she goes on the offensive. ( It is a more powerful feeling). Or on the flip side, she can explore how she feels when you confront her specifically about that issues, how she feels around the whole idea of you asking questions about her finances. This may bring to light that she feels you don’t trust her (the answers to that are probably painful), even deeper she struggles with low self esteem and she feels like she is her only cheerleader. ect. ect. Everyone is different. Then at some point, the two of you need to make some compromise that is achievable like we did. I would highly recommend a counsellor for you alone, her alone and after 6 months the two of you together.

  • Keptbygrace says:

    This is so timely as my husband and I are beginning this journey of healing and forgiveness. I have battled grief and devastation for a few months now. The support of friends has been very helpful. One of them gently admonished me a few days ago to recognize that the enemy did not succeed at ruining my marriage through my husband’s emotional infidelity, and he is now trying to do so through me. I had allowed a cloud of depression, helplessness and hopelessness to overshadow my life. My friend reminded me that this was a war and that I could not fight it defeated already. So, now, I have assumed a battle stance and am able to speak the Word of God into my dark moments regardless of how I may feel. There is yoke destroying power in the Word of God. The clouds have lifted and there is a spring in my step once again. This is a journey of recovery and I have to learn to trust God rather than fear repeat offense.

    • Lisa R says:

      I got Holy Spirit goose bumps reading your comment! Amen that it is a warfare & you have prepared yourself w/Gods Word & Armour. You will be strong & not be defeated no matter the outcome He is in control & you will have what is best for you. It does take 2. If it is just you doing all the work there you will be the one rewarded ??

    • dj says:

      Powerful words of wisdom, hard earned wisdom. Thank you for sharing!

  • Angela Sexton says:

    I have to agree with Wende. The article gets to the meat of the actions that need to be taken by both sides. There is work to be done by both spouses. I realized as I was reading that I was further in the healing process than I thought. The events that led to me finding out about my husband’s betrayal were not conceivable to me. It never occurred to me that adultery was an issue I would have to deal with. I was so sure that my spouse of twenty eight years and I were on the same page about that sin. Turns out we weren’t. Unprepared as I was, I made the mistake of accepting his apologies and his expectation that we just move on and forget about that episode in our lives. I found out that although I was supposed to forget and trust, he was going to remember the “friendship” of the woman he had cheated with. She was going through a rough time and he did not feel it was ok to just leave her alone and on her own. “As a Christian I should be ok with that.” It was a very confusing and painful time. I wanted to repair my marriage and I wanted to trust this man that I made a commitment to and I wanted God to lead us to the fulfilling marriage that I believed we could attain. I cried all of the time. I couldn’t think about what to expect from him or me in the healing process because I knew that I couldn’t get to trust if he wouldn’t commit to boundaries and removing this women from our lives. They are now married, so I cried some more. I prayed that I had followed God’s plan and that my expectations were Godlike and holy. I had a hard time, because those expectations and the his refusal to abide by them meant my marriage was over and marriage is supposed to be for life. I have worked hard to lean on God and know that a Godly marriage is for life. What he was proposing and expecting was not Godly. It was not going to be a union that would allow us to continue our walk with God. I realized when I read this article and I didn’t cry reading the actions required by both parties that I was further in my healing than I knew. I am still very sad that he will not turn to God and follow Him. But I know that my face is turned to God and He will not betray me. I am safe in His arms. I continue to read and study materials from the SYMBIS group. I have two adult children and they have felt the betrayal of broken promises from their dad as well. I am determined to become armed with the knowledge needed to guide them to the healthiest marriages possible. I appreciate the work that this group does. Thank you

  • Lisa R says:

    Amen Angela!! I too had that happen after 28 years. My kids are younger but I did not want them to be tainted & thinking marriage can’t be lifelong & Godly. Divorce showed them more strength of Gods character & ability then I imagined & all of us became closet to God. It all is meant for good in the end & have faith they will still know what God deems to be right & wrong. That never changes??

  • Debbie Todd Georgatos says:

    Very good information/advice, but some spouses who have ruined trust don’t want to admit that they have and want to blame their actions on their spouse. In my marriage, the trust has been broken because my husband has been consistently dishonest about financial issues/assets for many years; whole marriage. When he has gone behind my back and been dishonest, he will blame it on me so he doesn’t have to look at himself; and accuses me of just not forgiving him. Every once in awhile he will apologize and say he is going to change the behavior, but then slips back into denial. Anyway, after 42 years I have had to accept that he doesn’t want to change his dishonesty and manipulation, but there can be no real reconciliation when this is the case. Yes, I can and have forgiven but when he does another act, it’s a whole new forgiveness process again. We have tried counseling, but my husband tries to use the counselor to fix me so to speak; he doesn’t go to the counseling to fix himself, but to fix me and he changes what the counselor has said when we leave the counseling session. So after trying many times of trying counseling, I have realized that counseling won’t work for us. Please pray for me, another dishonest incident happened this last week and I am in the forgiving stage. Thank you.

    • Sandra Kanady says:

      Thank you for replying I needed to hear I was not the only person in that situation. I’ll pray for both of us.

  • Marla says:

    My husband forwarded this to me today. The other night he said he had last all faith in me! I have been faithful to him our entire dating life and marriage for over 11 years. We had a baby girl 9 years ago and after that I was diagnosed ADHD and mild depression when she was two. He doesn’t seem to have empathy for me or my daughter. She was diagnosed the same at age 5 with sensory processing disorder and anxiety and ODD tendencies… School gave her ASD high functioning autism diagnosis. I have to admit that I did put her first for a while we she started having major issues. I think he may have lost faith in God… And is taking it out on us… He is angry that his perfect bride is not perfect… And our child isn’t either. She has been in sp ed since second half of Kinder but he doesn’t. The only thing I have done wrong is try my best to do what he asks me to do around the house etc…i don’t get my tasks done to his satisfaction a lot and when I don’t agree with his parenting I have stepped in and “underminded” him in front of her. I have tried to keep a physical lationship with him but he is not at all affectionate toward me then wants to have sex with just a few minutes of touching or massage or less! I told him I don’t feel like being intimate if he is not kind to me and is constantly critical to me and our daughter. I am glad he is sending this but I feel I should be sending it to him…. I have been married 2 X before… Both 5 “years and they were both unfaithful and I would say addicted to porn and more… So his behavior makes be think.. Could he be using it to?? Or unfaithful! I was act going to ask him about my feelings and then I got this…. So we will see what happens.

  • Sarah says:

    I’ve got a hard question. What if the betrayer refuses to acknowledge or understand the damage he’s done? What if it’s been 33 years worth and he continues to follow the same path of pride and arrogance and unrepentance? What if his whole family is suffering the effects of it? How does one even begin to heal from this situation if the one who did the damage is continuing to wound?

  • Bruce W says:

    Though my wife and I never ever had any financial trust issues, neither spend money frivolously, she nevertheless wanted to have her own bank account and I would operate our joint account. This was temporary but was important for her because I had caused her pain and insecurity. This was just a tangible manner by which she took control and gained some independence. Though it hurt me, I checked my ego at the door and we went with it. The betrayer needs to do whatever it takes, no matter how odd the request, to foster her trust. Do so every single day.

  • Hopeless says:

    47 years of marriage and I still have the same problem I had the first year. I have changed! My husband flirts in front of me he wants attention from everyone I seem to bring around him. Hard to explain but I have asked him nicely to stop, I have warned him about specific girls and friends , Please do not do this H goes after them like a bull to a red flag, it does not matter if I ask nice or scream, same result . He dose this over and over he uses every excuse in the book, I am just a friendly guy!!! If he drinks he invites them home so he can cook for them, at that time he had never cooked form. But will he is the best cook!!! I ride horse’s and am good at it, I have forgiven him over and over until I am blue in the face, I begin to trust we go out with a couple and sure enough I walk up to them and he is telling her ” There is that beautiful smile” and acting like he think she great. funny she told her husband she thought he was boring!!!! He was red in the face I was look at the horse show and enjoying myself. Funny her husband wanted to have an affair with me. My husband is stupid, we fight he tells me the same thing he has told me for forty seven years, He will never do it again he knows how much it hurts me!!!! He lies!!! last huge lie he lost all our retirement. I had God, I did not know when I was 17 this would be a marriage of me trying and him acting like a fool. The softness has left me now, because no matter how many times I forgave him he still acts stupid. Says he loves me, what kind of love is this???? I am to old to get a divorce and start all over, have sons and grandchildren, I have been ask by other men leave him. Why can’t I. I kept thinking he would stop hurting me this way but have no real faith of that any more, I just stopped going out with my business friends with him, I just do not trust him to act properly in front of them and be hurt and have them know. A women knows when a man likes her and I know when my husband likes a women. Very sad I love God but have no more time left to keep forgiving over and over again.
    Signed Hopeless!

  • Blessing says:

    Am still dealing with my husband of 10years severely infidelity and he said he is changed man.but i cant trust him again. I pray for God to restore my love back

  • S says:

    Never become an enabler to someone who says that I’m sorry, but never changes. This is the time to step back, access the situation and realize that love for God and self is more important. If you keep on forgiving them and they never change, you become an enabler. The definition of an enabler is; a person or thing that makes something possible.
    “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” —-Tony Gaskins
    A person that forgives an unrepentant and unremorseful spouse, is the one that keeps letting it happen, so therefore they are not a victim, but therefore an enabler. He or she will keep on doing the same thing over and over again until you put a stop to it.

  • Miss Kaur says:

    Not only did I hurt my husband I hurt his family too.. I stole from my in laws (I didn’t mean too) now his family is saying if she stays we can’t meet you.. I know I made huge mistakes but no one is giving me another chance. It’s like I’m not important for him..

    • Tanya says:

      I am going through the same thing with my husband of 26 years. I was hiding taking pain pills from him for a few years and I finally couldn’t take any of it and the guilt anymore and went and got clean almost 8 months ago. He did come home only 5 weeks after I got out of detox but a month later left again. I have tried and tried. There was a time months back where we would get together once in awhile now it’s to the point he is just plain angry at me and everything is my fault. I was a stay at home mom for 20 years and he had just stopped paying the rent for our house. I only work part time now and couldn’t afford it and last week we were evicted. It was all in his name. He isn’t paying any of his credit cards and we worked so hard for our credit for past 4 years. I feel horrible and sick for what I did to him but now I am living in a hotel with one of our children and he has gone to live in a camper with our younger daughter who is 16 who now won’t talk to me either. Everyday is a living nightmare. I have never prayed so much in my life. All I can do is work and do the best I can for myself and daughter. I did push and push but now I stopped as he was getting threatening with me. He just can’t seem to overcome the anger. We did have a great marriage and did everything together. We have only known to be with each other our entire adult lives. What else can I do?

  • Snow says:

    Hi everyone
    I am 26 years old and i cheated on my husband 10 years back, before i cheated on him one of our friends told me that, he slept with my best friend, hr didnt deny sleeping with her nor said anything about the whole situation. I decided to leave him but after two months we got back together..he made a promise that he will never cheat on me, not that long we were back together i found out he has been cheating on me, i ended up cheating on him as i felt he didnt appreciate me. I was a teenager when this happened. He found out about the affair and decided to cheat back on me..calling his girlfriends in my presence, i told myself i deserved the treatment because i slept with the person i cheated with, now my husband has a believe that i loved the much older guy i had an affair with. I took the responsibility of what i done the problem is he is not willing to take part in this whole saga.. he wants me to figure out how we mend things he has nothing to do with the situation. Please help me i need an advice.

  • Rebecca says:

    My hisband of 8 years has yet again been cheating on me. Only this time it was with my neighbours daughter . This is the 3rd person that he’s cheated on me with. I dont know if I can trust him again. We have 4 children , but he’s cheated on me in the last 3 pregnancies. Really need advice

  • Rene says:

    The thing with infidelity is that the act is not a deal breaker.
    My husband had an emotional affair quickly progressing to physical less than a year ago.
    The news was incredibly devastating to me. He was one who would never cheat, didn’t understand cheaters, made a pact with me in the beginning of our marriage to leave it before you cheat on it, and he looked down on those who did these things to their families.
    I myself have been tempted by the curiosity but never got close enough to the fruit because I knew what I had, I knew what I would lose, and nothing was worth risking my life and my family. But I remembered WHY I seemed so tempted.
    Self destructive at that time. Death in the family left me in despair. Depressed. Disconnected.
    The appeal was only to that self destructive side.
    The excitement of doing something you are not supposed to and if you get caught you are taking that risk of losing it all. Who cares if your self destructive. So knowing what I could have tripped into versus what my husband DID… I started trying to wrap my mind around WHY?!
    The woman was not attractive. Not his type. I knew her. She had worked for him previous to the affair. He did not like her, her personality, etc. After she quit he contacted her for computer file locations. She took this as an opportunity to start texting him. Told him she always thought he was good looking. It escalated quickly from there. Lasted a hot month. Texts to phone conversations to a quick meet up. Friendly to hands on.
    During this time he was under extreme pressure at work as a foreman, was drowning in a failed oilfield business we had purchased, he was gaining weight, thinning on top, and having trouble in the performance area of our relationship.
    When he got caught he tried to place the blame on me. But this wasn’t about me. It was ALL about HIM.
    The morning after this had come to light… he realized I wanted us. He seemed genuinely surprised… which saddened me. He stayed up all night crying. I wanted to press forward and get behind this. My husband was lost in his own grief and betrayal. He didn’t even know who HE was anymore. I had come up to our room that next morning. Knocked on our bathroom. He came to the door frazzled. He began whimpering and crying and said I saved his life. He had a gun in the shower, said a prayer, as he went to pull the trigger, I knocked.

    My husband would never kil himself either. I knew he wasn’t himself. None of this was. That is what helps me wrap my mind around this emotional quickly progressing infidelity.

    It still hurts. Terribly. But we are pressing forward.

  • Jo says:

    We’ve been married almost 30 years. both believers (rc) . From the beginning of our marriage, there was porn addiction, lies, and little intimacy. I hardened my heart, acknowledged my mistake, and planned my escape. Then i got pregnant and we chose to abort…biggest regret of my life. I went on to commit adultery, about 11 times!! self destructing. We separated, but reconciled. Became Christians in ‘97’ Then the internet took over from videos. My eyes and body kept wandering…We are still together, just about, trying to re-commit, but the trust has gone. We have completely broken each other down. No children, no hope for a future. Retirement looks bleak. We ruined our lives. How did we become so evil/immoral? we’ve been faithful for the past decade, but The damage is done. Forgiveness is easier said than done…There are always consequences with betrayal. Please Think twice before breaking HIS Commandments…. ‘with The Lord, all things are possible’

  • Ann M says:

    It was revealed to me that I had a relationship with someone many years ago 25+ back when I was dating my now husband. Back then I was confronted and denied the situation and we moved on. Now it was brought to light that it is true, he knows who it was with but I have NO recollection of ever doing this. We are trying to work on us and trust .. and I have to somehow remember this situation but I truly don’t remember the person or anything about it. Any suggestions.

  • Rene Wijaya says:

    It can not be avoided if we doubt our spouse, then it will lead to spying them. One of the popular way these days is using an App to monitor their messages, and photos, etc. This breach of privacy I do not think will do anyone good, which will end up breaking the relationship in the same manner.

  • Gigi says:

    And what if the betrayer does Not stay away from the other person after promising to do so, and begins lying about where they are and what they are doing.

  • Lm says:

    My husband and I have been married for 6 years been together 8 years we’ve had alot of outside drama being drugged into our marriage over the last 5 years we’ve had ups and downs and I finally started talking to people I thought we’re my friends about the issues cause my husband wouldn’t listen to me about the issues they told and embellish it he came to me and told me he new majority of it wasn’t true but he was still mad about it he has a right to be mad he’s giving me another chance to fix this issue it’s been a month things have gotten better between us some he’s talking to me more and giving me more firmer hugs but my concern is I don’t want to push it too fast so my question is should i keep giving him space and let him come to me when he’s ready to be more intimate or should i start trying with baby steps and see how it goes I know you shouldn’t just automatically start trying to be intimate with your spouse once trust is broken right after you start trying to work things out cause it could make them more distant what would y’all do in my shoes wait for him to start it or at least try

  • Claire P says:

    Its very difficult to restore the trust in someone and I am in the same situation right now. While looking for the help I came across your article and will definitely try these steps. Thanks for sharing these and I hope it helps.

  • Dobry Ann says:

    I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr Mutaba, he has the perfect solution to relationship issues and marriage problems. The main reason why i went to Dr Mutaba was for solution on how i can get my husband back was because in recent times i have read some testimonies on the internet which some people has written about Dr Mutaba and i was so pleased and i decided to seek for assistance from him, which he did a perfect job by making my husband to come back to me and beg for forgiveness.I will not stop publishing his name on the net because of the good work he is doing. I will drop his contact for the usefulness of those that needs his help should contact him via email [greatmutaba @ yahoo . com or greatmutaba @ gmail . com) or add him on whatsapp +234 805 468 1416 ] You can contact him today and get your problem solved.

  • Thelma says:

    Life can be very displeasing especially when we lose the ones we love and cherish so much. In this kind of situation where one loses his/her soul mate, there are several dangers engage in it. One may no longer be able to do the things he/she was doing before, then success will be very scarce and happiness will be rare. When a person was created to be with you for without him/her, things may fall apart. That was my experience late last year. but thank god today I am a happy woman again. all thanks to Erica, I was nearly losing hope until I saw an article on how Erica helped someone get her lover back. There is no harm in trying, I said to my self. I contacted her via email: emagicp101 @ g m a i l . com. the rest is history. Words will not be enough to appreciate what she has done for me. I have promised to share the good news as long as I live. Here is her web site just in case you wish to visit her ericaraven. webs . com

  • Gladys says:

    My spouse and i both betrayed our trust-he cheated but thinks i do not know and i allowed third party into our marriage and also kept financial secrets. Of course my actions hurt his family more than his. He even went as far as denying my pregnancy, slandering my name to his family. Now i have forgiven him. I am willing to make my marriage work and fulfill my viw but he is not. He talks about same things all the time, tells me he is miserable, tell me he does not see true happiness with me. We have a 5mnth old son now but it has been a daily struggle. I am really at a crossroad…..i really donot want to give up.

  • John says:

    I’m 34 years old and my wife is 31. I’ve dated my wife for 15 years and married for 4 years now, in total I know my wife for 19 years out of 34 years of my age and vice-versa. But recently I was cheating on my wife for about 10 months with her friend and her friends husband and I are close friends too. I’ve had sex only once but I’ve been chatting with the other person from 10 months and she had a baby and recently we found out the biological father of the baby is me. The women I cheated with and her husband are getting separated. My wife is strong for the Love I’ve shown to her over the years(strong is the small word). But unfortunately I’m not able to take the guilt and regret for my wrong doing. I’ve not regretted when I was involved in the affair but later when I got caught I feel remorse and very sorry(is this being opportunistic?). Also, while cheating my wife I gave a justification to myself that me and my wife out of all the 19 years had sex very few times(now I regret for that justification). I’m questioning myself of what I did and the pain is unbearable. I know my wife is going through hell and I’m not sure how to support her. I’m trying my best to stay calm and support her as much as I can but the guilt is killing me from inside. I know it’s a long road ahead but I’m getting suicidal thoughts which somehow I conveyed to my wife, which I think is not fair on me as I’ve already betrayed her and on top now I’m kind of blackmailing her of suicide which I shouldn’t have done. I feel really bad for cheating on my wife, she is love of my life and I betrayed her. I want to console her but I’m not able to get closer to her of the guilt I have. What I did was wrong both for my friend and my wife and I am not able to live with it. I’ve crossed the border of suicidal thoughts as my wife gave me confidence of not leaving me and out of all this tough time she’s the one who’s very tough and managing all my wrong doing. I want to be with my wife and be loyal to her and do the right thing. For which we both need help. Can you guys suggest me what should we do? Counseling/psychiatrist or any suggestions would be good. It is really unbearable to see my wife suffer and also for my friend. If there is anything like hell im sure I’ll go there afterlife for the deed I did. But before that I’d want to do good for my wife and for the society I live in so my sins can atleast come a little down.
    On top because of my involvement there is a baby in this world who will grow up without a father. I don’t even want for my enemy to go through what I’m going through now. This is real hard. I need to do justice to my wife, In order to do that I’ll never be seeing that baby. I don’t know what situation I’m in now but I’m devastated.

  • victoria says:

    and sometimes without internet and light went off.

  • Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but i think you offer something different. Keep it like this.
    Nice article. Its really nice. Many info help me. don’t stop the super work!

  • AP says:

    It’s a wonderful article, I have lied to my wife and children for years and broken their trust to the point that I am no one today. I had everything in life and today I have nothing. I have nothing more to lose other than my life. They are still kind enough to keep me in the house and support me. I love them to bits and want to regain their trust, I don’t know if I ever will but I will die trying rather then just killing myself which will only leave them scarred due to my mistakes. I was watching explicit videos (not porn) on youtube and periscope and had multiple email accounts to access them. Over the years I kept fighting with myself trying to stop myself from watching those videos by shutting down the email accounts and then after months opening a new account to access them again. I made a mistake by following a few girls on Snapchat and asking one of them where she was from and she sent me a nude pic of her and then I never went back on it for months but then I again got weak and went back when I was caught and now my family thinks I paid people to go there pics which I didn’t and they think this is me cheating on my wife. I would never cheat on my wife but no one trusts me now, To prevent the humiliation I lied multiple times but now no one believes me even if I tell the truth. I guess I deserve that and as it was mentioned in the article – “Accountability can hurt your pride, but leave your ego at the door. It’s hard to have to earn your spouse’s trust after you have injured them. You’d rather them just take you at your word and begin trusting you again since you’ve apologized for your actions, but you have to be willing to surrender that”. I will try and see what fate has for me otherwise I’ll be left with no options but a slow, lonely death in some corner of this world where no one would ever find me.

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  • Great Article. Really Informative and Helpful. Thanks for sharing it with us. Appreciate it.

  • cindy kumal says:

    Today the world we are living in is full of evil. This can be in form of evil spirits, evil people or greedy and selfish people but as well as sweet and good lovely people. Now the bad and evil people are doing the obvious which is expected from them, that;s hurting everyone just for them to get what they want. It doesn’t matter anymore who you are good or bad you have to protect yourself from such people otherwise they will hurt you. These come to us in form of Friends, Husbands, Wives, Boyfriends or Girl friends, colleagues, our in-laws, Bosses, Pastors, Healers and many many more now since we all know that there are good and nice people out there as well but how do we separate them from the evil ones.
    I always tell my people at that those who hurt us, betray us, harm us, steal from us, break our hearts, are always the ones next to us. Our trusted friends, partners, bosses, associates, family members, Reasons could be jealousy, selfishness and greed, evil heart, even using you and many more. But you should learn to protect yourself from such people, protect you body, your heart and your soul because yes everything is valuable.
    let me tell you a story.
    A long time ago in a small town, there lived a merchant who had fallen into the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter, so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant’s debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl will then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble she would become the moneylenders wife and her fathers debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble, however, she need not to marry him and her father’s debts would still be forgiven. But if she refuse to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail. They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the merchant’s garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag. The girl put her hand into the bag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles. “Ooh how clumsy of me” she said. “But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble i picked”.
    YOU see in you lives, there will always be people who will always try to take advantage of you. But my dear sometimes its necessary to think out of the box. Sometimes its necessary to ask for help or to bend the rules if someone tries to cheat you, be smart about it and keep your eyes open. we are surrounded by selfish, bad people. keep your eyes open, your heart caged sometimes we are our only hope.

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