It’s terrible to feel like you can’t trust the man you married, whether you don’t trust him to be faithful, to take care of the kids, or to be responsible with money.
It just feels bad.
It means you don’t feel heard or seen because if he were listening and he did care, then he would listen to your concerns and try to support you by doing the things you want him to do so that you could trust him.
It’s also depressing because if you can’t get him to straighten up, then it seems pretty hopeless that you’d ever be able to trust him, especially if he keeps letting you down and reinforcing that he doesn’t deserve your trust.
How’s that ever going to improve?
Here are 3 ways to inspire him to be a trustworthy man.
1) Consider This Crazy Idea
What if, instead of asking him to do things so that you can trust him, you turned the whole thing on its head by deciding to trust him first?
I know that sounds crazy, especially if you have evidence that he doesn’t deserve your trust. But another way to think of trust is something you decide to give.
What’s counterintuitive but also exciting about this is that people tend to rise to your expectations of them.
When you demonstrate that you have faith in them, they feel the full weight of that responsibility and trust you’re giving them.
2) Let Him Drive
In the movie The Horse Whisperer, Robert Redford invites young Scarlett Johansson to drive, and she says she’s not old enough and can’t with her impaired leg.
There’s plenty of evidence he should not trust her to drive the truck.
But he decides to trust her anyway, and terrified Scarlett rises to the occasion, presses the gas and makes the truck lurch forward. It’s not pretty, but it works.
Next he tells her to turn the truck down a dirt road and she says she can’t, but she does.
Finally, he puts his hat over his eyes, saying he’s going to get some rest while she drives, which prompts her to say she can’t again, but he points out that she IS driving already, so that’s not the question.
Had he invited her to drive with the expectation that she couldn’t do it, was going to hurt herself, hurt him or crash the truck, that outcome could have been very different.
When he decided to trust her, he also found reasons to believe it would turn out okay, like that she was mature enough, wanted to succeed, and just needed some encouragement to stretch into doing something new and scary.
What a gift to give her that, right? Anyone who’s ever taught a teenager to drive knows how terrifying that is.
But Robert Redford was confident enough for both of them.
3) Try an Experiment
What I love about the scene from The Horse Whisperer is the illustration that although we’re often taught that trust is earned, trust is actually something that you can decide to give.
You could decide to do the same thing with your husband and give him your trust.
That means not expecting him to fail but expecting him to succeed.
What if you gathered not the evidence of what’s wrong with him but the evidence of what’s right about him, even if that feels sparse?
What might be possible for you if you were to try this experiment? I’d love to hear in the comments.