If you’re trying to fathom how you could ever rebuild the trust in your marriage, it means you’ve had it broken in a big way. That’s so painful and scary because it seems so permanent!
If you’re feeling bad because you feel responsible for breaking your husband’s trust, you might also be struggling to know how you can get that back, which can fill you with regret and fear.
Or, if he let you down in a big way, you may feel like you’d be a sucker to trust him again. Whether he lied, cheated or spent money recklessly, it’s completely natural to feel like vigilance, not trust, is the smart thing to do.
Either way, I’ve got a terrific exercise that will help you powerfully rebuild the trust in your marriage.
First of all, kudos to you for reading this. Because wanting to rebuild trust is like saying you want to be the woman who expects the best from your husband and who gives him her best too.
And the good news is: you can be her again, and he can be the man who deserves your trust. Or vice versa.
We’re going to talk about how to rebuild the trust in both directions.
If you’re the one who feels that your trust was betrayed, here’s secret #1 for rebuilding trust.
1. Pretend You Do Trust Him
I had to stretch to trust my husband to manage our finances years ago, the area where I had the least amount of trust in him. It took all my might.
But I learned that the only way you can ever trust someone is to decide to trust them.
Trusting doesn’t include checking up on someone to make sure they’re behaving. That’s the definition of doubting and mistrust.
Trusting can involve wrestling with your own doubts in the night or taking them to a third party—not the person you’re trusting.
It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get hurt again. You might.
So why on earth would you decide to trust again?
For one thing, being in a perpetual state of doubt is exhausting and painful.
But I’ve discovered that the best reason to decide to trust my husband is that choosing my faith instead of my fear dramatically improves my chances of experiencing the outcome I want.
It’s like the part in the Serenity Prayer that references “the courage to change the things I can.”
Sure, it’s scary as heck sometimes. But as Ambrose Redmoon wrote, “Courage is not the absence of fear but the decision that something else is more important.”
Like trusting my husband to handle our bills. I was so afraid, but I decided that it was more important to have financial intimacy than to give into my fear, and you know what? My fear that I couldn’t count on him was wrong.
He handles our finances beautifully. It’s such a gift and a relief.
2. Talk to Your Future Self
In the Ridiculously Happy Wife group coaching program and the Diamond private coaching program, we have a very popular training about talking to your future self, where I invite you to go a year into the future and ask yourself how things turned out in your relationship so that you can find out that—spoiler alert—everything went the way you wanted it to.
Your dreams came true and your relationship is better than ever!
So spend some time visiting your future self and filling out that vision for yourself, about how strong and confident you feel about your relationship, how much trust there is between you.
Especially if you’re the one who feels guilty for betraying his trust, let your future self tell you all about how you rebuilt the trust.
After you do that part, which is critical because you’ve gotta have a vision, ask yourself these powerful questions: How would you show up differently today if you knew that your vision for a year from now was how things were going to turn out?
What would you do today?
That’s a powerful way to shake off your fear and choose your faith.
I always get blown away by hearing how my students use this training to actually get to the wonderful relationship they imagined back when I invited them to do this exercise.
If they can do it, why not you?
3. Get a Tribe
I know these suggestions that involve pretending and visualizing may sound too airy fairy or you may just struggle to get yourself to do them.
You might have a lot of “yeah but…” thoughts coming up right now. I get it.
I always encourage you to stretch but not to tear.
One thing that helps me be brave and stretch when I’m afraid is being with a like-minded group of women who stand for my greatness, want to see me succeed and are being brave themselves.
It’s contagious. When I see them doing it, it makes me want to do the scary thing that I’m nervous about. It gives me wings. I see it with students too.
If that’s you, then how weird that I’m talking about you in third-person, right?
What I mean to say is that you, who are part of my community of like-minded women who think marriage is important, make me braver.
You do it by:
- Sharing your story on the Empowered Wife podcast, as over 180 students have done.
- Encouraging me with reviews on Apple Podcasts. Thanks for that.
- Sharing your challenges and your insights so vulnerably in our groups.
- Training to become a coach.
- Being a coach.
- Putting on workshops and events like the Cherished for Life Weekend in Australia.
- Going to those events.
- Using your voice to stand for marriage.
- And stretching to rebuild the trust in your marriage even when it seems like it just won’t work.
Together, we really are rebuilding trust in marriage.
If there has been a breach in your marriage, which of these three experiments will you try?