Nov 272009
 

Can you trust your husband after an affair? It depends why he cheated. It’s difficult to rebuild trust in marriage after the affair, but your bond may become stronger.

Here’s something to think about – a quip!

“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.”  ~ Doug Larson.

If you’re dealing with the worst of your marriage (infidelity, money problems or debt, illness, etc), remember that your relationship with your spouse could actually get better.

Trusting your husband after he cheated on you is “easier” (! it’s never easy!) if you know you’re not alone. Reading books like After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful can help you move from mourning to healing to forgiveness to acceptance.

Here are a few tips on healing after an affair…

How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair

Use your husband’s physical or emotional infidelity as an opportunity to build a better marriage and take care of the things you were avoiding or letting languish.

Mourn the loss of your marriage as it was. Your marriage will never be the same after an affair, and it’s important to grieve that loss. You will never be the same – and either will husband spouse. It’s the end of one chapter of your marriage, and the beginning of another – possibly healthier and happier – stage.

Remember that rebuilding marriage trust takes time. It’s very difficult to trust a husband after an affair because infidelity shakes the entire foundation of your marriage. If you can accept and commit to the long, challenging process of rebuilding your marriage, your relationship stands a better chance of succeeding.

If you’re not sure if you want to trust your husband after an affair, read You’re Not Happy Being Married, But Not Sure Divorce is the Answer.

Take responsibility for your role in the affair. It’s important to remember that in most cases of infidelity, both spouses carry some responsibility. I’m not defending unfaithful husbands or wives; you might want to read Why Men Cheat – Insights From a Marriage Counselor for an explanation of how both spouses contribute to affairs in relationships. To rebuild marriage trust, you need to accept your own culpability, because most affairs happen because of problems in the relationship.

Understand why the affair occurred. Take a step back and try to understand why your husband cheated from his perspective. What was he seeking? Healing and rebuilding trust involves seeing the reasons for your spouse’s behavior, and then figuring out what you can do to save your marriage and make your relationship better.

Practice self-forgiveness. Be kind to yourself; you did the best you could in your marriage, with your spouse, and with your children. Infidelity may trigger feelings of guilt or shame – even in the spouse that wasn’t unfaithful. To rebuild trust, you need to forgive yourself for real or perceived mistakes.

Practice forgiving your husband. Forgiving a betrayal isn’t a one-time thing. Forgiveness is a process that you may have to go through several times a day, week, or month! If your husband’s behavior doesn’t change – if he’s still unfaithful or deceptive – then you won’t be able to forgive him. And if you can’t forgive him, then you won’t be able to rebuild marriage trust. So, your husband needs to take an active role in saving your marriage.

Tell your husband what you need from him. To trust your husband after an affair, what do you need from him? Do you need time apart? Proof that the affair is over? Regular phone calls throughout the day to reassure you that he’s where he says he will be? Figuring out and sharing what you need from your husband can help rebuild trust because it gives you some control. To make sure the control you’re taking is healthy, I encourage you to…

Make an appointment with a marriage counselor. If you want to save your marriage, consider seeking couples therapy so you can work out your issues together. A marriage counselor who has professional experience with infidelity can help you reunite and rebuild. If you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress because of the infidelity (or other life issues), consider going for individual therapy first or simultaneously.

For more tips on trusting your husband, read Is It Too Late to Repair Your Relationship? It Depends…

 

Can you rebuild trust in your marriage – and your husband – after the affair?

 

How to Get Your Ex Back

Stop the Divorce and Save Your Marriage

How to Captivate a Man and Make Him Fall in Love With You

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen (but I wish my name was Rosie Frost!). I'm a bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer. My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher, Mr Merritt, always used to ask me that. And I am happy - despite a difficult childhood (schizophrenic mother, no father, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian.

How is your life unfolding - what do you need? I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion.... Laurie

  48 Responses to “How to Trust Your Husband After an Affair – From Mourning to Healing”

  1. There aren’t any black-and-white answers or solutions after your husband has an affair. Some women can trust their husbands after they cheated, and other women immediately end their marriages. It depends on so many factors: the marriage relationship, why the husband cheated, who he cheated with, when, how the wife found out about it — and that’s just the very surface of it!

    Nobody can tell you if you should forgive your husband after he cheated on you.

  2. What married couples need is to stop focusing on perfection and just try having fun together. take trips, vacations and picnics to just go and have fun as you enjoy each others company. that will remind you why you fell in love and got married in the first place.

  3. as i am a psychiatrist still facing a mental state disturbance because of my husband this is very difficult to tackle & dealt with cheated husband still it was an love marriage he cheated me for more than 3 months in 4 yrs relationship but still i am i was unable to stable my self

  4. In April 2010 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, throughout this awful time my husband was fantatic, a huge support & is never have got through it without him. Then on February 19 the world as I knew it came crashing round my ears, I found out that he had been having an online relationship with a woman from a weightloss website. They had never met, well they couldn’t because they live in different continents! But that didn’t stop them professing their love for each other & what they would do to each other should they ever meet!!
    They had been chatting for 4 months but only intimately for a month or so he says! & in the last 3 weeks there were phone calls & text messages. I managed to find a way to log on & read every single disgusting message they sent to each other. I was devastated. Still am!!!! We are trying to work it out & to be fair he really is trying, but I’m finding it so hard to move on. Why would he do that after everything we had been through? I just feel so lost & hurt. I love him but don’t know if that’s enough. Id be grateful for any advice. Tho just writing this down has helped, all be it a little.

  5. I HAVE BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BOYFRIEND FOR GOING ON SIXTEEN YEARS.WE HAVE A 5YR OLD AND A 1.5 YR OLD.HE JUST TOLD ME HE HAS A DAUGHTERWHO IS JUST 2WKS APART FROM MY 1.5YR OLD.I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MUCH PAIN AND HURT .I CAN`T EVER TRUST THIS MAN AGAIN I EVEN THINK THAT I HATE HIM.I HAVE TWO CHILDREN TO THINK ABOUT,YHEY LOVE THEY FATHER SO MUCH.I WANT TO END THIS RELATIONSHIP BUT I DON`T WANT TO HURT MY CHILDREN.HE IS REALLY TRYING HARD TO MAKE AMENDS BUT MY PAIN IS JUST TOO MUCH.HOW DO I MOVE ON FROM HERE

  6. I have been m arried for 7 years , My husband is such a wonderful man hes kind and caring and everything I have always wanted in a man.. when we first got married I was 18 and he was 20 we didnt really know what the true meaning of marriage was. I had a 3 year old from a previouse long term relationship and her father was in prison.. When he got out all the feelings came rushing back so I made a mistake I went backk it killed my husband so he then cheated on me with his ex. we got back together and my daughters father died and everything was great we moved on.. I was at home one day and his nextel rang it was gi female and he had given her his number at the drive thru of a restraunt… SO I reacted badly and held a grudge and 1 month later I cheated on him. I came clean and told him about everything and he flipped out and started a online dating profile met a girl in Sarasota and began a sexual relationship going to see her and what not I found out about it and just couldnt continue living our lives this way so we both sat down and said that this was it either we loved each other or we dont… We forgave each other and moved on. From that point on we both decided to give our marriage everything we had nd be 100% faithful to one another. Here it is 2012 and we are still togther and have a great marriage and couldnt ask for more we have a 3 great children togethera 10 yr old a 6 yr old and a 21 month old! We received a letter in the mail for a DNA on this little girl…. From the women he had slept with. NOW I am so confused and dont know if I want this anymore I dont know if I c an handle another women in my life forever with him.. It is not the child I am worried about she turned 2 in January and I have no problems with the baby she didnt ask to be born and she is 100% innocent but the mother is another story. I just dont think I can do this and now I am lost. all the suspicion and worries are coming back to me and I dont trust my husband anyore I stopped looking for reasons to susoect him of doing things now that I am looking for them again it seems like I am finding more and more is it my mind playing tricks on me or what! I dont know where to go from here I desperatly love my husband and our family but I cant deal with this thing again in our lives!

  7. By the way I wanted to add also that i wrote an email to the lady in question to ask if she has reciprocated the letter of my husband or there was more to it, but she chose to ignore my email and it looks like she’s told it to another friend. My husband said that shes innocent because he felt she became distant from him after she received the letter which he dropped in her mailbox but because of her ignoring my emails I suspect she also wanted to have an affair. But I want to give her the benefit of the doubt because there wasn’t at anytime that I have seen my husband and her having a long conversation and that my husband is 24/7 with me and I kept checking his phone. He said there wasn’t any contact on phone or email or text, just that one letter he sent to her and that was it. He was so guilty and kept saying sorry and cry and promised that he will never break my heart again and then he realized now that he will be lost without me and that he loved me so much. I am confused because I will have to make sure we won’t be joining the group where the woman in question regularly go to and because of that I am now ashamed because of the stupidity of my husband he said he will not choose this woman over me and that he’s so scared of me leaving him if he tells me the underlying problems and want to make sure to secure himself in the arms of another woman eventhough he admits if this woman will even like him. So please let me know what you think! Is it worth saving this marriage after I found out he got lost in the track and planned on cheating on me?

  8. I am glad to find this site because I am going thru a very hard situation right now. I have a blissful marriage and my husband is the kindest most loving man in my life. O have helped him deal with his ex partner who was giving him a lot of trouble and blackmailing him and after we got married I still help him deal with abusive letters from the ex. We were victorious because the ex stopped all her abuse. Now in our marriage I feel that I am more intellectual and he is indecisive in many ways that’s why I took charge.
    Taking charge is not easy because I do things that I know is right and he agrees on it as well. However, there was no indication that he was being unhappy. One day I found out 2 draft letters he wrote to a friend of mine and the letter states that he wanted to have a chat and get to know each other better. But he also wrote lovely things to this woman and words like I will miss you, you’re gorgeous , and if she can give him her phone discreetly and that he will keep it private, I confronted him and there he was telling me things like he felt I have been too controlling and that I always put him down (whereas I don’t feel I do because I dress him up I tell him he looked gorgeous etc ) now it made me sick knowing that he blatantly disrespect me as a woman as his wife and he betrayed my trust in him and I felt it’s a betrayal of his vows and promises. In that 1 whole week he swore to the bible that it was just this one letter and it never went further, he was so remorseful and he said I don’t want to break up and he wanted to stay in our marriage. It was hard fir me too and I said many times that it will be much better if we just part ways as I will not be able to trust him again. He looked too miserable especially when I didn’t allow him in my bed for a week. He still said there wasn’t anything and I know he was telling the truth. He said he just needed a friend and that he felt I wasn’t giving him anymore attention. We talked things thru and because this was the first time anything happened to us as I believe in my heart he was just lost because he felt a lot of pressure being the only bread winner and by the way he also said that I was spending too much. Now after swing his remorse I decided to forgive him and after a week of finding it out we made love again. But after that I felt as if I made it too easy for him so I decided to tell him that the sleeping arrangement will remain the same (he in the spare room) and I said I will invite him when I want to or if I say so. And the worst thing is that I want to take revenge and want to cheat on him so that he can feel the same pain I felt when I found out about the draft letter. I don’t know if I can trust him again . What should I do? Leave him or carry on but Cheat him or give me a 2nd chance since it was only this time ever that he did that stupid thing. Please enlighten me

  9. Husbands Says I Only Concentrate On The Negative And Not The Positive Of Our Years Together

    THIS IS A LONG ONE::
    I met my husband in college when were were 20. He was a “flirt” in those days and even though I would get jealous I would say to myself “he is young, that is what young men do”, I know he went out with other girls but I decided to write it off until I became more serious and one time I caught him with someone else and broke up for 6 months. Eventually, I went back with him again, and after a couple of years of dating we married (no formal wedding) and we moved in together at 26. At 29, something was happening between us (from his side). I had a feeling but again I tried to think it was all in my head. My mother passed away that year too and he went to to Argentina for 3 weeks with his brother on a vacation. After he came back I found letters crumpled up in the trash that he was writing to some girl in Brazil. I didn’t say anything, again, I thought it was something I should handle but at the same time I blamed myself, I thought it was me, I had to deal with it. Throughout the years I traveled with my work, and there were times I would be suspicious, I would get upset. and again forget. We’ve had great times too, he is a good and responsible worker, so am I. We are not into debt and keeping up with the Joneses, instead we have invested in property and are very financially secured. About 11 years ago again, another one of those “times of doubt” began. He was coming home late and falling sleep in the sofa. I was also traveling a lot in my job as a Regional Transportation Mgr. but he never asked me to quit and never complained about my travel. He would show up late to pick me up at the airport and I would get in very bad moods, then just a kiss and he would go to sleep. I finally got a call from someone that he was seeing a woman. I eventually saw the same phone #’s in his cell bill and called it, and it was a woman. I didn’t confront her. I just wanted to hear her voice. Eventually I confronted him and he said that it was a lie and that someone was trying to hurt his marriage. He denied it but he had the cell phone bills mailed to his office ever since. All that time (a few months) we were not really “connected”. Something “was” going on. Eventually, it ended and he began to pay attention to me and we were great for a few years. I got pregnant at 41 and lost the baby at 5months. It was very devastating for both. We felt very close at that time. I was not traveling anymore as I had quit my “corporate” job and took up Real Estate. As time went by he began to get more busy again and we started to have this relationship of a couple that is just used to things. I would ask him to take more time off (3-5 days at least) and eventually he would. I normally ended up going on vacation with my father many times and with my sister. The last two years things really have become even more of a “roommate type” of relationship. I started thinking maybe “something again” was up. So, I decided that I would pay attention to myself and get into shape. I have been up and down in weight over the years but mostly in shape. Well, just last August I find out he has a 21 yr old daughter!! This goes back to 1989 the year my mother died and we had been married 6 years. He never acknowledged that this girl was his daughter when the woman told him (this is not the woman from Brazil, this woman is from here in LA). He says, he didn’t believe her and that he only wanted me and didn’t want to hurt me when he found out. But he wasn’t sure it was his child and time went by and he later found out she was married so he just let it go. So, he said that when I lost my baby 11yrs ago is that he felt remorse for this baby that might be his daughter. He didn’t actually try to find out (via DNA) until 2.5 yrs ago. He had a niece find her on FACEBOOK and it turned out that this girl was working near his job!! He befriended her (she not knowing his intentions) and eventually he got the DNA sample to prove she was his daughter. Until then, this girl had no idea she had another biological father. The mother never told her. Now, his daughter is having a hard time and I understand she has refused him. His family became aware also 2.5 years ago and some are her friends on FB. I discovered this after I just found out in August. He never had the courage to tell me so I found out via my sister who found out via my brother-in-law a week before I did. My husband had just told my brother-n-law but he couldn’t get the courage to tell me because he says he didn’t want to hurt me. AFTER finding out, my mind started to go back to the other times I thought or known something had been going on and the times I cried alone thinking it was just all in my head, etc. . I’ve become also detached in the last 2 years because of him being so busy with work and now he claims it was because of the daughter. I’ve always voiced my desire for us to do things together, to talk. Last time we went to the movies was in Nov 2010 and again it was because I told him we didn’t do anything together and it was getting boring. He claims again his work is exhausting and he is very tired. He does have time to have dinner with clients and would call me to come have have dinner. I refused many times because I had to drive 15miles in traffic to get over to his work area. But, it was never a dinner with “me”. My last birthday he had me meet him on his way home with his brother for my “birthday dinner” and he gave me a CROSS for my BD. I cried that evening and told him how out of touch he was to give me a “cross” with so many other things I actually like!! To me this also showed his disconnection with me. So, with all of this and the past issues, I began to feel so detached that I actually started to like sleeping alone and not really caring any more whether we did things together or not..I feel empty. I don’t hate him but I just can’t see myself continuing my life with him and forgetting everything. I feel I have to live with myself and be happy with me. He insists now that I’m throwing everything away!! That I’m only looking at the negative and not the positive. I told him it was not me who threw everything away, that he has done it with his lack of effort, mistrust, and indifference to my needs and our relationship as a married couple. It is really a combination of many things. I feel strong about my decision. I have given it time. Right now we don’t really speak much and have been living in the same house but I sleep in one bedroom and he in another. We also have our own bathrooms. I even waited to see it through the holidays and I didn’t feel myself missing him at Christmas or New Years. I was with my family who supports me 100%. Even my father who is 81 told me to do what was right for me. My issue now is that today, after I called him to tell him I wanted to start the divorce process, he called me and is making me think that I’m the one who is causing the divorce. I’ve told him that this had been coming a long while and that he had not noticed!! I believe he just got used to this relationship and yes, he loves me in his own way. He is a salesman and one of the BEST and he always has to win. He’s always told me I’m the woman of of life. I’m sure is true but then again, why all did he have to go out and look for others, why didn’t he pay attention when I’d been telling him we needed to spend time together? By the way, I have never ever cheated on him and I had the opportunity. I even quit one job because I didn’t want to do anything of the sort. I do care for him but not because I feel love for him in a romantic way. I told him that today again.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. We have been married for 5 years and have 3 children (one mine from previous marriage). He always seems to get into situations where “it appears” he is cheating, but has an explanation for everything(most of which have never made sence).He would tell “half truths” and tell me I was crazy when I would question him. I left him a few months ago and was back with in a week. I thought that he had realized that he wanted to spend his life with me, and only me. Things were going great! We were physacially connected in ways that we had not been in years. Emotionally connected in ways we had not been in years. Then out of the blue, a long time friend of mine showed up at our door with her child and needed a place to stay. She had nowhere to go. So with my good hearted nature, I allowed them to stay. I had a job where I worked evenings and would not get home until late at night. When I came home the third night, they both had been drinking, a lot! I was very upset about it as I did not think it was appropriate. Then one day she got very upset with my husband because he did not fix her flat tire on her car. I found it strange that she could be that upset with him over anything. After all we were providing ALL of her needs at that time. I chalked it up to her stress level. Then another day,out of the blue she asked me in front of him, if I remembered her telling me she could not have anymore children. I said “not really” and she continued to try to get me to remember. Finally I agreed, and she changed the subject quickly. I got tired of my husband and I arguing over her refusal to contribute to helping cook, clean or even care for her own child so I told my husband it was time for her to go. He argued with me about it and said it was not right for me to put her out. He asked if she gave me $50 if she could stay. I said propably not. The next day he claimed she gave him $50. I never saw the extra $50. Then I could not take the strife between him and I over her anymore and asked her to leave. Before she could get back to get her stuff he quickly went to our room and “went to bed”. As she was putting the last of her things in her car, she tells me he told her he wanted to have an affair with her. I quickly got him outside to confront the situation. They argued back and forth (with me feeling like the outsider) about half truths (his expression thrown at him by her) and “what she does not know won’t hurt her”. The both denyied any physical contact, but he admitted to more after drinking to much one night then claimed “I never said that and if I did I was just messing with you”. Long story short, they both deny anything happened. I can’t prove anything happened so I feel stuck in limbo. I don’t want to leave if nothing happened but at the same time, I feel like the non physical evidence shows it did. I also feel like I can’t move forward because I am to hurt by him not giving me the courtsey of telling me what happened. I don’t know what to do! It kills me everytime I try to talk about it and he tells me I am crazy and she was just scorned and made the whole thing up to mess with my head. How do I forgive and move forward? Is it even possible to move forward?

  11. I posted some comments on here back in July 2009. I’d like to look at the feedback. How can I get those comments?

  12. How awesome to find a site where all are pretty much in the same boat.
    And there is a spiritual aspect on this site which I so desperately need!!
    Please help me, and tell me how can I fix this devastating mess!!

    For the last year I have had a suspicion that my husband was involved with someone else. Yes I did the normal checks; I freaked out, tried to commit suicide. But he swears he has always been faithful. During the past year I have felt that he and I were drifting apart, mentally, emotionally and obviously physically. Then, 7 months ago I went to visit my parents alone for a weekend. When I got back I found out he lied about where he was during the time I was away. But I left it and 3 months later I had to go away (again to my parents) again for a weekend and guess what? Yes lies again. However, he sent me a text that was supposed to go to his friend (this friend’s wife and I are friends too) that said: “My friend if you speak to your wife I was only at the club. Thanks!” Well, of course I freak out this time!

    Then a few months ago I got really ill. I went to the doctor and we started with cervical cancer, but it was negative, thank goodness! But the end of it all is I have PID caused by Chlamydia. So we were both treated, however I got the fingers pointing at me, from 15 years ago!! I have had surgery and a baby since then, but he stands firm it is my fault! However, I am trying to trust him again but he is so inconsistent with what he says and does. He says he loves me in the morning and in the evening I sit with no conversation, no interaction all I might get is random sarcastic remarks.

    I know I have been faithful for the whole of almost 13 years of our marriage. I don’t trust a word he says. I feel like I am the one doing all the work. It’s not the normal way for me to seek advice, but I need “objective” opinions on what to do and how to try and get through this. If this is not the place to get this advice please do not hesitate to tell me. However, if you have anything for me I would be soooooo eternally grateful!!

  13. I am the one he was cheating with. I did not know. Now, he divorced and is with me. He claims that it was all an arrangement they both knew about and were ok with. He paid, she gave him legal status. Upon him returning to this country, I found several emails and texts exchanged between, ranging from being confused to hoping to make amends. I chose to let it pass. But now that is just haunting me. I can not trust him. And I love him. So, I am devastated and I am hesitant. What a difficult thing relationships are.

  14. The most important thing to do is to forgive and move on after your husband had an affair. Try to settle things with him, and consider the people affected and your happiness. Live a healthy and productive life.

  15. my boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years, and I just found out he cheated on me with some one he worked with, back in April. I have a feeling then that something was going on. but I guess didn’t want to admit. he has told me he was sorry and that he knows now it was a mistake, and it will never happen again and that he don’t want to lose me or the kids, but I can’t get it out of my head no madder what I am doing it is on my mind. why did he do it? what did I do for him to do it? why didn’t he say no? I want to get passed this and try and work out.we’ve got three kids. what can we do to work though this?? I have reads the article and I under stand that both of us had a part in him cheating.

  16. Dear Shelley,

    I think it’s possible for him to love you and love her at the same time. You’re both important to him, and he’s not strong enough to say no to you. That’s a major weakness – it’s despicable that he’d cheat on her with you.

    But I understand it, because cheating isn’t about love.

  17. Dear Tressa,

    Trusting your husband after an affair is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever face in marriage. That betrayal is devastating, especially if it was a long-term affair.

    There are no quick tips or easy answers to rebuilding your relationship. It takes time, effort, and a commitment to reconnecting. Both spouses have to be willing and able to face the reasons for the affair, and want to work through it.

    I think rebuilding marriage trust is a daily effort. Every day, sometimes several times a day, you have to make a conscious effort to save your marriage. I don’t think you can just forgive and forget the affair. It’ll always be part of who you are as a couple – and it can be what strengthens your marriage. The reasons for the affair can be dealt with, and your and your husband can become stronger both individually and as a couple.

    I’m glad you’ve gone to counseling, and I hope the counselor helps you figure out how to trust your husband again.

    I wish I could offer better, more personal help. I wish I had the magic words that heal marriages, that take away the pain. But all I can do is encourage you to keep the faith in your marriage, and work towards a better, happier, brighter future together.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  18. I was involved with a man for 5 years and then had to go away to establish my career, so we seperated. Towards the end of our relationship when I knew I would be leaving, he became depressed so I encouraged him to start dating again. I went away and didn’t see him often for 2 years. I came back to town once a month over the past 2 years and saw him sometimes but he claimed that he was just dating this woman that he couldn’t let me meet. However, I recently discovered that he has been engaged for about a year to her, and they will be married soon. How can he love her if he cheated on her with me?