Trust is built over the years, one experience at a time. That’s why it’s so painful when trust is shattered. Any time you feel betrayed, the level of trust in your partner is affected. Maybe he failed to stick up for you when your mother-in-law criticized you. Perhaps, he made a nasty comment in the middle of a fight. Or, worst case scenario, you discovered that he is involved with someone else.
Once you have been hurt, you have to evaluate whether it is worth your while to rebuild trust. If your partner has a long history of betraying you, you may need to give serious thought to whether things will ever change. However, when the transgressions are relatively minor and infrequent, working through the hurt can actually deepen your bond.
When the betrayal is more significant, like in the case of an extramarital affair, it is important to assess whether you and your husband have enough commitment to the marriage to do the hard work of rebuilding trust. He has to have enough remorse and understanding of your pain to earn your trust back. And, at some point, you have to be willing to let go of your desire to “make him pay” for the pain he caused you. Trust can only be rebuilt with tremendous courage, commitment, and persistence by both of you.
Pain can actually serve as a motivator to tend to your relationship and keep it on track. Believe it or not, a marriage can actually end up on more solid ground when the two of you open yourselves up to learning from the sorrow you have caused one another and use it to strengthen your relationship.