how can I trust him now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2010
how can I trust him now?
Tue, 04-06-2010 - 10:38pm

Four days ago, I found out that my husband of 16 years has been having a year and a half affair.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2009
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 6:52am
Sounds like you're on the right road.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2009
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 11:53am

You are hurting badly right now and it may feel as if you will never trust your husband or anyone ever fully again. You can. It is not only okay not trust him it is perfectly normal.

I have come to view trust very differently since my husband’s affair. When we fell in love, I bestowed a blind trust on my husband that I gave based on how he made me feel in that moment. I felt loved, protected and I believe that he would never harm or betray me.

During the period of his affair, I saw all the signs that this level of trust was a BIG mistake. But, I chose to ignore them. The daily battles in my head I questioned why I didn’t feel loved and protected by him anymore. These battles always end with me reminded myself that he held the trump card of truth, the one I had given him and he had earned so many years ago. I never addressed these fears or concerns I simply swept them under the rug in the name of trust.

Looking back on it now, it seems naive of me to have expected this of my husband, when I know that I am fully capable of failing others and myself on a daily basis. Why would I expect that he would be infallible?

Your trust may never be the same and that is okay. I spent a lot of time beating myself up about trust after the discovery of the affair. Was it right to stay married to my husband when I could never give him the trust I once had for him? I concluded that it wasn’t just okay; this new trust was the real thing, a mature trust based on daily life and not some fairytale I held in my head.

Learn to trust yourself first. You now know the signs and you will know when something doesn’t sit right with you. Listen to your gut. Of course, keep in mind your gut will be on HIGH alert for a long time. You may start to feel crazy and suspicious of everyone and everything. This should pass with time and experience.

Trust comes back piece-by-piece. Repetition of events that are now triggers for you will help to settle your mind. For example, in the early stages you may feel uneasy when your husband leaves the house to go to work. As time goes by and he does the work necessary to reassure you that he is being honest with you, your uneasiness should fade and you will start to trust him again in that area. However, you may feel uneasy and experience anxiety attacks when he travels out of town until you are comfortable with that scenario too. It takes time, practice and patients by both parties. A good marriage councilor can also do wonders.

It has taken me almost 3 years to gain an honest level of trust in all areas of our life again. On a daily basis, I now trust him fully as he continues to show no reason to doubt. The caveat is, he knows that I no longer have a blind trust in him and in the best interest of our marriage I will question anything that does make me feel loved or protected. I would expect that he would do the same of m

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2006
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 12:25pm

I am in a similar stage with my H. I also wonder if this was really his first affair, as his behavior during this one is not too different from ways he has acted in the past. I wonder if he is really telling me the full truth, or if there are still things he is hiding.

So of course I'm no expert on this as I am in the same boat as far as doubts about his authenticity, but what my therapist told me is that trust is something that he will have to earn back over time. His actions and behavior towards you will be the evidence you need to decide if you are ready to trust him again. During this time he should be totally transparent with you - sharing his online passwords, account information, telling you where he is, who he is seeing, etc. It's not like you need to act like the inquisition but basic information like that will give you a sense of whether he is being honest or not.

After some time, you will have to make the decision to trust him again... not like you trusted him before, that kind of "fantasy" trust won't ever come back - but trust him on a new level. Personally I am having trouble letting go of my fairy-tale version of what marriage should be like. It kills me that I trusted him so implicitly and he threw that away.

One thing that is helping me is that we are working through an infidelity workbook/book series together. Reading the same book and talking about the issues it brings up has helped us come together and understand each other more. I feel like once I can get a grasp on his point of view and learn to empathize (NOT with his decision to have an affair, but with the situation in our marriage that got him to that point) then I will be able to recognize problem signs in the future. Eventually I hope that our relationship will improve enough that trusting him will be easier and I won't be blind to problems that could trigger an affair. The fact that he appears to be whole-heartedly devoting himself to this process also makes me feel better.

Hang in there. I feel the anguish you are experiencing - but we are strong women, stronger than we know, and we're going to make it through this to a happier day, whatever that looks like.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2004
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 12:32pm

first of all HUGS.

its going to be a hard road.

take some time and think about what you want. And what you need.
Then go from there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2010
Thu, 04-08-2010 - 12:58am

So, tonight my husband took the kids out to dinner.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2004
Thu, 04-08-2010 - 10:37am

its going to take some time. This is not going to be easy.

Something in the mean time you might want to start a journal. Write things down. get the thoughts flowing and put it on paper.

Hugs to you.