Do you trust your spouse?
If you’re recovering from an affair, the answer is probably a resounding “no.”
But what if you could trust your spouse 25%, 50%–or even 75%, would that boost your belief in your potential for success in saving your marriage?
Post-Adultery Emotional Turmoil Impacts Trust
The initial days after learning of your spouse’s affair are a whirlwind of emotions racing thoughts and an onslaught of images.
It’s a brutal shockwave, because your feelings are crushed, your heart aches, and your marriage foundation has crumbled into pieces.
But what many victims of adultery find most devastating is having their trust in their spouse destroyed. Nothing annihilates trust like a spouse’s affair. You know that without trust, efforts to save your marriage are doomed.
You may be working on improving communication with your husband or wife, and yet, there’s a voice inside that keeps saying, “I don’t know how I’ll ever trust this person again.”
You’re about to learn that there isn’t one, absolute way of trusting your spouse. It’s really not an “all or nothing” proposition, like many people mistakenly believe. In fact, there are different types of trust. This should be encouraging because it provides a glimmer of hope that your marriage, after all, can be salvaged – even after adultery has been committed.
The Three Forms of Trust
Even after an affair, there are aspects of your relationship with your spouse where trust still exists. Knowing that your trust really hasn’t been totally and irrevocably annihilated, you may feel better knowing all is not lost.
It’s possible to still have trust in your spouse, despite your spouse’s cheating, because there are five different forms of trust found within a relationship. We’ll look at three of these forms, so you can see the potential you really do have for rebuilding trust in your relationship.
First Form of Trust: Physical Safety
Hopefully you have never experienced domestic violence, and never will. If you haven’t, you may take this form of trust for granted, that your spouse would never physically harm you.
You don’t go to bed, feeling like you have to sleep with one eye open the whole night because your partner may suddenly threaten you. You trust that your spouse won’t hurt you. Or, if your home were to catch on fire, you trust that your spouse would help you escape.
Second Form of Trust: Financial Security
Marriages are partnerships, and that generally means a financial partnership exists, as well. Whether you combine all of your income, or each is responsible for a portion of monthly expenses—you trust that your spouse will do the responsible thing with money.
By creating this financial arrangement, you are displaying a level of trust in one another. Trusting in your spouse to share this burden of keeping your material world afloat is an enormous form of trust.
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Third Form of Trust: Emotional Predictability
You depend on your spouse to be somewhat predictable in expressing their emotions. You trust that when you go out to dinner with them, they won’t suddenly fly into a rage and throw things because they thought you were flirting with the wait staff.
If you’re partner isn’t prone to emotional unpredictability, you may take it for granted. Imagine for a moment if they were: you wouldn’t be able to trust what they would do next, how they would react to what you perceive as an innocent comment, or how they would respond if you broached a challenging topic with them.
Rate Your Trust Level in Your Spouse
Using these three forms of trust, take each form and give it a grade on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being you absolutely don’t trust them, and 10, you absolutely do trust them.
Hopefully you have found that you have a foundation from which to rebuild trust, discovering some level of trust in each of these three forms.
My best wishes for you as you rebuild trust in your spouse and salvage your marriage.
Have you looked at trust as an “all or nothing” question?