Rebuilding Trust In Your Relationship After It’s Been Broken
How to Gain Your Wife's Trust Again
Whatever you've done to break trust with your wife, you will be walking on eggshells right until the point of earning back that trust. Trust between a husband and wife (or a wife and wife) is part and parcel of believing, nay, making the choice that the two of you will remain inseparable for the rest of your lives. And that includes not being unfaithful, not frittering away the household funds, not mortgaging the house to fund gambling habits, not harming your wife, not gossiping about her, and so forth. Trust is so easily broken when you fail to take into account how your selfishness or descent into weakness will break another's heart and will. If you've lost your wife's trust, whatever the reason, the bulk of the workload to get back that trust rests on your shoulders. Have courage, acknowledge your wrongdoing and start working hard to get things back on track.
Facing your breach of trust
Acknowledge that you have lost your wife's trust because of something you did (or did not do).You made a choice to do it (or not do it). It comes right back to your impulsive actions or willful inaction, your failure to respect her and your relationship and your willingness to hurt in to pursue something else that you felt mattered only to you. Whether you've had an affair, embezzled the household savings, committed harm against her, sullied her reputation, or whatever, the same issue lies at the heart of your actions––you made a bad choice and you lacked respect.
Consider whether you really want to regain your wife's trust.You must truly want to restore what you had or at least start over. If you feel compelled to do so out of reasons beyond your own wishes (such as being pressured by family or social obligations), then it is possible you haven't learned your lesson and whatever you did will only rear its head again later. Instead, you must want to restore what you both had because it matters toyou.
Be prepared to accept your wrongdoing.You cannot gain back another person's trust when you feel compelled to lay any, some or all of the "blame" on that other person. Telling your wife that she seemed "too busy, too preoccupied, too bored, too shopping addicted, whatever", you are just making excuses foryourbehavior. This isn't about how she was failing to meet your expectations; you've destroyed her expectations of you, so this is all about rebuilding a broken foundation. Do not make it seem as if she was the cause, in any way. If you do that, she won't see your attempts to regain trust as genuine.
Deal with whatever you did wrong.End the affair, get a job to repay the lost funds, get counseling for your violent tendencies, get counseling for your sexual addition or pornography usage, etc. Whatever the problem, seek out and actually put in place the solution needed to stop the reason for the breach of trust. Without this positive sign of your willingness to make changes, she won't have any reason to trust that you have changed and are setting forth a new course.
- Cease all involvement with anyone that has been an issue. Even if you've been the flirty type when interacting with others, keep the flirting to a minimum.
Talk to your wife.Explain what you have done, why you accept the blame for what you have done and set forth exactly what it is that you are now doing to restore her faith in you. This will require courageous honesty on your behalf, as well as a willingness to listen to what she has to say in return. She will probably have a lot to say but even if all she does is listen, respect her choice of reaction and simply be there for her. You cannot fix "her" feelings––she is entitled to them, so listen and learn.
- Let her know every day that you have time to listen to anything she has to say. No interruption or arguments about what's being said; just listen.
Regaining your wife's trust
Expect your wife to feel insecure about you.Broken trust comes with wondering a lot about the person who broke that trust––questions such as what are you doing, where are going, who are you with, where have you been, are you really doing what you say you're doing are going to be whizzing through her mind a lot. Do what you can to preempt the questions by giving information in advance, that can help her to feel satisfied that you are telling the truth.
- If she's worried about where you're going and who you'll be with, ask her along. Or, ask her to call you or let her know you'll call her and have your phone on video chat, so that she can actually see where you are and who you're with.
- Offer to attend something she cares about that you've neglected to become involved in. This might be church, a hobby, a sporting activity, etc.
- Be more open. Show her your online social networking accounts; show her your friend lists, etc. Show her your phone, open for her to see the contact list. Be willing to pick up the phone when she calls. Don't make her chase you.
- Keep the clock as your unofficial accountability partner. Don't be late and don't have questionable lapses in the time it should take you to get home.
Be attentive.Be careful about how you display your attentiveness; the modern day woman is wise to the purchase of flowers, chocolates, jewelry, etc., as guilt gifts, especially when these haven't formed part of your behavior since the dating years. While it may feel right to buy her something nice by way of an initial apology, don't think that it will be the salve that solves all; it can only be one thing in your repertoire of dedicated refocusing of attention back to her and your relationship. In actuality, it is important to be fully engaged with her, by listening, explaining clearly and carefully what you are doing and thinking, and apologizing when you have given her any further reasons to feel a lack of trust. Being attentive includes:
- Spending more time together. Be home instead of at the pub, work or the sports field. If she is going to regain trust in you, it'll only come through attentiveness in the present time, by showing that you are dedicated to being around, spending time with her and being clearly interested in her company.
- Going through the household needs together. This can be a great time to rearrange who does what to keep the household functioning. Perhaps a new budget, a new chores list, a new way of running the house are in order. Maybe even a new house is in order; moving away from what was to a fresh, clean start can sometimes be just the ticket to restore a relationship.
- If you have kids, considering whether your parenting approach needs to be improved or changed. Perhaps you have neglected your part of the child raising; if so, you can make changes to spend more time with the kids. Or maybe you only focused on the kids to the exclusion of your wife; once again, you can reorient this skewed slant to be more balanced.
- Eating supper/dinner at the same table. Do not eat with anything electronic on the table or outside it; such items interfere with your connectedness.
Be supportive of your wife's wishes.She may feel that your behavior or actions have undermined her opportunities to do something she believes is important; find ways to help her achieve these wishes or, at the very least, don't be a cause of hindering her. If she suddenly has a desire to go and do relief work in a disaster zone, perhaps she needs the break from you.
Be sincere.If you truly want to regain your wife's trust, you must let her see that you mean everything you say and do. Actions speak louder than words, and she will be watching closely, waiting for slip-ups because she is not sure whether or not you are sincere. This may feel hard for you, as if you're being judged, but it's just one of the realities of trying to win back trust––youareon show, no matter how uncomfortable that seems. You have something to prove, and she is slowly processing whether or not you're managing to prove your reliability as a spouse or partner to her again.
Work at it.Healing a breach of trust takes time, effort and solid evidence of change for the better. You can't expect to win back her trust overnight. You will have to work at it. It could take years. You will need to have the mindset that this is worth it and to accept that you won't give up. Show your wife (partner) that you are really committed to getting her back.
- Realize that there will be times when you wonder whether you are having any impact. This is normal. However, it is also hard to bear. At such times, talk to someone about your feelings, such as a trusted friend, a therapist or even a parent if you feel okay with that. You may even feel okay about talking to your spouse about your feelings; your genuine distress may help her to see that you are really trying hard and finding it hard too. Just don't use it as a reason to seek her pity though; that won't set your relationship on an even keel, so don't even try.
- Use your faith as self-support and for couples support too (if she is willing). At least for yourself, you may find that prayer, contemplation, meditation and/or reflection are pathways of healing for you. Read your faith text, read stories about forgiveness, read about people who have managed to restore lost trust. If your wife and/or family are willing, spend time praying or reflecting together.
Give your wife space and let time do the healing.She is going through a huge range of emotions, just as you are. Some days it'll seem clearer to her than others. She may find it easier to talk about it with you sometimes but not other times. All of this is normal and part of the healing process. It is important to not rush or push her into reaching decisions about her feelings or her wants for the future; if she feels pressured, the easiest option may be to give up on you for fear of being controlled or manipulated. Space, time and love are the ingredients for helping her to come around to forgiving you, trusting you and starting anew.
QuestionDo you have any other tips?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDelete all social media off your phone so there is no temptation. That way she will know you are not doing anything wrong. Trust is hard to win back.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I keep doing the same mistake over I over (looking at other women)? We are good for a couple of weeks and then I just do it again. She is getting tired and may file for divorce soon.Top AnswererJust looking is not a mistake at all, it's the most natural thing to do. All men do it, as do all women. It's an impossible demand not to look at other women, and you will never be able to deliver on that. Look at yourself. You undoubtedly have a lot to offer, you're looking for answers to a problem, you're willing to learn; that makes you a solid man. And that man has chosen this woman to marry. A look now and again is nothing compared to such a vast commitment. However, don't go drooling, behave yourself, show that you are genuinely trying to respect her request. Finally, focus on her. Go on an adventure, go out, have fun - all eyes on her.Thanks!
QuestionMy wife and I have gotten into a serious disagreement. I journaled my feelings and she found my journal. Now she is hurt because of the things I wrote down while venting. What do we do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to really sit down and talk about why you're so angry and why she is intrusive. It sounds like you aren't communicating well. If you aren't getting anywhere on your own, you need to see a marriage counselor.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my wife already filed for divorce?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCommunication is a powerful tool and should be used wisely in this situation. Make sure you are calm before sitting down with her to talk. Ask for why she is filing for a divorce. Ask yourself if you still want her back, or if you're on the same page as her. If you want to get back together, then apologize for the hurtful things you've done and make a promise not to do them again. Remember, it's better if you don't rush into major decisions like this.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if she does not want to listen to me at all and is always very irritable to the point I'm afraid to talk?Top AnswererYou need to either talk or end the relationship.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my wife already moved out?Community AnswerSend her a letter, it's more significant than a cold e-mail or text message. Tell her you're sorry for all the problems that you guys had, for any mistakes you made, and how you wish you guys could at least be friends.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my wife always denies me sex and complains about it? I'm even feeling that she is having an affair outside of our marriage.Top AnswererThis is complicated. On the one hand, no one can force anyone else to have sex with them. It's not like you're using her body for your pleasure while she watches TV until you're done. If either one of you doesn't want to, it doesn't happen. On the other hand, people have needs. When you get married, you promise each other to provide in those needs. Now, again, this is not an obligation, the point is that continued love and desire should make you both want to do it. Find a way to re-light her desire.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if both of us have lost trust in one another?Top AnswererTrust is the foundation of a relationship. If there is no trust, then the relationship will surely suffer. You can go to marriage counseling to discover ways of building the trust back up, you could try to talk to your spouse, or you can ultimately divorce. It's all up to you.Thanks!
QuestionMy wife thinks I'm having an affair outside the relationship because I had one in the past. What can I do?Just a SomeoneCommunity AnswerSit down with her after YOU make dinner. Give her a promise ring and say that you LOVE HER and as long as she has this ring, you promise to always be faithful.Thanks!
QuestionMy girlfriend of 8 years and the mother of my 2 kids saw that I check out porn, models and Facebook girls. I never spoke to any girls via texts or anything, but she says trust is gone and she hates me. What can I do?Top AnswererI would say her trust is rather too easily gone, as looking at pornographic materials is not wrong in itself. However, if she feels this is wrong, you'll have to respect that. Sit down and talk about this, think of how you feel, why you like to do this, what alternatives you can think of, involve her in your thoughts and feelings. But to say "hate" and "no more trust" based upon this is too strong a reaction, in my opinion.Thanks!
- Keep on the straight and narrow so she knows you mean business.
- Make changes that reveal that you have self-respect. If she can see that you have begun to respect yourself and that you're not using crutches to cope, she will be more able to see that you have changed and that you really mean that change.
- Plan small but thoughtful surprises. Think about the ways you dated and recreate some of them to show her that you remember and still care. Keep the little things you used to do as the things you do now.
- Don't be shady. If you are, she won't have trust for you. Don't be anywhere you shouldn't be. Don't be on any website that suggests you're up to something untrustworthy (no pornography, no gambling, no spending sprees, etc.). This means no shutting pages down quickly, no deleting history or cookies, no hiding the cell phone, nothing to make her say "um, what are you doing?".
- Do your share of household responsibilities. Being responsible is a huge part of being trustworthy; you're no baby, so don't expect to be babied, don't expect to be asked to do the things that need doing to ensure that the household functions properly.
- Be open and honest about all of your feelings.
- It is important that your wife not see you as a constant thorn in her side. Give her the time and space to heal.
- Hide positive, praising notes around the house. Give her a reason to smile when she unearths these and reads your supportive lines. It shows you care, that you're making the effort to remind her about why she counts so much in your life.
- Act as if you care about the things that interest her, even when you aren't that interested. She doesn't expect you to take up knitting coats for aging cats but she does expect you to respect her wishes to do it. For all you know, if you do show enough interest, you might find angles that do interest you and end up visiting local businesses to ask for yarn donations so that she can knit those coats. There is often an angle for you somewhere.
- Don't start yelling. Yelling demonstrates that you are trying to have things your own way. It doesn't show that you are listening and trying to agree.
- Do not overwhelm her with what you want and when you want it by. She will feel suffocated and manipulated. Time and space are essential ingredients for letting her trust renew.
- Anger is a sign that something you deeply care about isn't receiving attention; however, being angry is a sign of loss of control. Use anger as a motivation to uncover what is bothering you. Then step back, think over it, and find the calm and reasoned words to convey the real reasons and feelings that the anger uncovered for you.
- Do not be condescending at any time. Laughing at her rather than with her is the quickest way to destroy what little faith she has left in you.
- Never treat what has happened as a joke. It cannot be laughed off, no matter how nervous, fearful or cowardly it makes you feel. You have to find the strength to face up to what happened and be ready to make amends for it. Be sincere, honest and dependable.
- Arguing is easy when things are raw, frustrating and hard. And yet, it is not the best approach to anything because it leaves everything unresolved and touchy. Be the person to stand down. You can raise your concerns in a calmer way later.
- Avoid approaching her as if in a panic. This may be viewed as an attempt at using self-pity to win her back. In the long run, this weakens your position, so do not use it.
- If she doesn't want you to touch her, then don't. She may be feeling very exposed and vulnerable and intimacy may be the last thing she can cope with when she lacks trust in you. Do not seek to control her; she will let you know when, and if, this is something she wishes from you again. If you pressure her, she will likely overreact and things will grow worse between you.
In other languages:
Español: , Русский: , Italiano: , Português: , Deutsch: , Français:
Video: 8 Ways to Rebuild Trust with Your Wife
The Secret Behind Gigi Hadid’s Short’ Hairstyle
The Best Lightweight Summer Tops to Stock Up onNow
The Best Makeup Under 10 (That Dont Look Cheap)
TIME TO GO GREEN 2019
How to Keep a Degu
10 Beautiful Makeup Looks For Green Eyes
Under 30 and Divorced: 5 Women Share What Its Like
4 Key Moves That Get Rid Of Stubborn Arm Fat
40 Badass Back Tattoos For Men – Masculine Design Ideas
The Surprising Upside to Anxiety
How to Throw up As Comfortably As Possible
Bruce Jenner Fired Manager Extraordinaire Kris Jenner
Steal Jessica Simpson’s Pretty Half-Up Wedding Hairstyle
How to Find Your Inner Beauty
25 Holiday Quotes That Perfectly Sum up TheSeason