So you may not be able to say at this moment, “I 100% trust my spouse” – especially if adultery is involved. But if you were to discover that you could trust your spouse 25%, 50%–or even 75%, how would that make you feel about the chances of success for saving your marriage?

The shockwave of an affair is widespread: 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 and in their marriage vows destroyed. Nothing annihilates trust like a spouse’s affair. You know that without trust, efforts to save your marriage are doomed.

In this blog, we’re going to look at 3 forms of trust in a relationship, and how to rate how much trust you really have in your spouse.

Post-Affair Emotional Turmoil Impacts Trust

The initial days after learning of your spouse’s affair are a whirlwind of emotions: you’re numb, yet you ache. Your thoughts race, yet they seem to repeat “My spouse cheated on me!” An onslaught of images attacks your mind, yet they seem to be replaying the same script.

In short, you’re in hell.

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Discover how to:
  • Regain your self-esteem after the affair…
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  • Eliminate the negative thoughts…
  • End the affairs for good…
  • Make the relationship better than ever…

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As time passes and you make the effort to heal yourself, you know that the question mark that is your marriage must be addressed. You may have worked through the worst of your negative feelings, and your thoughts are more and more on how you can begin to salvage your marriage.

Your biggest hurdle may be figuring out how to trust your spouse again. 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.

Three Forms of Relationship 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: you really do have some form of foundation from which to build.

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. Review these three, and then we’ll look at how you can rate how much you trust your spouse in each form.

First Form of Trust: Physical Safety

 

Hopefully you never have, and never will, experience domestic violence. And if you haven’t, you may take this form of trust for granted: that your spouse would never physically harm you.

This means you aren’t going 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. Also, if your home 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.

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 Level of Trust 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?

After learning these three forms of trust, how do you now perceive your ability to trust your spouse?

Do you feel that there is some foundation to work from in rebuilding trust?

Please share your thoughts and experiences regarding this critical issue of trust.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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