You see, trust in marriage can be built and made stronger over time. Even after trust has been broken, if both spouses work together, it can be rebuilt using these three proven steps: transparency, consistency, and effective communication, even when it may be difficult.
As you already know, trust is extremely vital for your marriage to thrive and be fulfilling. It’s also the most important thing that makes pursuing any relationship worthwhile.
In fact, trust is the glue that holds a healthy marriage together because, without it, a great relationship can’t exist.
That’s why we want to show you the 3 most important and effective steps required for building, or rebuilding trust with your spouse.
Now, think about this:
Can your marriage survive without trust?
Is it even possible to have a healthy marriage without the complete trust of your spouse?
As you can see, trusting your spouse is key to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling marriage. From our experience, it is impossible for married couples to have a “real” marriage or relationship without that complete trust.
By “real” relationship, we mean a fulfilling and healthy marriage.
The well-known causes of trust issues in marriages
When it comes to trust issues in marriages, the most common cause is one or a combination of the following:
⇒ Extra-marital sex
⇒ Financial infidelity
⇒ Emotional affairs
⇒ Constant contact with an ex
That being said, the presence of trust issues certainly plays a big role in many unhappy and unhealthy marriages.
Most importantly, trust issues such as infidelity can result in lifelong consequential effects on your kids, spouse, family, and self-image.
Building and maintaining complete trust in your marriage should be a top priority!
Why complete trust in marriage is so important
Building complete trust with each other is one of the best things we’ve done to build a strong foundation for our marriage.
As a result of building and maintaining trust in our marriage, we’ve been able to talk about anything and be heard. Communication and resolving disagreements is much easier, with the trust that we have each other’s best interest in mind.
Also, it gives you the freedom to express yourself truly. Trust makes you feel secure enough to be vulnerable. And it creates a peaceful home environment.
In other words, being able to trust your husband or wife provides you with comfort. It reduces stress, insecurity, and worries about your husband or wife not being honest with you about everything.
Unfortunately, having no trust in your marriage means your marriage could end in a separation or divorce very quickly. The lack of trust could also lead to an unhappy life with a roommate (your spouse).
Trust impacts all forms of intimacy
Whether it’s emotional, intellectual, or sexual intimacy, trust plays a big role in how satisfied you and your spouse will be.
In marriage, we have the opportunity to have the most intimate relationship with another human being; our spouse.
For you and your spouse to be so closely connected, you must feel comfortable enough to bare your souls to each other.
Dr. Henry Cloud puts it this way, “Intimacy comes from “knowing” the other person at a deep level. If there are barriers to honesty, knowing is ruled out and the false takes over.” (Boundaries in Marriage).
In order for us to feel safe enough to bare our souls to each other, to be naked not just in a physical, but an emotional way with our spouse, you must be able to trust them.
Again, Dr. Cloud puts it this way, “True intimacy is the closest thing to heaven we can know.”
Trust is one of the best perks we can have through our marriage. Truly knowing someone, having them know you, being truly loved and accepted for who you are, is truly the best feeling in the world.Truly knowing someone, having them know you, being truly loved and accepted for who you are, is truly mind-blowing.Click To Tweet
Step 1 for how to build trust in your marriage (transparency)
Building trust in a marriage doesn’t happen overnight. It takes T.I.M.E.
Building trust requires effort, especially if either you and/or your spouse have trust issues from past relationships, or marriage(s). However, there is an easier way to make complete trust a reality in your marriage.
Simply start by being completely honest with your spouse.
Communicate truthfully. STOP the petty lies. Don’t exaggerate or minimize anything.
Tell your spouse when you overspend on an item in your monthly budget. Let your spouse know, when you have entertained thoughts about being with another person, or are tempted to cheat. (How do you and your spouse define cheating for your marriage?)
Again, tell your spouse when you are hurt by his/her words and actions, but also be ready to take responsibility for your own emotions.
Be vulnerable because vulnerability opens up the door to building trust with your spouse.
When you forget and didn’t do something you said you would do, be honest about it with your spouse. Sincere and honest communication won’t be easy all the time. But do it anyway because the end result is worth it!
Keep your spouse in the loop
Share what’s going on in your life and throughout your day with your spouse. What are you excited about? What are you learning? What struggles are you facing?
Honest communication is a simple, yet effective concept.
Because the more you establish trust through honest conversations, the easier it will be to open up, feel connected to your spouse, and strengthen trust in your marriage.
One of the things we’ve done to help with transparency is to share passwords for our phones and computers with each other. We highly recommend you do too, especially if you’re trying to rebuild trust with your spouse.
Can one little “white lie” really do any harm to your marriage?
Why must I tell my spouse so much? Our answer is simple.
As you strengthen trust between you both, the need for such detailed transparency will lessen over time.
When building, or rebuilding trust in your marriage, you each need to see with your own eyes that the other is being honest and is trustworthy all the time.
From our experience, being consistently open about the little things makes it easier, to be honest about the bigger things that come up in life. Also, it creates a safe and honest communication environment for your marriage.
In other words, trust is built through consistency.
Step 2 for building trust in your marriage (consistency)
Just as we mentioned above, be unwavering with your words and actions. Simply because it’s essential to building trust with your spouse.
We all have that one friend or relative that promises to show up and more often than not, it falls through. Over time we learn to lower our expectations of them and not put a lot of weight on their word.
So be accountable and follow through on your word. Let your actions reflect your promises.
Common sense tells us that if someone lied to us once, they’ll do it again. If someone hides or omits parts of the truth, we learn they are not trustworthy and unreliable.
We don’t feel completely safe around them, and as a result, we naturally withdraw from them.
We need that consistency in a person’s words and actions to build trust.
Lies or not telling your spouse the truth, because what they don’t know won’t hurt them, simply erodes the basic foundation of your marriage (trust).
You will find it difficult to be harmonious with your words and actions. As a result, being truly intimate on a deeper level with your spouse will be very difficult.
To build trust, you must be transparent with your spouse at all times.
More importantly, tell the truth. And even when it’s easier to hide the fact that you overspent at the store, don’t. Again, tell the truth.
Show your spouse that you can be counted on.
If a message from an ex slides into your DMs, give your spouse a heads up. The moment you start deleting things so they don’t see is the moment infidelity starts.
“Deception damages a relationship. The act of lying is much more damaging than the things that are being lied about because lying undermines the knowing of one another and the connection itself.”
“Deception is the one thing that cannot be worked through because it denies the problem.” – Dr. Henry Cloud.Trust is built through consistency. Click To Tweet
Step 3 for building trust in your marriage (effective communication)
Needless to say, if the second step in building trust is transparency, naturally, the third step will be… effective communication. It’s one of the most important marriage skills that will get you closer to building trust with your spouse.
Effective communication will also help you to communicate without fighting, feel heard, and be able to listen empathetically to your spouse.
Once you learn how to communicate with your spouse it will become easier to approach or talk to your spouse about anything. For example, you will be able to have deeper conversations, which is the key to intellectual intimacy.
Effective communication is the path that will help you build trust with your spouse. In addition, communicating effectively brings you together, helps you to connect with each other, and makes being honest easier.
Simply because you will be talking to your best friend. The person you have decided to commit the rest of your life to and established an intimate relationship with.
And here’s the best part:
When you completely trust your spouse, sex is better, more passionate, free and satisfying. 😉
You need to be honest with your spouse!
And your wife or husband needs to be honest with you too; even when it hurts.
Building trust in marriage is as simple as being open and honest with each other. Take the first steps to establish trust by communicating to your spouse that you need to be honest with each other from now on.
We had a few incidences in our first year of marriage where complete honesty was not present. We hurt each other in the process unintentionally.
But we worked through this by communicating truthfully; explaining that it wasn’t okay.
We wouldn’t accept being dishonest in our marriage, forgave each other and made sure to not make the same mistakes again (lining up our actions with our words).
[How strong is your marriage? Take the quiz.]
Did we mess up again?
We messed up again. It happens to all of us. We are not perfect and never will be. All we can do is strive to be better every day, learn from our mistakes, and move on.
But today, we can say we completely trust each other after implementing the 3 proven steps we mentioned above regularly. So much so they’ve become a habit.
By communicating effectively with each other, we came up with a plan that helped us to survive our first year of marriage.
As you know, part of the reasons why we started this website is to help other married couples avoid the same mistakes we did.
So learn from our mistakes to avoid the pain!When you completely trust your spouse, sex is better, more passionate, free and satisfying.Click To Tweet
The biggest reasons why rebuilding trust in marriage is hard
First, it took you a lot of time, experiences, and reflections to trust your then boyfriend or girlfriend, now spouse.
So much so you decided to get engaged and later chose to marry him or her out of the billions of human beings in this world.
Second, because trust is built over time, it hurts so much more when it’s broken by the person you love the most.
The person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with.
Lastly, as humans, it’s very difficult for us to forget the emotional pains we experience, which makes it more difficult for us to rebuild trust once it’s broken.
And depending on what caused the trust to be broken, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year to rebuild trust in a marriage.
An unexpected trust experience for our marriage
From our experience, things are sure to come up in any relationship that will test the boundaries of trust.
We had an incident with a person showing an interest in developing a close relationship with one of us. And because of the situation, red flags were raised.
We had to have a frank and honest conversation about each of our comfort levels with the situation. What boundaries did we need to set? What made the other person uncomfortable? How could we remain respectful of each other’s feelings?
This event put our trust to the test, and because of the foundation we have created and maintained for our marriage, we were able to move through it without anything harming our bond.
How to rebuild trust in a marriage
What do you do when trust is broken? How do you rebuild and restore trust with your husband or wife?
It will take time. And sometimes even years to regain complete trust in your marriage.
Even though rebuilding trust in a marriage is not easy, trust can be rebuilt again after it has been broken.
In addition to the 3 important steps we mentioned above, below are 18 tips you can immediately implement in your marriage to start rebuilding trust with your spouse.
Pick the most relevant ones and start practicing it today.
18 Tips to help you regain, restore, or rebuild trust in your marriage
1. Ask your spouse what you can do to earn back their trust.
2. Promise yourself, and each other that you will be truthful and honest even if it hurts.
3. Share your secrets especially the pains and struggles you go through every day.
4. Learn to fight fair in a healthy way.
5. Stop the lying. It will only make things worse.
6. Be aware of the damages caused, accept your wrongdoings and be responsible.
7. Keep your promises.
8. Listen and pay attention to your spouse.
9. Take the blame-game away.
10. Give your spouse an opportunity to earn your trust.
11. Trust in marriage is mutual. It takes two to make it happen. So, make sure your spouse is on board.
12. Be yourself and be real.
13. Be open to counseling or seeing a marriage coach if need be.
14. Forgive your spouse.
15. Develop a plan of action and execute it.
16. Accept that it will take time and patience.
17. Show your spouse you love and appreciate them.
18. Set boundaries in your marriage to prevent a repeat of the same trust issues that caused the trust to be broken and betrayed.
If your spouse is willing to trust you again, you can always earn their trust back. The difficult part is when your spouse doesn’t want to trust you again because of one or multiple betrayals like sexual infidelity.
In that case, you will both have to talk about what your marriage will look like without trust. It will be a difficult conversation, but one to have sooner, rather than later.
Read this article to learn how to communicate with your spouse without fighting.
A marriage workshop for building, rebuilding and restoring trust in marriage.
If you are looking for more ways to rebuild trust in your marriage, check out Trust Me! Restore, Renew & Rebuild Your Foundation.
Trust Me! is an online marriage workshop that will help you to build, rebuild, and strengthen trust in your marriage. You can even save your marriage and bring back trust by applying what you learn from this marriage workshop.
Click here to access Trust Me! Restore, Renew & Rebuild Your Foundation
If you prefer to read, try reading some of the best marriage books.
A great one to check out about trust is Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken by Cindy Beall. This book will help you rebuild trust in your marriage.
Your spouse has the best intentions for you
After getting married, the two become one unit. Your trust for each other must be nurtured and protected continually.
Always be honest and sincere with your spouse. If you are unwilling to trust your spouse, what are your reasons? What is stopping you?
Whatever your reasons are, don’t be afraid to share them with your spouse. So you can resolve them as soon as possible.
If you need more help, always seek the help of a marriage counselor or coach.Your trust for each other must be nurtured and protected continually.Click To Tweet
It’s very very hard to rebuild trust in marriage. In fact, it takes years to build an unshakable trust with someone; so respect and honor the trust your spouse has for you.
Never take it for granted.
Now, if you’re trying to build, strengthen, or rebuild trust with your spouse, practice what you have learned today. And you will be on your way to building complete trust with your spouse.
“A marriage without trust is like a car without gas, you can stay in it as long as you want but it won’t go anywhere.” Unknown
What boundaries have you set to maintain trust in your marriage?
How do you deal with mistrust issues in your marriage?
What are some other ways for rebuilding trust in marriage?
You might also like:
Marriage Quiz for Couples: How Strong Is Your Relationship?
Relationship Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Partner (or Spouse)?
101 Fun Things for Couples to Do Together
69+ Thought-Provoking Questions for Couples
20 Marriage Lessons We Learned From Our First Year of Marriage
Images courtesy Jonathan Klok, Dương Hữu, Ryan Franco, and Alvin Mahmudov.