My husband doesn't trust me

My husband doesn’t trust me for some past we had. I know all marriages have their ups and downs, but sometimes, I feel I am getting tired of the same thing over and over: that I am messing around, which I am not.

Nat Roman
Nat Roman
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc RP

I'm sorry to hear about the trust issues in your relationship. Trust, as you clearly know, is essential to healthy relationships. Past indiscretions or dishonesty can damage this trust and make it really hard to confidence that these things will not happen again despite reassurances. We tend to be very sensitive to betrayal and risks to our relationship security. 

Rebuilding trust takes time and effort for both parties. On your end, you may need to provide more reassurance and more concrete evidence that you are trustworthy, gestures of transparency (e.g. - giving him more information about where you are going and who you will be with, letting him know when you get texts or emails from people that might give him pause or trigger insecurities), and more patience and empathy for his fears. 

On his end, he may need to learn to be with his insecurities and fears and ask for reassurance about your love and commitment in ways that do not lead to criticizing you, attempting to control you, or limiting your freedom. 

If you are not able to come to agreements about how to put his fears to rest without it negatively impacting your life, I would suggest getting some professional help from a marriage counsellor or couples therapist.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

The good news in the way you're feeling is recognizing that your husband's trust of your actions, makes a difference to you.

The typical therapy formula for restoring trust between two people after some sort of betrayal, is for the one who has broken the trust, to earn it back.

Restoring trust requires both persons to actively involve themselves in this process.

The person who tires earning back trust, must know what standards for this, of the one who was betrayed.

The person who feels betrayed must willingly be open minded to accepting the efforts of the one who tries earning back their trust.

As simple as this formula sounds, the actual process of restoring trust raises a lot of emotion on both sides, therefore causing difficulty in keeping discussions in this area, on track.

The best way of success in restoring trust between partners, is utilizing a couples therapist who would be able to guide your conversations back on track, and also open emotions for discussion when relevant to restoring trust.

Good luck in establishing new terms with your partner!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It is incredibly frustrating to not be trusted when you know you are doing nothing wrong. If the lack of trust on your husband's end has to do with something you did in the past, then be patient and give it time. Once trust is broken it takes time and effort to gain it back. Try seeing the situation from your husband's perspective, as often times looking at situations from different angles, gives us new understanding and insight. Remember that you can't change how he feels, but you can help him to regain the trust by asking him what he needs and responding to his needs as best you can. Seeing a couple's counselor is never a bad idea and it would also be beneficial for you and or/your husband to seek out individual therapy. There may be other unknown factors that you are unaware of that are contributing to the trust issues and inability to resolve them. Hope everything works out for you!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lynda Martens
Lynda Martens
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc, RP, RMFT

Hi Louisiana,

It's normal when trust has been broken in the past for fear and insecurities to come up from time to time. His reactions may not mean that he doesn't trust you, but rather that he gets scared that he's going to be hurt again. 

You're a bit vague about the past. You don't say whether you cheated or not. If you did, then you might try taking an approach where you a) take responsibility for your past actions, b) show an understanding of and compassion for his pain about that, c) do everything you can to demonstrate trust and show that he is your priority, and d) reassure him when he says he's scared or feeling insecure. I'm suggesting that part of healing is you having tolerance of his emotions and demonstrating that you're so confident you can be faithful that you can handle his moments of fear. This is what he and the marriage need in order to heal from the attachment injury.

Part of the issue might be that when he brings it up, he's coming across as angry, accusing or suspicious, rather than scared and insecure. This often happens. A therapist can help both of you understand that fear is behind the anger, and it works best if he shows you his vulnerable emotions rather than the anger (which is also natural, but less helpful in those moments), and then you can more easily recognise the cue for you to reassure him. 

As much as you want to forget about it, he might need to talk about it sometimes, and that's normal. His needs are important. Also important, however, is your need for respect. If he approaches it in a disrespectful way, that's a separate problem. If it's brought up as a weapon, used to shut you down, or used to control or punish, those are unhealthy ways of dealing with past hurts. You can both offer compassion to him and use your sense of boundaries to protect yourself from being flogged with the past.

A qualified therapist can help you sort through this trick territory. Best of luck.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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