Trust is the foundation of any relationship. In a marriage, trust forms the cornerstone of the marital foundation between husband and wife. When trust is broken, the foundation of a marriage can be shaken and the marriage relationship changed irrevocably.
The feeling of being betrayed by someone you love and trust can plunge you into the throes of distress. It may arise from unfaithfulness, but can also come in the form of dishonesty, concealing of information, abuse or disloyalty. Broken trust affects all parties in a marriage relationship. The betrayed party will not only question the act of betrayal but also how he or she allowed the betrayal to happen in the first place.
Feelings of betrayal may arise from unfaithfulness but can also come in the form of dishonesty, concealing of information, abuse or disloyalty.
Rebuilding trust after betrayal is not impossible but will involve much effort from both husband and wife, says Theresa Pong, Principal Counsellor at Focus on the Family Singapore.
Here are the 3 critical steps that are needed for a broken marriage to start anew.
1. Be kind to yourself
When a marriage breaks down, self-blame can easily take over and lead us to question whether it is our weaknesses that allowed this to happen.
In such a situation, Theresa recommends, “Be kind to yourself and recognise that even with your weaknesses, you deserve to be treated well and you have tremendous self-worth.”
She also advises that we try our best to make sense of what has happened. If we are able to release the emotional build-up and forgive ourselves, then we are also ready to move towards healing and restoration.
2. Start on the road to forgiveness
The road to forgiveness is best taken in small steps. While this does not guarantee complete reconciliation, it does give us a roadmap towards rebuilding mutual trust.
Theresa says, “When you are able to forgive yourself and release the intense emotions you have over the betrayal, you are in a stronger position to see the situation with some objectivity. This helps you to make sense of the situation without getting personal.”
She suggests that hurt parties keep as calm as they can to allow the other party to take responsibility for his or her part.
Hurt parties should keep as calm as they can to allow the other party to take responsibility for his or her part.
3. Appreciate the process
Forgiveness sets the path for you and your spouse to rebuild trust. It can be hard to forgive in the beginning, but committing to do so is key to the healing process.
According to Theresa, “Rebuilding trust may take risk as well as faith to believe that betrayal will not happen again.” Because this takes time, it is important to remind ourselves not to be impatient as trust cannot be rebuilt overnight. “Cherish the process of rebuilding the marriage relationship. It is through this process that the both of you will become stronger,” encourages Theresa.
Cherish the process of rebuilding the marriage relationship. Through this process, both of you will become stronger.
Betrayal in a marriage can trigger a depth of pain that cannot be fully understood by those outside of the situation. However, it’s important to know that there may still be hope for the relationship.
Couples have emerged from the ashes of betrayal and worked hard together to nurture an even stronger relationship than before. So, take heart that walking this long road together can give your marriage the new start you’re hoping for.
© 2019 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
- What are some steps you can take to build stronger trust in your marriage?
- If you need help to resolve feelings of betrayal in your marriage, speak to one of our counsellors today.
Sue-Ann Lee is a mother of three spirited and hilarious children who have nicknamed themselves, Rainbow Skye, Chubbs Salami and Fatti Spaghetti. Writing about her parenting experiences brings her great joy as it allows her to relive the many precious lessons learnt along the way.