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How to rebuild trust//

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by Charleigh Noble, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Charleigh Noble

    Charleigh Noble New Member

    15
    +16
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    I posted for the first time on this thread several months ago and now I need advice on something that builds off of my previous post. So I will quote my first post and then add my more recent experience. I would really love to get past this, so anyone who has dealt with something similar and experienced healing that might have some words of encouragement or wisdom, I would be extremely grateful.

    My first post: "We have been married for five years. He just recently came to me and told me that he cheated on me when we were dating. The person he cheated with is someone we have seen at multiple events and even gone to dinner with since being married. He would rake me over the coals if I even talked to other guys while we dated, something that eventually made me lose any male friends going in to marriage. The time in which he cheated was one of the hardest times of my life and he was the only person who was "there" for me. And now I realize that I actually had no one, at all (besides God, but at the time I was not at a place to recognize this). I can't help but feel hurt and betrayed, knowing that he's kept that from me for over six years now. And knowing that if he had told me back then, we would not be together today. It would have changed the course of my life... Not saying that I don't love my life now or anything, we have a beautiful little family. But, our marriage has not thrived since the first few months. And now, I feel more alone in our marriage than ever. He has asked for forgiveness and obviously feels awful about all of it. But I don't know how to move past it. I was a virgin, he was even my first kiss. And he'd been with many many girls. I think that is part of what makes this so difficult. I am having a hard time letting this go and truly forgiving him. Any suggestions for things that could help?"


    The development: About a month or so after that first post, a dear friend of mine told me that she needed to talk to me about something that was weighing heavy on her. I thought it was about her own marriage because her and her husband had been going through some stuff. I called my husband to see if he could watch the kids so that I could meet with her. He then says, "I know what she wants to talk to you about." He proceeded to tell me that about a year prior to this conversation, he and a few friends (the husband of the girl I was going to meet with being one of them) went to a baseball game, had a bit to drink and then ended up at a strip club. My husband had NEVER been to one before. And now that we are five years into marriage (four then) he decided to experience that? Well, it gets worse... he confesses that he had a lap dance. Then later tells me it was one dance on the floor and then 25 minutes of it in one of those corner booth things with a curtain (I have never been to one so I really don't even know what that means or how it's set up). And I call my friend back and she's crying and tells me that there's more and that (according to her husband) he had come out bragging about getting more than a lap dance (I'm not going to go into detail). I call my husband back and confronted him and he denied that part completely. He remembered bragging, but said that he was just trying to sound cool. He said all of this through sobs, and saying he knows how stupid it was. He's devastated that I know, I'm devastated that I don't even know my husband - he's been lying for an entire year about that night. I was pregnant the night that it happened, sitting at home with our sleeping daughter, worried to death about him.

    That night was a mistake, I get that. He'd never done something like that before and swears he never would again. He has been extremely broken and humble about it. He hates himself for it. But, as hard as it is to get those images of a woman with my husband out of my head, the most difficult part is getting past the year of lies. Every time I would come to him with something I was struggling with in our relationship... he made me feel like it was in my head, that my expectations or standards were too high. And now I realize the whole time he just had a guilty conscience and took it out me any time there was conflict.

    I can move on past that night. But the whole year of lying, me not knowing what was wrong with our marriage and thinking it was my fault... all the memories with our little family and our precious kids now feel tainted.

    Obviously, there are many many details that I have not included, it would take a book to say everything... but this is the extremely abbreviated version.

    It's been three months since I found out and I am still so broken about it. I don't trust him like I used to. I'm terrified of something happening again even though he tells me everything now. He doesn't have any form of social media, he is extremely accountable and reminds me on the difficult days that it will never happen again. But I'm still terrified. We got counseling for a few weeks, but I don't know how to get past this part.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  2. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

    +961
    Catholic
    Married
    The only way to build trust is to see repeated and long term changed behavior, and it seems that's up to him, not to you.

    One has to think, since he's been lying to you for years, and been unfaithful repeatedly, it would be quite a change for someone to change their basic behavior so much. If he does so, and you can verify it over a long period of time, then that will help you just begin to trust him again.
     
  3. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +987
    Mormon
    Honestly... you can't rebuild trust when there is nothing to trust in. Right now, his cheating behavior is pathological, and the "it's all in your head" is a red flag as well. You are very justified in not just believing his "I'm sorry, I'll never do it again", because.... well frankly there's a giant chance that's not true.

    I would recommend seeing a professional marriage counselor here. To save this marriage you're going to need the big guns, you being in here 100% of the way, and he needs to be willing to have his old self die and be reborn*.

    *Obviously I'm talking metaphorically/spiritually here, not literally.
     
  4. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

    +961
    Catholic
    Married
    Jane doe's mention of this jumped out at me. She's right - it's a huge red flag. It sounds like gaslighting, a pretty horrific form of mental spouse abuse. I suggest reading up on gaslighting, and watching out for it. It's important if you are going to keep yourself safe.
     
  5. Charleigh Noble

    Charleigh Noble New Member

    15
    +16
    United States
    Christian
    Married


    I guess that the emotional aspect of it is still what I'm dealing with. And the hurt from betrayal, obviously. But he is so convinced that he is totally changed that getting professional help now is probably not even on his radar.
    He guilted me a lot during that time, and I felt very much alone and didn't understand why until all of this came to light, but I think gaslighting would be an extreme here. I know that he loves me and I know that he has no intention of doing anything to hurt me again. But I never in a million years would have thought that we would be where we are today. I was SO incredibly blindsided.
     
  6. Jane_Doe

    Jane_Doe Well-Known Member

    +987
    Mormon
    I have no doubt that he loves you and never wants to hurt you again-- that's why I recommend professional help. He's got a problem- he never wanted to hurt you, but he slipped and shattered you. And then shattered you again. The help is so that he can learn the proper ways to channel his strength and love for you and be the loyal husband he wants to be. The help is so that he learns how to not hurt you again.
     
  7. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

    +5,890
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    I agree with Jane on this. While I have not experienced this with my husband, I did experience something similar with a man who I seriously considered marrying. It is a devastating feeling.

    While this won't fix the problem, perhaps this may help you grow closer together. Do you pray together or read scripture together daily? I find that doing that helps to make the center of our relationship be focused on God and His strength over our own. It may not solve the situation, but I do believe it will help you through this time and will help you both to grow closer together and closer to God. I still am working on this myself, but I see it in my parents' relationship daily - and as my husband and I increase our prayer life together, it makes a big difference.
     
  8. Hotinco

    Hotinco Member

    59
    +59
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    First let me tell you there is Hope and it can get better.

    A little background for you - After 3 years of marriage, my wife had an affair. At the time I was working out of town 30 days at a time would come home for a weekend and then back out of town. It was not by choice but that was the job I had. She confided in a co-worker and things grew from there. I am happy to say that was 25 years ago and in a few weeks we will celebrate our 28th anniversary.

    It was not easy, we went to counselling, small groups, our own marriage and bible studies along with years of trust issues.

    You have made a decision to stay married after you found out (I saw that because you are still with him). It will take work on both your parts, this is not a one sided or quick fix. Get involved in a young married small group. I prefer to see you in a group that you can confide in and will hold you both accountable. You will have good days and bad days, when those feelings come up you need to be able to talk through them and he needs to be understanding you will need a very high level of information regularly. For me (keep in mind this is before cell phones are popular) My wife would tell me exactly where she was going (store, doctor, etc.) and how long she would be at each location. If she ran long she would call me right away, you may not need that level of detail.

    This will take time with him proving himself over and over, that is why trust is so precious in a relationship. There are many mistakes we can make in a relationship that will not bring us to the edge like broken trust.

    Pray for God to restore your marriage. Pray together and individually. When you are having a tough time you need a GODLY friend you can confide in that will give you GODLY advice and not tell you it is time to just leave him. My best friend through my trial was always encouraging me to stick it out. Once you have made the commitment to stay divorce has to be off the table unless he falls again.

    You can do this and on the other side you can be a witness to others struggling. Right now focus on God and rebuilding your marriage one day at a time. Before you know it trust will be restored and you will be a living example of Gods work in marriage.
     
  9. Charleigh Noble

    Charleigh Noble New Member

    15
    +16
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Thank you for this, genuinely. We do need community, it would help with more than just this area of our lives. I know time is the biggest thing that will help. I just hate the constant ache. One day at a time. Thank you for your encouragement.
     
  10. Charleigh Noble

    Charleigh Noble New Member

    15
    +16
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    We do periodically, but not consistently. I have had to be the spiritual leader for most of our marriage, but he has been making a huge effort lately to be vigilant in his relationship with God, which I know will in turn help our relationship as well. We are rebuilding a foundation that was weak to begin with. But starting over from the ground up, I know we have the opportunity to be in a better place than we ever have been in our marriage thus far. Thank you for saying this, I do believe it makes a big difference.
     
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