Previous love relationships can sometimes threaten the trust between a husband and wife. If talks about your spouse's prior love relationships and previous boyfriends or girlfriends have contributed to a break down in trust between the two of you, this post will help you learn how to rebuild trust in a marriage.
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Let's attend to this question of broken trust and how to rebuild trust in a marriage, sent to us by one of our avid followers:
"My husband doesn't trust me anymore because of my relationship with an old boyfriend. Help! Early in our relationship, I returned to an old boyfriend for 2 months. I came back to the man who became my husband and we have been married for over 25 years with 3 children. He knew where I was 30 years ago when I left him, but not all of the details. He recently told me that if I didn't tell him everything, our marriage was over. I told him everything he asked, and now he says he cannot forgive this, does not trust me, and wants a divorce. I have never unfaithful to him since we were married, but not sharing the truth with him, is in his mind infidelity. Because I hid the truth for this long I am not trustworthy. He is a very loving, caring person, and I love him very much. We both have old baggage from our childhoods, but both desire to have a loving marriage. I don't know how to repair things, and he feels that he does know...and that is to divorce. I asked him if he would go to counseling with me, and his answer was no. Is there hope? Where do we start.
Thank you for your question. I do think there is hope for you to be able to rebuild trust in your marriage if you both love each other. While it may feel like infidelity to your husband, I think it is important for him to be able to explore his strong feelings and anger around this issue of your "affair".
You have proved trustworthy for over twenty five years. I am wondering why all of a sudden he asked you about this. Why is he bringing it up now?
He also kind of set you up for failure by asking you to fully disclose or face divorce, and now that you did fully disclose, he still wants divorce.
He is obviously very hurt.
I would recommend showing your sincere remorse at what you did and validating his feelings of hurt.
At the same time, you want to convey how important your relationship and family is and that you have been committed to him fully since that incident and will continue to do so.
It seems like there are some underlying issues that need to be addressed and I think it is possible to heal. I usually find that such situations need a more intensive approach-one that would include marriage counseling or a marriage therapy retreat (more info here)- that will help you get to the bottom of the situation and gain hope to move forward.
Learning how to rebuild trust in a marriage is something that we teach in Step 1 (Commitment) of Marriage School- because without trust in a marriage, it's almost impossible to have true expression of free flowing love and connection between a husband and wife, which is what you need for a happy marriage.
Prior love relationships can sometimes challenge the trust between a husband and wife and it's important to deal with those emotions together in a safe manner.