How Do I Reassure My Spouse That I Won’t Cheat Again?

By: Katie Lersch:  Most of the people that I hear from on my blog are the spouses who were faithful. They are often looking for a way to save their marriage after infidelity while keeping their self worth in tact.  Occasionally though, I hear from the cheating spouse.  Believe it or not, these folks want the same thing that the faithful spouse does.  They want to save their marriage, but they often finding that their spouse both doubts them and is having trouble trusting them.

I heard from a husband who said: “I will admit that I cheated on my wife.  And this is the hugest mistake I have ever made and ever will make.  I can not express how much I regret this. Nor can I express how much I want to save my marriage.  But in order to do that, I need for my wife to forgive me and to trust me.  I can tell that she’s staying for our kids, but I also suspect that she doesn’t really trust me.  The other day, I brought up this topic and she said ‘you know, it’s just impossible for me to just let go because in the back of my mind, I feel like what happens if you cheat again.  I just don’t feel as if I can let my guard down and really commit to this marriage because I could not handle being cheated on again.’  I can understand why she would feel this way, but I would never cheat again.  How can I prove this to her or make her understand this?”  I will try to answer these questions in the following article.

Do Not Belittle Her Concerns Or Dismiss Her:  I do understand how badly you want and need for your wife to believe and trust in you.  But, you have to understand her point of view.  She did trust in and believe you.  And look at what has happened.  She is in so much pain right now that she never wants to repeat this.  So asking her to risk her heart when there might be a chance that in the future it will be broken again is a tall order.

That’s why it probably won’t help you to tell her that she just has to trust you or that she just has to get over this.  Doing so won’t make you seem very sympathetic and it tells her that you are more concerned about yourself than you are about her.  You are better off validating her.  Tell her that you completely understand why she feels the way that she does, but that you intend to prove to her that she can trust you again.  Stress that until that time, you will be patient and you will give her all the time she needs.

Understand That Trust Is Often Restored With Repeated Actions Over Time.  Words Are Not A Quick Fix:  Many people in this situation will hope that they can talk their way out of it.  They will stress how much they love their spouse and they will try to explain their case. The thing is, your spouse knows that you are going to say anything to make this right.  And frankly, they are often waiting to see what your actions are going to say instead of what your words are going to claim.   They often do not want to make a rushed decision.  They want to see if your actions are going to back up your words.  And you need to respect that.  Because any one can say anything to get quick results.  But if you really mean what you say, then you are going to follow up time and time again no matter how long this takes.  So tell her that she can trust you with your actions as well as your words.

The Actions That Inspire Trust:  Your spouse wants to see that you have nothing to hide and that you are trying to hide nothing.  To that end, you need to come home when you are finished with work or with your other obligations.  You need to include your spouse in your activities whenever possible. It doesn’t hurt to call her throughout the day to check in and let her know that you are thinking about her.  If she wants to go to counseling, or has questions, or wants to talk endlessly, cooperate with her.  Show her that you  are willing to do whatever it takes.  It’s OK to do the little things that let her know that you  love and value her, but don’t go overboard with elaborate or expensive guilt gifts that will only make her think that you are trying to buy her forgiveness.

What she really wants to see from you is true remorse, true trustworthiness, and a determination to make this right because you love her and still want to be with her.  She doesn’t need to believe that  you’re trying to “make” her trust you again when you know deep down you don’t deserve it. Be patient and don’t try to regain her trust in the quickest way possible.  Know that you must earn her trust and be willing to do what it takes and to be patient.

If I’m being honest, I have to admit that it took a good deal of time for me to believe that my husband wouldn’t cheat again.  I listened to his reassurances and claims, but in the back of my mind, my reservations were there.  Still, I committed to move forward anyway because my marriage was that important to me.  We eventually did recover and our very strongly committed today.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog at

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