My Husband Is Trying To Make Amends For His Affair, But It’s So Hard To Trust Him

By: Katie Lersch:  I hear from a alot of wives who are dealing with the frustration of a husband who just isn’t trying hard enough to make up for the affair.  So when I hear from someone who has a husband who IS trying, but who is still struggling,  I understand how difficult this might be.  I know exactly how this feels. You can often see the effort that he is making.  And you can’t fault that effort.  So you believe that you should put forth some effort, too.  That’s only fair. And good faith is very important.  But when you try to put forth that effort, you find yourself having a hard time trusting him or believing in him.

Someone might say: “I do have to honestly say that I 100% believe that my husband is trying to make amends after his affair.  He does everything that I ask.  He comes right home from work.  He compliments me and tries to make my life easier.  He offers to watch the kids while I go out with friends.  He has agreed to counseling, although we have just gotten started.  He is patient when I get angry with him and when I keep asking questions about the affair.  In short, I can’t really criticize how he has been acting.  He does appear to be a man who is trying to make things right.  And I am encouraged by that.  So I try to make myself have some optimism about my marriage and I try to return his kindness. But I find myself not exactly trusting in him or believing in him.  And I think that there are a couple of reasons for this.  First of all, my husband is in sales and therefore is very convincing of anything that he tries to float by you.  People say that my husband could sell ice water in a desert and sometimes I think that is what he is doing here.  The second thing that makes me reluctant is that my husband was being sweet, upbeat, and loving when he was carrying on the affair.  If friends had not seen him with the other woman, I would not have known or found out.  So there were no warning signs or weird behaviors.  He was his normal self while cheating, which makes me think that he could be continuing to cheat and I would have no idea. So this makes me doubt myself and makes me question if I can trust him.  This is all very problematic because he will try to be sweet to me and initiate affection and I find myself pulling away. I don’t want to.  But I guess my doubt and lack of trust is making me back off.  Will I ever feel that I can trust him? Or will I always have my guard up?”

In my experience, you can, in time, feel that you can trust him again.  But the key words here are “in time.”  There is just no way around that.  You have understandable doubts.  If you didn’t, you would be ignoring reality.  The only way that I am aware of to quell those doubts is to do the work and then wait to see if your husband proves himself to be trustworthy over time.  Yes, he can tell you that he will not cheat again.  Yes, his behavior can indicate that he doesn’t intend to cheat on you again.  But nothing is as reassuring as to look back (over a long period of time) and to realize that he has PROVEN that he will not cheat again and therefore, it is safe to trust him.

Now, while you are waiting for this peace of mind, you do not have to live in complete fear all of the time.  Unfortunately, there is no way to get a 100% guarantee that from this moment on that you can trust every one that you love and no one is ever going to disappoint you.  I sure wish that life worked this way, but it does not.  For most of us, we make a conscious choice to participate in the relationship while keeping our eyes open to what is going on around us.  Does this mean that we always try to catch him cheating and just know that this day is going to come?  Hopefully not, although we certainly can be observant, especially in the early days.

What this often means is that we take each day as it comes, we continue to attend counseling, we continue to make an effort, we are grateful for the good days, and we get through the bad days.  Many of us find that in time, the good days start to outweigh the bad days and we eventually find ourselves worrying about trust less and less.  But this process comes with time and work.  I know of no way to skip over either one.  And every time I have tried to, the doubt just came back that much stronger.

So I eventually learned to just hope for the best and to to do every thing that I could for the sake of my family, but I also kept an eye out for any behaviors that I thought were troubling.  Thankfully, I did not find any and time has now given me the reassurance that it’s safe to trust my husband again.   My husband told me that it was safe years ago, but I needed time to go by in order to see that for myself.  While I was waiting, I continued to live my life and raise my family.  Because really, what else can you do?  If your husband is doing what you have asked and you see progress, then it is worth it to wait and to have patience, at least in my opinion.

I did not completely trust my husband early in our recovery.  I always had my eyes open.  But I continued on and I gave it my best effort for the sake of my family.  As we healed, the trust returned.  So there is reassurance that you won’t always feel this doubtful.  But you need to do the work. And you need the time to heal.   There’s more about my own recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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