Drastic Measures: Building Trust After The Affair
A Guest Post by Steve, one who knows
Are drastic measures really necessary for building trust after the affair? Short answer? Yes. Long answer? Yes.
Standing in line at Panera, I snapped a photo on my phone and texted it to my wife. She responded immediately. “Thank you.” A feeling of peace ran through me as I stepped up to order my sandwich.
What was this interaction and why did it provide so much peace? This was what some might call a “drastic measure” put in place in order to build trust in my marriage.
My wife and I agreed that, upon her request, I would snap a photo of myself wherever I was so that she would know that I was telling the truth. A photo proved I was where I said I was.
Does that seem drastic? It is. I had been lying to her about where I was and who I was with for years. After my long, deceptive affair that nearly cost me my marriage, things had to change. Small changes weren’t going to cut it.
How could I possibly expect her to trust me again if I wasn’t willing to make the effort to be trustworthy? Once deep deception infiltrates a marriage, extreme measures must be put in place to replace that deception with trust.
My wife and I found several resources that guided us to set some pretty big boundaries in our marriage. We also realized quickly that there were certain actions I could do to help my wife slowly start to trust me again. And I mean, slowly. I had been deceiving her for years…it was going to take quite a while to regain her trust.
But I was ready and willing. Are you?
Here’s a few pointers:
- There are certain measures your spouse will desire that may seem over the top to you. Too bad. Do them anyway. Sacrificially giving your spouse what they need rebuild trust is necessary. Over time, the need to have these drastic measures in place will diminish. This isn’t forever. But you need to be completely willing, or you are not trustworthy.
- Have your spouse make a written list of measures they want in place. Talk about the list. Make sure you are both on the same page. Then keep track of when you fulfill the items on the list. Your spouse may have a hard time realizing all you are doing to build trust. Sometimes having things written down help you both see that you ARE moving forward.
- Don’t try to do this alone. Get a counselor, a book, a class…someone that can guide you and speak truth into your lives.
- You cannot continue life “as is” and implement drastic measures. There’s not enough room for “life as usual” and “emergency surgery.” Make changes in your life to make room for rebuilding trust.
- Be proactive. Don’t wait until your spouse asks for you to do something. Do your very best to read the situation and begin to make an effort toward a new marriage without prodding, nagging or begging. Showing initiative goes a long way.
My wife has written an eBook with a detailed step-by-step process in how to navigate healing from an affair. It’s a free resource and it will help a lot.
In the meantime, take the drastic measures necessary to save your marriage. You won’t regret it.