How to Fix Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken?

By David Small •  Updated: 03/31/21 •  11 min read

At the beginning of marriage relationships, couples trust each other so much that they don’t consider the possibility of betrayal.

Soon, broken promises, lies, and infidelity set in to break any little trust that had existed before.

That’s when you realized that building and maintaining trust in a marriage requires a lot of hard work.

What if your spouse does something that completely breaks your trust for them?

Can you rebuild a marriage when trust is broken? With hard work and dedication, you can make your marriage as strong as it was before.

Here is how to fix your marriage when trust is broken:

  1. Salvage Whatever’s Left of The Marriage.

Broken trust often means the entire marriage is shattering into pieces. As a result, the love you had, compatibility, understanding, and comfort zone no longer exists as a single piece.

If you want to fix your marriage when trust is broken, you must be ready to salvage whatever’s left of it. It all depends on the issues at hand.

If your partner cheated on you, then you have to talk about the infidelity incident and how it transpired. That will not only help you to know what went wrong but also the remedial measures to take.

While at it, the offender should own their actions. Long before the betrayed partner discovers it, the cheating partner should confess. And that requires them to be honest and their words and actions.

The cheating partner should also listen without getting emotional or defensive. After all, you wouldn’t be here if they had kept their pants on. They should also acknowledge the seriousness of the act and avoid oversimplifying it

. As Cindy Beall says in Healing Marriage When Trust is Broken, the two of you shouldn’t hold back your emotions.

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Actions.

It is usual for the two of you to blame each other after betrayal by one partner.

The one who cheated might blame the spouse for neglecting them. On the other hand, the betrayed one will blame the partner for straying from the relationship.

The problem with getting into the blame game is that it does very little to resolve your relationship issues. Instead, it will only fan the embers of anger and worsen an already bad situation.

In Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New, Cindy Beall advises you to take responsibility for your role in the entire saga. In that case, the unfaithful partner should own up for cheating on the spouse.

They should undertake to stop the illicit relationship and work on the marriage. The jilted partner should also own up their role in the whole issue. Perhaps they haven’t been intimating with their spouse for some time now.

Once they recognize their mistake, they should work together to fix the marriage.

  1. Recognize the Emotional Impact Betrayal Has on Your Spouse.

After betraying your spouse, you cannot control the impact it has on them.

In most cases, you cannot tell how hurt he or she will be. Betrayed partners react differently depending on their relationship history, experiences, length of the relationship, and personality.

Therefore, expect your spouse to feel anger, sadness, hurt, and the like. While at it, avoid trying to stop them from experiencing these emotions. Curtailing your spouse’s emotional reactions indicates an unwillingness to understand the importance of letting healing happen naturally.

Instead, you should give your partner the space they need to grieve. Create an environment in which your spouse can share their emotions without coercion. Where possible, allow your spouse to be on their own whenever they need it.

If they need to talk to friends or family members, will enable it to happen. Without going through the entire grieving process, your partner may have very little to offer in the renewed relationship. Also, you can ask for help from a qualified marriage therapist to help the two of you fix the marriage.

Also Related: 15 Simple Ways to Overcome Problems in A Marriage.

  1. Offer an Authentic Apology and Accept Forgiveness.

Are you the one who broke the trust? Make sure to issue an authentic apology to your partner, possibly more than once. Initially, you may apologize for the immediate action that brought you into this situation.

As you keep talking about it, you might also need to apologize for the hurt your actions caused. Later on, you should also apologize for making it difficult for your partner to function in the marriage.

At every stage, these apologies should be authentic, coming from your heart. It shouldn’t only be about seeking forgiveness but about showing genuine remorse for what you did.

On the other hand, the betrayed partner should strive to forgive their spouse. That doesn’t necessarily mean letting the betrayer off the hook.

Instead, it means freeing yourself from the poison caused by pent-up resentment. But that doesn’t mean forgiving your partner on the first day after discovering they cheated on you. Take time to digest the information and only ignore it when you are ready for it.

On the contrary, the forgiven partner should accept it and avoid bringing up future issues.

  1. Realize the Relationship May Never Be Like Before.

Marriage relationships often evolve as the partners navigate one major issue after another. If you look back to the time you were married, your relationship today is entirely different.

So, quit expecting things to go back to what they were before the trust was broken. Without that, you will never know how to fix your marriage when trust is broken.

In the new dispensation, you have to learn to rebuild trust before having a semblance of normalcy. However, whatever you call “normal” can never recur.

For you to continue with the relationship, you might have to make several drastic changes. In I Love You But I Don’t Trust You, Mira Kirshenbaum suggests taking measures completely transparent.

Where trust issues are about your interaction with the opposite sex on social media, you might have to share your passwords. If it was about money, then your spouse may require your bank details.

Also, you may have to change the kind of interaction you have with your co-workers. When discussing these changes, avoid making opposition that may raise suspicion about your commitment to fixing the marriage.

  1. Avoid Making False Promises.

Perhaps guilty of their actions, the offending partner may end up making false promises to their partner. What they do not realize is that it is better to make no promise at all.

Relationship expert Dr. Randi Gunther says most cheating partners agree to do certain things because they fear criticism. In the end, they fail to fulfill their promises, breaking the trust they wanted to rebuild in the first place.

The problem with making false promises is that it can make it impossible for your spouse to forgive you. That means you should take time to talk about the situation before you start making promises.

Contrary to your spouse’s expectation to forget the promises, they will remind you of them later on. After all, you made the promises after infidelity, an extraordinary emotionally charged situation.

However, the offending partner can remedy the situation by writing down their pledges to be held accountable.

  1. Be Ready to Go for The Long-Haul.

If you want to know how to fix your marriage when trust is broken, don’t expect same-day results.

It might take weeks, months, or even years before the two of you can trust each other again. That calls for a lot of patience from you and your spouse. You must also be ready to work hard while respecting the process.

When trust is broken, people tend to react differently. While the offending partner may brush it off as nothing inconsequential, the betrayed partner may take longer to heal.

Furthermore, there are times when it will look like you aren’t making any progress. Other times, your relationship may look normal even when it isn’t. Don’t rush to a conclusion.

Instead, give your spouse time to form a mental image of you as a trustworthy partner. If it never happens, realize you caused the problem and have no right to demand trust.

In Turning Unhappily Marriage Into A Happy One, Dan T Watson advises acting with humility and compassion to earn trust. During that time, the offending partner should act trustworthy.

  1. Maintain Consistency in Your Behaviour.

It takes a lot of work and time to fix a marriage when trust is broken. However, breaking faith happens in an instant. With one misstep, you will reserve everything you have been striving to build.

That’s why you should be ready to maintain a high level of consistency in your relationship. That means fulfilling most, if not all, the promises you make to your spouse. Also, it involves telling them you love them, being romantic, and flirting with each other.

In a marriage, consistency means being predictable and dependable. With consistent behavior, you will evoke trustworthiness in your spouse. It will make your partner feel relaxed, less tense, and comfortable.

That is necessary for showing your partner how much you are committed to the relationship. It will also help the two of you to rebuild trust and fix your broken marriage.

Also Related: How to Fix and Save a Broken Marriage: A Complete Guide

  1. Don’t Allow Distractions to Curtail Your Relationship.

Suppose you want to fix your marriage when the trust of broken; you should be ready to remove all distractions. Whether it is your career, children, or hobbies, please don’t allow them to curtail the relationship.

When trying to rebuild trust, you must remain focused entirely on your marriage. In a fix Your Marriage in 7 Steps, Alice Gardner advises you to recognize and avoid all possible distractions. That way, you will be able to fix your marriage and make it stronger.

Under normal circumstances, none of the other issues in your life should interfere with your relationship. However, your career can become a distractor, especially if you are experiencing stress at work.

Similarly, your hobbies can hinder your marriage recovery progress if you only consider your selfish wants. It’s important to remember that the relationship is about the two of you. While at it, you should avoid letting other people take too much of your time.

  1. Hire A Marriage Counsellor or Therapist.

It can be impossible for the two of you to fix your marriage when trust is broken. In that case, you may need to hire a qualified and experienced marriage counselor.

According to Mayo Clinic, marriage counseling helps couples recognize, resolve their issues, and improve their marriages. Thus, a marriage counselor can help you think through your decisions to rebuild and strengthen your marriage.

But not just anyone can provide marriage counseling. Make sure you hire someone with the proper certification and licenses to ensure you get the right services.

They should have either a graduate or post-graduate degree and affiliated with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

When you find the right therapist, tag your spouse along so that the sessions aren’t just about you but the marriage. The expert can help you overcome communication problems, anger issues, infidelity, substance abuse, and sexual difficulties.


From the discussion above, it should be possible for you to fix your marriage when trust is broken. Start my salvaging whatever remains of the marriage by picking up the pieces.

It is also essential to take responsibility for all your actions, especially if you are the offender. By recognizing the emotional impact of your activities on your spouse, you will provide a healing environment.

Learn to apologize authentically and accept forgiveness, while realizing that the relationship will never be the same. Even as you avoid making false promises, get ready to work on your marriage for a long time.

Maintaining consistency and avoiding distractions are some of the other strategies for fixing your marriage. It is always good to hire a marriage therapist, especially if you have no idea how to navigate your relationship issues.

The therapist will also teach you strategies to reconnect and build a much stronger relationship.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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