When You Don’t Trust Your Husband (5 Things You Can Do)

Difficult Marriage | Loving My Husband | Newlywed Advice

What do you do when you don’t trust your husband?

Maybe he did something that chipped (or stripped) away your trust.

Or perhaps you are suspicious of something but don’t know how to bring it up.

When you don't trust your husband

I receive so many emails from wives who don’t trust their husbands anymore. I also hear from single women who are dating men who are untrustworthy.

Today’s post is meant to affirm and offer some next-step thoughts for the wife experiencing broken trust in marriage. Make sure to also read these two posts because they will help you:

So let’s look at what to do when trust becomes an issue in marriage. We will look at what you should do and what you should not.

My thoughts today are meant to help you process the situation so you can take the next best steps. At the end of the post, I’ll have a ton of links for further reading.

5 things to remember when you don’t trust your husband

1. Remember trust is earned, not automatically given

For women, security in marriage is a big deal. When we give our hearts to our guys, we expect them to keep it safe. That’s a good and honorable expectation.

However there’s a dark side to our deep need for security; when our love for peace and stability overcomes our love for a healthy marriage. (A healthy relationship is where both spouses feel cherished and secure.)

When we ignore warning signs and allow our spouse to manipulate and control us to silence, we set ourselves up for even more trouble because we can’t resolve what we don’t confront. And what stays unaddressed only gets worse, not better.

If you are in a situation where your husband is subtly or not-so-subtly blaming, shaming, manipulating, controlling you to keep things under wraps, I want you to think about it this way.

Your husband did not fall into your life with an all-access pass.

He had to woo you, pursue you and prove himself before you gave him your heart.

If on your first date your beloved had declared “I am a nice guy, I work hard. Just trust me. Marry me. I am telling the truth”, chances are you might not be together today.

No matter how awesome and great he thought he was, he had to prove it to you. He had to build trust.

Both of you came into marriage with positive expectations and vows.

When these things are broken (or suspicion arises), you have a right to stop, talk and evaluate what is going on.

You have a right to hold each other accountable, to walk it out together until trust is rebuilt.

He can’t say “But I told you I changed, why don’t you trust me?” It takes more than words.

Trust is not earned by words only, but by consistent deed and action.

If you are flustered about confronting your husband, I want to affirm you; you are well within your rights to speak up and check behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

In the end, there’s a process to rebuilding trust but that process doesn’t begin until you draw the line in the sand and take action.

When trust is broken in marriage, there's a process to rebuilding trust but that process doesn't begin until spouses draw the line in the sand and take action.Click to Tweet

When you don't trust your husband, 5 things you can do

2. Calm down

When you feel like you don’t trust your husband (or suspicion arises), the first instinct is to confront.

Tackling the issue is important but it should not be the first step.

Starting a discussion while feelings are raw and exploding through the roof will likely lead you on a different planet than intended.

Further, you’ll reap the opposite of what you were trying to achieve; you likely want to do more than stir up emotions. You want the truth, healing and a lasting solution.

You cannot get these three things by yourself. You need to talk to the God who designed marriage, the One who knows your husband better than you do.

Prayer is powerful because it helps us tap into a jurisdiction higher than our own. No one knows the heart of your husband as God does. Furthermore, no one understands your hurt as He does.

So talk to God before you talk to your husband. Ask for wisdom, for ideas on how to handle the concern or crisis. Ask for help with your emotions and thoughts: You want to be able to separate truth from worst-case imaginations.

Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.

3. Talk to your husband

This is likely one of the hardest things you will have to do; to keep it together when you finally have that talk.

But it’s important to still try because it’s not enough to have inner peace and calmness, you need to bring that peace in to your conversation with your husband.

As you talk about your discovery and concern, keep a steely determination on your goal. That means watching your tone of voice, your words, your body language. Berating, yelling, throwing things will discourage a conversation, not encourage it.

Maybe it might help to think about what you really want out of that conversation.

Do you want to start a mind-numbing soul-crashing fight that leaves you worse-off than before?

Or would you like to get to the bottom of things? Hear his side of story? What is your long-term goal? Do you want restoration?

If you want progress, then consider all the things you need to do now in order to nudge your relationship towards the desired goal.

You might not have control over your husband or his desires or even the final outcome, but you have control over yourself.

So work on what you can because you want to have some level of peace about your contribution. You want to be able to say “I am giving it my best”

Also, it might help to remember that no matter what you think you know, you really don’t know what is in your man’s heart. Further, you can’t change him even if you knew.

So do your part and remember God knows more than you do. When you do your part and trust Him to do His, He will lead you.

1 Kings 8:39

then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind.

4. When you don’t trust your husband, consider involving others.

Depending on the situation, you’ll need to bring in trusted counsel.

Proverbs 11:14 says

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

The key is trusted biblical counsel and it can be in the form of a Christian counselor, your pastor or mentor. At the very least, talk to someone who is not against the marriage union.

Seek counsel from someone who shares your values, who values marriage as much as you do, one who will root for the health and healing of a marriage, not it’s demise.

Seek counsel from someone who shares your values, who values marriage as much as you do, one who will root for the health and healing of a marriage, not it's demise.Click to Tweet

What if you need counseling but your husband does not want to involve outside help, even forbids you to seek it?

Well, as a wife who has first and foremost sought the Lord, who is working on herself and doing her part in making the marriage whole, you will do exactly what the Bible instructs us to.

Ephesians 5:22 says

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

We partner and submit to each other in marriage out of reverence for Christ. Where the reverence and desire for Christ and His principles is absent, we are to draw a line.

God wants your marriage whole and healthy but more than a healthy marriage, He wants the people in the marriage whole and restored.

So whenever your husband’s will and the Lord’s will collide, you obey the Lord first.

If your husband won’t seek help, seek it for yourself. Talk to someone. At the end of this post, I’ll have a link to a blog post with details on how to create boundaries with a difficult spouse.

Please note; if you feel unsafe bringing up these conversations with your spouse, only do so in the presence of someone safe.

When you don't trust your husband, 5 things to do

5. When you don’t trust your husband, remember forgiveness and trust are two different things

One of the reasons most people have a hard time forgiving is because they think forgiving someone means accepting the person back into their lives. Or it means overlooking the transgression.

But here’s what it means.

Trust is earned. It’s not something you hand over freely because “I forgave you.”

However, forgiveness is not earned. It might be hard to hear but your husband doesn’t have to prove himself to earn your forgiveness. He has to prove himself to earn back your trust.

In simple terms, forgiveness is lightening of your load, deciding that what your husband has done is not bigger than what Christ already did.

Ephesians 4:31 – 32 says

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

We forgive freely because because Christ forgave us.

Now let’s talk about earning trust.

Putting boundaries in place, to foster and help rebuild trust does not mean you have not forgiven.

For example, if it’s financial mismanagement, handing over all the financial decisions to him “because I forgave him” is unwise.

If he’s breaking boundaries with the opposite sex, having access to his social media, emails, internet use is important for the restoration process. You don’t have to be his chief accountability partner but you want to have that access.

(Please note: the purpose of this type of access isn’t stalking and churning emotions. As the wife, you still have to exercise caution so you don’t end up breaking that which you are trying to rebuild. Talk to a counselor/mentor on how to go about this, including your limits.)

If you find out there was an affair, asking for time to process the broken trust before sexual intimacy can resume does not mean you have not forgiven.

You want to walk the road to real healing and restoration and that means putting relationship boundaries in place and sticking to those boundaries.

Your husband might not like it but here we are. The restoration process is not all about his wishes, not even the best interest of the marriage. It is also about your best interest.

God wants healthy people, not just the preservation of a marriage. Christ died to save souls, not institutions.

God wants healthy people, not just the preservation of a marriage. Christ died to save souls, not institutions.Click to Tweet

When you don’t trust your husband, there is not easy road

There is no easy process to confronting trust issues in marriage. My quick thoughts today are meant to affirm you and point you in the right direction.

But I have written a ton on related issues and you can click the links below to read.

11 Signs of an Untrustworthy Husband

When You Feel Like You Can Never Trust Your Husband Again

When Your Husband Talks to Another Woman – 12 Things to DO

11 Signs of An Untrustworthy Husband

Boundaries in Marriage: 5 Guidelines for Setting Limits with a Difficult Spouse

Divorce: When a Wife Feels She Has Done Enough

~

Are you wrestling with the overwhelm of new marriage and desperate for a step by step guide on how to end the confusion, fussing and misunderstandings? Want healing and happiness in your marriage? Or maybe you just want to understand marriage so you can love better, create the relationship of your dreams, God’s way. My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years can help! Pick it up Amazon I Nook I PDF Blues to Bliss - Creating Your Happily ever after in the early years

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32 Comments

  1. David Kufel says:

    I have a wife who is constantly monitoring my phone, my mail..everything. Shes very good to me in every way but this behavior is unnerving and to me unacceptable. She has no reason to mistrust me. She thinks i hide thins from her. Did i mention she is Colombian but shouldn’t have any bearing. She is a christian women and refers to the bible a lot to reference our marriage… Please advise.

    1. David, there’s a reason your wife feels she needs to monitor your gadgets/life; it might be a current or past reason (doesn’t even have to be related to you) I suggest you have a calm conversation about why she does what she does. No accusation or anger, just seeking to know her heart and motivation. And then set about being “an open book”. If she has been wounded in the past by you or someone else, rebuilding trust (because a lack of trust is probably why she’s checking on you) takes time. You can also engage counseling/mentor help to help you work through this.

  2. So I got married 3 weeks ago today. Prior to our marriage 3 years ago, we were engaged. My husband (then fiance) was in a sexual relationship with another woman for 5 years. I was devastated and called off the wedding. I was tortured by the other woman and he continuously kept saying he couldnt cobtrol her actions but it was over between the two of them. We were seperated for 2 years following that. I had our son who I found out I was pregnant with during that situation. Fast foward that two years past and he realized that I was moving on. He came to me to reconcile our relationship and I accepted (still loved him and wasnt serious with anyone else). 6 months passed and he wanted to get engaged again which I accepted. I had no reason to hold ill feelings or non trust feelings. We got married 3 weeks ago today. On my wedding day another woman came to my wedding to announce she had been seeing him for 5 yrs. He did tell me about her when we first got back together, saying that was somethingvand he left it alone because we got back together. My thing is this is the 2nd time Ive been humiliated by this man publicly. Feeling numb and very upset. Im not dure how I can get back into trusting him after what had happened? Its very hard and sometimes I feel evil toward him.

    1. Mrs M, I am so sorry for what you are going through. It’s a difficult season. I suggest you engage the help of a Christian counselor or mentor, to help you work through this. If you took up premarital counseling, getting back to your counselor/mentor (who is already familiar with both you) can be a big help. You are right to be upset, based on the history. And yes, it is possible to trust again. But it’s a journey because you want to be sure you are building on the right foundation (plus your heart needs time to heal). I have prayed for you!

  3. Corina Brown says:

    hi, i read your post and it is so encouraging. My husband was texting another woman who he has always called his “unrequited love”, just a few weeks before we were married. He texted her in secret and I found out. Before that, i trusted him with all of me. Now, 1 year later, I still struggle with trusting him. What are some healthy boundaries I can set up? Also what advice might you have for me? I want to honor God in my marriage, but feelings of insecurity overwhelm me.

    1. His view of her does send up those red flags, and of-course the before-the-wedding-secret texting. I don’t know if he was continued to text her and keep in touch after your marriage. But please read the posts I have listed at the end of the blog – there should be tips to help you and bring some clarity. Also check out this link for further tips on what to do when texting crosses the line http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/tag/is-texting-cheating/

  4. What do you do if your husband has a child outside of the marriage? I want to work things out with him…. But him having a child with another woman is starting to tear me apart. I now don’t want to be intimate with him or anything. He hasn’t showed me that he’s sorry much or anything. And I want him to be in the childs life but he’s not being honest to the other woman about he and I don’t know what to do at this point.

    1. I am sorry about what you are going through Sasha. Its a difficult place and I applaud you for desiring your husband be involved in his child’s life. I would advice you seek counseling from a mentor or Christian counselor/pastor. A seasoned Christian to help mediate and walk you through this. If your husband won’t go to counseling, someone to help you with next steps. Also check out tolovehonorandvacuum.com. The author, Sheila has sound advice for anyone going through messy marriage situations. I’ve prayed for you.

      1. Thank you. We both have spoken to counselors…. But they are not good. And a lot of times they would reschedule on the day we are supposed to talk to them. Smh. I kinda have up on that.

  5. Really great advice. Thanks so much!

  6. Gerard Johnson says:

    Hello I am a man not sure if you receive posts from our POV. My wife and I been married for over 13 years. I had an encounter with an old friend nothing sexual but embrace. Fast forwarding 12 years later my wife still holds that. She forgives but still have the weight of dis-trust so she maintains fences. Sometimes those fences can work against you and hold you hostage. When you forgive you can revisit those issues without emotions. Christ wants who to forgive over and over again. I don’t intentionally hold in memory offenses my wife have done to me. Life is too short and I would rather preserve space for memories to cherish then old fears about my spouse that might happen again. Not trying to minimize legitimate pain some of you may have experience but I think the message is the be ready to forgive and forget as Christ forgives us.

    1. I hear you Gerard. Letting go of the past is a decision we have to make (many times, over and over). Otherwise forgiveness isn’t really complete. Its impossible to change our spouse’s heart – only Christ can transform and heal. In this, unceasing prayer, affirmation of your love and commitment, a dogged belief that God will work in her as He works in yours is the one thing I can think of to make a difference. I hope you are part of a strong church family.

  7. Ivan Schneider says:

    Of course, forgiveness should be earned. If one cannot earn earn forgiveness, then one cannot earn trust or respect. Forgiveness should never be given out like a welfare check. It should be earned through remorse and paying a social debt.

    1. Ivan, we forgive as Christians because God commands us to forgive. The Bibles shows us how we have been forgiven of greater sin by God, and He asks us to forgive, without condition, those that have hurt us, just as He forgives us without conditions. Collosians 3:13 “Forgive as the Lord forgives you”.
      obviously you seem to believe different. that’s okay but i hope you can see things from God’s perspective. And by the way i don’t allow cursing or any form of rudeness on my website..so I’ve edited your comment. if you wish to participate in the discussion, please keep your sharing respectful.

  8. Kim Samuel says:

    My husband of 10 years has always had trust issues with me bc of his previous relationship. I have never cheated on him or been unfaithful and always honest. He questions my whereabouts all the time, whether I go to grocery store or take a zumba class and I’m always checking in with him. However my word is never good enough for him and he says he knows the signs of a liar, but that is not true, he has me so wound up I get nervous. I don’t know what to do, it causes lots of tears bc I know my heart and I know I’m 100 percent faithful but he doesn’t

    1. Kim Samuel says:

      He doesn’t trust me, how can that be healthy? We get in fights very often bc of it. I trust him, maybe not 100 percent but only bc he actually has broken my trust years ago but I still trust him more than he trusts me and I have never done anything to loose his trust. Is our relationship doomed?

      1. Kim, your relationship is not “doomed”. You (plural) do need counseling, because he needs to address the fears he has; it is not healthy for you and your relationship. But there’s hope! Please find a Christian counselor and you can do that through a local church. Or talk to a mentor of yours. I have prayed for you.

  9. Me and My husband have been together for 8years and have two kids. i recently founded ( had my suspicions though) out that she was cheating on me and he apologized for doing so. Recently he goes out to answer his phone, he is hardly at home and spends money at clubs in the name of entertaining friends. I have persevered but now its enough. what do i do as i dont want my kids to grow up without a father?

    1. Thobile, I am so sorry. Please refer to # 3 and # 4 of my post – Involve trusted help (pastor, marriage counselor). Repentance means “turning away” from the past and genuinely working towards healing and reconciliation. A marriage counselor or pastor will be able to walk you through this difficult situation. I have prayed for you!

  10. Me and my fiancé have been together for almost 3 years now. At the beginning, he was talking to his ex, and some other women, telling them he loved them and missed them and wanted to be with them. This went on for almost a year. Now i feel like im not good enough for him, like im not who he really wants. I love him with all my heart and soul, but i keep catching him starring at other females and not just glancing but following them til they are out of sight. Im a plus sized girl, and the women he gazes at are skinny and beautiful. I have a gut feeling hes doing something. He wont talk to me or let me talk about anything. He immediatly cuts me off and flips the situation around on me and screams at me and storms off and leaves me for hours, sometimes days. Then when he returns im supposed to act as if it never happened because if i bring it up he just does the same thing and leaves again. And i dont want him to leave, so i shut up and pretend its all fine. What do i do? How do i talk to him?

    1. Brandi, I see red-flags all over your relationship. A good marriage does not fly on one-wing, in this case you. Both people have to WANT it to work. And not just in word but in deed. What you have described above is an unhealthy relationship. You are not married yet and that’s a plus because you can make decisions now. Also note that i was speaking in a marriage context. If you are living together outside marriage for example, that is already a wrong foundation for a relationship. You can follow this link to read more articles https://intentionaltoday.com/category/single-life/

  11. Celtic 77 says:

    10 years married with 2 children, the youngest being 6months. I recently found out my husband whom I trusted with my life was having an affair for over a year and a half. He has given me his word that he doesn’t want to be with anybody but me. However, I don’t think I can ever trust him again as I no longer know him. He now lives separately but calls in for 1 hour every two days or so to see the children and I. He plans on spending time with us but I feel he’s only wanting us, as he’s afraid of letting go. God can help us through this, but man’s conscious decisions pave his own future. I feel our future may be seperate sadly.

    1. I am so sorry for what you are going through! I have lifted you up in prayer. Please (if you haven’t done so) talk to your pastor/christian counselor/mentor or a couple you look up to, to walk you through this.

  12. I just can’t trust him. He likes to see and know everything in this world. We are long distance and whenever he goes away is so hard to trust him. I want to tell someone but i am too embarrassed and don’t want to tell my sisters or pastor but it’s eating me up inside!

    1. Have you talked to him about your concerns? It would be a good idea to do that, before you speak to your pastor. Unaddressed issues don’t resolve by themselves and i pray God will give you the courage and wisdom you need!

    2. God bless you! It is a difficult place to be in and it takes a strong person to endure and hang in there, feeling how you feel. Your family loves you. You might be surprised how much they will understand and maybe how much they have already perceived. Don’t let the embarrassment of what going on stop you from getting the support and prayers you need. No matter what, God loves you and will see you through.
      Crystal

  13. Just moved in with my boyfriend we are always fighting I’m someone who is in tune Wirh my feelings asking myself constantly how I’m feeling and trying to find out why . I have a gut feeling at times he was seeing or trying to..i don’t know what exactly with someone

  14. It’s interesting how you define trust, I had never thought of it quite like that before. I think you have some great advice in your e-book too from what I have seen at first glance 🙂 I plan on reading it more carefully!

  15. Sheila Kimball says:

    Making the point that forgiveness does not equate to trust is very important. Too many women mistakenly believe that if they forgive a sorry spouse they must automatically hand over the keys to the kingdom. But allowing a person to “prove” themselves first is very wise. Thanks for a good post.

  16. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says:

    Great post!

    One thing I would add is…”it’s not your fault”. Many men will try to place the responsibility for their untrustworthy behaviour on their wives…”YOU did (or didn’t) do THIS, and so II was forced into what you consider a breach of trust”.

    Another point is that rebuilding trust has to be a proactive process. You have to give your husband opportunities to prove himself, and to be clear that this is the road back.

    It’s too easy to feel good about forgiving, but at the same time to use ‘not trusting’ to keep a spouse – and oneself – in bondage to the past.

    It does risk being hurt again, but that is part of the paradigm of unconditional forgiveness. otherwise it’s best to say “I leave forgiveness to God”, and not to pretend.

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