How to Overcome Trust Issues in a Marriage

Almost no one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail. Generally, we believe the person we’ve chosen will be a good partner, and we take seriously our vow to love and be true to one another for life.

We’re human, though, and it’s our nature to doubt. Even the strongest of marriages isn’t immune. We wonder: Does he love me as much as he says? Can we overcome this obstacle? Will our marriage be enough?

Marriage comes under fire from every angle. Studies show that around 15-20 percent of marriages will experience infidelity at some point. The temptation to cheat on a spouse has never been more ubiquitous, with social media apps offering opportunities for secret communication and entire websites devoted to helping people cheat.

Trusting your spouse also means trusting them with your well-being. It means you believe they will support you in new endeavors, comfort you in sadness, and care for you in sickness. That they’ll listen when you talk and communicate their concerns in a respectful way. That they will raise your children well.

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These things build a marriage in God’s image. When they are compromised, even without infidelity or betrayal, a marriage can be weakened.

A little jealousy can be harmless, and we should be vigilant and active in our love for each other. But if insecurity establishes a stronghold in your mind and heart—whether due to betrayal, broken promises, or past hurts from another relationship—it can compromise your ability to love confidently and damage your soul and your marriage.

Do Small Things with Great Love

The surest way to establish trust in a marriage is, simply, to show up. If a marriage can wither through a thousand tiny paper cuts of complacency and neglect, a strong marriage is built with a million small acts of love, every day, over a lifetime.

Make your partner coffee in the morning. Get up for a nighttime feeding when you know they need the extra rest. Pick up that thing from the store they asked you to get. Be sympathetic when they’ve had a stressful day at work, even if your day stunk, too. Show them you respect who they are and what they need.

Small actions of love and respect show your spouse they can count on you. They build a fortress of peace and security around your heart. If your partner can trust you in the little things, they’ll be more likely to trust you with the big ones.

Tell Yourself What’s True

When my young daughter saw a therapist for anxiety, they talked about determining what is true about a situation rather than just focusing on what it feels like.

“Feelings aren’t facts,” the therapist would say, encouraging my daughter to separate the facts of a situation from what she worried would happen. Often, the facts wouldn’t support the worry.

On the other hand, if the lack of trust is coming from somewhere real, focusing on the facts will help you separate the issue from the emotions surrounding it. This will help clarify what needs to be repaired or healed.

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Lay it at God’s Feet

If something is broken in your marriage, the only reliable solution is God. Sometimes we don’t know how to fix what needs repair, even if we are ready to reconcile. The path to healing involves gathering your mistakes and burdens, laying them at God’s feet, and surrendering them to be healed.

God’s holy spirit of love can pierce through our hurts, our defensiveness, our shame, and our fears of being unloveable. God will protect the family unit He has created—if we let Him. True restoration comes from a commitment to regular prayer for healing, asking God to change our hearts.

And on your journey of healing, seek the help of a good therapist if you need to—God often works through His creation!

Stay Faithful to God

Even if you’re not sure about your spouse yet, remain faithful to God. If you follow God in all things, you will find yourself serving Him through faithfulness to your spouse, no matter what temptations come. If you’ve been hurt, focusing on God will guide you in knowing how to heal and what steps to take next.

The answer to everything painful is the One Who is pure, healing love. In asking yourself what’s true, you’ll find time and again that God offers the only sure footing. Therefore, we don’t have to be afraid of what the future holds because God is trustworthy and faithful.

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