TimT
ENOUGH TIME + THE RIGHT STUFF = TRUST

It's not uncommon for people (especially the unfaithful partner) to expect a quick return to trust once "I'm sorry" has been expressed. It doesn't happen that way. Real trust will only be experienced when these 2 ingredients have been appropriately mixed:

Enough Time

What is "enough" is different for each couple and situation. Most relationships, however, require at least months before trust can be genuinely felt. A person may choose to act in trust until it is fully earned, but you can't short-change time for the real work of trust to be completed.

The Right Stuff

Time itself isn't enough. The time has to be filled with the kind of behavior that provides assurance to the betrayed spouse that they are safe again.

You have to have both! Either ingredient by itself (time not filled with trust-earning behavior, or the right behavior for just a little while) is not enough.
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Debra
Hi,

I agree that time and the right stuff are key in rebuilding trust.  The hurt spouse seems to always question when will I be able to trust again.

Most of them want to see actions instead of words.  Are there particular actions you normally see when an unfaithful partner decides to develop trust?

It is easy for a spouse to talk about how he or she has changed; yet, no actions reflect the change.
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TimT
Debra wrote:
Hi,

Are there particular actions you normally see when an unfaithful partner decides to develop trust?


THEY begin to assume responsibility for creating a "safe place" for the betrayed spouse. Instead of being a reluctant participant in recovery, they take the initiative to check in with their wounded partner (How are you doing? What do you need from me? What can I do to make you feel more secure?), establish strong boundaries (Willingly making choices that keep them out of vulnerable situations, especially in regard to the affair partner), and focus on the kinds of changes required to strengthen the marriage.

This is how you learn to trust: not by hearing promises, but by witnessing the clear demonstration of change.

By the way, look at Linda McDonald's book (in the book list forum) for a clear description of what to expect from an unfaithful spouse who is committed to recovery.
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Courage
My WS seems to be doing this, but at the same time he's withheld and lied about important details of the affair- just still so hard to believe how well he can lie and trust is the huge issue now.
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TimT
Courage wrote:
My WS seems to be doing this, but at the same time he's withheld and lied about important details of the affair- just still so hard to believe how well he can lie and trust is the huge issue now.


There might be reasons for this other than intending to protect selfishly. It's often very helpful to seek the help of a counselor who specializes in these matters to help you work through questions and answers. If they remain unresolved, you will find it difficult (impossible?) to move toward d trust and intimacy.
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dennmu
I'm having a pretty hard time with trust. Now that everyhting has surfaced about my wife's affair, and then her admitting after i questioned her about still talking to her AP, I catch myself trying to find dirt on her. I will admit that i still have a strong feeling of insecurity with her. I want to trust her i really do, but i find it pretty hard. I can't keep playing dectective, as this causes trust issues with me. the hard part about dealing with her depression is that she really can't take anymore on, and if i keep doing what i'm doing I'm sure it will just drive her away. So how do i start to feel comfortable in our relationship, where in i can trust her, and stop trying to find problems that may very well not exist. I'm thinking maybe it's time to check myself in my own individual therapy, see if i can at the very least talk some of my concerns out. I would talk tothem with her but she takes it too personally, as if i'm attacking her. Anyone have similar feelings and if so how have you dealt with it?
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awaggoner1999
I started Individual counseling just 3 months after my D-day. I have been going now for sometime. I got tired of the detective work and panicking when he didn't show up when he said he would, so I said I need to talk to someone. My WS refused to discuss anything so IC has been the best thing for me...
Good luck...
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R2C
I think all BS's had to play detective to get the truth out but there are probably some that came clean on their own. Playing detective is not a fun way to live, I hear you! In my opinion (and yes it is coming from a BS stance) if she is getting upset at you says it is driving her away perhaps there is something to whatever you are questioning. I don't know I'm only offering my opinion. As mentioned above I also talk with my personal therapist too when I have trust issues or feel like doing that. As our marriage counselor says the WS's life must be an open book to rebuild trust and that will take a long time I'm afraid. I won't play detective again, I will just leave totally if trust is not there or have any hope of ever fully being there because the "new" relationship you forge with your wife must have its foundation built on trust.
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