Can Trust be Rebuilt?

Dear Courage,

Our relationship is in trouble. DH admitted to an affair. He says it was short-lived, a one-night mistake. He says it’s over. He says he loves me and wants to save our marriage. I think I believe him, but I don’t think I trust him. What do you think I should do? Should I try? Or is it too late for us?

Scared in Sacramento


Dear Scared,

Any relationship can be saved, if both partners want it to happen. I think it’s important to mention that infidelity does not break up healthy relationships. It is a result of years of poor communication, a lack of intimacy, or a lack of respect. The “erring” partner is looking for something that he or she feels is missing in their life.

I am NOT saying that his infidelity is your fault! He was still wrong to break the spoken -or unspoken- vow he made to you at the start of your relationship. But cut him a bit of slack, and admit that there are things you could have done differently. Agree to counseling together. Agree to spending time together – lots of time. Make a commitment to each other. Begin dating again. Through improved communication and renewed devotion, your relationship might not only be restored, but it could be even better than ever before.

It can be a rough road ahead… but if you are both committed to working things out, I believe the benefits are well worth it.

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