Can You Live With a Husband You Don't Trust? 6 Tips (2023)

When your husband keeps secrets and lies, you’re right not to trust him. And it hurts. “I don’t trust my husband” is one of the hardest things a woman can say about her marriage.

“I don’t trust my husband,” says Shelly on 6 Ways to Rebuild Trust in Your Husband After Infidelity. “I want to, but he lied about money and what he does after work so many times…I just can’t trust him. I know he cheated on me at least once but he denies it. How do I live with a husband I don’t trust?”

Rebuilding trust in your husband after infidelity is a long and painful process, even when he tells the truth about his affair. But take heart! If you both choose to rebuild trust in your marriage, you will grow stronger and healthier. The key is your willingness to rebuild your faith in your husband, and his ability to earn your trust. Only then can you work towards a future together.

“Broken trust can heal more quickly than we think,” writes Mira Kirshenbaum in I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship. “And it’s worth it, because whoever coined the expression ‘The broken places are stronger where they heal’ is absolutely right when it comes to trust.”

Do you want to learn how to trust your husband again? It may be impossible unless he’s honest with you. Unless, of course, you trust your husband not to be honest or faithful. Many wives live in marriages that aren’t honest, but they know what to expect. These wives are realistic and accepting about who their husbands are. They know they can’t and don’t trust their husbands, and they choose to stay married for reasons that are important to them.

6 Things to Do When You Don’t Trust Your Husband

Here’s another comment from a wife who doesn’t know if she should stay married. “I recently found romantic emails and lewd pictures,” says Fran on Is Your Husband Lying About Cheating? 4 Ways to Tell. “Since then I’m trying to grapple with the reality of a cheating husband, whether or not I want to stay in the relationship and if so, how to work towards a better marriage. If I decide to leave, get myself enough support and become financially stable for myself and my newborn.”

If you don’t know what to do about your marriage – but you know you can’t trust your husband – talk to someone in person. You don’t necessarily need to talk to a counselor or therapist. You don’t need to be told what to do, nor do you need to find someone to give you marriage advice. Talk about your marriage with someone who is objective, trustworthy, and willing to let you talk until you figure out the best next step in your life.

(Video) 10 Signs Your Partner Doesn’t Love You (Even If You Think They Do)

1. Face the reality of your marriage

If you don’t trust your husband because he cheated on you, try to be realistic about whether or not you can save your marriage. One of the biggest indicators is your husband’s willingness to be honest with you. Is he willing to work with you to restore faith and trust in your marriage? If not, then the reality is that you have the choice of living with a husband you don’t trust, or leaving your marriage. Neither option is what you envisioned your life to be…but if you keep going through this dark valley, you will eventually come through to the other side. You will get through this – and you may find yourself happier and healthier than you’ve ever been!

A helpful, encouraging book for women facing infidelity is My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. If you want to stay married, learn from couples who survived and even grew stronger marriages after an affair.

2. Allow yourself to go through stages of disbelief, shock, and grief

“My husband of 15 years has always included me in everything,” says Angela on 9 Ways to Know if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating. “We were like best friends up until about a month ago. He says nothing is going on but I am so sick to my stomach. I found his cell phone with graphic details about him and her together. I refuse to believe he cheated on me! I can’t accept it, it’s too painful. I don’t trust my husband now, and don’t think I ever will again.”

Finding evidence of your husband’s affair is one of the most painful things you’ll ever experience. It’s a betrayal like no other. You never would’ve expected him to cheat, and you certainly never believed he’d lie to you! You will go through stages of disbelief, shock, grief, anger, bitterness, and even hatred. These feelings are normal, and even healthy. You are grieving the end of your marriage as you knew it. Even if you do learn how to trust your husband again, your relationship will never be the same. The good news is that it could become better, stronger, and healthier!

The best – and most difficult – thing to do is accept your husband for who he is. I often get emails and comments from readers who refuse to accept that they can’t trust their husbands anymore. They refuse to believe the truth because it hurts too much. Instead of avoiding the truth about your marriage, give yourself time to go through the stages of grieving.

3. Learn how to recognize your husband’s half-truths and lies

“On our cell phone bill, we were charged over usage charges due to too many text messages,” says a reader. “I noticed that he had texted a specific number over 200 times over the last two weeks. When I confronted him about it, he played it off like no big deal. I let a day go by before confronting again. He then told me he and a much younger friend met a couple of girls at a bar and my husband was just being the ‘wingman’ for his friend…. I need some advice on what to do or how to go about confronting him again.”

How do you know if your husband is lying to you? You know that something isn’t right with him, that he’s not being honest. You don’t trust your husband for a reason – and maybe the “only” reason you have is your intuition. Your intuition or gut instincts are a reliable source of information. You know things you can’t put into words…and that’s why you don’t trust your husband. You know something is off.

(Video) What to do when you don't trust your Husband's judgement! #WIFETALK

If you need or want more solid evidence or reasons you don’t trust your husband, read Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception. You’ll learn how to recognize your husband’s deceptive behaviors, both verbal and nonverbal.

4. Remember that some marriages get stronger after trust is rebuilt

Marriage coach Mort Fertel says marriage can get stronger after infidelity. Some marriages thrive after an affair; others wither and die. Your first decision involves your own hopes and plans for your relationship. Do you want to rebuild your marriage? The second factor – and this is an important one – is your husband’s willingness to be honest with you. Does your husband care that you don’t trust him? Talk to him.

Avoid making hasty decisions that put you at a disadvantage, such as moving out of the house or even threatening divorce. Many women move too quickly – even for good reasons – and later regret it. Act wisely, carefully and thoughtfully.

In Should You Stay or Should You Go? 5 Signs It’s Time to Move On I share how I knew it was time to leave the apartment I’d just rented (my husband and I are separated), and go back home.

5. Avoid seeking advice from too many people

It can be good and healing to talk about the fact that you don’t trust your husband. Talking can help you gain insight, clarity and wisdom. But there comes a point when you’re all talked out. You’ve sought advice from friends, you talked to your coworkers, and you even sought counsel from a lawyer or divorce mediator.


The time comes when talking about your marriage is more harmful than helpful. You’ll recognize this time when you find yourself telling the same stories, sharing the same fears, and talking to the same people about the same problems. This is when you must decide that either you don’t trust your husband but you’ll stay married, or you can’t trust your husband and you want to leave. And then, you need to start taking action in one direction or another.

6. Release your grip

Releasing your expectations about your husband and marriage doesn’t necessarily mean leaving, separating or divorcing (but it can). Rather, letting go of what you expect from him means that you change how you see your husband, yourself, and your marriage.

Letting go can simply mean allowing your husband to be who he is. You don’t forget, or pretend your heart isn’t broken, or put up walls so you don’t get hurt again. You don’t allow your husband to keep treating you and your marriage like dirt.

Letting go is about loosening unhealthy attachments and regaining strength. You learn how to trust yourself. You grieve, you heal your heart, and you deal with the pain. When you let go of what you hoped, expected and dreamed your marriage would be, you find peace and freedom. You start moving forward into a fresh new season of life.

What do you think? How do you deal with life when you can’t trust your husband? Feel free to share your experience below. You may find that writing brings clarity and insight, and might even help you decide what to do about your marriage.

(Video) 9 Signs Your Partner Doesn't Respect You | Mel Robbins

You may also find 5 Ways to Find Happiness in a Loveless Marriage helpful.



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Can you stay married if there is no trust? ›

Being able to trust each other is the key to a healthy and happy married life. It is impossible for two people to stick together (happily) in a relationship or a happy, fulfilling and healthy marriage without complete trust.

Can a relationship work if there is no trust? ›

Without trust, a relationship will not last. Trust is one of the cornerstones of any relationship—without it, two people cannot be comfortable with each other and the relationship will lack stability.

Is lack of trust a reason for divorce? ›

For example, a lack of trust may lead to an unsalvageable relationship. There are a lot of reasons why trust can be destroyed in a marriage. A partner's affair or repeated lying about their behavior (such as drinking excessively or spending too much money) may cause a marriage to break down.

How do you live with a difficult husband? ›

15 Ways To Handle Or Treat Your Partner
  1. Communicate. Save. ...
  2. Get to the root of the problem. ...
  3. Understand your partner's personality. ...
  4. Pick your battles wisely. ...
  5. Accept your spouse for who they are. ...
  6. Ask, don't interpret or assume things. ...
  7. Give each other space. ...
  8. Find a middle ground.
Dec 15, 2022

What destroys trust in a relationship? ›

Rage, disrespect, and emotional stonewalling may not be relationship-ending in and of themselves, but continuing patterns can wear people down. An inability or unwillingness to respect your partner's thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can destroy the trust and intimacy in any relationship.

Can you live in a marriage without love? ›

A marriage that lasts 50 years, even if the couple was not romantic for the last 20 years, is considered successful, whereas a love-filled 10-year marriage is not. Many couples choose to live in a loveless marriage due to children, financial reasons, or simply the practicality of living under one roof.

How long does it take to rebuild trust in a marriage? ›

Rebuilding trust takes a significant amount of time and patience. It might take us several months or even years to fully be able to trust our loved one again. Along the way, we need to continue working on reestablishing trust slowly under the guidance of family counselors.

What are signs of lack of trust? ›

Common signs of trust issues
  • Avoiding commitment.
  • Assuming people are doing things to hurt you.
  • Isolating yourself from others.
  • Being overly secretive about yourself.
  • Picking fights.
  • Feeling overprotective.
  • Reluctance to open up.
  • Process past hurts.

Can you love someone and not trust them? ›

Can there be love without trust? Love doesn't exist without trust in a real relationship. For starters, if you don't trust your partner, jealousy will likely take over your interactions with that person, making it impossible to believe anything they say.

How do you live in a relationship without trust? ›

15 ways to save a relationship without trust
  1. Communicate needs. A relationship without trust has broken down. ...
  2. Practice forgiveness. Relationships with no trust often revolve around blame and conflict. ...
  3. Reflect on your involvement. ...
  4. Understand your fear. ...
  5. Challenge negative thinking. ...
  6. Befriend your belief system.
Aug 10, 2022

What to do in a relationship where there is no trust? ›

You have to speak openly with your partner.

Be sure to speak in a calm and nonjudgmental way, without placing blame or accusing them of anything. Only you know whether you're fully invested in this relationship or not. If you are, then do all you can to rebuild that trust with your partner and move forward.

How do you fix a relationship with no trust? ›

Rebuilding trust when you've hurt someone
  1. Consider why you did it. Before you embark on the process of rebuilding trust, you'll first want to check in with yourself to understand why you did it. ...
  2. Apologize sincerely. ...
  3. Give your partner time. ...
  4. Let their needs guide you. ...
  5. Commit to clear communication.
Aug 9, 2019

What is the #1 cause of divorce? ›

It is no surprise, then, that marital infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Just how common is marital infidelity? According to a study from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as many as 25 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have had extramarital affairs.

What are the first signs of divorce? ›

6 Warning Signs Your Marriage May Be Headed For Divorce
  • There is an Emotional Distance. ...
  • You Are More Like Roommates Than Spouses. ...
  • There is a Lack of Intimacy. ...
  • Your Spouse is Always Busy. ...
  • There Are Signs Your Spouse is Cheating. ...
  • Everything You Do Seems To Irritate Your Spouse. ...
  • When It Is Time To Consult With A Divorce Lawyer.
Sep 19, 2022

What are the signs of a toxic marriage? ›

9 Signs You're in a Toxic Marriage
  • You don't respect each other. ...
  • You've unconsciously uncoupled. ...
  • You're not putting in the extra effort. ...
  • You're playing the blame game. ...
  • Your union isn't the centerpiece of your marriage. ...
  • Someone has control issues. ...
  • You're not willing to adapt. ...
  • There's chronic emotional abuse.
Sep 12, 2014

What are hardest years of marriage? ›

According to relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, as it turns out, the first year really is the hardest—even if you've already lived together. In fact, it often doesn't matter if you've been together for multiple years, the start of married life is still tricky.

What is a toxic husband? ›

' Toxic, abusive partners don't want to take ownership (in situations where they objectively should) and will avoid doing so again and again. And, when they seem to take ownership, it's manipulative and over-the-top, with no change in behavior to support it,” she says.

How do you know your husband doesn't value you? ›

In a relationship, one of the signs he doesn't value you is if he only calls when he doesn't have anything else happening. If he valued you, you would feel like you meant something in his life, appreciated, cared for, a sense of respect. You wouldn't be brushed to the side when a better opportunity comes along.

What kills intimacy in a relationship? ›

conflict– if there is ongoing conflict in your relationship, it can be difficult to develop intimacy. It is not easy to feel close to someone you are arguing with. Anger, hurt, resentment, lack of trust, or a sense of being unappreciated can all affect intimacy.

What behaviors break trust? ›

Boiling down what people said gets us to 18 ways to destroy trust:
  • Talking behind my back about me.
  • Exhibiting behaviors that don't support their words.
  • Refusing to accept accountability for their actions.
  • Cheating to win at anything.
  • Throwing someone “under the bus”
  • Saying I'm important but not showing it through deeds.
Sep 16, 2020

What are the stages of distrust? ›

Distrust tends to go through three behavioural stages: Defensiveness, disengagement, and disenchantment.

Is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married? ›

The study found that on average unhappily married adults who divorced were no happier than unhappily married adults who stayed married when rated on any of 12 separate measures of psychological well-being. Divorce did not typically reduce symptoms of depression, raise self-esteem, or increase a sense of mastery.

What lack of intimacy does to a woman? ›

Self-Esteem Issues

Where physical intimacy is lacking, this can cause self-esteem problems. If your partner shows no interest in you physically, you might feel like they're not attracted to you anymore, and this can cause you to question yourself.

What are the signs of a loveless marriage? ›

16 Unexpected Signs You May Be in a Loveless Marriage
  • You have physical symptoms.
  • At least one of you is kind of acting like an a**.
  • You're constantly criticizing your partner—or vice versa.
  • You stop turning towards each other.
  • There's a whole lot of contempt.
  • Your partner is always on the defensive.
Aug 15, 2019

What causes loss of trust in a marriage? ›

You have unrealistic expectations – Unrealistic, unspoken, and unclear expectations are a primary cause for low or broken trust in relationships, and the higher the expectations the more likely it is they won't be met.

Is lack of trust a mental illness? ›

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental health condition marked by a long-term pattern of distrust and suspicion of others without adequate reason to be suspicious (paranoia). People with PPD often believe that others are trying to demean, harm or threaten them.

What is the root cause of lack of trust? ›

Trust issues often come from early life experiences and interactions. These experiences often take place in childhood. Some people do not get enough care and acceptance as children. Others are abused, violated, or mistreated.

What can trigger trust issues? ›

Trust issues are characterized by fear of betrayal, abandonment, or manipulation. And this fear is often triggered as a result of betrayal (such as infidelity), abandonment (think: leaving a child or foregoing a relationship with them), or manipulation (for example, dishonesty or gaslighting).

Can you be in love and cheat? ›

Infidelity does not mean that the love is gone or never existed. The reality is that you can love someone and still cheat on them. In fact, many affairs happen in relationships that are otherwise very happy.

Should a husband and wife have separate living trusts? ›

In general, most experts agree that Separate Trusts can provide more asset protection. Joint Trust: Marital assets are all together in a single trust. This means there's less asset protection, because if there's ever a judgment over one of the spouses, all of the assets could end up being at risk.

Why am I having trust issues with my husband? ›

They can stem from abuse, social rejection or just having low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem are less likely to trust others. It may also stem from a previous romantic relationship that involved infidelity. Trust issues can be associated with depression, anxiety, fear of abandonment and attachment issues.

How do I know when my marriage is over? ›

Here are seven signs from experts that a Carmel family law attorney believes mean a marriage might be over.
  1. Lack of Sexual Intimacy. ...
  2. Frequently Feeling Angry with Your Spouse. ...
  3. Dreading Spending Alone-Time Together. ...
  4. Lack of Respect. ...
  5. Lack of Trust. ...
  6. Disliking Your Spouse. ...
  7. Visions of the Future Do Not Include Your Spouse.
Dec 7, 2019

Can a marriage survive without intimacy? ›

The short answer is that yes, a sexless marriage can survive – but it can come at a cost. If one partner desires sex but the other is uninterested, lack of sex can lead to decreased intimacy and connection, feelings of resentment and even infidelity.

Why would a married couple have two separate trusts? ›

Separate trusts may offer better protection from creditors, if this is a concern. For example, at the death of the first spouse, the deceased spouse's trust becomes irrevocable, which makes it harder to access by creditors. And yet the surviving spouse can still access it for income and other needs.

What is the best trust for married couples? ›

A traditional bypass trust has often been considered the best tax-saving strategy for married couples, and this was especially true in the era when lifetime exemptions were low. Its main advantage is that it provides a simple way to ensure the maximum use of the full exemption of both spouses.

Can a spouse hide assets in a trust? ›

One way that spouses without businesses may attempt to hide assets is through setting up trusts or “gifting” money to someone who will return it after the divorce is finalized. Spouses that hide assets will often involve family members or friends in the process.

What kills trust in a relationship? ›

Rage, disrespect, and emotional stonewalling may not be relationship-ending in and of themselves, but continuing patterns can wear people down. An inability or unwillingness to respect your partner's thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can destroy the trust and intimacy in any relationship.


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