How Can I Ever Trust Him Again?

Q&A blog post from Maxine Harley

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Q. Several months ago I looked at my husband’s e-mails and found out that he’d e-mailed a woman he’d previously had sex with, and their conversation was about having sex again. I was pregnant at the time.

He promised me that he wouldn’t have taken things any further with her, but I’ve never been able to get over it even though it was months ago and we now have our first child.

I do love him but I don’t like him touching or kissing me because every time he does it makes me think of what happened with her. I really want to get over this but I just can’t at the moment.

A. You’ve had an awful shock – and yet you must have had a reason for looking at his e-mails, and then sadly finding out that he had chosen to direct some of his energy towards someone else.
Even worse, it was his sexual energy. This has clearly damaged the trust you now have in him and in your relationship.

Only you can know what it would take for that trust to be re-built … if indeed it can be.

I could advise you to try ‘this’ or do ‘that’ – but these suggestions wouldn’t fit your own history, beliefs, expectations and needs from your husband and the relationship you have with him.

As you know actions speak louder than words and I doubt that his words alone will fully restore the trust between you.
What is understandable is that you feel vulnerable – particularly now that you are a parent - and you also know that your physical rejection of him isn’t going to help matters.

I wonder if perhaps he was feeling afraid of the responsibilities ahead of him and wanted to ‘step back in time’ to when he felt more free – which wasn’t necessarily a ‘better’ time, just one with fewer obligations, responsibilities and fears.

Your problems are so emotionally raw that talking them through together would really help – but only as long as you can both remain calm and rational, and not go into blaming or shaming one another, or allowing your sadness and disappointment to show up as anger.

That will be hard to do because it’s such an important matter, and this could be the ‘make or break’ in your relationship.

If you don’t think you could both sort this out together, then perhaps you will need some help (see below for a self-help option) which might be in the form of couples counselling (the effectiveness of this will depend upon who you find to work with, and how they can work with you both.)

If you are able to find out what exactly you now need from him – and assuming he is willing and able to give this to you – then you could both move forwards together, and put this emotionally traumatic event behind you and file it away ‘in the past’.

You may even come to see it in a positive light if it helps you both to re-connect more deeply, and to share your fears and needs with one another as partners and parents.

Maxine Harley (MSc Integrative Psychotherapy)

MIND HEALER & MENTOR - where you will find an online self-help guide/short course called How To Sort Out Your Relationship - without couples counselling!


Maxine Harley