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Trust After Betrayal: Part Earned, Part Given, and Part God

At some point during a marriage one spouse gets hurt by the other one. Maybe this hurt comes from a broken promise, a disappointment, or maybe it comes from a serious betrayal. Inevitably, getting hurt leaves one feeling uncertain and insecure as lies are combatted and fighting ensues. Questions arise inside of us and we wonder if we can ever trust again- today, tomorrow, or in the future? When I experienced my husband’s betrayal, I was devastated. I found myself questioning and mistrusting everything and everyone, even myself. Could I ever offer him my trust after betrayal?


During my recovery from my husband’s betrayal, I learned that trust is not a one-time event. There is a choice either to trust someone or not to trust them. Trust involves embracing vulnerability, being willing to take risks with our feelings, loving even when we know there may not be a guarantee it will be reciprocated, and having courage to face our issues. One of the most important questions I am asked from women who have walked through deep hurt or betrayal in a relationship is “how did you learn to trust him again?” Trust is not something that you give when you feel there is 100% proof that the other person is trustworthy, nor is it given because it has been earned. If this were true, there would be no risk, no work, and no growth on our part.

Trust is something that is given even when we don’t know what the results will be from the other side.

When I walked back into a relationship with my husband I knew I had to face my greatest fears. I knew I could be hurt again. He could do “that” again. And then one day I asked myself, “Is loving him, and connecting with him, and opening myself up to him worth facing the greatest of my fears which was wondering if it could happen again?” My answer was “Yes!” I could allow my fears to keep me from entering into a deep, intimate, connected relationship with my husband, or I could let my fears keep me detached, lonely, locked up, and unfulfilled.


When Tray and I remarried, I would say that my trust level was about 85%. Part of that trust was because I could see the results of the work that Tray invested into himself and into our relationship. I was able to see tangible results of his efforts in earning my trust back. Part of that trust was from the work that I put into the relationship. So, why wasn’t it 100%?

The missing 15% that I didn’t have at the time was what God wanted to show me through vulnerably stepping out in faith and investing in the relationship.

Trusting someone is risking oneself. It requires digging deep into the Father’s love and into our ability to walk in vulnerability. That vulnerability offers us an opportunity to grow and mature in our faith. Growth is a part of God’s plan for us and I believe it builds our faith. The scriptures are clear in Hebrews 11:1 that, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…”


Every day we experience the uncertainty, the risks, and the emotional exposures that define what it means for us to trust, to be vulnerable, to put our heart out there, and to walk by faith. Trust is a gift that I can offer to my husband, and it’s a gift that I have been given in return.

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