5 Steps To Restore Trust In Your Marriage When You Feel Betrayed By Your Partner

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How To Build Trust In A Relationship After Boundaries Have Been Crossed & You Feel Betrayed By Your Partner
Love, Heartbreak

Trust should be the basis of any relationship or marriage, and healthy boundaries are good relationship goals for everyone involved.

However, when there's been a betrayal and the boundaries in marriage — either emotional boundaries or physical ones — get crossed, then it's natural for one or both partners to feel betrayed.

Learning how to set boundaries and maintain them is a vital part of any long-term relationship because when these lines are violated, communication and trust can break down.

So if setting boundaries didn't work, or the trust in your relationship was somehow betrayed, then it's important to learn how to re-establish a healthy dynamic between you and your spouse right away before more hurt can happen.

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Here are 5 steps you must take to reestablish trust in a marriage after boundaries have been crossed and you feel betrayed:

1. Acknowledge the boundaries have been crossed

When boundaries have been crossed in marriage, it is essential that both parties acknowledge what's happened.

Unless there is an agreement that the boundaries have been violated, there is no way to begin the healing process.

For instance, say a man violated he and his wife's "no mid-week drinking" boundary.

They both realized that when they drank wine after work, their parenting skills suffered around bedtime for their kids, so they agreed to abstain.

When the husband came home one night smelling of beer, his wife was very upset because they had an agreement and he broke it.

The husband may push back at first, justifying his behavior, but once he can acknowledge that he violated their agreement, the healing can begin.

2. Have a conversation about the sense of betrayal

An essential part of healing when boundaries are crossed in marriage is a conversation.

Conversation is vital to any healthy relationship, especially when one partner has (accidentally or otherwise) caused the other partner to feel pain or like they've been betrayed.

It's very important that you revisit why you set the boundary in the first place, why the boundary has been crossed, and what next steps you should take as a couple.

In the same scenario as above, the husband and wife agreed that the boundary had been set for the sake of their children. The husband explained, however, that he'd had a work dinner and drank with a client. He understood he'd crossed their established boundary nonetheless.

The wife can then express her disappointment in the fact that he hadn’t kept his word and that he'd been a little bit out of it during the kids' bedtime routine.

Each of them was able to speak their piece, know they had been heard, and get ready to take steps for figuring out a resolution.

A key part of surviving boundaries being crossed in marriage is talking about it! Without conversation, moving forward is impossible.

3. Determine a resolution to keep it from happening in the future

Once you and your partner have spoken your piece, you can set out to figure out what to should do about the existing boundary.

Do you feel it's a boundary you should continue to maintain, or does it need reconsideration? You want to make sure that both of you feel comfortbale with the boundary because a healthy marriage is based on mutually agreed upon boundaries.

After some discussion, you can either agree that the boundary was important and that it should stay in place, but also be aware that if another situation arises, it can be discussed at that time.

It's important, when trying to figure how to fix things, to work together to identify what can be done to come to terms with what was done and to make a plan for moving forward.

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4. Make sure there are established standards for these boundaries

After conversation and resolution, the next step to managing boundaries is by setting benchmarks.

Benchmarks are a point of reference against which other things are compared. Setting benchmarks is an important part of moving forward.

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In the husband and wife example, their benchmark was how effective the no mid-week drinking boundary was. They defined what they wanted to achieve by setting this boundary (a more peaceful dinner and bedtime routine).

When that boundary was violated, they looked carefully at what kind of effect the violation had on their family. They realized that it did make things more difficult and they agreed to pay attention going forward to how to make bedtime better.

If you have set boundaries and they have been crossed, going forward, focus on why that benchmark was set and whether it’s important to keep it.

You don’t want a boundary in place that is impossible to achieve and which might cause more problems in your relationship.

5. Seek help if you feel you can't overcome the feelings of betrayal

When boundaries are crossed in marriage, significant strain can result. Relationships are tested because trust is violated. If the boundaries are crossed over and over, things can really turn bad.

If boundaries have been crossed in your marriage and it's creating stress you can’t resolve, seek professional help.

It's important that trust is maintained in any relationship and a therapist or life coach can help you manage it.

Addressing issues in a relationship head-on is important, so if you can’t resolve the feelings that arise when boundaries are crossed, seek help immediately and keep things from getting worse.

It is important that the issue is addressed immediately, that both parties acknowledge what is going on, that the issue is talked about, that a resolution is made and benchmarks set, and that, if you can’t resolve the issues, you seek professional help.

Keeping your relationship healthy is important to its longevity so work hard to get past issues that arise decisively and move forward. Together.

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate whose writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN, and The Good Man Project, among others. To find out how she can help you go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in your relationships and life, reach out to her now to get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.