My husband is putting pressure on me to trust him again, because this time he says he’s really changed. He’s only had 3 months of “good” behavior and doesn’t understand why I don’t yet trust him. Am I being unreasonable or too cautious?
We’re all fallible and wrestle with temptations that can lead us down a path of bad behavior to satisfy immediate pleasure. Some behaviors are one-time events while others develop into destructive patterns. Regardless of their frequency, when a man has a heart-change and begins to demonstrate trustworthy behaviors, he naturally wants family and friends to respond as if the past is the past. He wants the status that he hasn’t quite earned.
Your husband needs to understand that trust is only built over time with the right and consistent behaviors that garner trust. In my experience working with couples, the rule of thumb is it will take as long to rebuild trust as it took to destroy it. For example, if a husband has been cheating for 2 years, it will take him at least 2 years of honorable behavior to earn trust back.
I don’t think you have unreasonable expectations based on your husband’s long history of implied prior behavior. Your husband should have more patience. If he’s truly committed to change, time will be his friend as you afford him the opportunity to rebuild your lost trust.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com. If you would like to engage Sandra as your coach or ask a question, you can send her a message to firstname.lastname@example.org