If You Don’t Trust Your Spouse, Are You Destined for Divorce?

By Brian Bayati

Trust is essential in a successful marriage. Some people consider it the foundation of a healthy relationship. In some cases, a partner’s trust has been violated, and the marriage is in danger. People suffer from trust issues for many reasons. Whether there has been infidelity or not, couples must restore the trust in their relationship before they can work on rebuilding the marriage. Is divorce inevitable without trust? The answer is sometimes. Before you can understand trust issues, you must first understand the complex nature of trust in a committed relationship.

Trust

Trust is both a feeling and choice. To trust someone, we believe in them, rely on them, and we place confidence in them. Trust can feel safe and secure, as well as allow you to decide whether a person is honest or reliable. The strongest friendships and the most stable marriages are built on this kind of trust. While it may take years to build a relationship, it can rapidly fade if there are any issues causing friction in the marriage. Once it is gone, trust is difficult to restore, but not impossible.

Infidelity

When someone cheats or has an affair during a marriage, confidence is broken. Infidelity is a violation of the boundaries of their marriage vows and one of the main reasons couples file for divorce. By law, adultery is considered offensive and immoral. However, divorce is not the only option for couples experiencing adultery. Counseling and professional help can be useful once the guilty spouse decides to apologize and remain faithful. At that point, the couple can begin to rebuild the trust in their marriage.

If infidelity has destroyed your marriage, then divorce might be inevitable. You will need to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can explain your rights and file a divorce on your behalf. People used to believe the innocent spouse was somehow at fault. However, this is not true, and often the guilty spouse feels compelled to cheat due to a lack of intimacy. If spouses are not diligent about strengthening their relationship, they will gradually grow apart.

Other Trust Issues

A wife or husband may want to obtain a divorce regardless of whether infidelity affected their relationship. Many trust issues can indicate the marriage is falling apart. No one wants to be treated like a child or accused of cheating if they are faithful. Couples must practice effective communication to avoid the following trust issues. Here are some other examples:

Finances

  • Each spouse in the marriage should have the authority to handle their finances, as well as discuss any mutual finances in the household. Unless your spouse has mishandled money or has been spending money that does not belong to them, you have no right to demand an accounting for every dollar spent. It is more efficient to plan a budget as a couple and spend accordingly. During a divorce, the court will review your financial records and determine support based on any earnings or property acquired during the marriage.

Cell Phone & Computer

  • Technology and the Internet have revolutionized how people communicate and share information. Everyone has a right to their privacy, but if your spouse seems secretive and their cell phone and computer are inaccessible, you may want to discuss possible trust issues. This behavior may be considered suspicious. If you cannot trust your partner on their phone or computer, this can become a bigger problem unless you decide to talk about it. Protect yourself from suspicious activity on cell phones and computers by being aware any incriminating evidence or behavior that seems distrustful.

Are You Destined for Divorce?

Many people need help getting over the pain of an affair, the aggravation of an overbearing spouse, or a partner who behaves as if they are still single. It takes honesty and commitment from both parties to overcome trust issues. It also usually requires the help of a therapist, spiritual leader, or marriage counselor. Regaining trust takes time, and you cannot force the relationship to improve immediately.

If neither spouse is interested in saving the marriage, divorce may be your only option. You would be wise to seek the advice of a family lawyer, especially if children are involved. Children are witnesses to the mistrust and hostility at home. You must continue to co-parent with respect and figure out what the best interest of the children is with the help a good attorney by your side.

Divorce may or may not be the answer. Only you and your spouse know the truth. Do not delay, speak to a divorce attorney and then decide. You cannot change the past, but you do have the power to get the help you need to either rebuild your marriage or obtain a divorce.

Brian Bayati is an attorney who practices family law Orange County.

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