Can You Regain Trust in Your Relationship with a Lying Spouse? Part 2

Re-Establishing Trust in Your Relationship

Lost Relationship Trust

(The following is Part 2 of our response to a question we received. To the best of our ability we removed all personally identifying information and have made the situation as generic as possible.)

We assume you have read part one of this response in the previous blog post. We also hope you have taken the opportunity to read the article we suggested near the end of that post. Part one concluded with the importance of [tag-tec]establishing trust[/tag-tec] in your ability to take care yourself in this kind of situation, whether or not you choose to stay with your spouse.

If you choose to move forward in the relationship, then it will be important to establish more openness and honesty with your spouse. It can be quite challenging to [tag-tec]reestablish trust[/tag-tec] with the spouse who has lied about something as important as drug use, and overcoming these issues can take quite a while. So we recommend you only undertake this journey if you trust your ability to take care of yourself along the way.

But, no matter how much you trust yourself, you cannot [tag-tec]reestablish trust with your spouse[/tag-tec] on your own. Your spouse has to want this too. As the saying goes: It takes two to tango. It will take cooperation from both of you to get your relationship back on track.

We have an article that offers advice about how to establish this kind of [tag-tec]cooperation[tag-tec]. And most importantly, it does it in a way that can free you from judgment, blame, fear, and shame that you and your spouse may feel toward each other in this situation.

Following the steps in this article can help you start to reestablish the trust has been lost. It will help you figure out what each of you wants from your relationship and what each of you are willing to do to resolve your current [tag-tec]relationship troubles[/tag-tec]. The title of the article is: 5 Keys for Creating Genuine Cooperation in All Your Relationships

You can the process described in this article to come to agreement about what you want to create in your relationship together, and then make specific agreements to work together to create it. Practicing genuine cooperation is the best way we know to build trust in relationship.

Getting Help for the Journey Ahead

If you both agree that you want to work together to resolve these trust issues and [tag-tec]improve your relationship[/tag-tec], then we suggest you seek the support of someone with [tag-tec]relationship counseling skills[/tag-tec] that you trust. This help can be very important in keeping you on track as make progress [tag-tec]regaining the trust you’ve lost in your relationship[/tag-tec].

You may be able to find someone with these skills by asking your friends, coworkers, or your spiritual counselors to suggest someone they trust. You may already know someone who is fair, impartial, and has the wisdom to provide the guidance you need. But regardless of how you choose to find them, we strongly suggest that you get this support.

Whatever you choose to do next, we hope you are able to do it with compassion for yourself and for your spouse.

We hope this has helped in some small way. We would enjoy hearing from you if it has.

Committed to supporting your happiness,

Beth and Neill


Can You Regain Trust in Your Relationship with a Lying Spouse? Part 1

My [tag-tec]Spouse Lied[/tag-tec] to Me About Using Drugs – Now What?

Lost Relationship Trust

(The following is Part 1 of our response to a question we received. To the best of our ability we removed all personally identifying information and have made the situation as generic as possible.)

We understand that it has been quite a shock for you to discover your spouse had lied to you about being in recovery. We hope the following suggestions may help you get “unstuck” from the confusion you are experiencing and help you choose what would be best for you to do next.

The first thing we suggest you do in this situation is to practice the following two understandings. But by “understanding” we don’t mean that you will agree with the behavior, give up on what is important to you, or resign yourself to the situation.

We simply hope you will experience some relief by practicing these two understandings. This relief will come partly from an increase in your ability to be compassionate with yourself and your spouse, partly from the clarity you’ll gain from knowing which actions you may want to take next, and partly by helping you [tag-tec]restore trust in your relationship[/tag-tec].

Understanding Number One – We Do the Best We Can

The first understand we find important to practice in situations like this is: People are always doing the best they can to have what is important to them. Always!

Before you were married, when you asked if your spouse had a drug problem, they gave you an answer they believed would meet most of their needs in the best way possible. There must have been something that was so important to them that they were willing to lie to you to protect it.

We guess they were protecting their relationship with you. They must have been painfully aware that any other answer than “Yes, I am drug free and in recovery”, would probably have resulted in losing their relationship with you. So in their mind they were faced with losing you or lying. And [tag-tec]saving the relationship[/tag-tec] with you was more important than telling the truth.

Unfortunately, it seems that their lie was not very effective in the long run. Now that you’ve discovered it, they seem in danger of [tag-tec]losing the relationship[/tag-tec] anyway. But, again, it was the best your spouse could do to protect what was important to them in that moment.

This same understanding is also true about their use of drugs.

There is some need your spouse is meeting by using drugs that they have not been able to meet in any other way. We predict that they will be unable to stop using drugs until they discover the need that using drugs satisfies, and then figure out another way to satisfy that need without it costing them so much–such as [tag-tec]losing relationships[/tag-tec] with people they love.

From your message it’s obvious you love your spouse. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be in such pain about this discovery. Helping them discover a less costly way to meet ALL their needs may be the most loving thing you could possibly do for them. But your willingness to help your spouse at this point in the relationship relies on the next understanding.

Understanding Number Two – Trust is “In Here”, Not “Out There”

One thing we’ve learned on our journey of [tag-tec]personal growth[/tag-tec] and [tag-tec]spiritual development[/tag-tec] is that how we are moment by moment is governed by what’s going on inside of us, not what’s going on outside of us.

We could feel joyful as we walk on a beautiful beach, during a gorgeous sunset, hand in hand with the one we love. But our joy is not caused by the beach or by the sunset. And it is not caused by the person holding our hand.

Our joy is springs from the fact that each of these things deeply satisfies something that we cherish. If we did not care about the aesthetics of our surroundings or about being in a relationship, this situation would not produce joy in us.

In the same way, the trust we feel is not created by what is going on “out there.” We believe trust actually comes from knowing we have the ability to take care of ourselves: to feel safe and in control of our well-being no matter what is going on in our surroundings. It’s hard to feel trusting if we don’t think we can take care of ourselves.

In this sense, the trust you think you lost in your spouse was actually your loss of trust that you can take care of yourself in your relationship with them. After all, how can you really take care of yourself when you cannot rely on the information they give you?

But I’ve never met a person who claimed that they had never lied. So it’s a safe bet that people have lied to you your whole life, and probably will continue to do so. You probably already know this. And in spite of this, you have done a pretty good job taking care of yourself, even though people sometimes lie to you.

Trust Yourself

In your situation, whether you choose to leave your spouse or not, we suggest that trusting yourself is the first kind of trust you need to establish.

Are you able to take care of yourself? Can you do what it takes to [tag-tec]live a happy life[/tag-tec] even though your spouse has lied to you?

Establishing trust in your ability to take care of yourself is important whether or not you choose to stay with your spouse.

But what if you still want to stay in the relationship and you find that you don’t really have that kind of trust in yourself? ┬áThen you can use this situation as an opportunity to learn better ways of taking care of yourself as you work through these problems.

For support in this process you may find value in our article titled: Lying – Why It Happens and How You Can Regain Trust as you Rebuild Your Relationships

As you improve your ability to trust yourself, you can begin to focus all of your attention on resolving these issues and moving forward in your relationship. Trusting yourself gives you confidence that you will be okay in the process.

In our next blog post we will discuss ways to [tag-tec]reestablish trust in your relationship[/tag-tec], and how to use a very specific process for creating genuine cooperation as a way to do this.

Until then, we hope this has helped in some small way. Please let us know if it has. And feel free to post a comment below if you would like us to clarify anything we have offered here.

Committed to supporting your happiness,

Beth and Neill