“My husband doesn’t trust me”
Q: My husband can’t forgive me for betraying his trust. It has been 3 years. I don’t know what else to do. ~ “V,” Northern Natal
A: Let it go.
It can be painful when others do not feel what we want them to feel – love, tenderness, forgiveness. But it only hurts as long as we focus on what we cannot control.
There is nothing you can do to change what your husband feels. He, too, is focusing on what he cannot control – the past, you, and your actions in the past/present/future.
When we focus on what we cannot control, we can’t help but feel pain. Continuing to do so just leads to more frustration.
Instead, focus on what you can control and on what you want to feel.
What can you control? Your actions and your thoughts. Act in loving ways toward YOURSELF and toward him. If he won’t forgive you, then YOU forgive you. Shower yourself with the tenderness you seek from him.
Think about what makes you feel good. Thinking about his unforgiveness doesn’t feel so great? Then stop focusing on it. Focus, instead, on things that bring your heart joy: the favorite part of your job, your favorite hobby, your fun friends.
As you radiate love and joy, it’ll be hard for anyone NOT to feel attracted to you (your husband included) – and not just romantically.
If your husband wants to bring up the past, create a phrase that rolls off your tongue, and simply repeat it anytime the subject comes up. Something like, “I was wrong. I hurt you. I’m sorry. But from now on, I’m focusing on love.”
If he wants to miss the Love Party, that’s on him.
~ He can either happily join you in the present, or stay miserably stuck in the past.
That’s his choice. What you focus on is your choice. ~
If he questions you every time you leave the house, answer his questions without reacting to the assumptions you sense underneath them. You have nothing to hide. You don’t have to feel judged. You can choose to see it as “Ooh, he has a passionate interest in me. He loves and misses me so much, he wants to know how I spend every minute of the day.” (How you feel is determined by how you interpret what is happening.)
If you prefer not to answer a litany of questions, say so. “Honey, when you asked that question, I felt a wave of anger rush over me. I said to myself, ‘He doesn’t trust me.’ If that’s true, even answering your questions won’t fix it. So it may anger you, but I am choosing not to answer questions like that anymore.”
[If the woman who submitted this question truly lives in Africa, the following paragraph may or may not be culturally relevant. You be the judge. If not, my apologies.]
Determine how long you can stay committed to someone who sends you negative energy. Tell him honestly and lovingly, “I’ve decided our relationship must feel better than it does now within the next 6 months. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to move out for a few months. This negative energy feels draining to me. So let’s give it our best shot at resolving this, ok?”
In the end, how he feels is up to him. What you feel and what you do is up to you. Neither of you can control each other.