Feeling Betrayed

Dear Liza, 

I’m a 32-year-old gay man, who’s been in a closed marriage for three years to another gay man. Last week, my husband said there was something he needed to tell me. It turns out that about a month ago, my husband had a one night hook up with another man. My husband said that he’s incredibly sorry, and that it was only a one time thing, with no emotional attachment involved. He cried, begged me to forgive him, and not to leave our marriage. 

The thing is, I really love my husband and I really don’t want to separate or end our marriage. However, I’m having an incredibly difficult time trusting my husband now. When he says he’s going to the gym, I’m  suspicious and wondering if he’s actually meeting another guy. I’m trying hard not to snoop around on his phone, computer, etc. But then, how will I know if I can ever trust him again? I believe that he’s truly sorry. But, I’m just feeling so hurt, and so angry. 


Feeling Betrayed 

Dear Feeling Betrayed,

This is obviously an incredibly difficult situation to be in, as well as quite common. You are not alone. Trust takes a long time to be built, and can be damaged in an instant. The good news is that if it is damaged, it can be healed. Rebuilding trust is not an easy or quick process for any one person or couple. I highly recommend seeking out couples therapy. In this type of situation, a trained neutral third party is extremely beneficial. In couples therapy, the therapist creates a safe space for the couple to begin the hard work of rebuilding trust following an infidelity or other betrayal of trust.

Couples therapy is a safe space where the two of you can freely express yourself. You need to be able to express to your husband that you are feeling sad, hurt and betrayed. Your husband also needs a safe space to be able to share more with you, about why he felt he needed or wanted to go outside your marriage. The couples therapist will help you both to improve your communication styles with each other. That will both help you feel more confident in your marriage, and begin to repair the trust that’s been broken.

Then, the couple’s therapist and you and your husband can begin to build the trust back. Again, this is a very common problem. And you are most certainly not alone in it. Couple’s therapy can definitely be a huge help in rebuilding the trust. 

Take Care, 

Liza (LCSW)