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Forgiveness Does Not Equal Trust

Forgiveness does not equal trust. That is inevitable hard reality in human relationships.

Since trust is a fragile thing, it needs time and process to be repaired when broken.

“Why can’t you move on from here and trust me. I already told you the other woman is gone!” David told his wife Dina during a Zoom marital therapy session.

He had asked forgiveness of the past from his wife. But mistakenly, he thought it’s equal to automatic trust.

Perhaps it’s going to be easier and faster for Dina if it had been a one-time infidelity occurrence. 

Unfortunately, it happened in a serial pattern based on her discoveries over the years. Dina was simply devastated. 

Dr. Henry Cloud, a well known psychologist and author of Boundaries books, writes,

“One of the biggest problems we see is people hearing a ‘sorry’ and letting an unchanged person back into a position of power over their heart. With serious breaches of trust, be more careful.”

Dina changed her approach to David this time and responded to him,

“I forgive you. But we have to start and sustain therapy together. We need to talk more seriously what must change before I can trust and be more vulnerable to you again. I need to see you committed to recovery for a while and see for myself. Until then, we will only be talking to our therapist.”

There are several signs by the way to know whether your spouse is changing in one of my posts here.

Yes, there is a future. Even for couples with deep emotional wounds and distrust. 

Love can cover a multitude of sins. And forgiveness is one key aspect of it.

But forgiveness does not equal trust. Trust is earned, not demanded. It’s a process, an evolution over time.

It’s real recovery when you know well ahead of time what you are going to do with it.


forgiveness does not equal trust

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