If you can’t trust your spouse, you might be asking yourself why you should even spend the time sitting in the room with him/her working on your marriage! After all, they are the one that cheated and/or betrayed your trust, that wasn’t something you chose to do.

This question is one that we get asked a lot and it makes a lot of sense. Why would you want to invest the time, money, and energy into counseling or a couples therapy retreat if you can’t even believe that your partner is trustworthy and you weren’t the one that broke your trust in the first place.


Here’s how we answer the question of what to do in the case of a lack of trust:

  • If you have kids together, you are always going to be in a relationship with your partner even if you decide to leave. You’re going to need to learn how to co-parent and communicate so the whole family can still maintain a level of calm and stability.


  • You take yourself with you into any future relationship that you enter into, all past relationship baggage included starting from your childhood- and so it helps to get clarity on what went wrong, what led you to this point, why the dream became the nightmare.


  • If your spouse has stopped doing whatever the behavior it was that broke your trust and has made sincere efforts to apologize and attempt to earn back your trust, that says a lot. Actions speak louder than words. If they’ve started being more transparent, stopping some of the offended behaviors, and really worked on themselves, that herculean effort does deserve recognition. Not to do something you are uncomfortable with but it’s a real start. You’d have to ask yourself if you prefer to leave and enter the unknown for the familiar. That decision is ultimately up to you.


  • Good marriage counseling is not going to ask you to do something that feels uncomfortable. In our marriage counseling practice and Imago based couples therapy retreats, we focus on the relationship dynamic, the space between you as the “patient”, not the individual spouses. And so there’s no therapist telling the partners what to do, pushing into uncomfortable compromises or advising of the next steps. It’s simply holding the space for a couple to truly “get” what it’s like to live in the other person’s world, temporarily “crossing over the bridge to visit” and then returning to their own reality- understanding more about what it’s like to live in their shoes, to really understand him/her, and then see how that reality might be impacting your current situation.


If you’re really not sure about your unique needs and if you can or “should” be willing to participate in couples counseling with your spouse due to a lack of trust, schedule a time to speak with us. There’s nothing more supportive than getting clarity from a guide who can see the full picture and has the ability to see clearly through what feels like a mess.

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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact info@themarriagerestorationproject.com or