Any of the following types of trust may have been damaged by the infidelity or simply the MLC in general. But some of these, or pieces of them, may remain intact. Review them with consideration to areas where you feel some trust remains or you may feel more confident in beginning to trust.

The 7 Types of Trust[1]

  1. Fidelity
  2. Do you trust your spouse to remain sexually and emotionally monogamous?
    Infidelity is the opposite of fidelity, so clearly this is one of the basic areas where trust needs rebuilding. Fidelity is the quality of being faithful; it is about loyalty and commitment and in this context it is about monogamy as well.

  3. Honesty
  4. Do you trust that your spouse is being truthful? Do you wonder at any small discrepancy—working late, phone calls from unknown numbers…?
    This is the other main type of trust that takes a hit when infidelity is involved. Your spouse lied either by commission and possibly omission if they were never asked directly about cheating. Prior to the infidelity, did you consider your spouse to be honest? Your spouse is probably honest about something—even something minor…start there.

  5. Diplomacy
  6. Do you trust in your spouse as a confidant? Do you trust them to be the keeper of your secrets, and not use your fears and anxieties against you, but instead to help you through them? Do you
    feel safe revealing your emotional vulnerabilities with your spouse? Do you believe your spouse has the ability to discern sensitive situations and feelings and thus to respond with sensitivity, empathy and kindness?
    Often this is another type of trust that is damaged by the MLC Monster and infidelity. Monster taunts, using your vulnerabilities against you. But even through MLC there may be little kindnesses that you dismissed. Some MLCers blame their spouse, but not all. In the context of MLC even the MLCer’s claim that it’s not anything to do with you can be a small kindness.

  7. Emotional Reliability & Constancy
  8. Monster & typical MLC cycling may have damaged this type of trust significantly. During MLC your spouse’s moods may have been unpredictable and even volatile. But as the crisis has progressed have you observed changes in this? Were your spouse’s emotional swings greater in the beginning? Have they become better? Have they become worse again as your spouse moves toward you and reconciliation? What are the differences in the levels and types of emotions?

  9. Fiscal Responsibility & Security
  10. Do you trust your spouse to support you as a family financially by remaining financially responsible—not gambling away the house or buying something just because it’s on sale or insisting on buying the red Porsche, but instead supporting the family income either by earning wages or supporting you in your career?
    This type of trust may take a big hit during MLC if your MLCer went spend-crazy. Some cash out their entire retirement savings and go through it in a matter of months. Addictions resurface and a gambler may start betting, and an alcoholic may go broke buying booze…

  11. Physical Protection & Security
  12. Do you trust your spouse to protect you either by helping to providing you with the means for protection such as providing and maintaining shelter, medical care…or by protecting you from physical harm through violence, acts of God—such as weather, accidents…

  13. Parenting
  14. Do you trust your spouse with your children? Do you trust in their judgments as parents? Do you feel your children are safe and well protected when with your spouse? Do you believe that your spouse loves your children with all their heart? Do you believe that they mean well?
    MLCers’ parenting skills can go either way. Some remain devoted parents and other than leaving and having an affair, they maintain solid parenting judgment. And then there are many who neglect their children; they may visit less often or they fail to be attentive when the children are in their care. They may expose children to an unsafe alienator, drugs, alcohol, gambling, dangerous new friends… So look at the questions carefully. Is there something you do trust about them as a parent? It’s okay to start small; do you believe they mean well?


[1] These were adapted from the work of Dr. Frank Gunzburg. <>

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