How to Build Trust and Intimacy in a Second Marriage

How to Build Trust and Intimacy in a Second Marriage November 13, 2021

During our couples counseling session, Alyssa, 53, spoke about the betrayal of her first husband that ended her divorce and the lingering effects of infidelity. Even though her second husband, Ethan, 57, has not given her reasons to lose faith in him, she finds herself being jealous and suspicious of his actions.

Alyssa put it like this: “When Ethan doesn’t return my text or phone call right away, I track his location and automatically think the worst – that he’s with other women and up to no good.”

The breakup of a marriage can set the stage for feelings of mistrust – even if you’ve never had trust issues previously.  After a marriage ends, especially if you’ve endured infidelity, it’s normal to doubt your ability to trust yourself and others. Falling in love and getting remarried can be invigorating but can also be scary at the same time.

Love can be sweeter the second time around but when the bliss wears off, trust issues may surface and cause you to lose faith and confidence in your partner. An inability to trust a new partner may take on several forms – ranging from feeling they’re dishonest or secretive or doubting they’re going to keep their promises or be dependable.

You may enter a relationship with fractured trust for a variety of reasons. Divorce is not always the root cause. Nevertheless, as you become more aware of your tendency to mistrust your partner, you can stop yourself and ask: “Is my mistrust coming from something that is actually happening in the present, or is it related to my past?”

5 Ways to Build Trust and Intimacy with Your Partner: 

  • Trust your intuition and instincts. Have confidence in your own perceptions and pay attention to red flags. Be vulnerable and ask for reassurance if you feel mistrustful. Actions speak louder than words and will tell you whether your partner is dependable and trustworthy.
  • Don’t assume the worst of your partner. If he or she lets you down, it may just be a failure in competence – sometimes people simply make a mistake.
  • Listen to your partner’s side of the story. Believe that there are honest people in the world. Unless you have a strong reason to mistrust him or her, have faith in your partner.
  • Tell your partner that you love them daily and declare your love openly. Intimacy is yours for the taking if you learn to express your love generously to your partner. This includes displaying love and affection for them in public.
  • Focus on physical affection. Holding hands, hugging, and touching can release oxytocin (the bonding hormone) and causes a calming sensation. Physical affection also reduces stress hormones – lowering daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing a person’s sense of relationship satisfaction.

In order to build trust in your partner, it’s essential to be vulnerable and make a commitment to work on these issues before they destroy your marriage. If learning to trust someone is something you’ve been struggling with, it will make you feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. However, you’re not alone in this world and many people successfully restore faith in their partner and go on to have long-lasting and successful second marriages. Remember that you can break free from the grasp mistrust has on your life and find happiness if you have the courage to trust.

Find Terry on Twitter, Facebook, and, Terry’s award-winning book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship. Her new book The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around was published by Sounds True in 2020.



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