It’s said that it takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair. Is that why so many marriages fail these days? If you’ve been unfortunate enough to endure the heartbreak of finding out that your trust has been betrayed then you know it’s true worth. Forgiving seems at times completely out of the question, that is, until the liar or cheater is completely out of your life.

Add children to the mix and your situation has then become that much more complicated. Why do so many people think so selfishly? Like your behavior has no ramifications or consequences. I see it every day. I’ve seen it my whole life.

Sometimes I feel like I live in a world where words have no meaning. Promises are hollow and dreams are cut short all because our trust has been dismantled, lie by lie. A broken heart will teach you how to quickly recognize the pattern of distrust and catch that person in a lie. Perhaps they lose eye contact with you, or only partially answer your question. Whatever it is, there are subtle clues you can spot a mile away that give you that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.

There’s nothing that compares to the feeling of the moment that your intuitions are proven true. There’s the initial “gotcha!” feeling that helps you feel vindicated for having thoughts that seemed inappropriate about someone you love. You’re not supposed to think that the one you love is doing you wrong which is why it’s such a disgusting feeling to have when you do. Not long after the rush of catching them in a lie comes the punch in the gut. Why would this person do this to me? What did I do to deserve this? It’s not a fun place to be. Then there’s the aftermath. Knowing life will never be the same you now have to decide what “forward” looks like. Do you forgive? Do you move on? How can I do either one of those choices?

Trust is more than a word. It’s who you are as a person, a husband, wife, friend and co-worker. If you don’t have trust you don’t have a marriage, a friendship or a future at your job. Whispers are as loud as sirens once trust has eroded.  If only karma was a real weapon of defense that could reliably be used on the one with the sword. Alas, we settle for the more realistic, albeit much longer form of discipline: to reap what you sow. Karma is like the parent that instantly slaps your hand when caught in the cookie jar. Reaping what you sow is like having to work extra hard for that summer body. What is the better instructor when it comes to taking cookies?

Once the foundation of a marriage has been shaken by an earthquake of dishonesty and the home has been greatly damaged there is no such thing as a “Geico for Marriage” where you can just file a claim and expect everything to go back to normal. Once the foundation is broken you must decide if you will rebuild together or walk away. It’s a completely avoidable ultimatum so many couples find themselves in these days and it’s something only they can decide.