“How can I learn to trust my husband again?”
I hear this question often from wives. The answer: You will slowly rebuild trust as your husband earns it over an extended period of time by treating you with kindness, staying free from sexual sin, and taking consistent action steps.
Forgiveness and trust are two different issues. While every Christian is commanded by God to forgive all who have hurt them (Matthew 6:14-15), the injured wife is not obligated to trust her husband with her heart again; he needs to give her a reason to trust by his actions. To trust is to expose the heart; when a wife doesn’t trust her husband what she’s really saying is “I have to protect my heart until you can prove to me I won’t get hurt again.”
Here are ways to rebuild trust:
Have accountability software email the wife a list of every website the husband visits, from every device he uses.
Give your wife the passwords to all media devices; TV, computers, etc.
Tell your wife you will have your accountability partner call her if you slip, and email them both so everyone is on board.
Keep taking the action steps of going to support groups and counseling. Make meeting with at least one other man for the purpose of accountability a permanent part of your life.
Care for her and treat her with kindness. If you have been critical, judging, manipulative, and/or blamed her for things you shouldn’t have, take ownership, and stop.
Make her the biggest priority in your life, second only to God, then show her by the way you treat her that she is.
Never lie again.
If you say or do something you shouldn’t (which happens in every marriage), apologize immediately.
Resolve the core wounds and/or distorted beliefs in your heart that are driving you to use lust as a Band-Aid.
Become the servant-leader of your home.
Have fun with her.
Cease all sexual acting out.
All of the above are proof of a changed life that will encourage your wife to trust you again.
It takes months, even years, to fully rebuild trust in a marriage. Husbands, don’t expect that you’ll be able to do one or two nice things for your wife and then everything will be “back to normal.” The “old normal” is long gone and you need to make the effort and put in the time it will take to show your wife she can trust you with her heart. Every woman is different, as are the circumstances, which means there isn’t a rule for how long it will take her to heal.
Today, ask each other the following questions:
- “On a scale of one to ten, ten being best, rate your level of trust in me.”
- “Please tell me what I need to do so I can increase your trust in me to as close to a ten as possible.”
If you have a list of action items to work on from your spouse’s response to the second question, makes notes below. Then follow through.
Excerpted from Mike Genung’s book, The Road to Grace for Couples; a Workbook for Healing from Porn and Adultery
Image Copyright : Fabio Formaggio