He Said/She Said (8): Rebuilding Trust

This is our last post of this series "Lust and Your Marriage." We really want to continue the He Said/She Said Series....please leave topic ideas, questions or comments in my community to help us decide what topics to look at next from his/her perspective. Thanks!

She Said:
For me, rebuilding trust in my marriage was very difficult. I was insecure about even recognizing truth because for so many years I was oblivious to many lies. I wanted to trust my forgiven husband. From the beginning of his confession, I knew something significant had happened in him and to him. I knew he was different.

But I struggled.

He wanted to be trustworthy, but I couldn't make myself trust him.

It took time. Days of watching him in his new found freedom, turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. If he admitted being tempted to lust or giving into that temptation to look too long at a passing woman, it was a huge disappointment and regression for me.

Trusting after pornography is a painful dance, two steps forward, one step back, but we were both seriously committed to beat this at whatever cost and we were gaining ground.

I also struggled with trusting men in general for months after this. It was just another reminder that God is really the only One who will never fail me. Everyone else is capable of being nothing more than human.

This article on Rebuilding Trust by the author (and his wife) of Every Man's Battle, is powerful and very effective. I urge every wife and husband to read it.

Trouble is, when it comes to trust, there’s a catch. No matter how desperately you want it, you can’t manufacture trust on your own. Trust requires two ingredients: Your husband must become trustworthy, and you must trust again. Each of you is responsible for bringing one of the ingredients to the table.

Neither will be easy to provide. Becoming trustworthy will require an immense character change on his part, and that’s no small task. On your end, trusting your husband again will require obedience and submission to God, in spite of your scars. That won’t be easy, either.

- Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored

I recommend open communication. We talked about everything (and we still do!) I wanted to help him fight. But at some point, it became unhealthy for trust-building for me to know of every temptation. Remember, it's not wrong or sinful to be tempted. Jesus, Himself, showed us that. My hubby got in an accountability group and shared those temptations with other men. This was a tremendous help to both of us.

As time passed, and we were three months, four, six months out, each day got easier. I learned to trust again because my spouse became trustworthy.

Many of the women who've emailed/left comments are struggling with men who are not trustworthy. Their hearts have been damaged over and over because their mates have failed over and over. You cannot be expected to trust someone who isn't worthy of it. Put your trust in God, ask your spouse to clean up their act, get counseling or schedule an intervention with family, friends.

Rebuilding trust isn't easy or done quickly, but it is possible.

(We apologize for the quality of this video--serious technical difficulties this week! Turn down your volume)

Please visit my community to leave topic ideas, questions or comments in my community for future He Said/She Said posts.


Rae said...

Thanks for doing this series. It has been helpful to so many people. Today's tips on specific things the husband could do to rebuild trust was great. My husband has done most of the things that were mentioned and they were not only helpful for me in trusting him again, but I think they were a great tool for him in learning how to be transparent after lying and hiding things had become so natural for him.


Sara said...

I think it is incredibly difficult to start trusting again, and agree completely with the quote you added to your post. It does take two.

My husband confessed his pornography addiction to me about 8 years ago now, and while we don't deal with it on a daily basis, there are still times when I know he's on the computer (for work, looking at sports scores, etc)that I find myself wondering if that's what he's really doing. We still talk about it, openly and honestly, and with me purposely not being accusatory in my tone. We now have two boys (a third on the way) and I struggle to find a balance between letting them know women are beautiful and being highly offended that sports on TV are inundated with scantily clad women. Thankfully, my kids are young, but I really don't want them to struggle with what we've struggled with as a married couple. Thanks so much for this series.

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for doing this series. It's been great to see how you guys have overcome this in your marriage. When I was struggling with some things myself, I took the time to talk to my church leader about it, after confessing to my husband. He gave me a great pamphlet called, "Let Virtue Garnish your Thoughts". I'm pretty sure it was originally intended for the youth but it was a great help. This series you guys have done has also helped a lot and strengthened my resolve to keep conquering the temptations in my life.

Thank you!

here's a link to the pamphlet if you are interested in taking a look.

momofone said...

Thank you for your posts. Some of them were exactly what I needed to hear. I too have felt the pains of pornography. It is nice to know that my husband and I are not in this alone. I have been trying to find forgiveness for him. I know the trust will have to eventually happen to. It has been hard journey and will continue to be. Thank you for your words.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for doing this series, Kristen. I am struggling with trust right now and this series has made me think and helped us.

Melissa R said...

McMommy, I find it interesting that the trust issue was something you extended to men in general but not women. I think you'd find that women do a lot of "cheating" and have other issues as well. I think it's more of a situation of trusting people in general rather than just men. Perhaps I am not approaching it the same way you are though. Thank you so much for this series I've appreciated it.
For ideas about He/She... child care/child rearing? Or home care?

Rona's Home Page said...

I've had my issues of trust on and off with my husband as well. I think the hardest part is that it never really goes away. It's like it's in the pit of stomach and occassionally rises to my throat.
Thank you for posting the series. When I make some time I will have to definitely give it a listen.