Almost every wife will eventually encounter a tough time in her marriage. We’re all going to experience heartbreak and challenge in our lives in general. The question is this. Why are some people able to bounce back from adversity relatively quickly, and why do others seem to remain stuck?
At the risk of you hating me 🙂 …I’ll be honest and let you know that I tend to be very resilient. After an initial period of shock and grief, I’m usually able to quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward. After pondering this ability with God, allow me share a 3-word insight that might help you become more resilient too.
I trust God. Period. Three little words that mean everything! I have decided to believe that God is in control and that His ways are perfect. I have decided to believe that God can and will bring something good out of my hardship. This is what we learn at the end of Joseph’s painful story in Genesis, where Joseph proclaims in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...” I also take heart from Romans 8:28, where God says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I can bounce back because I trust God and because He says He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do you truly trust God? It’s a decision you get to make, and it makes all the difference.
Betrayal in marriage is so devastating. Betrayal takes many forms…adultery, use of pornography, excessive gambling, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. If your husband betrayed you in some way, you know the resulting heartbreak first-hand. If your husband has finally repented of this behavior, praise God! However, there’s almost always a secondary, deep issue that needs to be dealt with…regaining trust. That’s because betrayal is almost always engulfed in lies. The husband who has an affair does so in secret and deceives his wife about his whereabouts. The husband who has an alcohol problem usually drinks secretly and lies about his drinking.
So, how does a wife learn to trust after betrayal? Well, the first part is up to you. You must clearly communicate what you need from your husband in order to begin to trust him again. Here is what I suggest. Let him know you will only be able to begin trusting again if you see him taking actual steps toward serious accountability and recovery. I would also let him know that he needs to show that he is willing to do the hard work of recovery over the long haul, not just a few weeks. This is the essence of Matthew 3:8, which instructs us to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
You need to see fruit, week after week and month after month. That “fruit” may involve long-term counseling, a treatment program, long-term involvement with a 12-step group such as AA, etc. The fruit should also mean willingness on his part to honestly account for his time, money, and computer use.
All that being said, remember to treat your husband with the same kindness, compassion and humility that you would want him to treat you if you were struggling with an addiction or had stumbled in some major way. Your husband is NOT your enemy! He needs you to encourage him, while also firmly requesting that he do the hard work to regain your trust.