What If I Can't Trust My Husband?

 

Everyone, including the relational experts, tell us that without trust, there is no relationship.  It is deemed one of the core qualities that every relationship MUST have.   Below are a few thoughts, comments, and opinions about TRUST that I  found on the web:

  • "We are never so vulnerable than when we trust someone-paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy"....
  • We feel trust.  Emotions associated with trust include companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation and comfort.
  • Trust means to believe.  I trust you means I have no doubt in my mind about your honesty, integrity, and credibility.  No relationship can survive without trust.
  • Trust is the foundation for intimate, secure and successful relationships.  It must be earned and maintained with consistent actions.
  • Relationship begins and ends on trust.  Without trust, there can be no relationship.

So, I get it.  I understand, as I am sure you do, what trust is all about.  But for a wife who has been deeply wounded by betrayal whether by porn, adultery, lies, etc....the above opinions and explanations do NOTHING for her bleeding heart.  If anything, knowing these things only pushes her deeper into the pit of  despair and brokenness.   If we continue to listen to what the "experts"  tell us and believe that our marriages cannot survive when trust has been destroyed, then we might as well not even consider reconciliation. What we need is hope. 

Does God have a better way? 

I must make myself perfectly clear about what I am talking about.  This is not about being in a relationship that is one sided.  I am talking about a marriage that has been nearly destroyed by porn or any other kind of betrayal in which BOTH husband AND wife have committed to rebuilding their relationship.  I would no way condone a wife to look the other way while her husband chooses to continue to participate in hurtful and unhealthy behaviors.  That is not what I am talking about here. 

I am speaking to those wives, who like me, are in the process of restoring their marriage with a husband who desires to change. You see your husband and the changes God has made in him and you are amazed.  He is not the man he was.  He is growing, But, still you struggle with TRUST.  It is not anything he is or is not doing.  It's you. For starters, the fact that you have committed to the restoration process indicates that you believe your husband is sincere and loves you and that you have a small ray of hope  that your heart and your marriage will find healing.  Some days are great.  You don't even think twice about your husband's choices.  But then there are those other times when you wonder again. You begin to question him, AGAIN.   Days when doubts creep in like a shadow that attaches itself to you.  It happens when you least expect it.  It makes no sense.  You wonder if you will EVER feel normal again. 

I totally understand. Believe me. I remember in the early weeks of recovery feeling the very same way.   There were times that I felt it would be easier to walk away then to continue with the process.  The pain combined with shattered trust was a lot to work through.   I  was so torn between wanting so badly to be able to trust and yet knowing it was not possible.  There were times that instead of focusing on what God was doing, I allowed my own need for TRUST to overshadow God's grace and love for my husband.  I became ugly, building walls around my  heart.  In those moments I was determined that I would NOT allow my husband to hurt me again.    Without God's intervention, my heart would have became so hardened and full of  bitterness.  The thing is, those walls only made me MORE miserable.   Every book I read, every place I turned told me the same things....he would have to prove he was trustworthy before I could ever trust him again...he would have to earn my trust.  I knew that wouldn't happen anytime soon.  There was no quick "fix" for our relationship.  The only thing I could do was allow God to help me love my husband through the pain and through the lack of trust.  I had to be intentional about placing my TRUST in God with each day that was before me.  I failed so many times but God's faithfulness and mercy gave me the courage to try again and again.   

Well, can I tell you that it has been several years since we began our road to restoration and even though my husband has proven he is trustworthy, guess what?  I STILL don't  fully trust him.  Nevertheless,  I am so very grateful that I did not give up and walk away.  Unlike what the "experts" say, we do have a growing relationship, even without the "trust" they talk about. Maybe one day the trust struggle will be obsolete, but part of me thinks this may be a battle that I will have to learn to surrender to God over and over again.  And I am learning to be okay with that, and so can you. 

I have realized that my trust issues are not ALL my husband's fault.  I learned at a young age that others can't be trusted. I learned from my best friend talking behind my back to another that others can't be trusted. I learned from growing up with an alcoholic father who went to church and lived a life of double standards that others couldn't be trusted.  I learned from the night I laid next to my mom listening to her cry uncontrollably due to my father's affair that others can't be trusted.  And if the truth was known, there are some experiences in your life as well, that have taught you that you cannot trust others. 

For some, even though you had some life experiences that have made it difficult for you to trust others, finding your soul mate seemed to alleviate your fears.  When you got married your expectations were high, you were so in love. You had found someone you could finally give your heart to.  Unfortunately, soon after the honeymoon,  you found out that just because he was your husband and vowed to love you "till death do you part", he was human, imperfect and capable of causing you much pain. Two imperfect people coming together did not equal perfection like the childhood dreams you envisioned. This wasn't supposed to happen. Your husband was supposed to be the ONE person you could finally TRUST.  With much disappointment,  you realized that trust would, once again, be a struggle.  SO then what? 

Once our husbands make a few choices that hurt us,  we quickly place a "no trespassing" sign on our heart and forbid the chances of them hurting us again.  But is that the way God would have us to live?   Your husband is not perfect, as NONE of us are..  He will make mistakes, disappoint you and yes, even cause your heart to hurt at times.  However, the reality that your husband loves you and is allowing God to change him is worth the effort to fight for your marriage and not allow his past mistakes or your lack of trust  to destroy what God desires to restore.  My questions to you is.... Are you allowing the fact the you feel like you can't trust your husband to hinder your love for him? 

It is so easy to become focused on the need for security that we let it overwhelm us to the point that we miss what God desires to teach us.  We become so desperate to feel secure in our relationship all the while knowing in our heart of hearts, it is not something we can MAKE happen.  With betrayal, the door of mistrust is opened and I believe it is a door that no imperfect man can easily shut, which leads me to another question;  Where in the bible does it tell us to put our trust in our husbands, anyway?   Actually, are there ANY scriptures that command us to trust anybody but God?  I am still looking for that one. 

SO, what is trust REALLY about?  It's about the security of the one doing the trusting. It's about feeling safe.  It's about being vulnerable.  It's about giving your heart to another and believing they will not break it into pieces. Trust is like a protective guard surrounding our hearts that tells us, since I can trust this person, I can love this person. I can allow this person to know me for who I really am.  I can give my heart to this person and know that it is in a safe place. But is it really?  Sooner or later we must come to the place where we realize that Only GOD is worthy of that kind of total dependence.  

What IF we took the guards off of our hearts and we loved our husbands deeply with all that we are and trusted GOD with the rest...is it possible?  Can a human heart really love that way?  Can we love deeply without the fear of being betrayed again?   Can we love without worrying about ourselves?  Can our hearts find the freedom to love unconditionally?  My answer to you is, YES, by God's grace and power,  I believe we can.  That is the kind of God-love He desires to impart to your wounded heart.  I am not saying this is easy, because I can tell you it is not.  It may be one of the hardest things you do... but so worth it. Thankfully, God's amazing grace is more than sufficient for our messy moments, and believe me, on the journey to healing and restoration, there will be MANY of them! This is something we have to do over and over again.  An intentional effort day after day. 

I am aware more than ever that I cannot control my husband, nor can I 100% believe he will never hurt me again. That is not reality. SO,  How do I, as a wife of a husband who has had an addiction to porn move forward?   I am convinced that I cannot live my life in a way that is pleasing to God if I think I have to be able to fully trust my husband to love him.  My trust must be placed in GOD alone.  God's Word tells me to trust GOD, not my husband.  That's my high calling.  Maybe that's yours, as well.  I know apart from God, this is impossible.    BUT, WITH GOD, I believe it IS possible (no matter what the experts say)  to have peace, contentment, and a growing relationship because we are TRUSTING the ONE who is Trustworthy.  Maybe our prayers should not be, Lord, help me to trust my husband, but..... Lord, help my heart to TRUST YOU MORE. Fill my heart with more grace and more of YOUR love for my husband so that I may be the wife You have called me to be. 

I want to encourage you, my friend.  You are not alone, you are not crazy, you will get through this.  Allow God to bring down the walls that surround your heart and love your husband freely.  Trust in the Lord... I mean REALLY trust Him. I cannot tell you that your husband will never hurt you or betray you again....but I can promise you that God will be with you and will use EVERYTHING in your life for your good and for His amazing purposes.  He loves you like no other.   Remind yourself often that HE is trustworthy and more than able to take care of you no matter what lies ahead of you.  Renew your mind with His Word. Don't let your fears steal from you another moment.  Enjoy the journey of restoration that you and your husband are on.  Focus on Christ and be thankful for the transformation He is doing in your heart, as well as your husband's. What you are experiencing in God and what you will glean from this process will produce a deeper intimacy with Jesus.... which, in turn, can be life changing not only for you, but for those lives that you influence every day.  That in and of itself, is worth it, don't you think? 

Trust in the Lord with All your heart.....Proverbs 3:5




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