The Betrayal of Trust in a Marriage
Jeff and Rose Colón share about the challenges of rebuilding trust after sexual sin has impacted a marriage.
Jeff and Rose, as we focus on couples this week, we want to talk about what is admittedly a difficult issue for anyone, the betrayal of trust. Jeff, how does a couple begin to deal with this issue?
First of all Mike the husband needs to understand that because he has lied - sometimes for years - to his wife, he has hurt her very deeply, to the point that some wives actually are more upset at the lies he's told than the actual sin that was committed. The husband has to understand that and that trust is not going to be something that comes automatically for his wife. He's going to have to be willing to be truthful and to handle things differently, so he can build that trust back into his marriage. It might take quite some time to do that.
Do you find that sometimes the husbands think well "Okay I've gotten all this out in the open and I've acknowledged everything that I did, so everything should be okay now?"
Absolutely. I mean that's what we see a lot of the time. The husband expects his wife to snap out of it and thinks "Okay, you've got to trust me now," and I question whether that guy has really been broken over his sin, if he's not willing to bear his wife through the process of building that trust back into the marriage.
So are there any particular steps that he can take? What are the things that he needs to begin to do?
The Bible's pretty clear in Ephesians 4:25. It says "Therefore put away falsehood. Let everyone speak truth with his neighbor for we are members of one another." It pretty much comes down to learning how to speak the truth and to being vulnerable. A lot of times a husband who's in sexual sin isn't honest about what goes on inside, so the wife kind of knows something's wrong, but he's lying and saying everything's fine. But when a husband is honest and begins to speak truth from his heart and shares what's going on inside his heart and is vulnerable to her, then she says "Okay, I can trust him. I know he's not trying to put up a false front to me. He's being honest about his struggles, what's going on inside." A wife that sees her husband speaking to her that way in truth and with vulnerability, she can begin to start to trust him again.
Often times I would assume that he's just looking at his outward behavior, but what God's wanting to do is that inward work in the heart of a man, and that's what the wife is looking for. So if a guy is just changing his behavior and he doesn't understand why his wife isn't trusting him, what he's not understanding is that she's looking to see if there's a heart change over a period of time.
Right. Absolutely. Sometimes the husband will fall into the trap that he has to be perfect and that if he shares with his wife that he's struggling inside or there's something not right inside that she's going to freak out, but what he doesn't understand is it will actually make her more secure. Our wives want to know what's going on inside of us and they're not looking for some spiritual Superman. They're looking for a man that is honest and vulnerable and willing to open up his inside world with his wife.
Rose is there a different perspective that a woman, the wife in the situation, has? How is she dealing with it? First of all, how does a wife perceive this issue? Does she see it differently?
Usually, the wife does not trust the husband at all, even though he's gone through the program and done all the right things, she doesn't trust him, and that's just where she's at that point in time. They feel frustrated a lot of times because the husband will be in this mindset that "Okay because I've done the program you need to trust me now," but he has a track record where he can't be trusted. I try to help the wife to just see that the focus needs to be on the Lord, that He's the one that your husband is accountable to primarily, and to trust that God is able to deal with him. As you see the Lord working in his life and him growing in the Lord and dealing with his heart then the wife starts seeing "Okay that trust can be built back into the marriage." It does come back, but it really weighs on the husband - how vulnerable, open, and honest he's willing to be with his wife. Someone that is honest, open, and vulnerable you can trust, but someone that's been lying and deceiving, you can't trust that person. Usually I'll ask the wife, "When can you trust someone? When they're being honest with you." So if the husband's not being honest then they're really hindering the Lord from working in that area.
Jeff and Rose, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.
Thanks, Mike. It's good to be with you.
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