Rebuilding Trust with Your Wife When it’s Broken

Bob Heywood

I mentioned in my last post that one of the most devastating things that impacted your wife when your porn usage finally came out in the open was this fact:  You were living a double life.  You lived one way in front of her, and you lived another way behind her back.  That type of secrecy in a marriage causes great damage. 

One of the first things you need to do to rebuild your marriage is to learn—carefully and with sincerity—how to rebuild the trust that was broken.  Here is one of the first steps you need to learn:  Give your wife space to walk her road of healing.

Please don’t move toward your wife, putting pressure on her, as if the future of your relationship depends on her and her response to you.  She is disoriented from living with a man who lived two lives. Jesus said sexual sins were legitimate grounds for divorce.  You need to face the reality that you crossed that line—whether your sexual sin involved a physical encounter or “just” a virtual one. 

Your wife will be struggling with the reality that you crossed sexual boundaries; that you took your heart and your body outside of your marriage.  That’s bad enough.  But she will also be struggling with your deception.  Your wife can’t fix all that.  You’ll have to give her emotional space as she struggles with how to move on. 

One thing that God will be working on in your own heart is your desire to control things and make them work out your way.  That’s what your sexual sin was about.  Your desire for control is what plunged you into porn and what kept your deception going.  But God is now trying to teach you that your supposed control was an illusion and that you are going to have to deeply rely on Him.  You can’t fix this on your own.  Your promises, your new intentions, at this point, are going to have to be seen to be believed. 

You must now learn not to depend on yourself—your “wisdom,” your schemes, your manipulations.  You can’t make this thing work.  God is trying to make Himself real to both you and your wife.  You are both going to have to trust Him with situations that you can’t foresee coming.    If all you did was stub your toe, it wouldn’t take long to heal.  But this is a lot more than a minor bruise.  Don’t rush. Don’t pressure your wife to heal faster than she can.  Love is a long road.  It’s worth the trip.    

God is in the business of redeeming lives but He also insists in doing it His way.  You’ve got to learn this yourself.  Are you willing to be a disciple, willing to walk with Him at His pace?   Then realize that His pace includes the time your wife needs to heal.  When you give her space, you walk at the Master’s pace.