Rebuilding Trust with Your Wife When it’s Broken

Rebuilding Trust with Your Wife When it’s Broken

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.

Bob Heywood

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.

Harvest USA
About The Author
Bob Heywood has been on staff with HARVEST USA since July 2004. For years Bob struggled with using pornography, something he was not aware was having an effect on him, his wife, or his church. He has a wonderful testimony of sanctification and reconciliation by the hand of the Lord. Bob has worked with youth, served as a volunteer leader with HARVEST USA for a number of years, and is an elder at Pilgrim Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. At HARVEST USA he now works with the Discovery Biblical support group for men struggling with sexual sin. He also does one-on-one discipleship as well as presents seminars and leads in training individuals to be small group facilitators.

3 Comments:


  • By Linda Paugh Schmidd 07 Aug 2012

    Dear Marilyn and Bob,

    Perhaps this is not the right forum, but so nice to see you guys again. My daughter (Jeannette) and I were reminiscing about Bob being a counselor at Rox. Pres’ summer camp years ago (I believe Jeannette and Linda, Jr. attended when they were 9-11 to 11-13 and they are now 31 – 33 respectively.) Time flies when folks are having so much fun, eh? A couple of years ago, I had heard Bob was ministering at a church in Manayunk, probably the Pilgrim Pres. Church and took the opportunity to listen in on the web audio available then. It was pretty, pretty good. I believe there were several to listen too – but at this point not sure if they were all Bob’s broadcast listed. I never reached out to tell him what I thought, only in apprehension.

    Such is life, but now I am. Marilyn and Robert you made me so very happy to hear your declaration. I truly understood right away. Isn’t the Lord’s infinite mercy and grace so tremendous? He is so much in control of us that we can’t do anything but love Him, because He first loved us. What a wonderful, marvelous testimony you gave of His care. If I don’t see you guys during these passing days, then no concern – I’ll catch ya later when He brings us home.

    Yours in Christ, who is my Redeemer and Absolute Friend,

    Linda Paugh Schmids

    P.S. Was in choir with you guys – I was a 2nd Soprano (Ahhhh, Ben Evans, what a wonderful teacher and great mentor). Now, I’m singing 2nd Alto teetering on being a 1st Tenor – Yeah, Bob I can pull that off. If you need to know a particular time and place for recall – Bob & I created some crazy note in Ben’s office while Ben was away. Ben was probably handling folks in the choir room. Bob typed while I dictated. – Funny stuff, because Bob added his humor to the dialogue. Have no idea to this day what it was about, but I do recall laughing throughout. I’ve had some laughs throughout my life, but Bob’s up there with creativeness. What a wonderful talent to have. The Lord is so gracious to give us His capacity. What a Great and Loving God we have.

  • By Linda Paugh Schmids 07 Aug 2012

    Dear Marilyn and Bob,

    So nice to see you guys again. My daughter (Jeannette) and I were reminiscing about Bob being a counselor at Rox. Pres’ summer camp years ago (I believe Jeannette and Linda, Jr. attended when they were 9-11 to 11-13 and they are now 31 – 33 respectively.) Time flies when folks are having so much fun, eh? A couple of years ago, I had heard Bob was ministering at a church in Manayunk, probably the Pilgrim Pres. Church and took the opportunity to listen in on the web audio available then. It was pretty, pretty good. I believe there were several to listen too – but at this point not sure if they were all Bob’s broadcast listed. I never reached out to tell him what I thought, only in apprehension.

    Such is life, but now I am. Marilyn and Robert you made me so very happy to hear your declaration . . I truly understood right away. Isn’t the Lord’s infinite mercy and grace so tremendous? He is so much in control of us that we can’t do anything but love Him, because He first loved us. What a wonderful, marvelous testimony you gave of His care. If I don’t see you guys during these passing days, then no concern – I’ll catch ya later when He brings us home.

    Yours in Christ, who is my Redeemer and Absolute Friend,

    Linda Paugh Schmids

    P.S. Was in choir with you guys – I was a 2nd Soprano (Ahhhh, Ben Evans, what a wonderful teacher and great mentor). Now, I’m singing 2nd Alto teetering on being a 1st Tenor – Yeah, Bob I can pull that off. If you need to know a particular time and place for recall – Bob & I created some crazy note in Ben’s office while Ben was away. Ben was probably handling folks in the choir room. Bob typed while I dictated. – Funny stuff, because Bob added his humor to the dialogue. Have no idea to this day what it was about, but I do recall laughing throughout. I’ve had some laughs throughout my life, but Bob’s up there with creativeness. What a wonderful talent to have. The Lord is so gracious to give us His capacity. What a Great and Loving God we have.

  • By Jack 15 Oct 2012

    Bob,

    Thanks for your posts about rebuilding trust. Do you any more wisdom to share on this subject? I am still struggling to rebuild trust 5 years after coming clean on my sin.

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