Morning friends,

So glad you enjoyed Allison Cook’s guest post last week. I’m going to be inviting some of my other colleagues to share with you what they are learning about having good boundaries, healthy self-respect, good self-care, and how to recognize controlling relationships. Life is so messy, isn’t it?

I find so many people today do not know even the basics of healthy relationships and are growing more and more unhealthy and disconnected by the day.  What would you say some of the essential basics of having healthy and sustaining relationships are?

Question: I recently discovered that my husband has been not only viewing porn on the internet but also “chatting” with multiple women. I even found e-mails where he refers to me as his “soon to be ex” and exchanged phone numbers, and talked about times to meet, etc. 

When I confronted him, he swears that all of this is fantasy and that he has never done anything physical with these women. He says he is deeply sorry and will give this all up. But I don’t know what to think. How can I trust him again? How will I know if he is really sorry or just sorry for the moment? He has been very emotionally unavailable to me in the past and verbally abusive at times. But now he’s being very attentive. I don’t know how to respond. Help!                                                  

Answer: First, let me tell you how sorry I am that you have experienced this in your marriage. Internet pornography as well as chatting with the opposite sex is a huge temptation for men and women these days. Click here to see a blog post about women in bondage to pornography.

It is perfectly normal that you’re struggling to trust your husband. Once broken, trust in a relationship is difficult to rebuild and it takes time and effort. Your recent discovery isn’t the only problem in your marriage but it can be a wakeup call for your husband to work to change his ways.

I’m glad you’ve confronted him when you discovered the pornography and his chatting. In order to invite further change in your marriage, you might want to add something along these lines:

“You say that you want to work on restoring our marriage. I can see that you are trying and making the effort to do some of the things that I’ve always wanted you to do (mention some specific ways you see him trying to win you back). However, my trust in who you are and what you say has been broken and it will take time for you to rebuild it. 

Right now, I can’t believe what you tell me and I’m not sure you really care about me and my feelings or you wouldn’t have been playing with fire potentially burning down our relationship. In the past, when I’ve told you that your emotional distancing and angry words hurt, you didn’t care because you never changed them. Now you’ve disrespected me and our marriage vows by what you’ve been doing on the internet.

I am willing (only say this if you are)  to work on restoring our marriage at some point, but I am not willing to be disrespected and abused any longer. I need you to take some specific steps to set boundaries on your internet use, learn how to handle your temper, why you believe flirting and lying to other women is harmless fun, and figure out why you’ve been emotionally unavailable to me in order for me to potentially trust you again.”

Only say this once. Then wait. Don’t nag. Watch what he does not what he says he’ll do.

Jesus tells us to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8). Your husband will re-build your trust as he shows you he is willing to do his own hard work and takes the initiative to do it. Click To Tweet

If your husband does his part, your own work to do will be to forgive him and decide whether or not you can learn to trust him again. Remember, your arch-enemy here is not your spouse but Satan, who wants to destroy you both. He will use every opportunity to taunt you with your husband’s sin. Don’t let him. In these moments, remind yourself of who you are, how God is using this to build your own character and growth, and hopefully also the positive things your husband is doing to earn back your trust.  

Remember, honesty and accountability are the cornerstones for rebuilding trust, not perfection. However, if your husband does not make strong efforts in these areas, regaining marital trust is not possible.

Finally, consider attending a support group for wives whose husbands share similar problems. If you can’t locate one in your area, use the Internet to find one. Here are a few resources to get you started, Newlifepartners.orgMy friend and colleague Sheri Keffer has written an excellent book on this called Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal

Please know that many women share your struggle. You are not alone.

If you’d like more information on how to initiate a difficult discussion with someone, click here.

Friends, if you were able to rebuild broken trust with your spouse who was sexually addicted to porn, what steps did you take?

2 Comments

  1. JoAnn on August 21, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Another very helpful resource is purelifeministries.org.

  2. me on August 22, 2020 at 5:20 am

    This is a very tough subject. Thank you for addressing it and giving women a very good way to approach and respond to our husbands.
    It is a devastating issue and remembering Satan is our true enemy is important.

Leave a Comment





Read More

He Says He’s Sorry, Sort Of, But Now What Do I Do?

  This week’s question: I am currently deciding whether to separate from my emotionally abusive husband. After months of asking for help, his family has staged an intervention of sorts. I am trying to be positive about it, but it seems it is a little late, as I am so, so weary. I am now…

Read More...

My Adult Children Blame Me Because I Refuse To Apologize

Morning friends,  Thanks for the book and movie recommendations. I’d especially appreciate your prayers over the next few weeks. I have a lot of moving parts on my plate and sometimes I don’t keep track of them all as well as I need to. Pray that I stay focused, that I am productive, and also…

Read More...

The Bible Says “Love Always Trusts.” Is It A Sin To Not Trust Him?

Morning Friends, Our CONQUER Conference will be here in just 2 months. It’s hard to believe how wonderfully God is pulling everything together. We have 3 great main speakers plus 16 different workshops for you to attend. Many of the workshops have to do with difficult and destructive relationships so they will continue to help…

Read More...

Ask Your Question

Have a blog question you'd like to submit?