Psalm 37:34 says, “Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path.” I love that. Do the next right thing and hope in God, not what God will do. So often we pin our hope on the outcome of what God will do, but he never promises us a perfect outcome. In fact, he tells us that we will have hard times, but that he will always be with us. Our hope is placed on God himself. In his character, his goodness, his faithfulness, his wisdom, his love. Most of the time we have no idea what is best, but the best we can do is trust him. Hope in God, not what he will do.
This week’s question. My husband has been unfaithful in our marriage at least several times but no matter the hard evidence he will not disclose the truth. He just says he’s sorry for any hurt and we need to just put it behind us and never bring it up. Can you send me the link where you were talking about this? I want him to hear this. I currently have a certified AASAT Christian coach and am in a partner recovery group to try to heal from the years of emotional abuse and betrayal that were never dealt with. I’ve signed up for your Moving Beyond People Pleasing. How can I convey to him that I need him to validate the hurt he has caused to me and our marriage and I need honesty?
Answer: I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. Betrayal by someone close to you is always painful. Trust is broken. It’s like being hit head-on by a semi driven by your husband. You’re in intensive care with injuries from his recklessness yet he wants you to forget it happened. Forgive and let it go. Let’s not discuss your pain, let’s just move on. This is a typical response from a person who has a pattern of abusive behavior and betrayal. He expects (demands) amnesty, lacks empathy, and has no heart or motivation to make amends for the pain he has caused.
There are many reasons he avoids telling you the whole truth as well as validating the pain and suffering he has caused you. If he has any conscience, he will feel shame and guilt. These are appropriate emotions when you do sinful things and harm those you love. He doesn’t want to go there. Nobody wants to go there, but when he refuses to go there, he’s telling you once again his needs are more important than your needs. His feelings are more important than your feelings. Yours don’t matter as much as his do. He’s telling you, “Stop making me uncomfortable by telling me what you need from me.”
My question for you is: do you care about your needs? You said, “I need him to validate the hurt he has caused me. I need honesty.” Of course you do. These are as basic to healthy and safe relationships as water is to a healthy body. But how many ways do you have to say that for him to hear you? He has heard you, but you don’t like his answer. He’s telling you, “No, I’m not willing to go there. My needs and feeling are more important than yours are.” The video you refer to about rebuilding broken trust is in the bonus section of your People Pleasing Course, but friend, you can’t make him care about you or your needs. Showing him the video probably will not make any difference.
What does that mean for you? Since you are being coached by someone experienced in sexual betrayal as well as in a recovery group, share these concerns there.
God warns the leaders of Israel not to do superficial healing work. He says, “They heal the brokenness of my people by saying peace, peace when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)
Right now there is no true peace between you and your husband. He has grievously sinned against you several times. He refuses to take a deep dive into his own life to figure out the reasons why he betrays you over and over again. He refuses to validate the pain and harm he has caused by his sinful behaviors. He refuses to do an honest disclosure of his betrayal history. Yet he expects you to put it behind you and never bring it up. What if you told him, “I can’t do that.” Or even, “I won’t do that again. That didn’t bring healing after the first time or the second time, why would it be any different now?”
You see, even if he doesn’t care about what you need, you must care about your needs. Stand up for what a healthy marriage consists of and that starts with making sure there is safety and trust (Proverbs 31:12). There is no safety or trust in your marriage at the moment.
You don’t feel safe that he cares about your needs and is willing to be uncomfortable in order to meet those needs. It’s Biblically okay to not trust him even if you still love him. He’s been utterly untrustworthy (Proverbs 25:19).
My next step recommendation for you is to get together with your coach and figure out your own boundaries as well as consequences for his choice to cheat on you, his choice to not be honest with you, and his choice to not care about the impact this has had on you. The person who must care about you and what you need right now is you. Please take good care of you.
Friend, how did you deal with the pain of someone harming you, breaking trust, and not validating that pain or betrayal? What happened to the relationship?