By Dawn R. Ward
When I decided a while back to write on the topic of how to heal when trust is broken, I did not expect my personal experience with it to be this fresh.
During our marriage, my trust has been broken more than once. The most recent was just a few short weeks ago. You may have also experienced broken trust in your marriage. If so, how do you heal from the pain it has caused you?
How to Heal When Trust Is Broken
Without going into too much detail, with my husband’s permission, I will offer a peek into the trust issues in our marriage. My husband is a follower of Christ, but one area he struggles in is that of transparency. By nature, his personality is quite introverted and stoic. He tends to keep his issues to himself. But I’ve struggled with reconciling this with the fact that at the altar we vowed to become “one flesh.”
Over the years, God has provided many opportunities for my husband to practice confiding in me. Instead, to avoid worrying me, he chose to keep important information to himself. From health concerns to financial issues, he stuffed them away and refused to speak of them until he could no longer keep them secret. Sadly, due to chronic pain, he also hid a substance addiction from me until recently.
For those of you who have experienced infidelity, what I am disclosing may pale in comparison to what you are dealing with. I can’t imagine the pain of having your trust broken at that level. Deceitfulness in any manner is damaging to a relationship, but when it involves betrayal, it is devastating. Thankfully, there is hope for your hurting heart.
Hope of Healing for Your Broken Heart
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (ESV)
When trust is broken, your heart is also broken. It’s hard to move forward when your life has been turned upside down by your spouse’s dishonesty.
Jesus also felt the sting of betrayal from those who were closest to him. He is the only one who understands the anguish caused by those who betrayed our trust. He sympathizes with our sufferings and feels compassion for our sorrows. He is our healer, the one we run to when we are dealt such a fatal blow.
5 Ways to Heal When Trust is Broken
Here are five ways to help you heal when your trust and heart are broken.
- Acknowledge your pain.
Marriage is about mutual trust. When your husband is not being honest, it is painful. Remind yourself that it is okay to hurt and be in need of healing.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2 (ESV)
- Pray for your spouse.
When you have been betrayed, praying for your husband may be the last thing you feel like doing, but praying is the key that unlocks the door to your healing and possibly your husband’s repentance.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28 (NIV)
- Choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is a challenge, but because Jesus forgave us, we also can learn to forgive those who hurt us.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 (ESV)
- Seek Biblical counsel.
Look to Biblical counselors, pastors, and wise Christians advisors to guide you as you work through the process of healing and rebuilding trust in your marriage. Hurt people hurt people. Healed people help others heal. Do not try to do it alone.
Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)
- Give yourself time to grieve.
There are many reasons why people grieve, betrayal of trust is one of them. Give yourself time to work through the range of emotions that come with grieving when your trust has been broken.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (ESV)
No matter who has broken your trust or how deeply, God can always be trusted. He promises to see you through and bring healing to your wounded heart.
Wife Step: Choose one of the steps above as your focus. Ask the Lord to reveal any areas where you are struggling and in need of extra support.
Dawn Ward is a speaker, writer and blogger. She is the founder of The Faith to Flourish, a ministry that equips women who desire to grow in their faith, cultivate healthy relationships and thrive in all seasons of life. She also ministers to women with loved ones struggling with addiction, mental health issues and life-destructive behaviors. Dawn is the co-author of the book “Still Standing After All the Tears Workbook: Faith in the Battle Edition. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for over forty years and is mom to three adult children. It is her passion to help all women grow in their faith as they learn to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.