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How to Build (or Rebuild) Trust in a Marriage

Today we’re onto chapter five in our book club for The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife: 18 Powerful Lessons for Personal Growth. Today’s chapter is on the virtue of trust. More info on the book club is found underneath the post. (View table of contents here.)

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Over the weekend I attended The Great Homeschool Convention in South Carolina with my daughter Madison. Within hours of our departure, my husband and our boys had two flat screen TVs set up side-by-side in the living room along with two X-boxes.

When mom’s away, the mice will play. And from what I understand, the mice enjoyed a little bonding time with dad while I was gone.

Madison and I were bonding too, over Salsa and chips at Don Pablo’s. Turns out that this fabulous restaurant was adjacent to our hotel, which was perfect for us since we live for Mexican food!

It’s nice to enjoy a little getaway from the everyday especially when warm temperatures and cool salsa are on the menu. But at the end of the day, one truth remains – there’s no place like home. Nothing feels as comfortable as my own bed, and nothing says “home” like the arms of my husband.

It felt good to be back in his arms, and to embrace the boys in my own.

What I love about Michael, and I know that he loves about me, is the fact that we can trust each other any time we’re apart. How do I know I can trust him? Because I’ve seen the passion he has toward building our marriage, in the same way that he has seen mine.

Over the years we’ve had to build trust, and when all trust was gone, we built it again–ensuring each brick was laid solid and sure.

Here are five of the ways Michael and I build trust in our marriage:

1. We are accountable to each other – We respect each others privacy, but at same time we don’t have secret passwords or accounts that the other can’t access. It’s my way of being accountable to Michael and vice versa. This isn’t something we’ve ever asked of each other–we automatically did it out of love and respect.

2. We don’t flirt – Some people might think that a little flirting is harmless, but then again, so is playing with matches. Just as one spark can set a forest on fire, our actions can quickly ignite an emotional or physical affair.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! – James 3:5

3. We are evidently passionate – Both of us are dedicated to working on our marriage. It’s not only evident in the things that we say to each other. More importantly it’s a day-by-day demonstration of humility, such as letting go of our anger, apologizing quickly, speaking highly of each other, and showing respect.

4. We take responsibility of our actions – One of the most important steps in building or rebuilding trust is that you must take ownership of your sin. If you have done things that are detrimental to your marriage, true repentance comes before anything else.

5. We’re deeply empathetic – When Michael comes to me with a burden, he’s not looking for a solution from me–he’s looking for a place of refuge. A sympathetic ear, and patient understanding go a long way in reviving a weary heart. I try, and I try, and when I fail I try again… to understand the heart of my husband and to be his safe place to land.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. – Proverbs 31:11

You are loved by an Almighty God,

Darlene

Let’s discuss chapter 6 on Friday!

What are some of the thoughts that you have on chapter five? What are your thoughts on trust? Please leave a comment below! (subscribers click through to the blog)

Find out more about the book here. Feel free to jump in to the book club with us at anytime. If we’re a few chapters ahead of you–that’s okay because you can get to those anytime.

Join The Virtuous Life Book Club on Facebook

Today’s Challenge:
Rather than trying to fix your husband or solve his problems, try to be understanding with him. Try to listen to him and to empathize with his heart.

If you are participating in this book club, and you have a post that you want to share, please link-up below. This is ONLY for those who are blogging about The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife. All others will be deleted.


17 Comments

    • Jody

      Mary, try asking the gals at Authentic Intimacy. I just went through their Passion bible study and they dealt with this in one of the chapters. http://www.authenticintimacy.com/ Also try Matthew Jacobson, he may have some insight (from a man’s perspective) on how to deal with it too. I hope this is easily resolved, I feel your heartbreak.

      Ps 34:15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
      And His ears are open to their cry.
      16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
      To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
      17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
      And delivers them out of all their troubles.
      18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
      And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    • Matthew Jacobson

      Mary,

      God has a “Zero Tolerance Policy” when it comes to sin. So should we, for ourselves, first, but also for our spouses . . . because, like God, we love them. If this situation happened between Lisa and me, she would certainly be deeply hurt and humiliated but she wouldn’t allow those feelings to render her inactive. She would come to me and give me one day to contact the Elders in our Church Fellowship after which she would contact them directly.

      Ask God to do whatever it takes to thoroughly convict your husband of the sin he’s walking in.

      Due to false teaching in the Church, many believe that walking in sin will be overlooked by Jesus Christ because we’ve convinced ourselves that our hearts are “in the right place.” Jesus has other words for those who believe such things: Depart from me, I never knew you.

      I don’t know if he would read it but, I wrote an article to men on the topic of porn: http://matthewljacobson.com/2013/12/04/walk-in-the-victory-won-for-you-at-the-cross/ Men don’t have a “porn problem” they have a sin problem.

  • Darlene Schacht

    This isn’t an issue I have ever dealt with personally or written on. I do know that Focus on the Family has several articles that might offer you wisdom and direction.
    http://www.focusonthefamily.com

    I’d also encourage you to pray for him daily. Porn can have a strong hold on a person’s life, but God is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever imagine.

  • Marie Mertilus

    Mary. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Many spouses who view porn do not recognize as it as a problem. However, it is a HUGE problem that marriages are facing today.. Like Darlene says pray and for yourself. Porn is an addiction. I highly recommend you use the resource that Darlene suggested and I also would like to refer you to read these posts – http://www.portofpeacecounseling.com/2014/02/28/the-silent-killer/ and
    http://www.oneextraordinarymarriage.com/pornography-is-rewiring-your-brain
    and listen to this podcast http://www.oneextraordinarymarriage.com/183-the-impact-of-pornography-on-your-wife and if he is willing have him listen to it.

    Lastly, take care of yourself, if needed seek professional help from a marriage coach or marriage counselor. Most of the couples I have work with describe finding their spouse viewing porn as infidelity and it hurts the same way. Please take care of yourself. If you have children, you really need to discuss with your spouse protecting them also.

    I help Christian couples restore peace and joy in their marriages and trust me, you might not feel at this moment, but you can really have the marriage that God designed for you.

  • Marie Mertilus

    Darlene,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your post about building trust. I am always looking for resources for my client and this is just wonderful. I really love the accountability and empathic tips I think my client will really benefit from this post.

  • Ellen

    I think a big part of being a trustworthy wife is NOT airing dirty laundry on FB and other places. It is important for each partner to have a trusted Christian friend of the same sex for support, “venting”, and help with discernment. But it’s more important to learn to communicate with each other and respect the intimacy and privacy of the marriage relationship.

    For Mary … I dealt with the porn issue in my first marriage and I know how painful it can be. Remember the difference between being trusting and being trustworthy. God will deal with your husband’s sin in His way and His time. Your responsibility to your husband is to honestly share your feelings with him about his sin, then totrust that GOD can either change his heart or equip you to be a godly wife to him even in his sinfulness. Although you may not feel you can trust your husband you can always trust God. Your responsibility to yourself is to communicate your feelings honestly to your husband then to free yourself of responsibility for controlling or policing him. Hold him up to the Lord, cherish his good qualities, and LISTEN for God’s guidance in confidence that He loves both you and your husband.

  • Jody

    This is great! But what if he is the one that has broken my trust, and needs to do these things? I feel like there is nothing that I can do. Do I just have him read this?

  • Adrienne

    This one hits home for me. Both on his end and mine. Trust is built and kept. We both have a responsibility to do this. When it has been broken, even slightly it does take time to heal and build back. Keeping this chapter in my heart to work on forgiving quicker and making sure I don’t breach it.

  • Angie

    We have dealt with trust issues in our marriage. It is a really tough place to be. We went to a Christian councilor which was such a blessing. There doesn’t seem to be a quick or easy fix. Communication with each other and a close relationship with The Lord is key, I think. Be able to recognize the devil at work. He will bring it back into your relationship whenever he can. Thank you for all the words of encouragement.

  • Lea

    Thank you for this post. I am struggling day by day to trust my husband. About 2 years ago he broke my trust, my heart, my everything! Since then, we have been working on rebuilding my trust in him, but I still find myself with doubts, skepticism, suspicion. He has not done anything to make me question him, it’s just ME.. how do I overcome this?

  • Amanda

    My husband and I have been together for 18years. Before me, his previous girlfriend cheated on him and as a child he witnessed his father have an affair. For 17 years my husband has accused me of being unfaithful with almost everyone who comes into my life. 6years ago we were saved and thought that my husband would trust me as we grew in our faith. But here we are and no progress. I don’t believe in divorce, but when my husband doesn’t trust a word I say, how do I stay? I’ve been praying and praying for him. To trust in God and trust me. I know God is calling us to ministry, but I can’t fulfill that calling when there is no trust. I fight daily not to harbor anger and resentment towards my husband for holding me back in so many areas of my life. Any suggestions? We are in counseling but just don’t seem to be moving forward.

    • Darlene Schacht

      Oh, no. I’m sorry that you’re not moving forward.

      The verse that stands out to me is that we are to do everything as unto the Lord. If we continue in a marriage that’s difficult we can look to God for our reward. If we are looking to others we will be disappointed time and again.

      I’m glad to hear that you are in counselling. I pray that you will see some results from that in time.

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