After helping several men break free from their porn addiction I have witnessed and experienced all that goes into rebuilding a level of trust in a marriage. Many times when a man finally sees that there is a way out of this pit they still have many miles to travel to gain back the trust of their spouse and rightfully so. After all, it was us who betrayed. It was us who broke our vows. It is us who the vast majority of the work falls on in regaining trust. But in this process often times the attitude of the husband sounds something like this:
“I already told her I was sorry! What more does she want from me?”
“I’m a grown man. Stop treating me like a child that needs checked up on.”
“I’m finally telling the truth and yet she still doesn’t believe me.”
Men let me make one thing clear: We messed up! We were the ones who did the betraying so if your wife is upset for a time it is our fault. If she wants to check up on your search history or demand you make her an accountability partner, it’s her right, we were the ones who failed. And telling the truth one time does not make up for the numerous times we lied or told half truths to cover up our addiction.
Husbands, its time we swallow our pride, man up, and do what we need to do to heal our marriages.
Here are five guaranteed ways to rebuild your wife’s trust:
1. Make a plan and stick to it
If you want to make sure your wife knows that this time won’t be like other times you promised to change then make a plan and stick to it. We have found that this has actually helped husbands confess to their wives if they already have a plan in place as to how they are going to fix the mess that they have made. The plan we endorse here at Overcome is our model of an accountability group. Find a group or start one and keep going no matter what!
2. Be transparent
This means in all aspects of your life. Give her unrestricted access to your phone, computer, tablet, whatever you have. Let her be in control here because obviously we have proven that we cannot be trusted to keep ourselves away from those things that are harmful to our marriage. Of course the easy way to do this is to download an accountability software and have her receive the emails but you can take it even further. Ask her advice on shows, videos, movies, or books that might trigger your addiction. Show her how you are going make this time different.
3. Check in
No matter where you are going, check in. On the way home from work, check in. On your lunch break, check in. Going on a business trip, check in (a lot!). This might seem like overkill, after all we are grown men, but you need to do this. Even though you know that you would never cheat on your wife, she doesn’t, especially after a betrayal like finding out about your secret porn habit. Guys, check in with your wives whenever you can, even if its just a one minute, “Hey I’m on the way home.Love you. Bye.”
4. Step up
Well let’s be honest with ourselves, we completely dropped the ball in our marriage vows by not dealing with our porn problem earlier, so it is completely rational for our wives to not take us seriously in other aspects of our lives. So, step it up! Raise the bar for yourself as the complete man she dreams of. Become the father that you’ve always wanted to be. Take your role in your church family seriously. Study the Bible like you’ve never studied before. Become the man you promised to be on your wedding day and this will show her that this isn’t some fad, this is the new you.
5. Have patience
The old adage is: Time heals all wounds. While that isn’t completely true in all situations, time and patience definitely plays a part in regaining your wife’s trust after something like this. Although you might feel like a completely new man and like this weight has finally been lifted off your shoulders, your wife’s world has been completely crushed! She has a lot emotions and information to work through. Give her time. Give her space if she needs it. She needs time to heal and I have found that each woman is different in this regard as to how much time she needs. BE PATIENT.
There it is. The five guaranteed ways to rebuild your wife’s trust. If you are having trouble rebuilding your marriage because of pornography try these out, you literally have nothing to lose.
Men, it’s time we man up and be the men that God needs us to be for our wives, our children, and our churches. If you need help, please reach out!
Ladies, what do you think? If your husband did this would it help heal the betrayal?