Discovering that your husband has sexually betrayed you causes a range of emotions. You’re hurt, you’re confused, and eventually, you become angry. In this situation, you’re right to be angry because of what he has done. However, it’s important to understand that the anger you’re experiencing is only a temporary emotion, and there are right ways and wrong ways to express it, according to God’s Word.
YOUR ANGER AT HIS BETRAYAL AND YOUR INTITAL RESPONSES
Once the anger stage sets in, we rarely think rationally about our responses. At that point, we’re basically operating solely on our emotions, and that can be a dangerous place to be. Have you reacted in any of these ways?
- Verbally bashing your husband – Responding verbally can mean calling your husband names, looking for excuses to get into shouting matches with him, or putting him down any chance you get. These responses only lead to resentment and they don’t do anything to heal your marriage, or your heart.
- Non-verbally bashing your husband – It is possible to bash your husband in non-verbal ways, and we do this with gestures, with angry looks, or even just purposefully ignoring him.
- Suppressing your anger – You feel angry on the inside, but you’re working really hard to hold it in. Maybe you don’t want to give in to it because you’re afraid it will make you appear weak, or it’s possible that you just don’t want to start an argument. This type of response might seem like the right one at first, but it can lead to a host of mental and physical problems for you later on.
- Passive-aggressive behavior – Some women become masters at passive aggressive anger, and maybe you have too. You may “forget” to complete a task your husband has asked you to do, or you might begin being chronically late, or respond to him with sarcasm.
- Complaining about your husband – We often refer to this as “venting” and everyone feels as though they have the right to vent at some point. However, what you’re really doing is complaining, and you’re only feeding into the anger you already feel, instead of helping to heal it.
- Physical aggression – Some women act out in physically aggressive ways, and while they might not hit their husbands, they will hit walls, throw objects across the room, or break things. It might feel good in the moment to react in this way, but it’s certainly not healthy.
ANGER ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD
It may feel right for you to respond with emotional anger, but that kind of response never really helps you find a solution. God knew that we were all going to struggle with anger at some point in our lives, but in His wisdom, He provided us with self-control. If you’re not careful, anger can drag you into sin, and that’s something you want to avoid. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “When you’re angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no room or foothold for the devil.”
Is your anger over your husband’s betrayal righteous? Yes, it is. However, as Christians, we want to be sure we’re responding in ways that are righteous too.
Working with a Christian Marriage Coach can help you understand the root of your anger so that you can deal with it in ways that will help you, and not harm you. If you would like to talk with me about your personal situation, please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also make an appointment through my online scheduler. Together, I’m confident that we can work through the source of your anger and help you find the healing you need.
Learning about your husband’s betrayal has led to a flurry of emotional responses, and all of them are very normal. The shock you felt when you first found out eventually gave way to confusion and sadness, and then it led to anger. However, now, you’re beginning to feel hopeless and even disconnected from the outside world. You’re concerned that what you’re really experiencing is depression, and that thought might scare you.
Depression is a very natural response when you’ve been through a betrayal. However, it’s generally not something that’s long-lasting. It’s possible that you’re not really sure if what you’re feeling and experiencing is depression, but there are a few signs you can look for to determine if it is.
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SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
Depression is caused by all kinds of things, but it can certainly set in for a period of time if you’ve been through a betrayal in your marriage. The following are some of the signs you can look for to help you understand if what you’re experiencing is sadness, or depression:
- Changes in your mood – Feeling anxious, hopeless, feelings of apathy, guilt and mood swings
- Changes in your sleeping patterns – Waking up earlier than normal, feeling fatigued all day long, having insomnia or restless sleep
- Changes in your body – Feeling excessively hunger or having no appetite at all, feeling tired, or feeling restless
- Changes in your behavior – Getting agitated easily, crying, feeling irritable or wanting to isolate yourself socially
- Changes in your mind – Finding it difficult to concentrate, responding to other slowly
You may also experience weight gain or weight loss, and that is an indicator of depression as well.
FINDING COMFORT IN GOD
More than anything, God longs for you to turn to Him during this difficult time in your life. His heart is broken because of the hopelessness and despair you may be feeling, and He wants nothing more than to wrap His arms around you and help you to heal. God’s Word is very clear about what He desires for you if you’re feeling depression setting in.
Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
All throughout God’s Word, there are promises for you to cling to. God has nothing but good plans for your life, and while He didn’t promise us that there would never be trials for us to endure, He did promise us that He would be with us through them all.
You can learn more by clicking here to learn my 8 Surefire Strategies for recovering from sexual betrayal in marriage.
GETTING HELP FROM A PROFESSIONAL
God is just waiting for you to turn to Him. His arms are open for you, but sometimes it requires the help and support of a professional to allow you to work through the thoughts and feelings that are contributing to depression. Talking with a Christian Marriage Coach and is a really good way to learn more about what God’s Word says about your situation, and it can help you work through your pain in ways that will only lead to good things for your life.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with me, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me at 843-379-0288, or you can use my convenient online scheduler to make an appointment as well.
Remember, depression is not here to stay. With God’s help, all things are possible; even healing.
It’s fairly common to hear couples say that they refuse to forgive their spouses because for them, forgiveness means that the wrong behavior is OK. I think it’s important for us to remember that the world has a false idea of what forgiveness is, and in order to properly define it, we need to go back to God’s Word.
In Romans 13:8, it says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.”
The world believes that forgiveness isn’t a necessary part of life, nor should it be a necessary part of marriage. Worldly experts are constantly advising people to hang onto their anger as a way to protect themselves from getting hurt again. However, some actually advise the opposite. They tell people who have been hurt that they can’t trust their emotions, and they need to push those negative thoughts out of their minds and continually forgive, regardless of how they feel. Many experts even believe that as long as you pray, all of your resentments will be healed and gone.
As you can see, the so-called “expert” opinions on forgiveness vary so much that it’s hard to know what you should believe. While some of these opinions might sound OK on the surface, they are wrong. The truth is that unforgiveness and resentment has a tendency to fester. It can and will eat at you, and eventually it will kill your love for the person you’re refusing to forgive. However, forgiveness cannot be done overnight. It’s a process that does take time.
In addition, it’s important to understand the differences between forgiveness and reconciliation.
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FORGIVENESS VS. RECONCILIATION
Perhaps you’ve been holding onto some type of hurt because you don’t want to be reconciled with your spouse; at least not yet. As a result, you’re refusing to forgive. You don’t have to reconcile with your spouse the moment you forgive him or her, and the two things are really very different.
Forgiveness is about you extending mercy and grace to the person who hurt you. Remember, mercy is when you get something you don’t deserve to get, while grace is when you don’t get what you do deserve. When you forgive, you’re setting your offender free, and you’re placing that person on God’s “hook” instead on yours. You’re not denying the fact that you were hurt because that would not be possible. Instead, you’re giving yourself permission to feel the hurt and then you’re releasing it so that it doesn’t have power over you any longer. Furthermore, forgiveness only takes one person – you. Reconciliation takes two people.
THE 3 STAGES OF FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness generally happens in stages, and it’s not something that can occur all at once. It’s essential to go through the stages of forgiveness before you can actually forgive. Those stages are:
#1. Facing the Offense: You have to face the reality of the negative effect the offense has had on your life. You also need to realize that being treated that way is not something that’s OK with you.
#2. Feeling the Offense: If you refuse to feel the pain you’re in, you’re actually denying that pain. Denial is not something you want to live in.
#3. Forgiving the Offender: Choosing to forgive is often the hardest thing to do, but it can also be the most rewarding, even if you never get an apology. Remember, forgiveness is not about forgetting what happened, but it is about releasing the debt of the person who caused the pain.
Are you struggling with unforgiveness? I’ve worked with many women over the years who were trapped by unforgiveness. If you’re waging this battle, I’d like to help you find the healing you need to forgive and move on.
YOU CAN LEARN MORE BY CLICKING HERE TO RECEIVE MY 8 SUREFIRE STRATEGIES FOR RECOVERING FROM SEXUAL BETRAYAL IN MARRIAGE.
If you’d like to talk with a Christian marriage coach about working toward forgiveness, I’d love to help you. Please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also contact me through my online scheduler for a free complimentary call. I’m available face to face, over the phone or via Skype. When you hold onto unforgiveness, the only person who truly suffers is you. With the right kind of professional help, you can embrace forgiveness and freedom from those heavy chains.
Once you’ve realized your husband has been unfaithful to you, it’s difficult to think about putting the pieces of your marriage back together again. You feel absolutely shattered, and you’re not really sure what you should do. Maybe you’d like to try to make it work, but it all seems so hopeless.
This is where many couples give up, and one or both of them make some major mistakes that lead to the end of the marriage. Let’s talk about five of those mistakes in more detail.
MISTAKE # 1: THEY DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO HEAL
One of the things many wives do after they’ve discovered that their husbands have been unfaithful is attempt to jump right into making everything feel as normal as possible. In doing so, they’re rushing through the healing process, and there is a reason why healing is a process and not something that can occur overnight. It’s vital for you to work through the emotions that this betrayal has caused for you, and that means taking the necessary time to heal.
MISTAKE #2: THEY TRY AND “FIX” THEIR SPOUSE
After you’ve been betrayed, it’s a normal response for you to try to make everything right again. Chances are, you’ve thought long and hard about what happened between you and your husband, and what may have led to his betrayal. You know exactly what needs to change, and you think you know how to change it. This never works. You can never “fix” your spouse, and any attempt to fix him may even do more damage than good.
MISTAKE #3: THEY SUCCUMB TO THEIR ANGER
Anger is a normal response once you learn about your spouse’s betrayal, and to some extent, expressing your anger is an important part of the healing process. However, dealing with your anger is so important and there are healthy ways for you to deal with it. When your anger gets out of control, it can actually sabotage your healing, and that’s definitely not something you want to have happen.
MISTAKE #4: THEY FAIL TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT CAUSED THE SEXUAL BETRAYAL
At some point, it’s important for you to try to understand the circumstances that led to your husband’s betrayal. While this is certainly not something you should be expected to do right away, eventually, it will help you to know what causes him to sin sexually. Once you can work on this understanding, you’ll also find that you’re releasing your control over his behavior, and allowing him to be responsible for his own actions.
MISTAKE #5: THEY FAIL TO GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
Once a sexual betrayal has been committed in your marriage, attempting to heal on your own is almost impossible. There are so many emotions involved, and it’s difficult for you to make sense of everything that has happened. You need guidance, and it’s even better if that guidance is backed by the Word of God. Getting a professional to talk with you demonstrates your willingness to work through the sin that has occurred so that you can embrace healing and move forward in your marriage.
A FINAL THOUGHT
Remember, your marriage and family legacy is your greatest asset. When you have been devastated by a sexual betrayal in marriage the main thing that is on your mind is to get out of the pain. The pathway out of your pain is to avoid the 5 major pitfalls above, while finding the right Christian coach or counselor who has the perfect step-by-step plan to move you out of your pain.
A plan that works.
Has your marriage been suffering because of a sexual betrayal? Maybe you’ve even made some of these mistakes, but you’re not sure what else to do. A Christian Marriage Coach and Counselor can help you see things a different way, and shed God’s light on a situation that otherwise seems hopeless.
If your husband has had been involved in pornography, infidelity or a sexual addiction, one of the hardest things to him do is to talk about his sexual betrayal with you. Still, he knows that he has to disclose what happened. Maybe he’s in that position right now, and he’d like to be able to come clean about everything that happened, but he’s just not sure how to do it or what to say. It’s a difficult situation, but it is possible to do it with love and with complete honesty. Let’s talk about what he can do if he’s ready to start communicating with you and disclose his sexual betrayal.
THE TIMELINE OF TRUTH
In most cases, a sexual betrayal never happens all at once. They happen over time, and this is time that you want to account for. Creating a timeline is the best way to do this. The timeline need to be with five-year increments, and notate all of the instances of the following:
Sexual awakening · Sex education · Sexual experimentation · Sexual abuse ·Introduction to pornography · All sexual and emotional relationships When your husband is creating his timeline, honesty is the most important element. He might think that a particular item doesn’t matter, or that it’s embarrassing to you, but this is about full disclosure and honesty. If it happened, it should be included.
DEFINING FULL DISCLOSURE
It’s understandable that these situations are hard to talk about. However, full disclosure means telling the entire truth and not leaving any details out, no matter how insignificant they might seem to him. As he works on his timeline, he needs to be sure to describe the nature of the action, whether that means looking at pornography, any emotional or sexual affairs, visiting a strip club, paying for a prostitute, going to massage parlors, or even viewing profiles online. He needs to indicate how long these acts have been going on, and when they occurred in relation to where you were at that time. For example, did he act out while you were out of town? Or, perhaps he only participated in these activities when he was away on business or while you were working. Other details he should provide regarding his sexual betrayal should include: The location of these events · Any excuses he used to find the time or the place to participate in them · The money that was spent · Any consequences he dealt with that you weren’t aware of (arrests, unexpected pregnancy, money lost, etc.) ·Instances of unprotected sex · Secret bank accounts or credit cards · Secret email accounts or PO boxes.
VULNERABLITY AND A NEW BEGINNING
The fact that your husband would agreed to full disclosure of his sexual betrayal is to be commended. This places him in an incredibly vulnerable position, and you need to see his brokenness and that he diligently pursuing God at this time in his life. The fact that he’s willing to talk about it takes a lot of courage for anyone to be so honest, and he should be encouraged to know that his willingness to proceed is an excellent opportunity to lay a new foundation for your marriage.
This is a new beginning for you both, and disclosure is the first step towards building a new foundation on truth instead of deceit. You will likely need help with this process. In fact, it is highly recommended that you use a Christian marriage coach to help you prepare. It is also important that you and your husband are in a safe setting as a coach can serve as a witness to your disclosure and can help guide the process. However, your coach is much more than that. You’ll be seeking the guidance of someone who bases everything on the Word of God, which should give you comfort in this difficult time.
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss the full disclosure of your sexual betrayal, please contact me at 843-379-0288. You can also make an appointment online using my convenient online scheduler. Going through full disclosure alone is difficult, but it’s much easier when you have someone you can lean on and trust to lead you, according to God’s Word.