Transparency is non-negotiable after a betrayal if you intend to rebuild the trust in your marriage. You husband’s staying transparent after an affair won’t come naturally to him. But it’s something he can work on. And, together, you can experience the beautiful changes that come into your marriage as a result.
There’s a reason why Solomon wrote in Proverbs 24:26, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” Once an affair has made its way into your marriage, complete and total transparency (honesty) is a major part of the “glue” that will bring you back together. Let’s talk about what that looks like in more detail.
What is Transparency?
Transparency is best described by taking a look at its first appearance in the Bible; in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:25 says, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” The ultimate form of transparency is when a husband and wife are hiding nothing. But your husband’s affair was anything but transparent. If fact your husband has become the exact opposite of that.
Being transparent means a few things:
- No more lies being told.
- No more secrets being kept.
- No defensiveness when questions are asked.
- No vague responses to questions.
- No keeping any type of news from your spouse, whatsoever.
Of course, this also trickles down into every area of your lives. That means not having any secret bank accounts or social media accounts. It means sharing passwords for everything. And never clearing the history on your phone or computer.
When a husband has spent so much time and energy hiding information, staying transparent after an affair is difficult. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Providing Details Help in Staying Transparent after an Affair
As the betrayed wife, it’s understandable that you have questions. You may have questions about the affair itself. Or, you may feel suspicious and “grill” your husband after a long day at the office. This is completely normal, and there’s a good reason for this behavior. You feel the way that you do because of his betrayal.
Husband, if your wife is constantly asking questions, it’s because she has doubts. She doesn’t feel as though she’s getting all the information she needs. For you, giving your wife as many details as possible can prevent long, drawn-out interrogations. Let your wife be the judge as far as how much she wants to know, and answer all of her questions with complete and total honesty.
It’s often easier for husbands to leave out details because they feel that they’re protecting their wives. But this actually hurts her more than the truth ever could. Wives don’t want their husbands hiding anything from them. It’s only in total transparency that forgiveness and healing can take place.
Staying Transparent After an Affair Leads to Emotional Connection
Once you have reached the place where your husband is being transparent with you, you may find that you’re still disappointed. However, no matter how much he tells you, there will always be a desire to learn more. You’ll never be able to make complete sense of what your husband has done. But that doesn’t mean your marriage can’t be healed. And, it doesn’t mean that your trust can’t be restored.
In 1 Corinthians 4:5, Paul says, “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” The truth always comes to light. And when it does, amazing things happen to God’s children.
Staying transparent after an affair is the best way for your husband to restore emotional intimacy with you. It allows him to connect with you on levels you may not have ever experienced before. When your husband is honest with you, he provides you with details and answers your questions. Then, God can work in your marriage. He can work in your husband too. God will provide the type of healing that only He can.
Moving From Betrayal to Healing
Right now, it may not seem as though healing is in store for you or your marriage. Even if you and your husband have decided to reconcile, the road ahead may seem long, and frankly, impossible to maneuver. It is, but only if you walk it alone.
I created From Betrayal to Healing for women like you. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and affairs are much too common; even among Christians. But these resources can provide you with the support and help you need from a Biblical perspective.
The guidance you need to get through this troubling time is available. Together, we can seek God’s will for your marriage and start the healing process He intends for you to experience.
A woman will often have a certain thought shortly after discovering that her husband has been unfaithful. Deep down inside, one of her deepest fears is, Is this somehow my fault? I feel it is important to address this because much of the advice she receives is not altogether helpful. Depending on whether she speaks to family, friends, or someone in her Christian community, she is usually met with one of these types of questions:
- Do you feel as though you’ve been the wife you should have been?
- Were you doing your job as his wife?
- Were you meeting your husband’s needs? Could that be why he decided to go outside the marriage?
- Maybe you need to dress sexier. Have you been doing that?
- You look like you may have put on a few pounds. Could you try working out to try and lose some weight?
- Is it possible for you to try to cook better meals for him?
- Did you make sure the house was always tidy and the children were settled when he came home from work?
- Have you loved him unconditionally?
Women will also hear this type of counsel from a variety of sources:
- Maybe you need to have more faith and really pray about this. Pray about your marriage. Pray for your husband.
- You are being really unforgiving. Stop talking about this. Don’t be so sad and mope around all the time. Just be glad he hasn’t left you.
- Why don’t you focus on the marriage? Go out on a date night. Have some daily devotionals together. Work on your communication and find out each other’s love language. Maybe that will help turn things around.
The problem with this type of counsel is that it only further traumatizes the wife. She is not able to recover because she feels responsible for her husband. She feels as though she’s responsible for his recovery, and for somehow stopping the infidelity or his use of pornography. She feels like she has to become a detective and inspect what he’s doing or what he’s viewing. She may feel like she has to police him, get books for him to read or set up counseling appointments. All of this focuses on her husband, and she is unable to heal. As a result, she becomes very fearful and insecure.
When a husband is not held accountable for his sin, and when there has been no formal disclosure, or any type of timeline about what has occurred, he is very likely to repeat his behavior, continue in sin and not heal. Trust cannot be rebuilt this way. Forgiveness cannot even begin to take place because there hasn’t been any trust building, and reconciliation is so far away. This type of counseling is unbiblical, and here’s why.
In Matthew 18:15-17, it says, If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses, every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.
If you fail to confront your sinning spouse, you are enabling his sin. You have no influence over him. When you have taken all the steps that are in Matthew 18, you can know that you have done all that you possibly can. The real reason this infidelity is not your fault is because he is the one in sin. I have yet to meet a spouse who has put a gun to the head of her husband and commanded him to commit infidelity or sexual impurity. He is fully at fault.
To settle your heart, please know that God says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. If you are the spouse who has been the recipient of the sin, what you are feeling is false guilt. Please know that you do not need to fear. God will see you through it.
If you would like to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or if you would like to speak with me schedule a time for us to talk. The Biblical counsel and the steps needed to address this problem are available, and I would love to support you. Hangeth thou in there and I’m sending you God’s grace and peace.
There is one question I get asked all the time. Once a wife has discovered that her husband has been unfaithful, she says, “Carol, he has told me that he’s ended the affair, but how can I trust him?”
Quite honestly, the answer is that you can’t. You can’t believe words; you can only believe behaviors and actions. I have found that there are few husbands who will be completely honest about being unfaithful until they have been caught. If they knew what the consequences of their actions would be – their lies, their deception, their infidelity and their cheating – they would have avoided it at all costs.
Usually, husbands will minimize what they’ve done. They’ll say things like:
• “We were just friends.”
• “It was an emotional affair.”
• “It wasn’t sexual.”
• “We only had sex a few times.”
There aren’t many husbands who are honest about disclosing the details of an affair, and there are a few reasons for this.
1. He wants to protect himself. He may tell you that he’s trying to protect you, but that isn’t true at all. He’s trying to protect himself.
2. He wants to avoid any further consequences because of his behavior.
3. He’s very concerned about looking good. That’s why he’s not being honest about what he has done.
Numbers 32:23 says, Be sure, your sin will find you out.
There is so much truth in that verse.
I once had a client, and we had disclosed that there had been an infidelity. The husband assured his wife that he had told her everything there was to tell her. However, as we continued to work together, he became convicted because he had only dribbled the truth out, bit by bit. Finally, he admitted that he hadn’t been totally honest.
Her response was, “You burned the house down once; and now you’ve burned it down again.” What she meant was that they had started to rebuild on a brand new foundation, and because he hadn’t been completely honest with her, they had to start all over again.
Complete openness and honesty are the only solutions for ending an affair and rebuilding your trust in your husband and in your marriage. Ladies, it’s not the honesty that causes us pain. It’s the dishonesty. It’s not the truth that drives you crazy. It’s the deception.
Most husbands think that their wives can’t handle the truth, and beneath that, lies manipulation and disrespect. You have already been victimized by his infidelity, but by not getting the truth about his behaviors, you’re being victimized twice.
God has given you intuition, and once the truth comes out, everything else begins to become clear. This is exactly what happened to me. My husband would come home at night and I knew things weren’t right. Finally, I looked at him and said, “You’re here, but not really.” Once I discovered his infidelity, all the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together. Everything became clear.
Your husband is in no place to bargain; especially if he is serious about wanting to rebuild your trust. This relationship with his lover must end for life, and there is a way to do it.
You end an affair with one, final phone call.
For your phone call, he calls his lover, and he puts you on speakerphone. He lets her know that you’re there. This is his final goodbye to her, and he needs to state that he’s been selfish, and that he cares about you and his family. He needs to tell her that he’s going to do everything he can to protect his family. Then he tells her that he is rebuilding his marriage and he’s ending his relationship with her forever.
There will be no more phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages or face-to-face meetings with her. They will never see each other again. He does not mention anything to her about the hurt this may have caused her or how sorry he is. He ends the phone call at that point.
This phone call begins the process of you believing that he is finished with his lover, and solely focused on working on your marriage. Please understand that this is only the first step. It’s going to take many other steps of consistently and persistently rebuilding your trust, but this is how you can know for sure that he has ended the affair.
Have you recently found out that your husband has been having an affair? My job is to help Christian women heal from broken trust, fulfilling their desire to be valued, secure and fully loved. I would love to help you. Please feel free to contact me by emailing me at email@example.com, or book a complimentary call to see how I might best support you, and let’s set up a time to talk about the challenges you’re facing.
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.
If you’ve recently found out that your spouse has betrayed you sexually, (or if you’ve known for some time) your response is likely to be one of shock, disbelief and anger. It’s completely normal for you to feel as though you want to talk to someone about what you’ve discovered. However, the problem is that we tend to want to talk to too many of the wrong people.
Sexual sin is incredibly debilitating to a marriage relationship. You are hurt and once the shock wears off, you’re probably going to feel furious and as though you need to vent. Even so, it’s important to be sure you’re talking about the situation to the right type of people so that you can get the help you really need. You need to identify the difference between safe people and unsafe people.
It might come as a surprise that many of the people you might naturally gravitate to for the purpose of discussing your spouse’s betrayal are unsafe people. Family members and friends often fall into this category simply because they may directly or indirectly blame you for what happened or assume that something is wrong with you that caused the betrayal. They may encourage you to run away from the problem or get a divorce, which is not always the answer when one spouse has cheated on another.
As a matter of fact, you even need to be very wise about whom you talk within your church. Their intentions are usually good, and they want what’s best for you, but sometimes those in the church community give advice that’s more harmful than good. For example, if you’re a wife whose husband has been unfaithful, they may tell you to seek out Scripture that directs you to submit to his sexual desires, which is advice that doesn’t take into consideration the root of the problem that caused the betrayal. It also minimizes the depth of your spouse’s sexual problems.
Simply put, unsafe people will give you unwanted advice. They will try to fix the situation simply because they are not comfortable with your grief and anger.
An individual is a safe person to talk to if you already know this person will love you and accept you unconditionally. It’s natural for you to want to vent to someone who listens, but you need to be sure that the information you share is safe with him or her. You don’t need to talk with anyone who will gossip about you or your situation. Also, it’s not necessary for that person to attempt to fix anything. What is necessary is Biblical encouragement and prayer. The person you choose to vent to should be very sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and should not be taken aback by your angry emotions.
CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE COACHING
The best person for you to talk to is a professional, Christian marriage coach who has training in the area of pornography and sexual addictions and there are a lot of reasons for this. Your counselor or coach will talk with you in depth about the situation you’re in and he or she will pray for you as well about what you should do next. You’ll find nothing but direction, acceptance and love as you work through the issues facing your marriage.
If you would like to make an appointment to talk with a Christian marriage coach, we’d love to hear from you. Your location is no problem. Aside from meeting face-to-face, we work via Skype and phone. You can contact us at 843-379-0288, or feel free to schedule your appointment using our online scheduler
The issues you’re facing right now are difficult, and they require a lot of prayer and wise counsel before you proceed. We would love to help you. And, if you have been faced with unsafe people in your healing journey, we’d love to hear your story. Send us a reply!