Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In the Absence of Trust

    So you've been betrayed. Your marriage vows have been dishonored and the world around you seems to be spinning. Today, I want to share a little bit about Hannah and I's journey through the issue of broken trust. Trust is a commodity in a marriage, and we've all heard that once it's been broken, it can be challenging to mend. Well, that's the understatement of the century in my observation.

    A person's word has a sense of equity, and it can either gain or lose value. Dishonesty is so heinous because it cheapens the words of the person who weaves a lie.  On the night of my confession, we were facing the bankruptcy of our marriage in terms of trust. I was insolvent.  How could we proceed under the constantly looming shadow of all my lies? As we sat, trying to sort out the path before us, a simple concept stood out in my mind.

   I heard a sentence bouncing back and forth in my head, so I said it aloud.  "In the absence of trust, we will accommodate."  Maybe it would take months or even decades to restore value to my words, but I knew that I had to remain willing and open to accommodations to survive the coming weeks.

   This can mean a lot of things. Maybe it amounts to handing over your smartphone, reporting your whereabouts, or even quitting your job. I'm here to tell you today that your marriage is worth accommodating if trust has been broken. No cost is too high when your relationship hangs in the balance. Accommodation is not a thing of shame, it is a brick on the road to your recovery. No matter how awkward, navigating through the harsh reality of broken trust means you're getting one step closer to healing... so keep walking

   Do not be misled by the culture around us that clamors for married couples to maintain distance -- separate logins, hidden bank accounts and distant lives. That's not an option right now. Embrace these changes as a battle for your relationship's survival. A loss of privacy is a small price to pay.

   In the absence of trust... accommodate. If you've betrayed your spouse, become exceedingly honest with them as a sign of goodwill.  Refuse to be merely reactive, choosing instead to be proactive. If you've been betrayed, search your soul for the remedy you need to regain trust, and don't be afraid to ask for it.

   Your marriage is worth it.  Perhaps having your email account scoured is uncomfortable, and  maybe a loss of freedom is inconvenient, but let's keep the big picture in mind. Your marriage is worth accommodating. Don't let your pride or sense of personal space rob you of a beautiful future.

    We've done a lot of accommodating, and I'm not afraid to admit it.  I'll spare you the fine details, but if you want to discuss this with me or Hannah, you can always reach us at themeaningofrepentance@gmail.com. We write this blog because we care about you, so don't hesitate to contact us. If you are navigating through the obstacle course of distrust, we're praying for you. You can always rest assured that you're not alone.

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  1. There is a lot of truth in this. What if there is no accommodation? What if they refuse? There is no way to trust them?

    1. It's always heartbreaking to hear stories of recovery gone wrong. Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle after the initial revelation of an affair on how to deal with the problem. Sometimes, the transgressor is not totally committed to the necessary changes required. Your willingness to work through the problem and stick around is admirable, but the tragic truth is that you cannot make your spouse honor you.

      You can choose to stay, but you cannot make them care enough to change. It is their job to change both their attitude and actions towards you. Without a doubt, your spouse cannot demand trust when they have shattered any sense of honesty in your marriage.

      Personally, if you find yourself in this situation, I would recommend seeking some kind of outside help -- a trusted friend, a pastor, a mutually respected family member. Someone has to break through their calloused heart. We are praying for you guys.

    2. Thank you for your response. It is a very hard situation. Very difficult to know when to give up as well, as I feel if I am letting my children, family and God down. I also thank you for your prayers.