Rebuilding Trust When Your Heart Has Been Broken
Trust - It is the glue that creates intimacy. It is what binds us safely with our spouse. When we first start dating, or are first married, we have a relationship that is established on the foundation of trust. Most everyone starts out with complete trust in their spouse (if not- that is another conversation). So, what happens when trust is breached, or broken?
Unfortunately, there are many ways to break trust. Some are BIG, totally grievous, others may be more insidious. Either way there is damage. But because it is vital to the relationship, we need to work to restore what was lost.
So how do we start? Obviously, this is a huge topic, with whole books written about this, so I am only skimming the surface. But here are a two key steps.
First, we need to acknowledge what has happened. Put the issue out on the table. No hiding, no denying, call it what it is. The offended spouse needs to express everything about how they feel. They need to be able to get it all out. The wound must be cleaned out, if it is not, it will become infected, and not heal. This process is critical for the offended. This can require painful, hard conversations and many times this may need to be done with the support of a professional counselor. But it must be done. If not, then bitterness has an open door, and unresolved anger gives room for Satan to continue to damage.
Second, allow time for healing. Just as an open wound would affect your whole body, so does an emotional wound. You can not ignore it. Healing a wound takes time, even when you clean it out, and allow it to start to heal. Sometimes when it is touched or bumped again, you will cry out in pain. Our emotional wounds are exactly like that, they will not heal overnight. Many times, we feel pain as they are touched again. We must acknowledge that healing, and rebuilding trust will take time.
Wounds can heal, they may leave scars, but they can remind us of how God has allowed us to forgive, restore, and rebuild. Even the most painful experiences in our marriages can become the markers of redemption that reveals to the world the love that God has for us.