This is something that has been on my mind and heart this week as I coached a beautiful gal whose husband struggles with a pornography addiction.
She asked the question, “How can I possibly trust him now?”
We think that trust is something to be earned, but perhaps there is another way to think about it. We feel let down when we have an expectation that life should be a certain way. When reality doesn’t live up to the dream, we feel betrayed. But what if it isn’t personal? What if it’s simply an opportunity to grow?
I believe Heavenly Father gave us families, not only to love, but also as part of our challenges. Those tender relationships give us ample opportunities to discover what we really believe. Do we really believe in forgiveness? Do we really trust that there will be justice and mercy… and do we trust that it isn’t our place to be judge and jury, but simply love as our Savior did?
Most of us are tempted to guard our hearts and withhold trust when we’ve been hurt. As if somehow feeling mis-trust will prevent further pain. But the opposite is true. Feelings of mistrust adds layers of misery to an already painful situation. Just consider how it feels.
How do you act when you don’t trust? You look for ways to confirm your suspicions. You seek opportunities to prove you are right not to trust, and you build a file of evidence to support your suspicions. This is not fun work.
The trust you feel has nothing to do with the way that others behave.
If you don’t believe it, consider this. Were you feeling trust before the behavior occurred that hurt you?
Did that trusting feeling have any effect on their behavior? NO!
Because of our Heavenly Father’s Plan, we have agency. People can do whatever they want, whether we trust them or not… and they do!
Trusting benefits you and you alone. We can decide to trust, even knowing we don’t have control, because it creates a happier state for ourselves. It doesn’t make you naive or excuse bad behavior, it’s simply a choice we make for ourselves so we can honor the goodness inside of us.
Can this sweet woman trust her husband again? If she wants to, it’s absolutely available. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to feel betrayed. But it’s unhealthy to remain in that state. If you would like help learning how to process this emotion and find your way to peace again, let’s chat. I can show you how.