Oh, sweet one with a broken heart. I’ve been there and I have felt the sting of hurt like daggers into my heart as I faced a betrayal in my marriage that I never saw coming. My husband broke my heart and I can promise you that it shattered into a gazillion pieces, right along with the vows that were broken.
I know what it feels like. Questioning, how he could do this to me, to our family? Who did I marry? How can I live with the fact that my husband broke my heart? Will I ever be able to respect or trust my husband now? How will I be able to repair my broken heart? And our marriage…Will we ever be able to repair our broken marriage after being betrayed by my husband? Do I even want to salvage it? The questions keep coming.
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Repair a Broken Heart After a Betrayal in Marriage
Do not be fooled into thinking that there is only one step to repair a broken heart after a devastating betrayal in marriage. Unfortunately, there are many steps to take but one of the most important steps to take in order to begin the healing process is to learn how to forgive your husband and live there. It may seem unfathomable right now but I promise there is life after betrayal.
This forgiveness thing is no small feat and by no means, is it easy to do. I get that. To forgive a spouse that betrayed you means to find peace though, for yourself. Forgiveness is for you. Not for him. It does NOT mean accepting the betrayal as okay. Recognizing patterns of behavior and the memories you retain are for your protection. That’s for another post for another day.
BUT forgiving him does mean you are not holding him accountable for repaying a debt that was paid on the cross by Jesus. Remember? Jesus paid for all of our sins. It was not just for yours and mine, but his too. Overcoming offense in marriage begins with me, and it starts at the cross, with forgiveness and grace.
Forms of Betrayal in Relationship
There are many forms of betrayal in marriage that can happen. The most prevalent that typically comes to mind is, of course, infidelity but there are other forms that can place giant cracks in the foundation of a relationship and cause devastation and heartbreak to occur. Oftentimes, these betrayals are viewed as insignificant and therefore the damage isn’t dealt with until there are great chasms of emotional disconnection and you are faced with the need to repair a broken heart as well as a broken marriage.
Betrayal in marriage takes on various forms such as:
- Giving more focus and attention to something or someone more than your spouse (examples include spending more time with friends, excessive work habits, prioritizing extended family)
- Elevating something or someone as a priority above your spouse (examples include prioritizing children above the needs of a spouse, playing video games, social media and staying on your phone or laptop consistently while with your spouse)
- Degrading, disrespecting, or belittling your spouse to family, friends, or co-workers (examples include degrading them personally to them, through text, in front of them and behind their back)
- Engaging in secret activities that erode and undermine the relationship (examples include pornography usage, gambling resources, secret financial engagements, shopping)
- Refusing to deal with known issues or staying quiet to maintain peace (includes responding in defensiveness, sarcasm, or using the silent treatment to punish)
This is by no means an exhaustive list of betrayals as I’m sure there are others that could also be considered as well.
Although betrayal in marriage can take on many forms, one thing stays the same. The breakdown of the marriage vows to love, honor, and cherish a spouse above all else leaves a heart broken and shattered into a million pieces.
How to forgive your partner who has hurt you
Overcoming offense in marriage to repair a broken heart begins with forgiveness. There are some specific steps to forgiveness in a relationship that you can take right now. Understand that if there are multiple offenses you are holding against your husband then you should take these steps for each offense.
- Ask God to help you see clearly the anger and resentment you have been carrying for your husband and the offense you are holding against him.
- Cast your pain onto the Lord and allow Him to minister to your spirit. Take all the time you need for this step.
- It’s important that you speak out loud about the offense along with your husband’s name as the Holy Spirit shows it to you. “I forgive (husband’s name) for (offense/betrayal).” If there is more than one, speak those now too.
- Ask God for forgiveness for holding the unforgiveness from your husband.
- Pray for your spouse in reference to this struggle and speak a blessing over him, every single day if you need to.
- Thank God for His sacrifice and the atonement of our sin (all sin).
- When the offense comes to your mind, actively recall the memories of forgiving him and refocus your attention to the good in your husband. Make a list of the good qualities and characteristics and keep it handy for moments when you are struggling.
Forgiving is not easy
It’s not easy to give and then walk out forgiveness in marriage especially when the hurt and betrayal goes so deep and you are trying to repair a broken heart, but you can absolutely do it. After you go through the steps of forgiveness and make your list of the good in your husband, refer to that list frequently. This is part of the process of replacing those hurtful thoughts with more productive and loving thoughts.
These steps are not meant to invalidate the pain you are experiencing but they are meant to give you a stepping stone to freedom. Forgiveness in marriage is vital so that you can move forward and live in peace, contentment, and joy.
Forgiveness Sets You Free
If you find yourself in a place of having to repair a broken heart after being betrayed by your husband, I want you to know that there is life after betrayal. Yes, it will take a lot of prayer and hard work, but I assure you that you can find joy again. It’s hard to see the steps to take when you are deep in despair and realize you don’t know what to do when your spouse doesn’t complete you the way you thought he did. But I assure you that you can repair your heart and you can rebuild the intimate marriage you desire.
When you are trying to figure out how to forgive your partner who has hurt you, please understand that it can take time and the steps are not all easy. The hope is that over time, instead of remembering the offense, you will remember you chose to forgive and set your thoughts of your husband towards the good rather than the hurt. In essence, forgiveness sets you free and you can cherish and enjoy your husband’s best because you quit stumbling over the hurt.
My sweet friend, Ester Hosea shares about The Importance of Forgiveness and Humility in Marriage following a betrayal. Research shows us that FORGIVENESS IS TRULY TRANSFORMATIVE! It has the ability to completely change the dynamic in our marriage. When you choose the path of forgiveness, it will indeed set you free.