We have covered many aspects of Christian sex and intimacy in marriage with this series. Today, my friend, Rebekah is sharing about regaining sexual intimacy after your spouse has broken trust.
Deep, hidden sin hurts so badly when it comes to the light. That was always head knowledge until one day when it turned into heart knowledge and my world came crumbling down. My husband made some choices that led to a very detrimental time in our marriage, and caused great hurt and shame in my life.
Over time, we began to heal and we found hope in how God was working in our lives. The conversation flowed pretty easily, which allowed us to move forward in the day-to-day of life with relative ease. It was not all smooth sailing, though.
Learning that someone lied to you often prompts you to guard your heart and put up boundaries to prevent more pain. When that person happens to be your husband, and when your marriage vows have been broken, it can be very difficult to reconnect much deeper than just on the surface level. It’s one thing to trust your spouse when he has proven to be trustworthy. Any attempt at intimacy can seem almost impossible, though, when trust has been broken.
Can you regain intimacy with your spouse? Yes, you can – if you want to.
My friend, I need to let you know the real secret to success right here and now. Regaining sexual intimacy, and a healthy Christian sexuality, is a choice you have to make with your mind and your heart.
Regaining Sexual Intimacy After Your Spouse Has Broken Trust
There is not “one perfect tip” for how to restore intimacy after a spouse has broken trust. I want to share some suggestions that have worked for me, though, and I pray they encourage you as well.
I also want to let you know that it’s perfectly acceptable to get professional help. My husband and I both went to Christian counselors during this time. We were both tremendously blessed by their influence in our lives, and by how they pointed us to Jesus first, as the foundation of our marriage.
My husband once asked me, “Remember when you complained that I prayed the same thing every night?” I did remember that; I felt like he put no effort into his prayers and wondered why he even bothered.
He went on: “It was because if I prayed anything different, I knew I’d have to tell you how deep into the addiction I was.”
My husband has always been one to stop and pray for someone, and to pray sincerely. It really hurt me that he was praying the same thing night after night, word for word, for his own family.
One of the first things we worked at rebuilding was our spiritual connection. We purchased a devotional for couples and spent time working through that. We grew in our faith, and we developed a stronger bond by spending time in God’s Word.
We started to pray together again, and I’ll admit that this was a challenge for me. But it was a choice I made because I love the Lord and I love to spend time in relationship with Him. Praying with my husband gave me an opportunity to connect with the Lord through prayer, and to strengthen the spiritual bond with my husband.
Connecting spiritually reminds me of Galatians 2:20a –
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
We’re setting aside our flesh, and dwelling on the Lord who lives in us.
Sexual intimacy in the marriage bed was created by the Lord and designed to be a wonderful blessing between a husband and wife. Having a stronger spiritual connection paves the way for that to happen.
There are a lot of ways to connect physically without even getting into bed. We started holding hands when we sat together in the evening, or when we went for a walk. There were a lot of days when my husband would take my coffee cup into the kitchen after it was empty. As I handed the cup to him, our fingers or hands would touch and we’d have that momentary connection. It was sweet to linger there for just a moment.
Do you still hug and kiss him good-bye when one of you is leaving the house? If your marriage has endured addiction or broken vows, it’s likely this has stopped. I know you’re thinking that he should be the one to initiate it because he’s the one who did something wrong.
Come close for a minute, please: He’s scared.
He’s scared you’re going to reject him because of what he’s done. He’s carrying shame which plays awful tricks on our minds.
Sister, it would mean the world to him if you’d walk up to him and give him a hug, and maybe even a kiss. This tells him that you are interested in that connection, in that act of closeness. Let this be one area where you can graciously remind him that you are his, you love him, and you long for that physical connection. Over time, these smaller steps will build a deeper bond that can lead to sexual intimacy.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
This piece of Christian sex advice for married couples may be a little more challenging. Why? Because I’m going to ask you to look back for a minute. What was it that caused you to become attracted to your husband? You might also think back to your wedding day, or to a getaway that you took together. Do you have some shared jokes just between the two of you?
Here’s where it gets hard, though. If your husband struggled with addiction, especially to pornography, or broke your trust or even your vows, looking back can bring up doubts and questions. We may wonder, “Am I pretty enough? Do I compare with the picture he needs to have in his mind? Why wasn’t I good enough to begin with? What’s so wrong with me?”
We can’t go there. This will negatively impact any intimacy – whether it’s a hug, a kiss, or even sexual intimacy in the marriage bed. We need to live in the truth of the moment and realize that we are choosing to love our husbands. Remember that love is not a feeling. Love is a choice, and connecting emotionally is all about making that choice to love.
One tremendous blessing that helped me focus correctly was learning about truth journaling. This resource shows you how to walk through any situation and find the truth from God’s Word, and keep your heart focused right there. It’s eased my extreme fear and anxiety, and helped me to put away thoughts that had no business in my mind. I strongly recommend this for any wife who is struggling with healing after an affair, or who is working through a husband’s addiction.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Many Types of Intimacy
There are many types of intimacy, and they are all important.
I know it can be daunting to approach your bed, knowing the sexual intimacy your husband wants and needs, but struggling with your own mind.
I would encourage you to work at building the other types of intimacy. Work on connecting spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Get any outside help that you might need. As you strengthen these areas, you’ll find that you feel more prepared to face the marriage bed.
It’s not meant to be a burden. Trust that the Lord knows this part of your heart, too, and He desires to provide healing and wholeness.
God gave Rebekah a front row seat to the work of His redemption in her marriage. After surviving the initial trauma, she determined to fix her eyes solely on Jesus and trusted Him to carry her through the storm that followed. She is the co-author of Hope for the Hurting Wife, and shares not only her heartache, but also her great hope with other wives so they might know God still redeems, even in the toughest of circumstances. Now, years later, she praises God for restoring her marriage. You can learn more about her ministry to wives at her blog, Sharing Redemption’s Stories. You can also follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.