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5 Ways You Feel Safe In Your Relationship: Post-Betrayal Healing

By June 19, 2024No Comments
Feel Safe

Can you ever feel safe again?

When you discover your partner’s struggle with porn, you lose your sense of security. Part of that damage is your feeling of being safe with this person. Very often, exposing the porn struggle leads to loss of self-worth, reputation, relationships, and even your current job. Security in most of the significant areas of your world is shattered quickly.

The first few days after learning about Dave’s struggle with porn, I realized I didn’t feel safe. In his few words of confession, my world collapsed.

A person who experiences a traumatic event understands this.

You want to restore security, even if it isn’t lasting. I often refer to this as going back to normal because it’s what you’ve known. This basic need isn’t simply physical safety. You need to feel safe emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically in your key relationships.

Ephesians 5:21-33 talks about how you and your husband are to treat each other in the most intimate human relationship you can know.

Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

A marriage that lives by these guidelines creates freedom, satisfaction, and safety.

What are ways that help you feel safe in your relationship?

1. Accepted.

How do you feel when you’re around someone who listens to you without trying to change how you look at a particular issue?

People who are safe allow you to express your opinions and beliefs. They ask good questions to further understand your point of view. They encourage you to wrestle through an issue rather than seeing it from their viewpoint. This safe person wants you to become all God created you to be not to fit in their ideal.

2. Honest communication.

When you and your spouse discuss something, do you relay your thoughts no matter what? If you don’t, evaluate what holds you back.

In our first years of marriage, there were times I didn’t fully disclose my thoughts on specific topics. I feared Dave’s response, especially if he was already upset about the topic of conversation.

Your thoughts matter. A healthy marriage relationship allows each partner to share opinions and thoughts without being criticized. Dave and I had to learn that robbing our spouse of our true selves harmed our relationship.

3. Vulnerability.

A safe person creates freedom to risk. This freedom to risk builds trust within the relationship.

What does this look like after betrayal? It means the betrayed spouse relates to the betrayer how their actions cause pain. The betrayed spouse puts words to the wound without weaponizing those words. Both the betrayer and the betrayed understand the courage it takes to have hard conversations and know that these words won’t be used against them at a later date.

4. Respected.

This word gets thrown around a lot. But respect isn’t a right. It must be earned.

Safe people allow you to be who you are. When you set a personal boundary, they accept it whether they agree with it or not. It’s your boundary, not theirs.

In a healthy marriage relationship, respecting your spouse means you speak well of them before others. You discuss your conflicts with them seeking a resolution together rather than a win. Your words reflect your respect.

5. Cherished.

This word isn’t used much these days. A few years ago, I read Gary Thomas’ book Cherish. I soaked in the encouragement and challenge in this book because I didn’t do this well. If you haven’t read this book, please do. Then let me know what challenged you.

How do I cherish Dave? More than showing respect (important), I place value in him by actively listening to his heart, joys, and concerns, by considering him more important than anyone else in my life and by keeping my word to him.

A safe person cherishes you. Not because they have to, but because you are precious, rare, and valued.

Review these signs. Please understand that relationships ebb and flow. Don’t think your relationship is in trouble because you don’t see all these signs. But consider what might need some help, shoring up, or change.

How safe do you feel in your marriage relationship?

If you need help processing, please reach out.

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.

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