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10 Proven Ways To Reconnect with Your Husband After You’ve Been Hurt

By July 31, 2020August 2nd, 2022No Comments

Like a dry twig snapping in half, my connection with my husband severed. Our years of “normal” life cracked right down the middle with splinters everywhere when he confessed he might be fired because he’d been caught looking at porn.

My kind, funny, sweet, Christian husband had a secret porn addiction for years, and now here we were. It felt like an earthquake struck the center of our home.

When your marriage suffers the shock and then the aftershocks of betrayal, your connection is broken.

Trust is shattered. You may find yourself on the ground, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t gather all the pieces. And no superglue in the world could put those pieces back the same way again. “Normal” won’t be your normal again. And, believe it or not, that’s what you need.

You need a new way. If the old way worked, you wouldn’t be here right now.

It’s time to learn to reconnect with each other to help break these chains and keep your family intact.

If you’re not sure you want to reconnect, but your faith is prompting you to explore it, I understand.

And please, keep reading. Don’t turn away.

Even if you’re not ready right now to reconnect, it is good to know there is a road map.

There are things you can do to heal. And people who are willing to help you without an ounce of condemnation.

You might be tempted to try to go back to normal communication, believing that it will help you reconnect.

Your brain says, “Just get back to ‘normal.’” But, if you think about it, your normal communication helped lead you to where you are today.

In our case, I know it did. We didn’t know how to be honest with each other, so secrets pervaded our relationship. One of those GIANT secrets was Dave’s porn addiction.

We now both had wounds in our souls and hearts—big gaping wounds. Our old routine didn’t work anymore. And it’s not like we could avoid the elephant in the room. He was huge, stinky, and tramping on our every nerve. We needed to find ways to heal our wounds.

So we reached out to others to get help. Our marriage was not going to survive this secret in the dark. It needed to be brought into the light. We sought medical help, coaching, therapy, and set up a Restoration Team to help us walk out of the choking darkness into the warm light.

We were encouraged to develop new ways to connect, which also included new ways to communicate.

Connection was not my first thought. Oh, hey, let’s connect! Ugh. No, thanks. At least, not at first. It took us months to get there. But we knew our marriage was doomed and our future as our usual family unit was gone if we didn’t attempt to reconnect.

I started (we started) bit by bit to reconnect with each other in fits and starts in the following ways:

  1. Touch.

    After Dave revealed his addiction, the last thing I wanted was to touch him. When I admitted my true feelings, I realized I wanted nothing to do with him. My counselor told me it was okay to need that physical separation for a while to allow the trust to build. Phew. That understanding provided the space to grieve what I knew. However, as trust rebuilt slowly through actions matching his words, I felt able to touch him again—hold his hand, brush my leg against his, reach for a hug, etc.

  2. Speak kindly.

    This one is tough after you experience betrayal. To do this (then and now), I spend time processing my emotions and pain with other safe people like my counselor and coaches. Slowly, I could thank Dave for doing little things each day. Saying, “Thank you for making the bed,” or, “I appreciate you remaining sober for the last week,” encouraged Dave. This, in turn, opened additional honest conversation between the two of us.

  3. Laugh with each other.

    I tend to see life more on the serious side. But, during our recovery period and ongoing, I’ve learned to laugh more at life. Psychologists tell us that laughter can save your life. The Bible agrees a cheerful heart is good for your health. Laugh at his joke; if it’s bad, laugh harder. Revisit some comedies that you both enjoy and cut loose with a huge guffaw. When you do something ridiculous, laugh out loud. If you laugh until you cry, perfect! Now you get the physical benefits of laughter and tears to release your pent-up emotions.

  4. Listen well.

    I speak a lot about the importance of listening. Too often, however, we practice active listening with everyone but our spouse. Add in some anger, distrust, and wounded distancing, then it’s even more challenging to give the gift of active listening. My friend, Linda Outka, says one day she wasn’t listening well to her young son. Finally, her son brilliantly got her full attention by reaching up and placing his hands on each side of her face and saying, “Look at me with your eyes!” Give your spouse the gift of your full attention, including your eyes. Then, turn off your inner critic and listen without assumptions. Ask curious questions instead.

  5. Practice Gentle Moments of Love.

    These are those small, seemingly insignificant times that draw you and your spouse together. If you watch any kind of romance movie, you get a distorted view of romantic love. The authentic romance that connects the two of you happens in everyday life—the little acts of kindness you show each other. Kyle Benson, from The Gottman Institute, calls these micro-moments of love, “Love is cultivated during the grind of everyday life.” Micro-moments draw us toward each other. How can you speak to your husband using his love language? What do you need to communicate to him to help him learn what makes you feel safe?

  6. Praise your spouse in front of others.

    Come on, girlfriends. How easy is it to fall in line with those who verbally gripe about their husband? If you find yourself getting sucked into that kind of conversation, praise your man instead. Watch what happens in the group. Notice how you feel when you do that. Want to make even more difference? Praise your husband in front of his friends or mixed company. During our initial recovery period, I remember being at a business event with my husband when I did this. My husband stood a little taller, and I reached for his hand to give it a little squeeze. What I realized later? I meant everything I said because it was true about Dave. I’m glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to share it. Sometimes we need to hear our words to remind us about our husband’s good characteristics.

  7. Text your appreciation during his work hours.

    Depending on his work environment, he may not get these little affirmations until a break or his way home, but that’s okay. Sending a short, heartfelt note throughout the day, tells him you are thinking about him. Plus, it helps you recall the reasons you married him and acknowledge his efforts to rebuild trust.

  8. Agree to a set “no phone, computer, tablets, or TV.

    You can’t reconnect and practice healthy communication when you are preoccupied. Every day identify a time when it’s just the two of you. At first, this time feels stilted and awkward. But start with asking open-ended questions about their day. Delete “How was your day?” from your question arsenal. Try something like, “Tell me about your favorite part of this day.” Or, “What happened today that replayed some of your old negative tapes?” Then, practice #4. Make this time about reconnecting with your spouse, not spewing everything about your day. Try to outdo each other and see what happens.

  9. Pray together.

    This activity feels awkward when you’ve broken trust with each other. But one thing we learned? You can’t pray with or for someone with whom you’re angry. Determine to develop this muscle. You can ask God to enter your marriage and bring healing. When you do, be prepared to do the necessary personal work. Your marriage connection is worth it. Take this one step further and read the Bible together or talk about what you’ve read that day. Listen to each other’s reflections and insights.

  10. Play together.

    Whether that’s table games, a game of HORSE, a tennis match, a bike ride, or something else, find time to play. Recovering your connection after betrayal takes hard work. You need to find reasons to enjoy life together again. Maybe there’s an item on your bucket list you can tackle together. Not only is this fun, but it also builds a new memory together, a new emotional connection.

Which one of these ways to connect will you tackle right away (in the next few days), and which ones do you want to make a goal to work towards?

It is possible to reconnect after betrayal. I know. Dave and I work at this daily because life tends to get in the way of our connections. And when that happens, we feel lonely, angry, adrift. If you sense that happening between you, pay attention. Heed the warning sign and reconnect as soon as possible.

Determine how you will take the first step.

Remember, you are the only person you can control. Don’t wait for your husband to do it. He may not sense the disconnect as quickly as you do. Or, he may sense it more quickly but not be sure about the best way to reach toward you. Often, our men feel insecure about their romantic abilities. Give him a break by initiating the connection. You’ll both be glad you did.

Note: Resist the urge to use this list to “grade” your relationship.

These are exercises and ideas to move you toward God’s best. Not a list to make you feel discouraged if you don’t get an A+ or 100% at the top of the page. One step at a time. Maybe take my list and reshuffle it, reorder it to suit your “action plan” to re-establish a connection. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Tackle little bits at a time. Extend grace to yourself as you learn a new “normal.” You can do it.

  • 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.