This week I’ll look briefly at two related questions, from survey respondents, on trusting the husband who has so fundamentally wounded our body image. I’ll end with episode 1 of our much-anticipated Body Image Podcast.
How do you feel comfortable around the addict again?
(I’ll answer this question from the perspective of “as regards him seeing my body.”)
If the addict is working on regaining our trust (and for a step-by-step guide on how he can do that, see Worthy of Her Trust by Jason Martinkus) we will in time feel comfortable around him. This is a slow process, though, where after a couple of years you’re just surprised one day to find that the negative thoughts aren’t intruding in the bedroom quite so much. Those thoughts, which naturally arise before trust is rebuilt, include stuff like:
- I bet he’s noticing how (choose one or more) old, flabby, wrinkly, fat, flat, ugly I look.
- Who else has he said that to/done this with?
- Sure he says he’s attracted to me… but, as if.
Believing His Words
As one wife said: “It's hard for me to believe that my husband isn't dissatisfied with my body after viewing so many images of women that are younger or more fit. He say's he's not but that's hard for me to believe."
Yeah, I so get that.
After the lying and the double life: everything he says is going to be hard to believe for awhile. “You’re beautiful,” particularly so.
This is where trust building comes into it. With time, and effort on his part, you should see the kind of growth and maturation taking place that would make it possible for him to bond to you… and you alone.
In the meantime, it may feel helpful to take those words as coming from God. They are words of truth. God gets that we are amazing, beautiful and desirable — whether or not our husband fully does.
Trust rebuilding is an enormous topic that takes up a whole chapter in Beyond Betrayal (my latest book, coming out next year). However, I hope that this answer gives you something to hold on to for the moment… and a place to start doing some more research (Worthy of Her Trust is a must read for couples struggling to move past betrayal).
Body Image Podcast: Episode 1
You can hear more of my personal story of devastating body image issues, in the wake of my husband’s addiction, by clicking “play” below. Thank you also to Donna (who posts here regularly) and the awesome, Grace, for sharing their equally amazing stories of pain and healing.
Thank you Marsha Means of JHJ for being the mastermind behind this three-part podcast series. Blessings on all of you who participated in the survey that helped give us direction. Thanks also to Steve Siler, of Music for the Soul, for allowing us to use music in this podcast from "The Apology" — a deeply moving song for wounded women.
Next week: more questions and episode 2 of the podcast.