What to do with a husband you can't trust?

crickett40April 11, 2008

Please help. I have been married for over 23 years and have come to the realization that my husband can't be trusted. He has lied to me since the day I met him. First, it was something small - he chewed tobacco and didn't tell me. When I found out, he said he would quit, and I believed him. Only he started again and kept it from me again. Finally, after several years and a big confrontation, he quit. Don't get me wrong I know that it isn't that big of a deal to chew, it is that fact that he deceived me. Then I found out that he had been buying phone cards and calling an ex-girlfriend. This was at a time when money was in short supply so that made it even worse. We had a huge arguement with him saying he wouldn't do it anymore. And I believed him. He says that he has never had an affair, but how do you believe someone who just keeps lying? He has told me that he won't tell me things if he knows that it will upset me or hurt me. Just recently I found pornography in his car. I confronted him and he said he didn't look at it that often, but knew it was wrong. He went to a weekend retreat to deal with the issue and came back saying he would do anything to get me to trust him again and really work on our marriage. My husband is also addicted to food. He is constantly eating out and hiding it from me. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, except that he uses money that we don't have. I had to take over the bills because he was getting us further and further into debt. But, he sneaks to the bank and gets out money anyway.

Please help me, I really don't know what to do. I no longer love him and have absolutely no respect for him anymore. We are both Christians and even though I do have biblical reasons for divorcing him, I don't think I should. At least not yet. This is also having a devastating effect on our kids, ages 13 and 15. They feel all the tension in the house and we no longer have a happy home. I know that I can no longer trust him. I even found out that he was stealing money out of my purse, so now I have to hide my purse whenever he is home. We have gone to counseling off and on, but it hasn't helped and we really can't afford to anymore. He says he's going to change but it never happens.

Any input or advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. thank you

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If you no longer love your husband,what is the point in trying to fix things.you can not live happily with a man you dont love ,no matter what he does to change.for everyones sake especially the children you have to move on.i can understand you wanting to try to save things if you loved him ,but you dont .so get divorced so you and your children can have a happy home again.life will not get any better if theres no love between you.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 4:38AM
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Why has counseling not worked?

Sometimes counseling doesnt work because the counselor is poor, but most of the time it's because those in attendance cannot see their part of the problem and are waiting for the counselor to "fix" the other person.

I assume your problem is the former - so look around for another counselor.

By the way, what is the punishment for telling the truth in your marriage?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 7:07PM
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I can't imagine what kind of a loving relationship you could have had with your husband that he was chewing and you didn't know....did you not kiss?
It sounds to me like your marriage has been over for quite a few years.
Very wise words, Amy....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Love IS trust.

Marriage is not only an emotional/physical/psychological connection, it is a daily business transaction. Your mate sounds like a poor business partner. You have countered by taking over the financial arrangements but he continues to deceive you. Every time you build another wall, he tunnels under it. It sounds as though your role is the policing mom, while DH is the passive aggressive child. He sneaks food, sex mags, money etc. to satisfy his needs while escaping your wrath. Outwardly repentant when "caught", he continues to go underground to get what he wants. Why do you feel the need to monitor what and how much he eats? Or whether he reads sex magazines? You are not his mother! Neither of you has an adult, equal partner. I think if you can escape these roles, your marriage may have a chance. I'll bet this goes back to both your childhoods and how you saw your parents act.

BTW, why muddy the waters with religion? If your married life has become intolerable, you have two choices: drive it or park it. And be glad we live in a time and society where you have the second choice.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:37PM
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"We are both Christians and even though I do have biblical reasons for divorcing him, I don't think I should. At least not yet."

If you think it will take another 23 years to figure this out, there's not much to be said. I don't know where your religion fits into this except for your description of your husband's flouting it.

My advice: Leave. Enough is enough.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 2:07PM
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Relgious reason to get a divorce?
What would that be?

I'm in sum what of a similar situation but I don't see where in the Bible that being married to a "child", is reason for divorce.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:22PM
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Thanks, Debbi.......2 1/2 years later.

You want to live "biblically"? Great. Go for it. Why allow reality to intrude? Of course if you'd ever actually read the thing, you'd never have posted.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 9:07PM
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Sometimes it takes someone losing what they think they wont lose to realize how bad they have messed up and to make them open their eyes to the life they could lead if they dedicated themselves to their family. I am learning this the hard way myself and just pray I get a chance to correct my mistakes.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 6:07PM
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I have a bit of a different perspective...hopefully you are still reading this. I have several points to make.
1st: your Christian faith is an important factor OF COURSE. Anyone that does not understand this may never understand. However...know the Bible. See God's heart...and assess the scriptures by that and not just what you have heard some pastor say. TONS of Christians talk like you should never divorce Biblically, but that is not what the Bible says. God made marriage for mankind...not the other way around! Relationships are challenging for everyone, and if we are truly living in submission to God's ways, we are supposed to learn and grow in any relationship because of all the good and bad. God never intended anyone to be miserable, but he did intend for us to stretch and grow TOGETHER in a relationship.
2nd: Love is a VERB. It is an action...in any relationship it takes work to keep that "feelling". You and your husband both have work to do in that area. You have to choose to DO IT! That old warm fuzzy feelling isn't going to magically appear, it takes time and determination. If you work on it, even alone at first, chances are your husband will be inspired to start trying to treat you with love again too, and that gets the ball rolling. Certainly not easy if you aren't feelling it. God will give you strength if you start asking for it! Really! Also...Chances are, especially if your husband is a Christian, he is carrying around a lot of shame which is debilitating sometimes. Feeling love and forgiveness from you may be just what he needs to start wanting to change. Forgiving him doesn't mean you are going to "let" him continue to be stupid. It is recognizing that it is HIS battle, and let his wrong crap be his wrong crap! It helps you start to separating his stupid actions from yourself, you can stop taking it personally. You need to see that it is his life he is screwing up, and you don't have to let him take you and the kids down with him. Even if you stay with him, that will be an amazing difference for you that will help you to stop reacting to him the same way, and you will hurt less and less. Forgiving him, and learning to stop worrying about what he is doing wrong, does free you up! It will be the catalyst that starts you on a path of freedom. You will start to see the areas of codependency you have. Read about what codependency is for sure. It is very important for you to start seeing how you are enabling him. Learn better how to set some realistic boundaries that are not made in moments of anger, and make sure you know how to respond if he crosses them. Boundaries do no good if you don't enforce them somehow-that's the tricky part.
My 3rd recommendation based on personal experience. I have found no Christian guidebook on this one! After reading the Bible more, praying daily for God's heart in the matter, researching codependency...etc. think about a split for awhile. Tell him you are not ok with being unhappy like this the rest of your life...BUT-do it after lots of prayer and submitting what happens to God, because you have to be ready for however he may react. FIRST- make sure you don't do it when you are angry. It works so much better! Get your heart in a loving, hopeful place first, and be so sweet to him for a while that he knows something is up. (Besides...you getting to that place first may do the trick with no split!). Be "sweet" for at least a few weeks first! It will take forgiving him first, and learning to quit taking his wrongness personally. VERY HARD. You will definately need to lean on God during this time, and you need some support. Go to a counselor on your own, or have a great support system of people who are supporting you with really good advice that is not bashing him or marriage-etc. Talk to him about the fact that you want to go into the split with the intention to heal your marriage-not end it. You may really have to put your foot down to make him believe you are serious-because you have probably been making idle threats for years. Like I said tho...do it sweetly with love and hope. Be genuine-not fake. Let him see your heart, admit your vulnerabilities and fears, but be strong and resolute at the same time. This helped me and my husband so much! Until I did this, I was not able to really understand the ways I was subconsciously codependent. I just couldn't see it! It helped me to let go of feelling like it was my responsibilty to "police" my husband. It forced me to recognize that he is going to do whatever he is going to do. It made him take me seriously, realize he loved me too much to risk losing me over stupid addictions, and finally get some help and do the work that was long over due. Our "spark" is back! It sounds like you still have some hope or you wouldn't be reaching out! Most people (esp. Christians) tend to look at a separation as the road to divorce...but you don't have to! That is just fear based. Make it about hope. Tell your children you are doing this because you want to make your marriage better, and relationships take work. If you and your husband can do it with determination to really work on yourselves during your time apart...your kids will be impressed with the new you(s). Let your husband come visit often. Spend as much time with him as you want-or don't! There are no rules saying how to do this...base it one day at a time and do it with prayer. It is easy to forget how to really talk to God...it makes all the difference. Talk and listen! You can inspire your kids for their future marriage too-that is important. It may be refreshing to them to see you and your husband choosing to work on it out of hope of a happy future together. Go into it with the understanding between the two of you that things MUST change in order to live out the rest of your lives together. God doesn't want anyone to be miserable! Expect great things and have hope. Choose to love. I'm praying for ya!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 5:42AM
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Absolutely. Pretend there's a God, pretend it gives a rip, and pretend you and KJ know what it thinks.

And after another 23 years, come back and tell us how it worked out.

With respect, this isn't something you're going to pray your way out of.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 10:40AM
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Love the way you think Asolo!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 11:11AM
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WOW. Sad to see many of the post here, but very impressed with KJ's post. Every thing she said made so much sense to me. I am having many of the same issue's in my marriage. SAD that we turn to other's to help us but we feel so hopeless sometimes. I love my Husband but am tired of it all, I don't want to end it, but feel so unhappy most of the time like you. I wrote my husband a letter tonight telling him how I felt about it all, how unhappy I was, and that we needed help. I hope he will seek help, but if not, I will pray about it, trust GOD to guide me the right way, and stay strong for myself and my kids. I hope you do the same. KJ wrote it better than I could ever express it, and I know I will be taking her advice. Thank you KJ. Good luck to us both.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 12:59AM
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Just came across this post..curious since it was written 2008, i wonder how the original poster has made out...I too had a similar situation..I found out my DH had another cell phone and he swore that he wasn't seeing the woman anymore, changed his cell phone number, deleted his facebook account, also went to a retreat. But then I caught him again...another phone found...I "forgave" again...Until during one of my million searches of his things..he forgot about his email account, I checked it and sure enough...messages from her. Thats when I realized..this is never going to stop...even if he DID stop..I was still never going to trust him again...I was constantly checking his phone, followed him everywhere and was nagging him about his whereabouts, even got the kids to be with him everywhere he went. This became my full time job and obsession. This was no way for him or I to live... And if I am honest with myself...The signs were there...We didn't share a loving or intimate relationship. His mind was always wandering.. I could see it...we tried to be a normal family again, vacations, home improvement...but he just wasn't "present" he was in love with someone else. We did finally go our separate ways and I am finally in a relationship with someone who loves me and I him equally. My ex is also with the woman who came between us. I hate to admit this but they are and have been a couple that we never were with each other.
My point is this....this was HIS issue...I am not condoning his behavior, but he did it and I had to choose whether to be a victim or not....I chose to be happy. I hope they did too.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:44PM
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