Attitude of Gratitude

We’ve all seen and read devotionals, psychology articles, etc. that point toward the benefits of practicing gratitude. But, did you know gratitude can be a helpful component of trust building and marital restoration?

If you’ve violated trust in your marriage, when was the last time you told your spouse you are thankful they didn’t leave you? I mean directly and to the point; “Shelley, I want you to know that I’m thankful for your willingness to stay with me, and for working through the pain I’ve caused you”.

Likewise, when was the last time you told your spouse what you are thankful for about them? I’m not talking about being thankful for what your spouse does, or does for you, or how they make you feel; I mean practicing gratitude for who they are.

A lot of wives want their husbands to want them. In the wake of betrayal, I often hear wives say they want to be wanted for who they are; not what they do, nor what their body is like, nor how they parent, or how they keep the business afloat, or their cooking. To hear, directly, what you love about your wife and that you appreciate the difficulty of choosing to work through things can be healing to them. It can build trust.

We get to benefit from practicing gratitude too. Sometimes I need a reminder that I’m thankful Shelley didn’t leave. Sometimes I need the reminder that her character traits are honorable, cherish-able and unique. In the end, we both benefit.

As an example of practicing gratitude, here’s a recent text I sent Shelley. Maybe you can steal some of it for your own:

——— I cannot imagine life without you. I don’t want to imagine life without you. You said recently that its scary to let yourself need me, and likewise, I think its a little scary to let myself need you too. The intensity of emotion I feel when I think about you leaving, or blowing up our lives again and losing you, is unreal. I don’t ever want to put us or you in jeopardy again. I sure do love you. thank you for not leaving me.——–






Worthy of Her Trust Winners!

Wow….thanks to everyone who posted their comments. Their were some fantastic and heartfelt posts. I wanted to provide a quick summary of the suggestions and what worked/helped-

  • The distinction between helping husbands understand the difference between being “told what to do” versus being asked to “protect my heart”.
  • Locking down phone, tv, internet
  • Answering any and all of a wife’s questions about sexual behaviors, past and present with honesty, promptness and without defensiveness.
  • Attending support group / Accountability meetings
  • Prayer & Scripture
  • Focusing & dwelling on the goodness of God. This is especially important because it contradicts the addiction, which is fueled by discontent and searching for greener grass.
  • Perseverance – several of the comments indicated the ongoing work years into the recovery process. This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. For some of us, and ultra-marathon!
  • Service – beginning to serve others rather ourselves.
  • Attending EMB!
  • Taking full responsibility for the devastation our actions have caused.
  • Staying engaged emotionally when the conversations get difficult.

I can say, having lived it, that these things are spot on. If we will strive to do and engage in all these things, trust will begin to return.

Thanks again to all who posted! names

After randomly drawing names from a hat the winners are……

 TNT & Brion

Worthy of Her Trust Giveaway

I’m excited to say that Worthy of Her Trust, which Steve Arterburn was gracious to co-author with me, is now in stores and available.

And, I want to give a couple copies away! Worthy of Her Trust_pgs

My wife, Shelley, just did the same thing on her blog where she asked wives to comment on what their husbands have done to build trust. You can see that here if you’re interested:

So, likewise, I’d love to get your feedback on similar questions:

1) As a wife, what is 1 thing your husband done to rebuild trust effectively?

2) As a husband, what 1 thing has helped the most with rebuilding trust?

If you comment and answer one or both of the questions you’ll be entered to win a copy of the book! (P.S. sometimes there aren’t many comments to my posts, so you may be an instant winner by commenting on this one!) I’ll pick 2 winners on Friday!