KITOTO: My husband no longer trusts me after I badmouthed him

By: PHILIP KITOTO

Dear Kitoto,

I have been married for two and half years and we have been living happily until last month, when my husband saw a conversation I had with his brother’s wife.

I had told her that I had found another guy who is very handsome and is living in abroad, I also badmouthed my husband and his family in the conversation …. But in reality I was just joking, I had no other guy.

Now my husband hates me and wants to kick me out of his house. He says he will never trust me. We have a one and half year old daughter and I don’t want her to grow without one parent. I have tried to explain that I was just joking but he doesn’t want to listen to me. What should I do to win back his trust?

Jackie

Hi,

The conversation you had with your brothers wife begs the question: “What drove you to say those things?” Words we say reveal a lot about out hearts and convictions.

Your question reveals many flaws that we see in today’s marriages. So, let me get a little wider and talk about what makes relationships work and how the couple can choose to heal from the baggage they carry and in addition, do things that enrich them. As far as the issue is concerned, you need to understand that what you did was both immature and unnecessary. Your husband deserves an apology.

SUCCESS STORIES

If recent news reports are anything to go by, we tend to focus more on the various hurts and moral failures in relationships more than the success stories that exist.

As a result, it is easy to find oneself consumed and frustrated with this behaviour and lack of accountability in relationships.

Relationships heal better when positivity is used to help ground the couple on common issues they share. If not, our eyes end up being closed to the many ways one could make their relationship turn out differently and particularly in moments of anxiety.

Certain cultures promote the thought that, “Marriage is more caught than taught.” Sadly, this in many cases has turned tragic as inexperienced partners become husbands, wives and parents.

I guess this could be the reason you now regret your actions.

Also, since attitude is as much caught as it is learned, spouses need to expose themselves to morally edifying literature on relationships and parenting if they are going to remain successful. It is common knowledge that, what we spend time talking, thinking about, or even watching does a lot to influence our attitude towards certain aspects of life.

FRIENDSHIPS

Generally, your choice of friends will influence how you reinforce learning. We all know, that bad company corrupts good morals. It is pointless to expose oneself to good literature but in turn love the company of those who practice the opposite.

It is like building with one hand and tearing apart what you just built with the other. The people we hang around and do stuff with during most of our productive time have a lot to contribute towards the values we embrace and who we become.

For some spouses, all they know is disillusionment, apathy and lack of satisfaction because of the many wars they have to fight in the marriage.

When we engage in blame and finger pointing, it does nothing but erode any good that could have existed between two people. Although no one is perfect, zeroing in on your partner’s mistakes and faults paints your partner in bad light and only creates further distance between the two of you.

Some of the disagreements and fights we have could have a positive growth effect if they were viewed maturely by both partners. I see there is a lot you have learn from what you did. Your current actions are necessarily to re-establishing you on the right path of growth regardless to whether your man forgives you or not.

Of course, he is required to forgive, but what happens to the future of this relationship will depend on the level of sacrifice both of you will be willing to make.

The fact that we maintain an attitude of distrust is reason enough to treat your partner with suspicion even when their intentions are very noble. Getting the right advice on the issues and embracing a mature approach will bring objectivity and most likely give dialogue a chance.

When we don’t do this, then our relationships tend to be characterised by poor communication, assumptions, playing the blame game, bitterness, selfish talk and unfulfilled expectations. Consequently, such a relationship will deteriorate into squabbles as opposed to grabbing the opportunity to celebrate the marriage. However, in many cases, what emerges is a need to find the reason not to celebrate the good in relationships.

We seem to have more to complain about than thankful for.

As much as success is great, “We can impress people by talking about our successes, but we will impact people when we admit our failures and weaknesses and point them to the God who can work a miracle out of our mess” says Kerry Shook.

Instead of admitting failure, some spouses get into the habit of explaining and defending their error. Since the process of getting rid of the baggage is can be labour intensive, we need to be in the habit of regular disclosure during both the joyful and hurtful moments.

This must be followed by an honest desire to celebrate or invite change. Taking personal responsibility of the pain experienced in a relationship should help a couple move forward.

TRUST THE PROCESS

It is said that, laughter is good medicine for the soul. As issues mount up in a relation, the spark that connects a couple begins to fade. Joyful moments in the relationship fade with time and apathy settles in.

The truth is , unresolved baggage breeds a spirit of heaviness that will result in less productivity. Therefore, with time, a lot of the good that happens in relationships, however little, goes unnoticed or is ignored.

Most issues have a chance of getting resolved in an environment of trust, faithfulness, fellowship and openness.

In addition, relationships need to show understanding, patience, empathy and due care. This is what fuels the relationship and builds the romance. Therefore, empathetic and caring words that stimulate love and affection must be part of a couple’s daily communication.

Such communication will involve words like, “I now understand where you are coming from…” and others like “It matters how you feel … You are important to me and this relationship.”

A couple’s ability to deal with their feelings of rejection, fear, hurt and pain is key to building a strong relationship. A feeling of rejection can arise from a feeling of being unfairly treated, the feeling that, “I don’t belong” … Or

“if you cared, why don’t you spend time with me.”

A feeling of rejection can create deep pain in a spouse. When pain is left unattended and therefore unresolved, a couple will move into a season of feeling distant, bitter, unfulfilled, and uncared for.

For some relationships, distance may seem better particularly when we are afraid of confrontation the issues. However, we need to appreciate the fact that, there is no fear in love – but love offered honestly casts out fear.

Although distancing from each other may appear as the better option for that moment of conflict, it only manages to shift or move forward the will to deal with the underlying issues thereby providing a temporal truce. But is this really the better option.

***

Marriage is a learning experience, we become better with practice

Our weakness should not define what happens in the marriage. According to author Hudson Taylor , “All God’s giants have been weak people.”

Because marriage is a learning experience, we become better as we apply the principles and commit ourselves to grow through the experiences. Building this kind of learning environment will require team effort. Here are 30 ways to enrich how you relate:

BE BEST OF FRIENDS IN ALL SEASONS

Pray and genuinely wish for your spouse’s success and well being.

Never gossip about your partner.

Plan and remain committed to your adventurous moments together.

Be defender number one of your partner whenever time or situation calls for it.

Speak with honesty and respect of your spouse wherever you are.

Be ready and willing to serve each rather than waiting to be served.

Talk more about the good your partner brings to the relationship.

Learn to offer that unexpected help or support particularly in times when they don’t deserve it

Go the extra mile when your spouse is in need and particularly when the situation would have dictated otherwise.

Do not compete but complement each other, your partners success should not threaten you.

Give your spouse a call or send a tex message regularly, particularly in moments when she/he is not expecting your call. You never know what difference such a call or message can make.

Send or leave a hand-written note or card with a word of praise or encouragement to your spouse.

Try as much as you can to remember special days that bring fond memories to one or both of you.

Stand in for your spouse and be in a habit to send them away for a treat as you mind the children and house chores.

Seek out an accountability and mentor couple who you can look to for support

Loving your family means giving it time by scheduling them in your diary.

Keep moments of romance alive and private.

Once in a while, give your partner a gift that is both valuable and memorable.

Give yourselves time away to refresh and rest from the busy schedules that seem to deny you time together.

Be an ambassador of good will and a peacemaker against the propaganda that comes to kill and destroy the good that happening in your marriage

Remain attractive for each other by eating right, dressing appropriately and using your words with wisdom, care and consideration.

Treat your spouse the way you treat your other friends and/or the way you would love to be treated.

Schedule times of fun, laughter and cracking jokes together, however avoid sarcasm or language that demeans them.

Build a reading culture by doing one book a month together or listening to a good video or podcast.

Eliminate flirting with those of the opposite sex or intimate conversations that offend your spouse.

Set clear goals and values together that spur growth that your family can commit to achieve.

Build a habit of evaluating your progress regularly – ask questions like, “What causes you greatest joy in this relationship?” …. “What stands in the way of our progress?” … “How can I serve you better?”

Wives should take the lead in setting the climate in the home that is conducive to the functioning of the man’s leadership and the nurturing and growth of children.

Husbands should provide bold servant hood leadership by example to their wives and children, a leadership that does not stagnate or intimidate.