Trust is a precious thing.
Maybe one of the most precious things you invested in the relationship with your man.
And I’m guessing he was careless with it. So you took it back. And you may not be sure if there’s a way for him to earn it again.
Deep inside you want more than anything to be able to really trust him – with no reservations – and no fear that he will betray that trust. But he’s done it so many times that you just can’t risk it. His disconnection has hurt you every time.
But there he is – trying. What do you do?
Coming from a man, you might be thinking I’ll advise you to take the risk and let your guard down a little – NOPE! You might be wondering what signs to look for to be sure he’s changing – fact is, I have no idea with your man. You want some hope that waiting will be worth it – there I can help. I can say confidently that waiting IS worth it. And here’s why.
- Waiting is the only way to prove if the change he says he’s making is real. Leave or give up too soon and you’ll never know. He didn’t become disconnected overnight and he’s not going to change overnight. There are no easy fixes – even if he wants to try to take short cuts. The only way to know if he is really changed is to watch him – change doesn’t change. Wait until those early signs become cemented habits. Wait until his heart remains soft, connectable, intimate. No time limit – months will begin to tell the tale – not hours and not days.
- Waiting is the best way to let your heart heal. Jumping back into trust too soon can reopen old wounds and cut fresh ones. You’ve been hurting for a long time – healing may take longer. That’s OK! Let time pass and let God heal. If he’s pressuring you for something more – tell him he’ll have to wait. If he’s willing, it just might be a sign that God is working in his heart.
- Waiting doesn’t take as long as you might think. Even if it’s years, God has a way of giving you the strength to endure. If change is really happening – the time will slip past and you’ll find trust being restored even if you are not thinking about it. If no change happens, you will be busy with other things that God will give you. He will not allow your time to be wasted if you will simply allow Him to use you – regardless what happens with your man.
- Waiting gives him time to change without panic. Threatening to take drastic action can put your man in fight or flight mode. Waiting with grace, while being wise about what you trust him with, will allow him to take the small steps he needs. If he is truly disconnected and has become aware of his need to repent and live differently, he will need a lot of time to learn how to be a new man. Giving him this time is an act of grace on your part – not an act of power – we are equally sinners and some of our sinful patterns need time to change.
- Waiting is a great way to test your own heart. Are you being truthful with your own baggage? Are you enjoying his groveling and begging? Do you really want out and are just looking for the last reason? What is God showing you about yourself and would you learn it if you run? Examine yourself with these and other questions the Spirit will show you. Running will often delay the painful work God wants to do in you – but He can run faster and sooner or later you will have to face what He wants to do in your heart, regardless what your man is going through.
So, to answer the question in my title, ‘How will you know when your man ‘gets it’? I don’t think there’s an exact answer to that question but there are some indicators to keep in the back of your mind: When your heart has no more reservations. When the Spirit of God gives you the confidence and peace you need to trust again. When his change becomes permanent. When he stops asking you to trust him, and just does the things worthy of trust. When you can see through him because he’s not hiding anything – he’s emotionally and relationally transparent.
Enough for a start? I’m truly sorry I didn’t give you quick fixes and easy answers – I have none. I’m also sorry you have to continue to suffer and wait. But that’s what Jesus did. He is no longer suffering but He is still waiting. Let’s not have Him waiting on us.