Sean broke our wedding vows recently. The fact we aren’t married yet is just a technical detail. What is important is the commitment he made, to uphold five promises, now and when he is my husband.
I have happily embraced my current marital status, writing articles espousing the benefits of singledom. When we first started dating, I even explained to Sean I would likely never remarry. But I also told him on the off chance I would remarry, there were five requirements a potential spouse needed to meet. So my expectations, at all times in our relationship, have been patently clear.
While each vow is a significant promise, Sean reneged on the one I find to be most important: Christmas lights. To quote what I specifically expected in a spouse:
“The single most hideous experience each year is taking down Christmas lights. The ones on the dead Christmas tree means being poked by prickly needles while trying to remove the strands. Freezing in January as I stand on a ladder removing outdoor lights is the only thing worse than wrestling with a dead pine tree.”
What happened, you might ask? How could we go from the giddy newly-engaged couple in love to him breaking what I find to be the most significant vow a mere eight weeks after promising to marry him? I am still reeling, trying to figure this out.
When the tree became a fire hazard and I had to remove it for the safety of my children, Sean was busy doing something else. He claims he was visiting his children in another state. But of course, there is no proof.
After recovering from the countless puncture wounds on my body from wrestling the big, dead tree, I worked on removing the giant Christmas balls and swaths of garland throughout the yard and porch. Where was Sean? This time he says he was on a business trip to Richmond. Was there proof of this trip? Of course not.
I provided a very clear understanding of my must-have marriage promises to agree to marry him. I became, as a result of that pre-wedding marriage pact, betrothed. The faith I have in him, us, and that forever is possible is still intact. I am clinging tightly to these beliefs while coming to terms with my disappointment, and working towards restoring my trust in him again. Ever the researcher, I have spent time looking online for tips to restore faith in a relationship once it has been broken. While I work on allowing forgiveness in my heart, here are things Sean and I can do to restore trust again:
5 Ways to Restore Trust in a Relationship
- Commit to working together to discover the root cause of the problem.
- Come up with a plan that is designed to prevent it from happening again.
- Be understanding that the spouse injured by the break in trust should have the time necessary to heal without pressure to move on before he/she is ready.
- Letting go of unhealthy anger, and finding a way towards forgiveness.
- Working together actively to rebuild the the relationship.
While my physical wounds (giant pine tree puncture marks) have healed, I continue to work with Sean to address the emotional ones. It will be a slow process, one day at a time, but our date night planned for tonight is a good start towards healing and trust being restored.
Have you had your spouse break wedding vows?
How did you recover from it?