Renee Dallas is the founder of WIFEBOAT, a web-based resource for women whose marriages have been impacted by sexual infidelity. She conducts Online Support Groups and works on one-on-one coaching and support. Here are the top three questions she gets from women when they come to WifeBoat:
You mention “Boundaries” as one of the issues wounded wives struggle with. What are boundaries, and why do they matter?
Boundaries are important because they define what we will allow and what we won’t allow. Boundaries are for correcting an attitude or action of disrespect and are used to protect us from any future wounding. When someone violates boundaries by breaking a marriage covenant with sexual sin, it’s like they’ve stolen something from you. So, in order to correct that and begin restoring trust, boundaries have to be communicated and respected.
What sort of emotions do women go through when there’s been a betrayal in their marriage?
They feel like the bottom has dropped out of their lives. Life as they knew it is gone, and they feel lost. They feel angry, everything about their identity is challenged–their identity as a wife, identity in their family, in the community, even their sexuality–is challenged. A lot of women report physical pain (stomach ache, headaches), emotional pain (depression, can’t stop crying); they go through some serious trust and anger issues, and experience symptoms of grief.
Can a marriage really be healed after a husband has committed adultery or used pornography?
The process of restoring a marriage damaged by sexual sin isn’t for cowards! But yes, marriages have been healed and many times are better than they were before. When a couple walks through this process right, then they will probably be communicating better, respecting each other better and will have grown in their faith. Sometimes the rebuilt broken bond is stronger than the original one. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a process demanding commitment and maturity on the part of both partners.
There’s always hope that a marriage can be rebuilt… because ultimately our hope isn’t in our own abilities or efforts. Our hope is in God, who gives us the grace we need to persevere and who has the ability to bring depth and meaning to the things we go through in our lives.
For information on WifeBoat, or to contact Renee, go to www.WifeBoat.com