“Untrustworthy husband” is not the chirpiest title for a newlywed blog, I know.
But someone recently found my blog by searching the phrase and even though I don’t typically expound on every term people use to find my blog (there are hundreds of them) I talk about them when I think they are important.
Trying to build a healthy marriage without trust is next to impossible because trust is vital for love to thrive. A relationship flourishes when we feel safe and secure.
When we can’t trust the intentions of our spouse, when their behavior and thoughts are unpredictable, unreliable and suspicious, marriage becomes hard, and it’s future unsure.When we can't trust the intentions of our spouse, when their behavior and thoughts are unpredictable, unreliable and suspicious, marriage becomes hard, and it's future unsure.
My goal today is to affirm (and shed light) the wife who suspects she’s standing on shaky grounds.
Admittedly, a lack of trust in marriage is a difficult subject to cover because there are many moving pieces; outward behavior is not always a perfect judge of a person’s heart.
However, our actions are like breadcrumbs, giving clues and indications as to what is going on in our hearts. At the very least, our behavior should alert us to things we need to address.Trying to build a marriage without trust is difficult because trust is vital for a healthy marriage. Here are 11 signs that trust might be an issue in your marriage
So for the sake of the newlywed wife trying to figure out if hers is a case of an untrustworthy husband, I’ll share a few signs to look out for.
When you are a new couple, marriage is such a thing and you wrestle with knowing what is right or almost right.
“Am I seeing my own things? Are my suspicions true? We’ve been married only a few months, should I be concerned that my husband is untrustworthy? Or am I just being jumpy?”
Sidebar: One of the most popular articles on this blog (close 10,000 monthly hits on a single blog post) is When You Don’t Trust Your Husband. Yes, a lack of trust is a topic that interests many wives.
Let’s also be clear, just because a few of these behaviors are present doesn’t mean a husband is untrustworthy. It merely says there’s work to do.
11 signs of an untrustworthy husband
1. He has a problem giving you access.
He fusses and fights your access to his phone, computer, emails, social media, bank account.
One of the ways we build trust in any relationship is through openness. Along the same vein, one of the ways we chip on relationship trust is secrecy and unwarranted guardedness.
Once married, a couple should be working on strengthening unity and bringing down walls. We should start giving the other access to areas that were previously exclusively ours.
But how much access though? Isn’t there a place for personal space, even in marriage? you ask.
To be frank, if you are asking this question or fighting about how much personal space the other person deserves, most likely you have fiery issues elsewhere.
One of you is feeling ignored, unnoticed, doubtful – these feelings, plus their roots are breeding the “how much space do you deserve” arguments. Once these roots are addressed, the question of space will almost regulate itself.
There are other instances where a spouse might feel unjustly pursued by their spouse; like the other person is snooping on their private conversations.
Furthermore, I understand common courtesies and sensibilities in marriage. So yes, just because we are married doesn’t mean we stop exercising respect and decency. We should conduct all marriage business with honor, respect and huge doses of sweetness and niceness.
Struggling to figure out (or enforce) common courtesies and real boundaries in marriage? Desiring to create a peaceful Christ-centered marriage, devoid of fussing and fighting? My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years can help! Amazon Paperback I Amazon Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or click here to go to book page
“So my wife should have access to everything? All my texts, all my emails..everything?”
Yes. In the sense that your spouse should know that your life is an open book. But I do agree that there should be limits, even within the freedoms. Just because a wife has access doesn’t mean she should exercise that access whenever however.
Paul the Apostle said, “everything is permitted but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
For example, just because I have access to Tommy’s (my husband ) phone doesn’t mean I should be scrolling through his phone every single day looking at his messages and emails and Facebook.
If I feel like I have to police him that way, most likely he or I have a deeper problem we need to address.
Yes, sometimes you’ll have information you’d rather your spouse not see.
For example, my husband might be mentoring another man/helping him work out a personal or marital issue. I don’t need to get my nose into all that; reading all the gritty things they share in confidence.
In that case, it’s not that my husband has restrictions, it’s just common sense and discretion that keeps me away. (It would alarm the other man if he knew I was eavesdropping on his raw conversation with my husband)
2. He is unavailable during regular work hours and resents you calling him at work (or showing up unannounced.)
There’s a place for general sensibilities: if your husband works a job that requires high concentration or which doesn’t encourage personal calls, you can’t fairly blame him.
But if he works a regular job but doesn’t like talking to you on the phone during the day or stirs up a storm if you drop by (if office conditions allow you to do that), then there’s reason for bringing up the discussion/investigation.
Caveat – some wives may have reached a point where they feel like their only recourse is to pester their husbands with calls, show up to his office unannounced.
If your marriage has reached this point where you feel the only way to get your husbands attention is to push him and make a scene, you need to reach out for help from a counselor.
3. He accuses you of being untrustworthy
Sometimes our own issues find us out. We begin to see in our spouse what we are actively living out. If your marriage is riddled with suspicion and doubt, please reach out and get help from your pastor or mentor that you both respect.
4. He is suddenly and unusually affectionate and loving, perhaps with new sexual demands and ideas.
Naturally, we welcome sweet changes in our marriages. And many changes are positive, without a dark underbelly.
But sometimes sudden changes can be an indication of something not so pleasant. Particularly if you have other problems present.
5. He has no desire for sex
For a spouse to devalue their marriage bed, most likely they devalued the entire marriage first.
Not all cases of low sex drive are indications of a lack of trust but if he had a relatively healthy sex drive and suddenly shuts down, maybe his attention is elsewhere.
For more information on what causes low sex drive in men and what you can do as a wife, read When Your Husband Has a Lower Sex Drive.
6. He walks away from His relationship with God.
Your husband no longer keeps godly standards like he used to. He makes excuses for wrong choices. He’s more logical than spiritual and has new ideas about what it means to be a Christian. Then you need to investigate, communicate and seek counseling.
7. He has unscheduled meetings, works odd hours and his explanations don’t always add up.
8. He has markings or tell-tale signs and smells on his body, clothing, car.
New perfumes, lipsticks, love bites.
9. You come across suspicious texts, calls, and emails.
Read this post When Your Husband Talks to Another Woman
10. He grows emotionally distant and disconnected.
11. He is concerned about his appearance (clothing, hygiene, talk, company) more than usual.
If you feel you are dealing with an untrustworthy husband, please bring up your concerns. Seek counseling. Whatever you do, don’t hide or ignore it.
As a newlywed wife, you’ll most likely want to wait and see: give it time, perhaps even sweep things under the carpet, hoping they will go away by themselves.
Most newlyweds abhor the idea of rocking the new love boat, tainting the “happy honeymoon image” or walking through disappointment.
If you are wrestling with these feelings, please make sure to read this post – Divorce? When a Wife Feels She Has Done Enough.
7 Signs of an Untrustworthy Boyfriend
One of the ways to avoid the “untrustworthy husband” problem is to avoid the untrustworthy boyfriend. Of course, not all untrustworthy husbands were suspicious in the beginning but some of them were.
If you are a newlywed couple going through trust issues, it’s very likely that these same issues were present during courtship but you ignored them.
If you are a single woman and suspect the man you are seeing is untrustworthy, please don’t marry him. Not until you have adequately worked through the problem, gone through counseling and have had a few people in your life vouch for the relationship.
If you are single here are some signs of an untrustworthy man. Aka someone you should not marry.
1. He’s not over his ex.
2. He compares you to his ex or other women.
3. He is lustful.
He ogles women, “escorts” them, makes sexual comments/comments about their physical appearance. Remember, marriage does not cure lust. Lust is a symptom of a deeper problem which needs to be dealt with at an individual level.
4. He pressures you to have sex or he pushes physical boundaries.
5. He watches porn and masturbates.
6. He is not under any spiritual covering
Men (and women alike) struggle with the idea of putting their lives under accountability.
Here’s the long and the short of it; if a man wants a relationship with you, he should be able to give you a list of two or three men who have direct access to him.
The “lone ranger” act might look cute now but it will not be so cute when you’ve been married two years and he’s gone sideways and you need someone to talk to him and there’s no one.
Save yourself the trouble – don’t marry a man who is a lone ranger.
And test out the relationships he claims to have. Talk to those men, figure out how close they really are, let them know you are counting on them for the health of your future marriage!
7. He’s generally secretive about his life
If you feel like you are extracting toenails to get a straight answer from a man, just stop it. It’s really simple. If he can’t share his heart, his past, some of his mistakes (within reasonable time course) without your digging and digging, just walk.
If you are valuable to him, he will value what you value – openness and trust. He will come after you/change/put himself in a path of change.
And those are my thoughts when it comes to identifying untrustworthy behavior in marriage and before marriage. What can you add? Let’s chat in comments.
Please note: Most Bible-believing Jesus-loving husbands love their wives (or are trying to) the way Christ commanded them to. But there’s another bunch of men who aren’t trying or are struggling to. I hear from their wives all the time. My ministry here exists to encourage wives in both types of marriages – the happy and not-so-happy. So if you are a man, don’t get fired up and angry because you feel I am painting all men in a bad light. I am not. Most Christian men are amazing. But others are not. We have a real issue that needs to be addressed. (Furthermore, everything I write here can be flipped and applied to wives too, if you are a husband wondering if your wife is trustworthy.)
Tired of the fussing and distance? Want to restore joy, healing and happiness to your marriage? Or maybe you just want to love better, create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way. My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years will set you on that road. Pick it up here Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF