Adults with divorced parents have significant difficulties with their ability to trust. Trust issues arise regardless of how old they were when their parents parted. However, when a parent’s breakup occurs in adulthood, cracks in the foundation of trust can run especially deep.
In part, this results from adult children of divorce trying to fight the fear of divorce in a world where divorce announcements smack us in the face every time we wait at a cash register. Comments, like “I don’t know why she filed. I gotta figure it out for myself first,”1 from Daryl Dragon of the Captain and Tennille, don’t help.
So when the D word flies from the tabloids and lands in our family tree, doubt and fear become the proverbial elephant in the room. And hanging around the elephant’s neck is a sign with the question “can I really trust my spouse, or can I really trust my boyfriend or girlfriend?”
Taking action to rebuild your trust
The first step to clearing the elephant is admitting it’s there—that you have a hard time trusting people. Interestingly, while trust issues tend to develop over time and lie below the surface for ACD, adults whose parents divorce later in life have the issue thrust upon them in the moments following the initial shock of the announcement.
Second, confess your fears to God in prayer and be brutally honest with your thoughts and concerns.
Fourth, take steps to strengthen your marriage. The Love and Respect Ministry is a marriage changing and marriage saving vehicle that we highly recommend although there are many others.
So, can you trust your spouse? Absolutely, however, God’s truth must be the foundation for the process. The Bible says to take “every thought captive.”2 It is critical to crush the lies that Satan attempts to use against you and your relationships. This solid base, combined with your hard work, will enable you to leave a precious and sweet legacy for your kids and their marriages.
22 Corinthians 10:5 [ESV]