A million-dollar question: How do I know my spouse is changing?
It’s something that always comes up in marital therapy sessions. The betrayed or victim wonders about it.
Reality shows us that change must happen if a broken, wounded relationship is to survive.
This is especially applicable to cases of emotional trauma involving infidelity.
Can I trust him/her again? Will the change be permanent or temporary? How long will it last? Is my spouse really changing?
One sign is when the offending spouse is beginning to evidence kind, thoughtful, honest communications.
“I really feel sorry for hurting you, honey. I’m ashamed and I ask for your forgiveness,” said a very teary-eyed client, Art, to his wife on a Zoom couple session.
Art was active. He was remorseful. In reality, not in denial. That’s one of the major signs to know if your spouse is really changing.
But it’s just one sign. The words. You need to verify its reality in action and other important ways.
Let’s take a look at some of these other ways to watch:
* more personal concern is showed to you through gestures and behaviors
* he/she spends increasing time with you at home and outside
* he/she submits himself/herself to needed psychotherapy or recovery work to deal with the roots of the real problem – personally and relationally
* you hear no blaming but repenting and taking of personal responsibility over what was done
* you suspect or worry less and less about the truths of what your spouse is saying
* he/she focuses more in the present with you onwards to accomplish what you want to happen together as a couple
* he/she makes special efforts for self care as well as your personal needs are closely considered
* your intuition tells you that there has been a shifting of gears and the emotional tone of the relationship has changed
* the observed changes appear consistent and carried over a long period of time
How do I know my spouse is changing? You watch carefully. You’ll just know.