Overcoming Past Hurts in Marriage


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We all come with some form of baggage. Even if this is your first relationship. The baggage is often from misbeliefs, stereotypes, religion, or what we learn from others to name a few. Perhaps the biggest is the pain from past relationships.

In this article, we’ll look at overcoming past hurts within your current marriage. And understand how the pain from past relationships can rear its head in your current one. Let’s discuss forgiveness after infidelity, going from brokenness to wholeness again, restoring intimacy, and the importance of seeking God’s guidance and strength as you move forward.

Forgiveness After Infidelity

Marriage has a lot of trust built into it. The majority of us get married to be in a monogamous relationship. We want one person to be our go-to for the rest of our lives together.

Trust is something that takes a long time to build and can be lost in an instant. That’s why infidelity can be quite difficult to overcome. Because trust was lost.

When I was a teenager trust was explained using a stepladder as the metaphor. As you climb up the ladder, trust increases. However, if you fall off the ladder, you must start at the bottom and build that trust again.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, can you trust your spouse again?

That’s a difficult question to answer. And it’s a process that will require both parties to give their 100% effort towards it.

The person whose trust was lost might sabotage any effort made by the one who caused the hurt. Intentionally or otherwise.

And the person who caused the offense might not be remorseful for their actions. In which case, they may very well do it again.

However, I believe you can be successful if both parties are committed to seeing it through.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

I’d also advise you to not relate this to past relationships. Regardless of how similar it might be, they’re not the same.

We have all sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). And yet, while we were still sinners Christ became the sacrifice for us so we (as believers) might have eternal life (Romans 5:8).

Give yourselves to your marriage, whole-heartedly.

Remember, in almost every case, infidelity was a result of both parties in the marriage. Therefore, work together to right the wrongs.

Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

From Broken to Restored

Some relationships have become so broken that neither party can see how it could ever be renewed. This can be exacerbated if something similar happened in previous relationships.

If you know someone like this, reassure them nothing is too big for God. When I was a kid, I heard it said this way, “Don’t tell God how big your giants are. Tell your giants how big God is.” There are different versions, but this is the one I remember.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 says, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

Regardless of how broken you think your relationship is, it’s not beyond restoration. That is if you’re willing to put in the work.

Depending on the offense and hurt, it may take longer to work through it. As you know, anything worth having is worth working for.

Perhaps you’ll need assistance from a trained marriage counselor. I’d recommend finding a Christian marriage counselor and not just a marriage counselor who’s a Christian.


Because a Christian marriage counselor is trained to counsel based on God’s Word, the guidance will be based on the Bible and not secular reasoning.

Consider this, the Bible tells us our relationship with others impacts our relationship with God.

Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Our relationship horizontally can impact our relationship vertically.

Restoring Intimacy

Restoring Intimacy and Romance in Marriage after a past hurt is difficult. Especially if infidelity was the cause. Nevertheless, it’s very possible.

The hurt may replay in your mind like a bad accident. That’s because it is a traumatic event. Some people have a tough time getting behind the wheel of a car again. Others can get over the event much quicker.

In the same way, some can get over the hurt quicker than others.

The event is part of your past. You can’t do anything about it now. But you can choose what to do moving forward. Do you dwell in the past or look toward the possibilities of the future?

Using another metaphor, you wouldn’t operate your car in drive while looking through your rearview mirror.

It’s difficult to move forward if you’re constantly looking at the past.

Trust God to help in this restoration process. Jeremiah 30:17 says, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.”

Also remember, when you two got married you agreed to give yourselves to each other.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

When you withhold intimacy from each other, you’re inviting Satan (the father of lies) into the relationship. Whether you know it or not.

Seeking God’s Guidance and Strength

Perhaps you don’t think you’re able to forgive your spouse for the hurt they caused. Ask God for His help.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

You invited Him into your marriage. Now ask Him for guidance and strength as you work through it.

As believers, God is always with us. Lean on Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

And Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

God can be trusted to help restore your marriage from past hurts. By applying these biblical principles, you can work towards restoring and enhancing intimacy with your spouse again.

Through love, forgiveness, open communication, and a shared commitment to your faith, you can build a stronger, more resilient, and deeply connected marriage.

If you found value in this post, consider reading Priorities For a Successful Christian Marriage.

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