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6 Ways Your Husband Might Be Grooming You Right Now

He says he's changed. He's made serious promises. But how do you know it's real? Is your husband grooming you? Find out here.

My husband made countless promises to change, joining groups and maintaining periods of sobriety from his so-called “sexual addiction.” Despite his sincere spiritual awakenings, something always nagged at me. It wasn’t until I found Betrayal Trauma Recovery that I realized he had been grooming me the entire time. If you’re wondering if your husband is grooming you, read on . . .

1. If He’s Had a Spiritual Awakening After You Discovered His Lies, He’s Grooming You

I discovered he had been soliciting prostitutes. I had irrefutable proof. Four days later, he experienced a sudden, intense “spiritual awakening,” claiming closeness to a higher power, confessing to spiritual leaders, and attending a 12-step program for sex addiction. His transformation included changing his appearance, appearing humble and calm, and sharing experiences publicly. Everything seemed great but felt off.

2. If He Demands That You Trust Him, He’s Grooming You

He seemed changed, but shortly after, he started demanding my trust without earning it:

  • Asked if I’d always mistrust him
  • Demanded belief
  • Sulked when I showed doubt
  • Shamed me for not trusting him
  • Used spiritual resources to convince me
  • Enlisted others to sway me
  • Asked for a blank slate
  • Implied I couldn’t be trusted either

Emotional abusers feel entitled to their victim’s trust. Instead of earning my trust, he started checking off boxes and made a performance of it. The grooming eroded my faith in him, not necessarily my faith in God. I soon discovered it was all lies—financial lies, whereabouts lies. His excuses, like the bus being “always late” or traffic being heavy, hid the fact that he would pull over and watch porn.

3. If He’s Convincing You That ‘We’re in This Together,’ He’s Probably Grooming You

I thought peace was just around the corner. Maybe if we went to this camp or prayed more, we’d find it. It was always about “we’re in this together, you’ve got this, let’s pray.” We were careful about what we watched on TV, using apps like Common Sense Media to filter out swear words and scenes. I put a lot of effort into maintaining a perfect environment to fix our marriage, not realizing he wasn’t putting in any work.

4. Is He Using His Childhood Issues to Explain His Porn Use?

He made me feel sorry for him, but others with tough childhoods don’t turn to porn or spin sob stories. I now see he manipulated my compassion to avoid accountability. It’s tough to admit, but I realize how I fell into that manipulation.

5. If Things Aren’t Adding Up, He’s Probably Grooming You

We got into another fight about the pornography. The lies were colossal. I’d catch him in the act and demand accountability, but he’d present fake evidence and make me feel guilty. For example, he rented videos while I was away. I saw the charge and questioned him. He gave a flimsy excuse about wanting westerns. I called the store for a receipt, but they didn’t provide one. I confronted him, needing proof he wasn’t lying. He brought back a handwritten receipt and put me on the phone with the store clerk, who confirmed it. I felt guilty for doubting him, especially with our kids around. He asked, “Are we going to struggle with this our entire life? Are you never going to trust me?” I cried, feeling terrible for doubting him. Later, I found out it was all a lie. He let me cry and apologize, knowing the truth. He forgave me while our children played nearby.

6. He Has a Sudden Change of Heart?

It was evil. We kept having issues. Finally, we had a huge fight, and he left before Christmas, cutting us off financially. Two months later, he returned, claiming a “Jesus moment,” begging for forgiveness and promising to change. He wanted to come back home. I said no. He had to show real proof. He reinstalled covenant eyes, found accountability partners, and rejoined his group. I bought into it because I didn’t want the kids to grow up without a dad. But then I noticed how quickly he switched his “Jesus” on and off. Thanks to the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast, I realized this was grooming, not sincere repentance.

I started attending Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group Sessions and everything changed. I could finally see the truth. I’m so grateful for BTR.ORG!

1 Comment

  1. Connie

    Thank you for this. My first husband once said, “Don’t you know that if I make you sick of cfy, that makes a man out of me? ” I too noticed that when my husband prays before a meal, he looks around and moves stuff on the table. So strange and disrespectful. So many sneaky mind games. As I learn to value myself and understand God’s value of me, I have been able to stand stronger. I often ask God if this is how He would treat me as His bride, and His answers comfort me.

    Reply

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