Unfortunately, far too many Christian couples find themselves forced to figure out how to deal with infidelity Biblically. We have entered into the covenant of marriage fully intending to cling to our spouse “till death do us part,” but now find we’re having to answer questions we never dreamed would have to be asked.
Most of the time, the betrayed spouse desperately wants to see the marriage healed and restored, but finds she is only half of the equation. Very often, we also really want to honor God in our response, but find so much conflicting information as to what is expected of us that we get helplessly confused and begin to feel there is no hope.
How can we honor God in a situation that is SO dishonoring to Him? It seems impossible.
At the same time, the betraying spouse is often wrestling through much more than just the sin of adultery. The problems that led to this infidelity go back far, and reach deep! He often wants desperately to find his way back to God, but feels he’s fallen too far. Rebellion has taken such a strong hold, he feels he’ll never be free of it.
Precious friends, if I have just described your situation, I want you to know, there IS hope! The Bible has answers. We have stood where you stand, and we have found freedom, healing, and restoration. You can too.
Step one in learning how to deal with infidelity Biblically is to understand what marriage is in the first place and how adultery impacts that bond. Marriage is a covenant instituted and designed by God from the beginning of time. Covenants bind two parties together as they promise themselves to the parameters of the agreement.
Hebrews 6:16-18 – Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without question that oath is binding. God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that He would never change His mind. So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.
The covenant of marriage is an oath made before God, and He is the one who set its parameters in the garden. He designed it to be a “coming together” of two people who enter into a sacred and solemn agreement bound by their physical union.
Genesis 2:24 – This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Sex within marriage is a sacred act which seals the covenant and unites husband and wife in a way that is unmatched in any other relationship. They become part of each other. One flesh. It is beautiful, and precious, and a gift from God. But just as God has told us what seals the covenant of marriage, He has also clearly defined what breaks it.
Malachi 2:13-16 – Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s alter with tears, weeping and groaning because He pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. You cry out, “Why doesn’t the Lord accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the Lord witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows [covenant (ESV)].
Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cuelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”
Infidelity breaks the covenant of marriage in the eyes of God. It’s done. Divorce is assumed because the binding agreement that was made has been severed as the physical union that sealed it is given to another. And in the Bible, God says He hates it!
Of course, this doesn’t mean the covenant can’t be restored or remade… but there is no getting around the fact that the original covenant is broken.
In the book of Jeremiah, we get a startling picture of how God responded to Israel when she repeatedly and unrepentantly broke her covenant with Him. Long story short, He divorced her.
Now we know that God will not and cannot break a covenant (see the verse above from Hebrews). So if He divorced Israel, acknowledging the end of the covenant relationship He had with her, we can conclude that it was not God, but Israel, who broke the covenant, even though God is the one who divorced Israel.
So Is Divorce How to Deal with Infidelity Biblically?
So if God divorced Israel, does that mean we must divorce our unfaithful spouse when seeking how to deal with infidelity Biblically?
No, I don’t believe divorce is our only Biblical option in the face of adultery. And let me add, it is NOT the choice I made in our marriage. I hope you hear me when I say, we don’t want any marriage to end in divorce, and I don’t believe it’s what God wants either. The Bible makes it pretty clear that He puts great value on marriage.
If reconciliation is possible, it is always the better option, and we’ll get more into what that looks like in a bit.
But I think it’s important that both spouses recognize how very strong the Bible stands on the importance of fidelity in marriage, and how final unfaithfulness is to the breaking of the covenant. To divorce an unfaithful spouse is not to break the covenant, but to publicly acknowledge that the covenant has already been broken.
There has been a whole lot of bad teaching on this issue within the church, teaching that seems to be based more on tradition than what the Bible says. (Kinda reminds me of the Pharisees.) Before we can know how to deal with infidelity Biblically, we have to examine Scripture for ourselves and discover what it actually teaches. Don’t take my word for it. Open it up, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to truth.
Divorce in the Bible
The fact is, divorce is the understood response to infidelity in the Bible. (Look at the verses above from Malachi 2.) It is assumed that divorce will follow unfaithfulness.
To choose to reconcile is an act of grace (undeserved favor). Every time.
When Joseph, who the Bible describes as a just man, discovered Mary was pregnant, He had in mind to divorce her quietly. Unless the angel Gabriel had intervened, Joseph would have continued to believe Mary had been unfaithful to him, and his “just” response was divorce.
Even Jesus, when teaching on divorce, acknowledged and affirmed the assumed response of divorce to marital unfaithfulness.
Matthew 19:8 – Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery – unless his wife has been unfaithful.
Matthew 5:31 – You have heard the law that says, “A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce. But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
To Divorce or Not to Divorce?
So how are we to know if we should seek out divorce, or choose reconciliation? How do we know how to deal with infidelity Biblically in our own, individual situations?
I believe the answer has everything to do with repentance. Look at what God said to Israel after He divorced her:
Jeremiah 3:12-13 – Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the Lord says:
“O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful.
I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt.
Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against Him by worshiping idols under every green tree.
Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
God was willing to reconcile Himself to Israel if she would only repent and turn back to Him. If we want to know how to deal with infidelity Biblically, I believe we’ll do the same.
Yes, to reconcile after infidelity is an act of grace, but our God lavishes grace upon us every day, and as His people, we are called to live gracious lives.
If there is true, genuine, and complete repentance on the part of the betrayer, God can restore what has been broken. A new covenant can be made. If, however, there is no repentance, then I believe 1 Corinthians 5 tells us what we must do.
Willingness to Forgive
The sad truth is, though, there will be times when there is genuine repentance on the part of the betrayer, but the marriage will still end in divorce. Sometimes the betrayed spouse is not willing to do the hard work of recovery. This is unfortunate and I don’t personally believe it is an example of how to deal with infidelity Biblically.
As followers of God, we are called to live our lives in obedience to the principles of Scripture, and one thing Scripture teaches is that we are called to forgive others in the same way God has forgiven us.
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
When we repent, God forgives us, and our broken relationship with Him is restored. When we do not repent, He does not forgive us, and the relationship remains eternally severed. Plain and simple. If we are going to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, this is our model.
Luke 24: 46-47 – And He (Jesus) said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of His name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’“
Acts 3:19 -20 – Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.
Acts 2:38 – Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 13:3 & 5 – …And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God… I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish too.
Romans 2:5 – But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s judgement will be revealed.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
His forgiveness has been made available to all, and His part in forgiveness is done. He doesn’t need to do anything else for forgiveness to happen. But unless we repent, His forgiveness is not applied to us. I believe the same is asked of us.
We are expected to do the work of forgiveness for anyone who has offended us. In other words, there should be no malice or bitterness in our hearts, so that if they were to repent, forgiveness could be applied immediately and completely. However, if repentance never happens, then forgiveness is never applied, and the relationship remains fractured. Just as the unrepentant sinner will forever be separated from God.
Let me reiterate, just to be perfectly clear. It is never okay for us to harbor bitterness and malice in our hearts. NEVER. Repentance or no repentance, we are called to do the work of forgiveness in every single situation. (Matthew 18:21-35) We are called to release the situation to God and allow His justice to handle it. However, the restoration of the relationship – reconciliation – or the application of forgiveness is reserved for those who repent.
Of course, we’re not God, and while His forgiveness is perfect and complete, we are going to have to continually surrender our will to Him and plead with Him to help us as we work toward the ability to forgive. We can’t do it on our own, friends, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can forgive.
How Can I Know if there is True Repentance?
Of course, we can’t see the heart of another, so how can we ever really know if there is repentance or not? How are we supposed to figure out how to deal with infidelity Biblically if we can’t ever know for sure if we’re still being lied to or manipulated?
These are hard questions to answer, but the Bible gives us some pretty great advice on the matter. The first thing we need to understand is that while we can’t see anyone else’s heart, God can. He not only knows what is going on in our spouse’s heart right now, but He knows what was going on in there yesterday, and what will be going on in there tomorrow. We can trust Him to lead us into all truth.
God promises that if we need wisdom on any matter, we need only ask, and He will help us. (James 1:5-8) The Bible also teaches us that we’re not supposed to depend on our own understanding of any situation, but to trust in the Lord with all our heart, acknowledge Him in everything we do, and wait for Him to show us which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Finally, we find in Scripture that there is something called fruit of the Spirit. These are measurable by-products of a Holy-Spirit filled life. The fruit of the Spirit includes things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and stands in sharp contrast to the fruit of the flesh. (Galatians 5)
A person who has humbled himself before God in repentance will live a life which bears out the fruit of the Spirit. It cannot be faked, not consistently or for any significant length of time anyhow. If we see within the life of our spouse the consistent fruit of the flesh, it is unlikely that repentance has taken place. If, however, we see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control becoming a bigger and bigger part of his life, we can trust that this is a result of the active work of the Holy Spirit, and it only happens in a repentant heart.
*I write A LOT more about this concept in part of “Our Story” where I examine Galatians 5 and the Fruit of the Spirit.
A Few Signs of a Repentant Heart in the Area of Infidelity
Adultery is first and foremost a rebellion against God. If you are the betrayer, and you want to know how to deal with infidelity Biblically, you must fall on your face before Him before you do anything else. With a broken and contrite heart, you must confess your sins to Him, and in humility ask Him to help you turn from them.
As you heal, here are some things that will become a part of your life:
- Repentance takes full responsibility for sin without blaming anyone or anything else.
- A repentant heart won’t minimize, justify, or manipulate away past wrongs, let alone new mistakes.
- One who has repented will have empathy towards the people who have been hurt by his sin and sorrow over the pain caused.
- A repentant heart does not pretend to be the victim of his own sin. He will not try and turn conversations around to make himself out to be the one who was hurt.
- One who has truly repented is willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes in order to earn back the trust that was lost as a result of his sin. He does not believe he is owed anything, but sees every opportunity toward reconciliation as an act of grace that he does not deserve.
How to Deal with Infidelity Biblically with a Separation
Here’s the thing, figuring all of this out is going to take time. That’s okay. I know you feel like you have to figure out how you’re going to deal with this situation right now, but that is just the enemy trying to rush you into acting on your feelings instead of waiting on God.
If there is true repentance, it is going to take time for the fruit of that repentance to become obvious. You both need time to work through this mess with God and allow Him to guide your next steps.
Did you know there is an example in the Bible about the reconciliation of a marriage after infidelity? It can be found in the book of Hosea, and I think it’s a great place to look when seeking guidance on how to deal with infidelity Biblically!
God instructed Hosea to bring his unfaithful wife, Gomer, back into his house, but before the marriage would be restored, they were to spend a time (many days) in total abstinence. (There’s some pretty cool stuff in there about God and His relationship with Israel too! Check out the whole chapter of Hosea 3, or better yet, the whole book of Hosea! )
Hosea 3:1-3 – Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover… So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine. Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.”
This is why we strongly recommend a time of separation after infidelity. It offers both of you a little space to figure out next steps from a place of safety. Use the time to fall on your face before God and plead with Him for help. Ask Him to show you the way forward. I promise you, my friend, He will!
*You can read more about a time of separation and how to handle it Biblically in this post.
*Or you can read about our separation here.
Deal with Infidelity Biblically by Digging Into Scripture
I know this has been long, and there’s a lot here. Figuring out how to deal with infidelity Biblically is a terrible thing to have to face. It’s confusing. But I hope you’ve found a starting place here.
The truth is, the best way to deal with any situation Biblically is simply to dig into Scripture and ask God to show you what to do. If you are a believer, then you have the Holy Spirit of the living God inside of you friend! You don’t need me or anyone else to tell you what He is asking you to do. You have the infallible Word of God at your fingertips and it is living and active!
The Bible has the power to divide out what is true and what is not. It can show us what path to take. It can teach us and rebuke us and train us in righteousness.
Never underestimate the power of the Word of God combined with the Holy Spirit of God in your life. It is all we need! Dig in, and find your answers!
Resding this I enjoyed, was enthusiastic, and felt this fulfilled by the Word of God like never before. Thank you!!
I’m a Pastor ,Need be faithful to my wife
Love her like Christ
Hi Preston, brother if you are not being faithful to your wife and you are a pastor, you need to do a lot more than just start being faithful. You need to confess your sin before your church and step down from this position until you have had time to deal with this very serious sin!
It is so incredibly refreshing to hear you speak from biblical perspective in love. Too many times I’ve encountered at church nobody speaking God’s truth but more concerned about everyone’s feelings. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.
To God be the glory!
I loved reading every bit of this peace and I assure you I will be a better counsellor and a better husband.
thank you for taking time to apply the bible in such a deep manner. Be blessed
I have just found this now after dealing with figururing out in 2020 my husband had been unfaithful. The part where you said figuring out all of this is going to take time. Perfect words. I never left I choose to show mercy and to forgive the however is that in that time I have discovered that he has not repented as your points declare Repentance takes full responsibility for sin without blaming anyone or anything else.
A repentant heart won’t minimize, justify, or manipulate away past wrongs, let alone new mistakes.
One who has repented will have empathy towards the people who have been hurt by his sin and sorrow over the pain caused.
A repentant heart does not pretend to be the victim of his own sin. He will not try and turn conversations around to make himself out to be the one who was hurt.
He in fact has chose to dig his heels in and not only did he chose to manipulate me but everyone around us into making me look like the bad one as he knows what he did could cost him. I believe he even had me hacked. He can not even be asked where he was that day and he will yell and throw things and cuss at me and say I am attacking him and abusing him. He has turned it into a situation where he has become outraged with me some how for exposing the sin. Abusing me into submission. He has also chose to abandon the marriage while living in it. I in fact because of this behaviour concluded that with some men I think the adultery is part of their abusive thinking and characteristics. The worse part is I was not even under the impression it was more than a one time deal and I do not think he is even doing it any longer. I was willing to forgive right from the begining as when I sought the Lord He spoke to my heart that since my husband can not change what he has done and or heal me of the pain he caused me or restore me from it and only Christ can. I have ended up having to say to him that if the abuse doesn’t stop and he continues to go in the wrong direction I am going to have to leave. I am seeking the Lord at this point and asking Him how I can leave and where I can go and for Him to provide for me. I never wanted to leave but some times the other party is so set on being the victim of them sinning against you, you have to consider it.
Hellen, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I am praying for you right now. I’m asking God to give you wisdom and healing. And I am asking Him to break the heart of your husband to bring about true repentance. Again, I am so sorry you are facing this.
I have been searching for an article to help guide me.
I so often think about divorce, and when I do, I become emotional, that is not what I would like my marriage to become. The constant suspicion and helpless feelings overwhelms me on a daily basis and I have no feelings of freedom inside of me.
In your article you referred to fruits of the flesh, and that stayed with me. It somehow told me to have patience with myself.
Thank you for publishing this article, it was something I needed for the day.
Prayers for you and your marriage being brought before the Throne of Grace right now Rika.
I really needed this, I’m suffering from my husband’s infidelity and kids from his sexual addiction it’s been rough but Gods word is breathtaking
I am sorry you are facing this Trea, but thankful you found this encouraging and helpful. Praise God.
Thanks for the help I am the betrayer of my marriage and not fully committed to reconcile my marriage with the help OF MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!
Hi Deandre, I pray you will choose true and complete repentance and surrender this issue fully to Jesus, who has the power to forgive and redeem the very worst of who we are.
Abstinence and separation are two completely different concepts. This is very misleading to insinuate that God approves this practice and the very example you provide shows a woman purchased back from prostitution and told to abstain from sexual activity. The time away from the house was filled with prostitution not prayer and grace was given through allowing her back in the home with one condition of abstinence. No such acceptance of any separation has taken place!
Thank-you for your perspective. I can happily agree to disagree.
Praise God for this site! It has been truly a God sent to me, I want to do what’s right God’s way and this information as helped and will continue to help me as I go through such a life changing struggle. Amen to the writers
This is helpful. But the painful part for any man is to imagine His wife beneath some man having sex with or without protection but what ever drives her into it doesn’t cross your mind. Did I marry a prostitute? Then the Bible tells you to forgive! Christ!, what is there to forgive when you can not even forget it!!? To me Divorce is less of a solution than some heck of hell like prolonged pain in all aspects of health for the cheater; pain in physical health, pain in mental health, pain in economical,, spiritual,, psychological, social, financial and physiological *HEALTH*.
There is no doubt the images that fill the mind of the partner who has been betrayed feel almost unbearable. But, with a lot of focus on God we can learn in time to turn our thoughts toward things that glorify God and away from things that destroy us. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but if there is repentance I believe it is what we Christians are called to. No one said anything about forgetting though. We can’t forget, and I don’t think we’re called to. Forgiveness is choosing not to hold it against the person – not forgetting.
14 If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.
15 For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:
16 BECAUSE THOU SHALT FORGET THY MISERY, AND REMEMBER IT AS WATERS THAT PASS AWAY:
Does this sound like a promise that God can cause us to “forget” the affair? I know that He won’t give us amnesia, but I’m hoping in Him that He can cause this memory to be just like any other, without emotional attachment. The most difficult part is dealing with the instant pain I feel whenever I think about her affair. God has already taken so much of that pain, but I hope to one day never feel that pain again.
Hi Bandook. No, I’m sorry, but I do not think this is a promise that you can claim about your situation or that God causes us to forget our pain. I am sorry, I know how intense the pain of betrayal is. I know how the waves of emotion sweep over you at the most inopportune times. Grief is a process, and God will use this pain for your good in the long run if you allow Him to, but I do not believe He will take it away completely on this side of eternity. He isn’t in the business of lobotomizing our brains, but He absolutely IS in the business of making beauty from ashes. It takes time though, and the process is so painful. I am sorry you are facing this and I am praying right now for God’s Devine comfort to overwhelm you as you move forward on the path to healing. Much love!
Thank you for this. It has really given me some good advice and direction on how to proceed. God bless you.
Praise God. Saying a prayer for you now friend.
This helped. Thank you so much for using your situation to help others. I especially liked how to look to see if the betrayer has a began true repentance. I was ready for divorce, but last Sunday the preacher’s sermon really hit home. I’m going to fight for my marriage…I know the true enemy is the devil and not my husband and God has the power to restore all things. Thank you again!
Praise God. I am thankful to have the opportunity to glorify God through our story. Saying a prayer for you and your marriage right now.
My ex husband committed unrepentant and repeated adultery. I forgave him again and again and went back to him 4 times before he finally left me for another women. He feels no guilt or remorse. He isn’t sorry. He claims to be a Christian but treats me with nothing but cruelty and contempt. I finally divorced him because he no longer wanted the marriage to continue. I pray for the grace to forgive him as Christ has forgiven me but I have so much hurt towards him. I truly wanted our marriage to work. I was willing to reconcile but he threw me away like garbage. I do hope God holds him to account for what he has done though I certainly don’t want him to go to hell. It’s so hard because I never wanted to be divorced. I wanted and still want a marriage that brings glory and honor to God and points others to our Savior, just not with him.
I’m so sorry for what you have gone through. I would encourage you to find comfort in what the Bible tells us about how Jesus will become a husband to His church. If you are a believer, then you can find joy in knowing you do have a fiancé who cherishes you so much that He sacrificed His life to save you. You will spend eternity with this husband bringing more glory to God than we can even imagine! How exciting is that?!
I need help with knowing what the bible says about cheating on my girlfriend.
The Bible says sex is for marriage. It is only appropriate when shared between a husband and wife within marriage. The end.
Thank you for this article. My wife is an unrepentant serial cheater. I generally know now when she is seeing someone else because her contempt for me will boil over into every aspect of our relationship. She can’t hide it. I don’t have an exact count of how many other men she’s been with. One was too many.
I accepted the blame for the first one I discovered, because that’s what she expected. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered our life together was basically a cover and safe place to act out trauma from her childhood. I believe she married me as someone she could manipulate and punish as needed because of that trauma. She was raised by wolves.
A secular diagnosis would likely say she has Borderline Personality Disorder, but I think it’s just sin still operating in an unregenerate heart. I know I should pray diligently for her, but discovering that over thirty years of marriage has been a fraud has taken a huge toll. I now doubt every prior account she gave me of interactions with other men. I now find I assume the worst happened.
We’re still together, but there’s no reconciliation. Why reconcile with someone she doesn’t even love, even though she says “I love yous” every day.
I am sorry. This is heartbreaking. I believe you have every Biblical reason to end the marriage. I would probably advise a time of separation first, simply to offer one last chance at repentance, but I do believe divorce in situations like this honors God. I really do. May God comfort and restore your broken heart with His love and faithfulness!
I have a very similar story to the above Gentleman you responded to here. My husband of 30 years even though given many opportunities to reconcile ultimately chose yet another woman. He has stated to me over and over again that he does not want the divorce. I love my husband and do not want the divorce either.
He would work on our marriage until he felt he has done enough then would fall right back into his sin patterns. My husbands serial adultery is not his only abuse. He abused me physically, mentally, emotionally, financially just to name a few.
We have been separated for over two years now and am in the process of a divorce. I extend reconciliation to him even still but he clearly does not have a genuine repentant heart.
Since we have been apart he seems more favorable to the divorce and has become involved and living with another affair partner.
I know God hate’s divorce. My desire is to please and honor my Lord. With all that being said I was wanting to know if you could further explain what you mean by “ I do believe divorce in situations like this honors God. I really do.”. I would like to know how my divorce could be God honoring. Thank you
Hi Mary, thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear of your very painful situation.
What I mean by “honors God” is that it acknowledges and honors His boundaries for marriage. When Israel was repeatedly and unrepentantly unfaithful to God, breaking their covenant with Him over and over again Jeremiah tells us that He divorced unfaithful Israel.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe that the infidelity and sin that brought this marriage to the place where divorce is the best way forward for you (obviously repentance and reconciliation would still be the best possible way forward for the unfaithful partner, but that is not within your control) was honoring to God. It definitely was not.
But you cannot choose repentance for someone else. You CAN honor God’s picture of marriage. And unrepentant unfaithfulness is just not part of that picture. It is abhorrent to Him. It breaks the covenant. It ends the marriage. Divorce simply acknowledges in legal terms what has already happened. The marriage covenant was broken.
It could be renewed. That would be even better. That would be even more God honoring. But only if there was first true and complete repentance.
Hope that helps.
This is me. A week since discovering the affair. He gleefully texts her in front of me as punishment. He too would be diagnosed Borderline. He gaslights me. His contempt for me bubbles over. He too makes it known that this would never have happened if I behaved better. I am stuck until I find stability and can fend for myself and my child. I pray it is soon. Until then, I drink from this bitter cup.
I’m sorry you find yourself here. I do believe God will provide for you a way out, whether it be in bringing about repentance or providing the resources for you to get out. I would encourage you to lean hard into Him and keep your eyes open for His leading. Sometimes the steps He asks us to take are SO scary. But if He is really asking us to take them, we can be confident He has provided and will carry us through. That doesn’t mean it won’t be hard, but it will be possible, and ultimately for our good. Seek Him friend. He is the answer!
I am living in the same nightmare with you. I have a husband and 3 children and he most definitely is a sex addicted, narcissistic, gaslighting, hurtful, yet sometimes my best friend. Unfortunately, I do not see genuine repentance in his heart – I see repetition instead. Do you know the definition of insanity?
Anyways, he has made it so I have lost everything that was once mine and not ours so now I have to basically depend upon him until I can afford a new home for three children. I mean if he wants to leave so bad, there is the door. I do not see why I have to uproot three small children’s worlds and flip them upside down all because of his poor choices.
Brittani, I’m sorry you are dealing with that. It’s a real shame. You certainly don’t have to do anything, but you can. You CAN take steps to get you and your children to safety. You CAN take steps to live a life of purpose for God. But you don’t have to. You don’t have to do anything. He IS the one who is ruining the marriage. It should be on him to fix it, but he’s probably not going to. You get to choose what you do with that reality. 100% up to you.
Thank you for the article. My wife is a serial adulterer. I find it difficult to pray for her as her actions over the years have taken a heavy toll. Contempt has been the strongest emotion she has ever felt for me. I don’t believe she actually loves me or really understands what love is. We’ve been married over 35 years, but hanging on for even one more year feels almost impossible.
Hi Peter, it doesn’t sound like there is any form of repentance on her part, so I am not sure why there would be any reason to hang on to the marriage. It sounds to me like it is already over, she is continually breaking the covenant. I believe you have complete Biblical freedom to walk away, and in fact that this would be the God-honoring thing to do in that situation. I am very sorry you have had to go through this. I pray that God will comfort you, heal you, and allow you to be satisfied with His deep and abiding love for you and His everlasting faithfulness to you.
Thank you for this information it was nice to get some truth.
I’m living in a Discipleship home separated from my wife. She just recently stopped having contact with me and is deceived that she doesn’t need communication with me. Is that Healthy? When getting prayed over by a couple I felt the Lord tug on my heart and say that he is going to do a miracle in my marriage the last thing my wife texted me was that see loves me and misses me but it will take something supernatural for us to work. I am in repentance and living my life completely surrendered to God’s will. I believe the Lord will keep his promise. It’s just really hard on me.
Hi Anthony, I don’t know what a discipleship home is, so I can’t really speak to that. As far as communication, this wouldn’t be healthy indefinitely, but it can be helpful for a time under very specific circumstances. Not knowing much or anything about your story, it’s hard to say, but based on what you’ve said, I’m assuming you were unfaithful and are now repentant and working toward restoration. I would encourage you not to focus so much on how “hard on me” this is, but instead on how hard it has likely been for your wife to go through betrayal. Things worth doing are rarely easy, and certainly things done for the glory of God are almost always going to be hard on us! We are sinners and God is in the business of refining us into the image of His Son. He is cutting away the sin that holds us captive to instead make us slaves to righteousness. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be hard. But it is very worth it in the end! I encourage you to take this time away from your wife to just deep dive into the Word of God and spend as much time as you possibly can alone with the Lord God Almighty. Give Him full access to your whole self and let Him do his work – no matter how painful!
While these articles are very helpful my situation is a little different. My husband and I have worked together for the same company for 40 plus years and have our 40 year anniversary in November. He had a lengthy affair with a co worker that we both work with. He never really repented just tells me I need to get over it or go see your counselor. He recently promoted her to work directly under him so the communication is now constant where after the affair a few years ago he didn’t have to communicate with her as often but when he did and still does it is in private so that I can’t hear the conversations. I recently found out that he talks to her about me. (Probably always did). I am having a very hard time with it all. I have been constantly reading scripture listening to worship music to try and keep a positive frame of mind but some day’s are so hard. My self worth is in the dirt! We have 3 beautiful adult children and 4 amazing grandchildren. I also am a caregiver for my 85 year old mother. How do you throw 40+ years away? I am so torn on what to do. Please keep us in your prayers that God will lead us in the right direction.
Hi Donna, I am sorry to hear you have had to deal with this. I am sure there is a lot more to the story, but from what you’ve told me, this would not be an acceptable situation if I was in your shoes. I would need to set up a boundary here and be very firm in it. As I say in the article, if there is no repentance, then it doesn’t seem that the marriage should go on as if nothing is wrong. It wouldn’t be you throwing away 40+ years of marriage away. It would be him. Plain and simple.
My wife slept with another man a week ago and admitted it 2 days later. She has had a very dark year and this was the culmination of what she has gone through. I would have never believed in a million years that this was possible. We have been married for 11 years and have 2 children. The pain I feel, the things I replay in my head are killing me. I forgave her and we have brought God back into our relationship and we are praying and communicating and consulting with God and Christian friends. I ask for prayer for us and for our marriage. This pain is unbearable and has left me so broken. I love her so deeply and there isn’t any other choice for me but to make it work and to hopefully build something better than what we had before, with God’s help. Prayers please!
I am so sorry to hear this Phillip. I will pray for you both and for your marriage right this minute. May God give you comfort, peace, wisdom, and healing as only He can!
Phillip I know exactly how you feel. I’m currently going thru the same thing right now. I praying for both of you right now that God will give you strength. Proverbs 3:5-6
This article has helped me tremendously. I just found out my husband had another affair, this is his 2nd one in 3 years. After the first one, he begged me to stay and we went to marriage counseling. He was supposed to start individual therapy and never did. Things got better and then we started drinking again. My mom passed in November of 2021 from Covid and the alcoholism got worse for both of us, but especially him, since he cheated on me twice within the last 4 months with the same women. Someone we both knew and had inside our home multiple times. He is remorseful, has called a few Christian men to help guide him through this, has been reading his Bible and praying more, started individual therapy and is considering medication for ADHD and possibly bipolar as well (which he was just diagnosed with) . We have 3 young children together and my heart breaks for them if I do end up filing for divorce, though I know none of this is my fault. I’m so torn and I’m praying for guidance on whether I should give him another chance or just end it. Part of me is tired of fighting for our marriage and being hurt. Another part of me doesn’t want the devil to win!
I’m so sorry Christine. I know exactly how you feel. I would recommend a Therapeutic Separation. It will give you time to observe his healing from safety to discover whether this is true repentance or just another attempt to placate you. People can fake repentance for a little while, but not for an extended period of time. The humility and gentleness and willingness to accept uncomfortable consequences fades quickly with false repentance!
Thank you for this article, it has helped me recently. In March I found out my husband had an physical affair with a co worker (and a few other woman affairs through texting and letters) in 2021. I echo what others have commented of self worth feeling lower than dirt, the constant looking over my shoulder of what he is up to, and the constant images I have to continually work through. It’s hard to now deal with a situation that I didn’t ask for; I can handle dealing with things when it’s my own mess up. I’m working on making sure I am being the wife that Christ is calling me to be and not what the world says I should be to him.
Since finding out and confronting him, I feel I have seen true repentance in him and we have been in a better place now than we have ever been the first 10 years of our marriage (this July was our 10 year anniversary). But I have struggled with what I call an “inner human voice” saying how can I truly know he is changed…and your article came to me and helped. We have many times these last couple months then right when we’re in a really good place of moving forward and being close to God, that something comes out of the blue and feels like it tries to derail us. I feel like it’s the work of the enemy trying to ruin the process we have made, but I don’t want anything swept under the rug with using the enemy as a blanket excuse. In your advice, how do I know the difference between the enemy’s attack and something new I need to take into account that is truth?
Hi Marie, I am sorry to hear what you have had to go through. I can’t really give you anything super concrete about how to tell the difference. You should be able to talk through these things with your husband when they come up and he should demonstrate humility, patience, a desire to help you work through the doubts and find truth, and a willingness to accept the consequences of his sin – no matter how uncomfortable. If this isn’t the attitude you see, I would be more inclined to dig deeper into the hunches. Hope that helps. Feel free to email with further questions for a quicker response. firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you deal with the person your spouse cheated with? I want her out of our lives, our children’s lives and for him to completely cut off any contact. The last 8 months she became friends 1st with my children, my husband coaches her. She is part of a group our family is also a part of. He feels that if she stops completely, people will begin to ask questions, and we don’t want our children to know. I want to talk to her, my husband feels I maybe to mean to her….after she hurt us soooo much!?!? God has been working on my attitude toward how I want to confront her.
Also, with forgiveness….is it possible to forgive, but still have questions, still feel hurt? I struggle with triggering moments that send me spiralling into anxiety and despair. Even after we have reconciled, and have become closer than we have in 25 yrs of marriage.
I can’t tell you what to do Shelley, but I can tell you that if it were me, I would be setting up VERY strict boundaries around contact with an affair partner. In fact, I DID do that. My husband quit his job because it was the only way to not have contact with the APs. However, she isn’t the one you can ask to make sacrifices. Your husband is. If someone needs to leave a group, it’s not her, it’s him.
And in answer to your forgiveness question, YES! Absolutely it is possible to start working on forgiving, but still have to work through the process of healing from the pain of the betrayal. Honestly, it would not be healthy if you didn’t have these issues. You are going to struggle with this for many years. It’s just the reality of betrayal. It cuts deep. If you’re not being given adequate time to process and heal, then true repentance hasn’t happened. A truly repentant person is humble and patient and willing to face the consequences of the sin. No matter how difficult or uncomfortable.
Why you immediately since the beginning of the article start assuming that the part that cheated is the man and not the woman? Why you could not be neutral since the beginning as something that is a sin that can affect both genders? The first cheater was Eve, that cheated her husband and went behind his back to do things that were not allowed. That is why God put woman desire in charge of her husband. This sounds more like feminist biased advice than biblical wisdom. Most of the women I had cheated, while I was totally faithful, and the statistics show that the ratio is 50/50, with the women side increasing into cheating and going into hypergamia more everyday. When you start any article like this, is very difficult to even continue reading when your mind have been biased against the men since the beginning.
Hi Joe, I am very aware that women cheat too. If you read about our ministry, we are clear on that. It’s simply that our experience is on the other side of that coin, and since women and men are very different, we do not feel equipped to help couples who are experiencing the other side of this. We believe God is fully able to lead those couples to the resources that will help them. It’s just not with us. That’s because we’re not the answer, God is! He is simply using us to help those we can. I’m sorry it came across to you as it did. It certainly is not in our hearts that way.
My ex-wife was a serial adulteress, she has never repented. It started during the engagement, but she kept it a secret. Then she slept with another man within the first two years of our marriage. The church told me the exact thing that God hates divorce. So I stayed. For another 16 years. Eventually, she left and remarried. She told me it was my fault that she cheated, which is absolute nonsense. I regret I stayed.
Because of her I will never trust a woman again and I will die alone, after having lived a lonely life.
Hi Claude, I am sorry to hear what you went through, but I am even more sorry to hear that you have allowed the actions of one person to define all of life for you. The best thing that came out of the betrayal I experienced is that I learned to find my everything in the reality of who GOD is, not in who people are. He is unchanging. He is faithful. He is good. He is loving. He is righteous. He is Holy. He is GOD! We can live life completely satisfied with nothing more than Him to bring that satisfaction. Of course, if we are being satisfied in Him, he will lead us into relationship with other believers, as that is part of His plan for His children and we will find a great deal of joy there too. But it will be secondary to what we find in Him. I pray you will open your heart to Him and find your identity there!
I feel my situation is somewhat unique and I don’t know what to do. My husband was arrested for having taken a picture of someone naked without their knowledge. He also had fake social media accounts where we was messaging women and even got pictures from one. He was brought in for an interview on the matter a month before he was arrested. During that month I gave him multiple changes to come clean and he lied every time. When he was arrested he still lied when he called me from jail. He didn’t admit it until he came home and knew I didn’t believe his lies. He said he was guilty and that he needed help mentally because he had a problem. He also admitted to lying to me about other situations through out our marriage such as having a tinder less than a year into it. Here is where I’m struggling… he has admitted guilt and said he is sorry. He has said it had nothing to do with me and that he is messed up and needs help. He has said he would do anything to have our family back. BUT, he never admitted anything until he was already caught. I don’t know what to do here. I have a hard time believing he truly repented because he didn’t when I gave him chances, only when he got caught. But he also does seem sorry now. I’m very confused.
Hi Victoria. I am sorry for what you are having to deal with. You are right to be skeptical, but it is also possible that this repentance is real. My husband’s repentance only came as a result of getting caught and yet it was real and he has been changed into a completely different person. The question is not whether the repentance CAN be real when it only came after being caught, but whether it IS real. IF it is real, there will be a lot more than words to back it up. A LOT MORE. He SAID he would do anything to get the family back, but is he actually doing anything and everything he can to rebuild trust? He SAID he was sorry, but is he actually demonstrating the behavior of a repentant person? Is there the fruit of the Spirit in his life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Has he changed his patterns of behavior? Has he put up guardrails to safeguard against falling right back into the same patterns? Is he seeking help? Is he humble about what happened and the consequences that have followed? These are all things that demonstrate true repentance. It is about much more than words. Repentance changes people, and there will be evidence of that change everywhere.
Thank you for this article
I’ve been unfaithful to my wife and I’ve hurt her so much. When we first got married we both went to church and god had rescued me from depression and addiction and changed my life. I was a good husband and Christian everything was going great then we stopped going to church, and I began to down spiral towards a life full of sin again. We started going to clubs drinking here and there and I began to start smoking again fell back into addiction of pornography. I completely left god behind and forgot all about him and what he had rescued me from then I cheated on my wife by going to a gentleman’s club and I felt terrible I told her about it right away and she forgave me and things began to get better than a year passed and I fell into the same trap of temptation and ended up going again to another gentlemens club in that moment I felt god speaking to me saying don’t do this but I ignored the gut feeling and still went. The next day I confessed not only going again but I also confessed to her my addiction to pornography and another situation when we first started dating where I was unfaithful to her and had sex with another girl when we were in high school this completely broke her, I then fell into deep depression and even contemplated suicide but I knew that was a coward thing to do I couldn’t eat for days and lost over 10 pounds in a week, I ended up in the hospital emergency room because I lost weight so drastically that my sugar levels dropped severally low , I completely hated myself for doing the things I’ve done. How could I do this to my wife a person that loved me unconditionally that loved me for me, I couldn’t stand myself for putting her through all of this for hurting her this much. I started going back to church and have given my life back to God and I’m sober now I told myself that I’ll never go back to being that person ever again I’d rather die than go back to my old ways. God is working in my life again, my only desire is to praise him and share his word.
I’m currently separated from my wife she wanted space to heal and I packed my belongings to give her space and I’m currently living back with parents I see her occasionally just to pick up our dog here and there I don’t know if I deserve another opportunity I don’t believe I do.
I love her but i know I’ve hurt her deep my prayer is that God gives her strength and protects her during these times I honestly just want her to be happy and if that means me being out of the picture I understand as hard as it is to understand. I’m also going to counseling and it’s helped me a lot I’ve realized how deceitful the devil is and how he’s out to destroy us however he can. I had everything I ever wanted and needed with my wife and threw it all away. Please pray for my wife and for god to give her strength
Hi Daniel, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I praise God that you have had your eyes opened though and that it sounds like there is true repentance on your part. Yes, of course I will pray for your wife. I know the terrible pain she is experiencing all too well. And I will pray for you too. I am praying right now.
So my situation is different, I just found out my husband slept with another women during his brothers bachelor party. He says he was very drunk and didn’t know what he was doing. That in itself is hard to believe. He kept it from me for 2 years and he barely told me 2 days ago. He also told me he has been addicted to porn and I had no idea. I feel like I’m in a house with a total complete stranger. We have two kids together and I just cannot believe this is happening. I’ve always been faithful and it’s so hard ? he says he felt lewd to repent at a church service he went to. I feel led to see and wait for if it is a true repentance. It’s so unfortunate that this is so common it breaks my heart
It is indeed very unfortunate how common this issue is. Heartbreaking is exactly the right word. I am sorry you have to face it. It sounds like you are handling it with wisdom, though. Lean hard into God and allow Him to carry you through this nightmare. I am praying for you right now. God bless you.
If you have repentant and are truly sorry and have turned from cheating completely do you still need to confess it to your spouse to be forgiven by God?
The Bible says that if we confess our sins to Him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9) However, I believe that if the repentance is true, part of His cleansing us from all unrighteousness will be a genuine desire to own up to the consequences of the sin and be honest with anyone who has been affected by it. So if you are not willing to confess to your spouse, I do not believe you are actually repentant. You might be sorry, but that is not the same thing.
Thank you so much for sharing your honest journey of redemption in your marriage. And thank you for this post specifically. My husband confessed to infidelity one week ago today and I have been begging the Lord to feel his presence. I know he is with us and will walk the long road ahead. On top of this, I’m also going through perimenopause and our oldest child (13) was recently diagnosed with Juvenile Onset Epilepsy, so our little family just feels shattered right now. The Lord has used your words above to start the process of healing for me. I’m ready to forgive my husband and move forward with learning how to trust him again someday. My husband is truly on his face in repentance, and for that I’m grateful. I pray the Lord has favor upon us as we seek Him in finding oneness again. Thank you again, for your words.
Saying a prayer for you and your precious family right now. May God redeem all that has been broken and grant victory and freedom and healing to all of you!
I need to converse with you re my relationship.
I can be reached via email @ email@example.com
Hi. I need godly guidance. I’m not sure what to think. I feel lost, confused, alone and betrayed. Deep down inside I want to leave and be alone but I have children. I can’t forget and it’s like I keep replaying it in my head and it won’t go away. I’ve cried out to the Lord but this is unbearable. I have no peace and I paranoid.
Please reply and help me. I feel so alone because I can’t say anything to anyone because I don’t want to shame him.
Reaching out for help is not shaming him. If his actions are shameful, then they might bring shame to him. But that isn’t on you. Don’t go airing your dirty laundry to everyone you talk to… or even to a lot of people. But do find a trusted pastor, a strong Biblically grounded and trustworthy friend, and maybe a Christian counselor to bring into your confidence and seek out help. Staying in a marriage that is not God-honoring (as in one that is abusive or unfaithful) for your children is not wisdom. It is either wise to stay, or it is wise to leave and children have almost nothing to do with which is true. I am saying a prayer for you now. May God lead you into truth and give you wisdom as you make these difficult decisions.
What a well balanced article. Very enlightening and truly biblical.
My wife is having an affair for almost 2 years now only thru messenger with her ex boyfriend when she was 16 years old.They are both in love with each other.I know the situation since she admitted it when i found out..there was no remorse in her.they are still on their affair currently.its an odd situation,since we still live together in the same roof..i guess i already accepted things after emotional ups and downs..is this considered adultery since they havent seen each other and no sexual intimacy yet?
Hi Rain, I’m sorry you guys are going through this. I don’t know if it would be considered an affair, but it is certainly unfaithfulness. And I’m not sure the distinction really matters. Either way, it boils down to the fact that unless there is repentance, she is not committed to or faithful to the marriage. I will pray right now that God will get ahold of her heart and change her mind. That she will repent and that both of you will choose to move forward with Christ at the center of your marriage.
My wife and I were separated for the last 6 months after difficulty in the marriage. During this time we went to counseling and worked really hard to restore our commitment and re-center our marriage on Christ. She finally decided to come back and I went to move her back home. As we were leaving to return home she confessed that she had an ongoing affair, still loved the other man, and couldn’t leave with me. I was obviously devastated, but was willing to forgive her. The lines of communication are still open, and she says she still loves me, but is unwilling to leave her current situation and give it another chance. How do I convince her that I’m not that man she left, that she is truly forgiven, and that God’s will is that we recommit to the marriage? I know God is faithful and can heal these wounds. How can I approach this, and rebuke Satan’s lies that her current relationship is worth throwing away what God ordained?
Hi Evan, I’m sorry you’re facing this. I’ll be honest, I don’t think you can convince her of those things. Only God can. My advice is to release her to God and ask Him to do whatever it takes to get ahold of her heart and bring her to repentance.
Good reading. Cheater is always a cheater
Until/unless God changes him/her. Certainly. We are all sinners, through and through. Until/unless God changes us.
This is a wonderful article and I thank you for taking the time to write and publish it. It’s a difficult valley to walk through but I’m here to testify that if and ONLY IF the betrayer is repentant the marriage not only will be saved but it can (as in our case) one described as it should be. We were married before even understanding what the covenant of marriage truly meant according to God (unsaved souls 25 yrs ago) . I was saved 8 yrs ago, prayed for my husband in an unyolked marriage and then the infidelity But God has now blessed us so abundantly with salvation of him, taking away shame of lord he believed, forgiveness, you name it! Can’t believe I’m saying this but Gods plan was better and I have to praise Him for what He had to do to get my husbands attention and even the heartache I endured. Reconciliation tenfold is possible.
Amen! I know exactly how you feel. It’s not that I wanted to go through what we went through, but I wouldn’t trade avoiding the heartache for the work God did through it. Worth it! So happy to hear you too have experienced God’s goodness through such difficult circumstances.
Hi Cherith, I’d love to get your perspective on my situation. I have been dating my girlfriend for 4 months (we are both Christians) and recently found out she cheated on me (had sex) with someone else 3 months ago when we were just starting our relationship. She confessed this to me recently and is clearly repentant (she blocked and ended all communication with the other guy not long after their 3 week long affair). If infidelity has occurred during dating, what should be the Christian’s response? The same as during marriage? Obviously, I’m not bound by a marriage covenant at this point but I feel the principles of forgiving like Christ does are still relevant. Thanks again.
Hi Joe. No, I don’t think the response should be the same as if you were married. Yes, we are still called to forgive any brother or sister in Christ who repents of a sin as Christ forgives us. But we are not called to pursue a relationship that would lead to marriage with every person we forgive. Marriage is a pretty special relationship that we only share with one person. And sex is such a sacred thing that God created to be enjoyed within the bonds of marriage. ONLY. She has demonstrated that she has no regard for this standard. And frankly if the two of you are having sex, you are demonstrating the same. I think wisdom runs from a relationship like that. Seek out a woman who will honor God with her body. And you honor God with yours.
Thanks, Cherith, for your response. To be clear, we have not had sex, as we agreed before hand that since we are both Christians, we should wait. My girlfriend has had a very traumatic past, and recently rededicated her life to the Lord. She described this episode as a “relapse” to the lifestyle she had previously been accustomed, and shortly afterwards, repented of it and, for the past 3 months, has honored her commitment of abstinence to me and to the Lord. That is what is making this decision very difficult. i do appreciate your time.
Hi Joe, well that IS different. I appreciate your gentle and forgiving heart. I do believe it is an honor to our God. I think my best advice for you, if you really want to go forward with this relationship, is to give it lots and lots of time. She needs time to grow in her relationship and commitment to God, and you need time to see that this is seed that has fallen on good soil. Only time will reveal that. But if what you’re saying is true, and she really has repented, and you both continue to grow in relationship with God and each other, then I do believe this could one day turn into a beautiful God-honoring marriage. I pray God gives you wisdom.
Thanks, Cherith, that is very wise advice. I will do just that and appreciate your encouragement and prayers! Joe
I have been married for 5 years. It was amazing other than 3.5 years into the marriage she went out one night got drunk and cheated. She was very remorseful and we worked through. But since then she doesn’t attend church with and about 2 months ago she started drinking very heavily. She always drank too much IMO but not it’s bad. The more i talked to her or would get mad the worse it got. To the point she was on her phone at midnight texting and so forth. The arguments continue then about a month ago i found out ah what’s been having a fair for a couple weeks. I filed for divorce as she continued to have the affair and not care about my feelings or anything. The wildness and drinking has gotten even worse. My question is even though this is the second time . She way worse this time as she having an affair with someone 6 years younger that has no job and we are well off. If she repents and ask me to pause the divorce before it’s official in a couple weeks . Should i honor it or should i run as fast as i can?
Hi Wes, I am sorry you are going through this. I am sure it is very painful. I can’t tell you what to do, only God can. I do believe that if there is true repentance we will never regret reconciliation in the long run… but true repentance is really rare. Like almost never happens. However, like I said in the post, I do believe that adultery offers Biblical grounds for divorce (repentance or no) and you are free to pursue divorce if that is what you want. The truth is, though, she has not repented so far, so it isn’t really a question that needs answering. It would be a bridge to cross IF and when you come to it. Sounds like chances are pretty good you won’t. Again, I am sorry you have had to deal with this though. May God give you healing and peace.
Thank you for the encouraging biblical guidance. In “our” case, husband asked to move a female friend from high school to rescue her from her sister’s emotional abuse. I asked him about his friendship with her….had they dated in high school, great friends and they coupled together. He said no. I trusted him and as a mandated reporter, said she could come. He promised she will be looking for a place and would be out of our house in three-four weeks, which turned into three months and then he bought her an old motor home and moved her out of our house into it, saying since our house did not work out. Another 3 months. She told him she hated me, of course to plant seeds within him and gain her confidence as she said he is the only one she can trust. (Maniac depressant medications). Additionally, I mentioned a few weeks ago to my husband he is causing issues with both her, and his wife as I know she loves him. I asked if he knew that before he asked if she could come. He said he highly suspected it and told her he was married. They carried on private text and phone calls three months before she arrived. I asked why he did not mention that when he asked if she could come and he said, he didn’t realize how bad it was going to get. I mentioned this was wrong of him to withhold his suspicions she was in love with him when I asked him questions about their friendship. His omission of this vital information would have kept me from agreeing she could come. It has been traumatic since for me, his wife. They talk every day and since I still work full time, I feel certain goes to see her to “check on her” and whenever she acts desperate. He does not see her as manipulative. Early on and followed for a few months, I warned my husband at first gently and then a bit more firmly as I saw them flirting back and forth. I lost weight, could not sleep, anxious and felt alone. I asked him how intense their friendship was now that he sees her often and they talk nearly every day. I asked specifically if he offered her frontal hugs, hug her tightly, hold her hand,and I already knew he takes her out to eat and highly suspect with some evidence that he has paid for many of her expenses. I also asked if he was romantically inclined. He said YES to all. He justifies it that he doesn’t need the hugs but he offers it when he thinks she needs and says she is emotionally messed up and she needs him. (she plays the victim convincingly). I asked him about these as my spirit was telling me something was off. I know he loves me and he says, of course I do…I come home to you. I no longer trust him, and have not yet asked if they have kissed, but it is likely. I am working very hard at being a Godly wife, regardless. He has been holding me more and has told me he loves me and will never abandon me. TRULY he has abandoned me by his NOW BEST FRIEND. I told him it was a marital affair according to our vows to God, and I will pray over and for him and will ask that the Holy Spirit will convince him of this marital affair. He is in denial as he thinks God called him to be the Good Samaritan to help meet her needs. SO……what specific boundaries do I need to set. He has said I tried to get rid of him at different times…..been rocky marriage as he chose to not have healthy conflict resolution but withdrew emotionally. I never wanted to get rid of him but felt we needed to separate and seek out Godly counsel, with all intent to reunite, totally under God’s design. He blames me for just about everything wrong in our marriage. I have read several Christian books on boundaries but he can redirect so quickly and blame me. So far, no boundaries have been discussed. I am thinking we need a mentor (If he would even go, which he said he doesn’t believe any counselor has worked and they believed me about him, that he had no chance.) Therefore, specific boundaries as he refuses to break this deep emotional and now physical contact (not intercourse) with her. Thank you for your ministry. Sorry so long
I am sorry to hear what you are having to deal with. This relationship is very obviously inappropriate to anyone who values a God-honoring marriage. I do not tell people what to do or what boundaries they need to put into place. It’s not a question I can answer as I don’t know nearly enough about your situation. Not to mention it’s just not my place. It is something you need to figure out with God’s help. But I think you probably know already what boundaries you need to put into place. I suspect you just don’t want to actually go through with what you already know needs to be done because it is going to be really tough! But, even if you really don’t know, God knows and will be faithful to show you. Seek Him and His Word for these answers. I am praying for you right now.
Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to read and re-read it. My wife of 10 years had to leave myself and my 8 year old Son who has autism due to ongoing alcoholism and recent infidelity. We’re in a very sad place and I’m now having to be Mommy and Daddy to my little boy. My wife has sought detox and is living with friends. My Son misses his Mommy and wants to know when she’s coming home.
I’m just praying and asking him to help me and guide me through this.
I’m sorry for what you’re going through Mark! Praying now God gives you wisdom, strength, and healing.
Thank you for your words. Please pray for my situation. Husband of 22 years admitted to infedility, we have 4 children together (19-13 yrs old) He said he had been talking to someone who fulfill his emotional being for several years of our marriage and had other two encounters with women. He doesn’t seem repentant and wants to continue talking with this women. My kids are angry and hurt. I forgave him and I’m willing to give this to God. It’s so hard finding peace as he still lives here, don’t have the heart to kick him out, I am trying to be gracious since this just happen two weeks ago.
Pls pray for us, my kids and for strength. I have been fully dependent on him to care for our home etc. I pray God uses this to get him back to a relationship with God. He is saved and I know he has been struggling with that. Not sure if all the guilt or the desire to continue sinning is keeping him from repenting. I am broken and hurt. Pls pray for us. Ultimately I want God to be glorified in this.
Praying now. I will say, with love, that God is not glorified by a marriage that tolerates unrepentant infidelity. I encourage you to spend some time in Scripture examining what God says on marriage. Here is a link to a great resource for that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2pC6ZikbYo