How to Deal with Infidelity Biblically

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How to Deal with Infidelity Biblically

Table of Contents

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.

Broken Covenant

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.

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Luke 3:8

*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!

Cherith Peters

Cherith Peters

I am a wife, mother, and passionate follower of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. After the realities of my husband's sexual addiction and infidelities finally came to a head, I began blogging about our journey to healing. God has worked many miracles in our life and marriage since then, and grown a ministry committed to helping others find the healing in Christ that changed our story forever!

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45 Responses

  1. Resding this I enjoyed, was enthusiastic, and felt this fulfilled by the Word of God like never before. Thank you!!

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

          1. 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

  2. Good day
    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.
    Regards

      1. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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*.

    1. 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.

      1. Job 11
        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.

        1. 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!

  7. Thank you for this. It has really given me some good advice and direction on how to proceed. God bless you.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. 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?!

  10. 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.

    1. 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!

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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!

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

    1. 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!

  16. 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?

    1. 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. hisdearlyloveddaughter@gmail.com

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

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About BVRH:

At Broken Vows, Restored Hearts, we believe that when two people surrender to God there is no marital brokenness He can’t redeem. Our God is a chain breaker and a heart healer. We only need to believe, repent, and obey! So let’s turn to Him and be healed.

“Oh Lord, if You heal me, I will be truly healed; if You save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for You alone.”
Jeremiah 17:14

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