Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:

Q:

My marriage is in shambles since my spouse cheated on me. How do I deal with this?


A:

We are sorry to learn of this heartbreaking situation. When there is unfaithfulness in a marriage, the one who has been hurt has several options. One option is to be bitter—trying to hurt the offending partner in the hope that it will produce guilt and a willingness to change. There is another way which may be infinitely harder, but we believe it is better. In times such as these, God always invites us to commit ourselves and the situation completely to Him.

Allow your present circumstances to be an opportunity for you to deepen your faith and to depend completely on the Lord. If you have never accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, we urge you to make this commitment today by turning from sin, trusting Christ to forgive you, and inviting Jesus to direct your life.

When you have committed your heart and your life into the safety of God’s keeping, then you will be able to respond in love in this situation. This kind of love is based on 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. Please pause and read this chapter now.

Even though you know a great wrong has been done, consider how God has loved us even when we were sinners, unrepentant and hateful (Romans 5:8). Pattern your love after His; see John 13:35 and 1 John 4:7. Also read the responsibilities of husbands and wives given in 1 Peter 3:1-12 and Ephesians 5:21-33.

We suggest that you consult with a pastor or Christian marriage counselor in your area for ongoing guidance. For referrals to individual Christian counselors in your area, contact Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80995; telephone: (800) 232-6459.

God can heal your broken heart and restore your marriage. While you cannot make your spouse change, with God’s help, we believe you may in time be able to enjoy the rich blessings of a loving, healthy relationship. Pray for the restoration and growth of deep love within your marriage, and for your spouse who has caused you such deep hurt.

Remember, being loving and forgiving does not mean that you simply endure the act of unfaithfulness. Adultery has consequences for all parties involved that cannot easily be resolved. As a means of bringing your spouse to repentance and restoring your marriage, you may want to consider some of the principles expressed in Dr. James Dobson’s book “Love Must Be Tough.” We would also suggest “Love Is a Decision” by Gary Smalley and John Trent. These books are available at most Christian bookstores.

May God’s peace be with you (Philippians 4:6).

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15 Comments

  1. Rita says:

    My husband has had numerous online affairs. He keeps this up with women who are out of state, and tells me that it not “really” adultery. Although he spends much of his time conversing with them on the computer or phone, when he is out of my presence. I have told him I don’t approve and please stop. He insists that he has stopped yet continues. We are both Christians. I have prayed for God to handle the situation. Now I would like prayer to help me not hurt so much.

  2. D'Andra Anderson says:

    I have cheated on my spouse, and am deathly afraid to tell him. It is on my heart too, but I cannot. Please pray for guidance.

    1. Alex says:

      I am very heartbroken and devastated to learn that my wife of 2+ years has been cheating on me for the past year with multiple men. I am from a Christian family and could never imagine that someone who I loved and who supposedly loved me as could well cause so much heart break for me. There were many red flags that signaled something wrong from the beginning of marriage. Regularly, she would verbally abuse me and suspect me of cheating on her/sleeping with other people. I started seeking help from her parents. They didn’t take me seriously and ignored my pleads for help. I scheduled Christian counseling two months after we married, but she refused to go with me. The year after we were married, she started secretly going to chats, meeting these perverse men.

  3. Harold says:

    I give thanks to God for restoring my marriage. I pray that he keeps his hands on my marriage and teach us how to Love one another the way he wants us to Love one another, as Husband and Wife.

  4. Dre says:

    My husband has been having an affair(s);for years I’ve known for at least 4 years. I have confronted him about it but he deniies. We are at the point now that we dont talk any more. We are just 2 people living in the same house. We’ve been married for almost 20 years and i believe our marriage was a blessing from God and I’m not ready to give up on it but I don’t know what to do.

  5. Don Dressel says:

    I have always been a loving and faithful husband! In return my wife got caught up in a romance scam and is now on chat rooms talking to all kind of strange men! She has now asked for a divorce and I will lose my beautiful home and her to online men! I am devastated and broken hearted!

  6. Eric says:

    I found out that my wife was cheating with a coworker. It was my children who brought it to my attention. She claims it was only “emotional” but there are others who believe they were physical. I don’t have proof of that. But I do have some rather arrogant behavior on the cheaters part that gives me pause. I have no idea what to do. I was cheated on in a previous marriage as well. Every fiber of my being is screaming “run!!!” All I’ve ever wanted was to be someones first choice. When that moment comes that she to make a decision which way to go….she chose him. Not her wedding rings, her covenant with me, nor our children came to mind in that moment. All she could think about was herself. Knowing that she is capable of that is devastating.

    1. Don Dressel says:

      I am so sorry Eric I know what you are going through! My heart to is broken and I to am devastated! My wife also has become self-centered and treats me differently after 24 years! You are not alone! Take care and God bless

  7. Grace D. Khaobanna says:

    Thank you for such inspiring thoughts…

  8. loni says:

    I too am dealing with an cheating husband. Not only is he cheating I found out a few days later that she is 30+ years younger than he is and she has moved over 300 miles to move in with my husband. And to top it all off the same day I find out he has cancer in his mouth. I feel that after all my praying and fasting that it is not God’s will for us to be together. My husband has no desire restore our marriage. I pray that you can work things out with your husband. I also pray for peace for you and your husband. May God bless you and your family.

  9. aracely says:

    Help me please God I just found out that my husband who is supposed to also be my best friend has cheated on me. I feel lost and confused and I feel like the scum in the shower curtain so dirty gross and like the ugliest thing in the whole haworld because if he truly loved me he wouldn’t

  10. vicky says:

    I am married for 17 years and have 4 beautiful children, I found out a few months ago that my husband is cheating on me with his co-worker….I was very angry and badly hurt, they both denied having an affair, but hundreds of text messages between them tells me otherwise ,some even was sent at 3 or 5 am, what kind of business do they have at that time.He even admits going out with her at a casino.He gets mad at me for asking questions about them, I don’t know what to do, I’m still hurting inside day by day,I don’t have anyone to turn to,I feel all alone, help me please!

    1. JG says:

      I highly recommend The Power of a Praying Wife by Atormie Smartian. I’ve been married for 20 yrs and we have 2 boys 9 & 11. My husband also denies it and probably always will but I know it to be true and carrying on for we’ll over a year. He says he wants to work on us and we are on therapy. I have little hope and not really any trust. He needs to rebuild trust again and it’s going to be a long road. In the meantime I’m reading this book and it’s helping me so much. Hopefully you find comfort in this book as well. God wants us to lean on him, pray often and for our husbands and remember He definitely has a plan for you and the children, with or without your husband. I know it’s very hard, because I feel the pain and betrayal everyday, but I’m learning from this book quote a bit. I also listen to Focus on the Marriage podcasts – they’re excellent!! I wish you the best!!

    2. Tasha says:

      Vicky, I found out a week ago my husband of two months has been having an affair. I am so devastated. I want to more forward with him but its hard to trust him. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I’m trying to trust in God but I’m having a hard time believing my husband will change. I say will he change because I know people can changed from being a cheated. It’s all in their desire to change. I wish you all the best in your situation.