I can’t believe that my wife cheated on me!! I thought we were doing OK. I knew we were having some problems…but nothing like what she thought. And now, she has been seeing another guy for the past several months. I just can’t believe it. I really thought we were OK. Can my marriage survive the affair?
I was pregnant with our second child. I know that our sex life was struggling, but I WAS PREGNANT. My husband stopped paying attention to me and I was extremely tired. Then I started noticing that he stayed gone longer and was sneaking his phone into the bathroom. He wouldn’t talk to me. Then he tells me that he’s been seeing someone else. I’m devastated!! Can my marriage survive the affair?
Over the years, I have been asked these questions from so many people. Both men and women come seeking help to navigate the stormy waters adultery has caused in their marriage.
The answer to both questions is a great big YES!!
How can a marriage survive the greatest act of betrayal? How can we move beyond such a grievous act?
In order for the marriage to survive adultery, you need:
- A commitment to marriage. How do you view marriage? Do you believe like our society that marriage is something that you can throw away? Or do you have a Biblical view of marriage? God created marriage to be a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman. He is the author and the initiator of marriage. When a person commits himself/herself to a Biblical view of marriage, then his view of his/her marriage changes.
- A repentant spirit. The offending spouse has to be repentant. He or she cannot just say “I’m Sorry” and expect everything to be great. As the spouse is repentant, humility comes along with a willingness to be accountable. If the offending spouse continues to be dishonest and defensive, he/she is not being repentant. Psalm 51 is the best passage of scripture to view a repentant spirit.
- A forgiving attitude. Being able to forgive someone of adultery takes a commitment level that very few people are willing to have. The commitment has to be to God first and foremost. The ability to forgive reflects the person’s relationship with God. The Bible tells us to forgive as God through Christ has forgiven us. (Eph. 4:32) When a person thinks about his/her own betrayal towards God, then the betrayal of his/her spouse is put into a proper perspective. God’s ability to forgive is based on His perfection and His mercy. Our ability to forgive is marred by our own sinfulness. Is this easy? NO WAY!! But it is possible.
- Endurance. The road to healing from an affair is long and hard. There are no short cuts. Nor are there any magical formulas that enable the couple to automatically arrive at the destination of total healing. There will be days that the couple thinks, “It is not worth the effort” and will want to quit. There will be days that the couple gets some momentum and will think they can do this. The key to staying on the journey is ability to endure.
Each of these elements is important to surviving an affair. It is not as easy as just knowing the elements. The couple has to work diligently on each aspect of the relationship.
Can your marriage survive an affair? The answer is YES! If each of you is willing to work through the hardships and the hurt and pain so that you can experience the fulfillment that God’s healing will provide in the end.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this.