Answers

Topics: Adultery

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).