Reader Question of the Week: Can You Get Over Adultery?

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Every weekend I like to throw up a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week a reader asks, “Can you get over adultery?”

We’ve had an affair rock our marriage, and I’d like to know from others who have been there: can you get past this? Can you rebuild trust and find intimacy again? In our case both parties are sorry and want to work it out, but I just don’t see how we can get to a point where this isn’t always hanging over us.

What a heartbreaking question! But I know that it is possible. Here are a few links to other blog posts I’ve written about recovery from an affair:

Books to Help you Recover from an Affair
When You’re the One Who Needs Forgiveness (if you’re the one who had the affair)
Discovering Your Husband has had an Affair

Now let me hear from you! Have you walked through this? Let us know how you recovered. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Yes! Many couples have gotten over adultery and have gone on to have fabulous marriages. It is the only reason God gives for divorce but it was because of the hardness of our hearts. He hates divorce because it is so painful and destructive. We are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. If you are both sorry, I am sure you can move on to healing and maybe even one day have a wonderful marriage.
    Lori recently posted…Conflict ResolutionMy Profile

  2. Yes! It might be the hardest thing you have ever, ever done, but it is possible. My inlaws did almost 9 years ago and now they counsel other couples. One book that was recommended to them and other couples working through adultery is Cindy Beall’s Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken. I read it recently out of curiosity and it was really, really good. Her pastor husband committed adultery with several women, one of whom got pregnant. She writes both about her story and how she got through it, and she also offers wisdom through others going through the same thing.
    Elizabeth@Warrior Wives recently posted…Honesty At All Costs?My Profile

  3. We never got “over” my husband’s infidelity but we got through it.

    We had to walk through the daily process of understanding what went wrong – why he sought connection and affirmation by developing an emotional and sexual relationship with another woman. I had to own my part in the demise of our marriage. Daily we had to wade through the indescribable pain and brokenness I was experiencing. Every day-several times a day-I had to choose to forgive him even when I didn’t feel like forgiving – I chose to forgive.

    Healing took a long time-but then again, so did the destruction. It wasn’t a sudden blow out – it was a slow leak. Healing won’t come over night. This wound must heal from the inside out. Both the husband and wife have brokenness, pain, and gunk that must be dealt with. Counseling is so helpful. Turning to Christ is a MUST! Decide what you want your relationship to be like in 5 years, 10 years, etc. and then figure out what you’ll have to do to make that happen.

    It has been nearly 12 years since the infidelity happened. Because we chose to focus on fixing ourselves, not each other and because we shifted our focus from ourselves to our brokenness and need for Christ, we were able to get through that awful fire.

    We didn’t get over it, we got through it.

    We’re now empty-nesters with a lot of love and joy in our lives. No bitterness. No anger. No hurt. Sure, we have an emotional limp. But it doesn’t rule our life. There is always a scar left by a severe trauma. The scar is a reminder of the healing. The love and laughter and deep connection is so much more powerful than the scar. We fought for each other and our marriage; we quit fighting with each other.

    It’s possible.
    @tiffschmitz (twitter name)

  4. Sha'rrell Haws says:

    YES!! But, BOTH parties must be willing!! The adulterer needs to have real repentance and the victim needs to give true forgiveness. This isn’t something you can hold on to and use when arguing about ANYTHING! Yes, it needs discussion and talking through, but not FOREVER. There comes a point when it has to be LET GO. It becomes the past and needs to be left there. A wound can’t heal if you keep picking at it!

  5. Your post is confusing. Are saying that Mr. Cathy should not have been honest & Chick Fil A was wrong? I certainly hope that’s not what you meant. I agree with everything else you said, but if your using Chick Fil A’s instance to prove your point I completely disagree with that.

  6. Oops! I thought I was on the Warriors Wives blog. So sorry!!!!!

  7. Megan G. says:

    I have not been through this, but will be praying for the family who sent that email!

  8. My husband and I have an amazing testimony. So much hurt from yelling to adultery poisoned our marriage in the first year. It takes someone realizing that all sin is sin and forgiveness is possible through God.

    • I’d like to hear more about how you and your husband were able to work on your marriage and make it through. My husband and I have been married less than a year and there has been a lot of pain from us hurting each other and adultery.

  9. I trully believe we can get past affair in our marriages…it honestly depends on how hard you want to fight for it. Most wouldnt think this way but affairs our a spiritual attack straight from satan himself. He uses this tactic to destroy marriages, families & churches. If he can destroy your marriage hes destroyed so much more.

  10. Yes, it is absolutely possible to come out the other side. My beautiful wife and I were BOTH guilty of adultery. It is very difficult to walk through the minefield in the aftermath, but if you are both committed to recovery, and you KEEP JESUS IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL, you can most certainly come out 1000% stronger on the other side.

    Feel free to read the article I’ve linked to this comment if you are interested in how my mind and heart dealt with things as I walked through this crazy part of our life. It’s very raw and I held nothing back.

    In Christ,
    ~Jason
    Jason@SongSix3 recently posted…Inner Demons?My Profile

  11. My husband of 7yrs has we have two children and now another on the way. We split up for two years but worked on a loving bond for our children pray and pray this past spring we had a long talk and both for us and our children said we should try again it’s one of the best thing we did. The two years aprt gave us time to grow with the lord and see what he had planned it takes time and for awhile you will question what they are doing. But if its what you want work at it.

  12. With God, all things are possible! Everyone deals with the pain of their past in different ways, and it could be that your husband’s (or wife’s) desperate need for acceptance leads them to commit adultery, even though they probably know it’s not right. Of course it’s majorly wrong, but condemnation will only make things worse, so the two of you need to become a team to fight this. I highly suggest checking out The Hideaway Experience at http://www.intensives.com. My husband and I were on the verge of divorce, and we would have gone through with it if we hadn’t gone here. No pain and no trespass of trust is too big for God to heal!

  13. I am in the process of trying to save my marriage. After 16 years infidelity rocked my world. Through lots of prayer, and patience, I am learning to move on, and forgive. It is a daily process, but I know with Gods help, we will be okay!!!!!

  14. This is something that has affected my husband and I’s marriage. Yes I do believe that it is possible to get over an affair and rebuild trust and intimacy, but it will take time, forgiveness, and most importantly God’s grace and mercy. A book that my husband and I are working through is called “Torn Asunder” by Dave Carder. So far it has been a good tool in discovering factors behind why people have affairs, as well as the workbook provides good starting places for conversations. It is tough, but with lots of prayer and consistency, it is possible to trust again.

  15. Absolutely! But it is a choice you have to make everyday. Thoughts and reminders will creep in that can make you bitter if you entertain them but God is so big, ask Him “Lord, control my thought life…” And choose to fully love your spouse again, for better or for worse. Fall back in love all over again, find out each others life languages, make dates a priority and start building up trust again. But you must choose to…
    Amy Lopez recently posted…EnoughMy Profile

    • Nancy Summerour says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! it is a choice…and one you have to make every single day….until death fo you part. my husband of 3 years has cheated on me with a few women….and i use to hold the bitterness and would let every negative thought every negative thought enter and stay in my mind…and jealousy crept in and took hold….it ultimately drove us into a separation….but through that God has restored my hardened heart and every day i make the choice to love him and let go of the past…God has… and through the forgiveness…true forgiveness…i have found how to love him in a whole new way…the way God intended for me to….thanks for the gentle reminder that it is a choice…and all things are possible through God!

      • I agree with u, Just a month ago I discovered that my husband had an affair with his office mate for 8 long months.. I always had a negative thoughts in my mind even though I already forgive him and give him a chance to rebuild our marriage. I know he is trying his best to help me heal my wounds, but I still have bitterness and jealousy and fear that still their affair is not ended. Everyday, I still get angry with him and with the other woman who knows that he is married but still pursue my husband. Sometime I want to have a revenge with the other woman but I know it is not the answer that I need to take. We are having our counselling and it is a big help for us, it makes my husband realized what emotions I am dealing now. I know only God can cure me, heal me and make me whole again but God will used my husband to help me in my healing process. It is a everyday process, that everyday I need to deal with my negative thoughts and hatred feeling but still I choose to love him and forgive him. This is the hardest and most difficult situation that ever happened to me, I am still waiting for the time that I can totally overcome this. I pray that in God’s grace I will be healed.

        To all wives out there who are experiencing infidelity, Don’t give up, lean on God and pray, i know it is hard but we need to fight for our husband through prayers, hang on to your marriage, do not consider separation or divorce, Satan is out there to destroy family and relationship, dont let him win our marriage. May God bless us all.

  16. I forgot to say that i have been there. And my hubby and i are more in love then ever!
    Amy Lopez recently posted…EnoughMy Profile

  17. I’ve heard this is an excellent resource for couples who are trying to rebuild their marriage after an affair: http://www.affairrecovery.com/

  18. I haven’t experienced adultery in my marriage, but I saw it first hand in my parent’s marriage. Also, as a counselor I have studied marriage and the causes of adultery so I wanted to weigh in on this issue with a thought. Personally I don’t like it when people use the phrase “get over” something. (Adultery/death/any major life change.) I prefer “get through” an issue. Let me explain: In one sense, you will never “get over” this–meaning simply that this will always be part of your history. But you can “get through” this–meaning you can get to a point where it’s like a scar that doesn’t hurt. But that scar can be a reminder that you went through something tough together in your marriage and stayed together. I know it’s a hard thought, but sometimes adultery can be a catalyst for a better marriage. (I DO NOT recommend it, but if it happens it can be used for good.) Because it can force both the offending spouse AND the offended spouse to examine their life, marriage, values, priorities, etc. to improve themselves and their marriage. If the husband cheated, they may find that the wife was very critical of him and a female co-worker was very nice. But it may also be that the wife was critical because he spent a lot of time at work and didn’t help with the kids and around the house so she felt overwhelmed. In this way, they both contributed to the issue. Sometimes it takes something drastic, like an affair, to shake us up and force us to look at these things. This is why I recommend couples to go in for marriage “check ups” with a counselor every 12-18 months or so. It’s easy to let life take over and drift apart from each other without realizing it. But once adultery has occurred, I recommend that the husband and wife go to a counselor and ask the counselor to help them both examine their lives and their contribution to the affair. The counselor can help you get through this together and you can come out the other side with a better marriage than you had before.

  19. Almost three years ago I cheated on my husband, and did not confess right away. Even when I did, I only confessed half truths here and there. I think it took 2 whole years before I finally told him everything, and every step of the way he forgave me, that is how big God is! That is how awesome and mighty and powerful He is! My husband and I are more in love than ever and have 2 beautiful children God has blessed us with. You and your husband are hurting now, but God can and will heal both of you! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in this world, always remember that! Your problems are never bigger than God’s power and He is in absolute control. God can work everything for your betterment, so press in and seek God constantly, pray without ceasing and God will bless you! You will be in my husband and mine’s prayers!

  20. The answer is yes. I highly recommend Cindy Beall’s blog and her book.
    http://cindybeall.com/

  21. I have been waiting to hear thoughts on this. I cheated on my husband while he was serving in Iraq. We were young and I was 18. I confessed about three years later. In a few months we will have our 9 year anniversary.
    My husband struggled deeply in the first 5 or so years after, and he couldn’t forgive me. He abused drugs and alchohol and went to bars and strip clubs and cheated on me also. Neither of us had intercourse with someone else, but it is still very difficult. We chose to stay together and fight through and we choose to allow God to have victory in our marriage. It is always in our minds though.
    I completely forgive my husband. I was given a gift of being able to forgive from God. But my husband has a much bigger struggle forgiving me. He no longer abuses drugs or alchohol or goes to strip clubs or anything remotly close.

    My thoughts and questions now are how do I deal with this fact: I have ruined my husbands life. Each day he looks at me and knows I betrayed him.
    Sometimes I think I should divorce him and set him free from the burden of constantly being rememided of how I took away his manhood. Has anyone else struggled with this, and how did you overcome or how do you cope?

    • van Rooinek says:

      how do I deal with this fact: I have ruined my husbands life. Each day he looks at me and knows I betrayed him. Sometimes I think I should divorce him

      No. That will hurt him even worse. Focus on being a good wife, and if he shows any signs of jealously, go out of your way to accomodate him (eg, avoiding certain people/situations, DNA testing the kids, giving him your computer password, whatever), til he knows he can trust you again. Indeed, volunteering for extreme accountability will help rebuild trust.

      Besides.. HE didn’t leave YOU, did he? He had trouble coping, and temporarily spun off into some sins of his own… but he STAYED with you. That should tell you something: Either he’s so committed to God that he won’t divorce you no matter what, and/or deep down, he truly loves you. If even one of those is true, he’s a real prize and you should never. never let him go.

      • Thank you! I really needed to hear that! He is a gem and I love him so much. I have lived my life these past years to those extremes to try help gain his trust, and I have noticed that trust is building! He did stay with me! Since I posted this comment the Lord has answered a prayer, probably in response to those of you who prayed for me after reading this… He told me that his new prayer is that he will not use my infidelity as a crutch to treat me badly. This is huge for me because to me it says that he does love me, he just struggles so much. Anyway, I really needed to be reminded how awesome he is, so thanks!!

      • van Rooinek,

        I couldn’t agree more with this advice to Ashley! May the Lord bless your ministry to marriages!

        ~Jason

  22. Yes!!! Four years ago my world fell apart when my husband revealed that he had been unfaithful. He had been deceiving and manipulating everyone around him for a very long time in order to keep his secret. It was brutal to hear him admit all that he had done, and I wasn’t sure that our marriage would be able to survive the reality. Everything about our relationship, our family, our marriage was on the line, and I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.
    The two things that got me through those initial days were a) his willingness to admit his wrongs and get whatever help he needed to stay on the right path, and b) my faith in my God who can use all things for good. There have been many brutal days, and times when it felt all too overwhelming and impossible. But I can say without a doubt that our marriage is stronger, and I love him more deeply now than I ever did before.
    Give yourself time to grieve and acknowledge the loss of the life you thought you had. But as long as you are both committed to making your relationship work, there is hope. The trust and the intimacy can come again, and you may be surprised at the blessings in disguise.
    I found Gayle Haggard’s book, “Why I Stayed” to be a great resource. One of my favourite quotes is as follows: “You will still have to process your pain, your anger, and your sense of betrayal. This will be difficult, but set your trajectory toward forgiveness and love. Remember all the things you appreciate and respect about your husband, and know that these things are still true about him. You have no control over his choices or behaviours or the pain he has caused, but you do have the power to choose how you will respond. You have to determine what is truly valuable and worth fighting for. Decide who you are going to be in the midst of your pain.”
    Time will heal many wounds. Be patient and keep your heart soft to the blessings that God can offer through the seemingly impossible nightmare of infidelity.

  23. It is possible. It is also very, very hard. But God…..
    Whether one stays with their spouse or leaves because of adultery as christians we must forgive. When counsilled this way, I found that by turning my heart to forgive it was much easier then to move on and stay. Not easy but impossible without forgiveness. We are fifteen years post confession. Still have our problems but God has been faithful to knit our hearts and fill the cup of trust.

  24. My answer, only because I suffer from what I like to call “Oppositional Disorder” is no. You cannot get over adultery. It will ALWAYS be a part of your marriage because it will always be a part of who you chose to be for a time. I had an affair and although my husband and I have gone through a painful and difficult and beautiful season of forgiveness, healing, and restoration, the affair does not go away. It would be foolish to tell you that you can simply get over it – striving for that elusive goal will only break your heart. Getting THROUGH an affair, on the other hand, is possible if you will allow God to be in control of your heart, your hurt, and your future. (The past is done and cannot be undone) Getting THROUGH an affair is the desire to fight for your marriage even with the knowledge that there will always be scars. Getting THROUGH an affair means learning to change the way you view your marriage, your spouse, and most importantly, yourself. Affairs happen because one person in the marriage believes they have the right to indulge; that they deserve the happiness, the attention, the diversion, the promise of whatever that the affair offers. That all needs to change in order for the marriage to move forward. “No greater love hath anyone than that he lay down his life for his brother (husband, wife).” It’s not about me, Lord. Getting THROUGH an affair means that you get up each day with the knowledge that unless you are vigilant and invested in the marriage that God gifted you with, affairs happen. It doesn’t happen over night. Even when everyone and their brothers are sorry, things come up that you thought were resolved and your heart gets ripped out of your chest again and again until you think you can bear it no longer. Getting THROUGH an affair is one of the most terrible, painful, harrowing, and beautiful journeys you’ll ever embark on, but if you don’t jump ship, it’s a journey worth every storm-tossed moment. That I can stake my life – and my blessed marriage – on, glory to God.

    You are in my prayers – fight, my friend. Fight FOR your marriage.

    • I agree. Don’t look at it as getting “over” it, but getting “through” it. The affair will always be a part of your life, your history. But instead of looking at it as something you have to endure, you will eventually look at it as something you have conquered. It will take some time. It may even take years. For me it took two. But on this end of it, through the daily battle for my marriage, we are better than we ever were before. I encourage you to fight for your marriage. God will honor it, and you will be glad you did!

      Megan @ wwwsunshinethroughthewindows.blogspot.com
      Megan E recently posted…On the tablet of my heartMy Profile

      • It has been 12 years since my finding out of my hubby’s infidelity. I aided in his infidelity because of a very hurtful, mean comment I made to him. He didn’t feel loved by me and I didn’t show it accordingly.

        It IS a long, hard road! I cannot say it has been easy and that we don’t still talk about it. We do. I do still think about it. I wonder at times at to what extent the affair went. He didn’t tell me EVERYTHING…maybe that is a good thing…maybe. But, I guess, now it doesn’t matter.

        It IS part of our history AND we conquer it everyday. We came out “golden” on the other side of the affair. We love and cherish each other more, we have fought the good fight and we have more than just ourselves to fight for now-2 children. The affair taught us so much about each of us, as a couple, our marriage and we are so thankful we didn’t hang it up!

    • I appreciate your answer Becky. I recently learned of my husbands infidelity. It has broken me to my core. This past month has been so tough. Your words ” Even when everyone and their brothers are sorry, things come up that you thought were resolved and your heart gets ripped out of your chest again and again until you think you can bear it no longer” ring so true so far. I feel stuck, so stuck. I want to forgive, I want to trust, but I am stuck. I like how you could really articulate the pain, and that you guys have moved through it. It does give me hope.

      • I’m glad, Kate. I know it’s tough. I pray that you can always see that no matter what happens God does have a bright future for you, and He can do amazing things in everyone’s hearts.

      • Heather says:

        Hi Kate,
        I know what you mean when you say you feel “stuck”. I felt that way for some time after discovering my H’s affair. It was two and a half years ago that it happened. It took me a long while to work through the immense pain and agony and I found myself leaning on God’s promises more and more every day. When I felt “stuck” or “trapped”, I had to remember my children and how my decisions will affect them, as well as remember the reality of how it will affect everyone around me. You must allow yourself room to grow from the pain and not make any rash decisions from the pain. God has a plan for all of us and if we allow Him to work through us, he can use our testimony to help others and trust me, from that we will be blessed in ways we cannot imagine possible. I know I have been. It was and is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life and I know it will be with me forever. However, God has changed my H’s heart in the most amazing ways (he has been saved) and he is now learning to be a mentor to other men and younger men who need it. He is a much better friend to me, and spouse as well as a father. He is learning every day to be a good man and he is genuinely a different person than the man I married. His heart turned to stone and is now softer than I’ve ever seen it. God will turn it all these bad things into good if you will allow Him to. You must open your heart to His word and trust that He loves you enough that your H doesn’t need to. God will take care of you, no matter what. So work on your heart, find the right path to follow and stay the course. You are a strong and beautiful person and you can do it.
        If I can do it, you can.
        I pray for rich blessings in your marriage, such as I have seen in mine.
        Heather

  25. Yes you can get through it. My husband and I went through this a little over a year ago. We now have a good marriage. I still have trouble with the trust issue, but I can tell its when I’m not doing the things I should be doing. Such as reading by Bible and just spending that time with the Lord. I ve read many many books. “Unfaithful ” “every heart restored ” “every woman’s marriage ” I encourage you to ask your husband to read “every mans battle ” it will help him out too. To understand how and why this could’ve happened.
    my husband and I now feel that the Lord allow this to happen because we can now help struggling couples get through this. Give them hope.
    That is the thing I looked for the most was hope. There is hope. your hope is in the Lord.
    We’ll be praying.

  26. Yes! You absolutely CAN get over adultery! I have been there, just three years ago. The most important thing I learned is that I can’t change what happened, and I can’t change my husband. The only person I can change is myself and my response to him. Building back trust can be a tricky thing, but I think the cure for that is to pray for your husband. Pray good over him, pray blessings over him, pray God’s Word over him! When you pray for him, you can’t think negatively about him, and you build him up again in your own mind. I recommend Stormie O’Martian’s books on praying for help with the prayers themselves; sometimes, I did nothing but read the prayers aloud to God, completely using her words for mine (I used “Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage” but I believe that title has since been changed in the most recent printing). And then, start replacing bad memories with good ones. The more good, fun, positive experiences you can have together, the less you will think about the pain in the past.

    God hold you and your husband together through this!

    • Chantele, I love your idea of replacing bad memories with good ones! That is something my husband and I (we have been through infidelity, too) have done. After I found out, I couldn’t stand to be in our old house or any of the memories during our marriage. To this day I still have very few memories of our first few years of marriage. I have blocked many out. I do remember when we were dating and engaged, so he tries to recreate some of those kinds of memories for me. I think processing the pain takes time, don’t you think? I still feel pain but it’s more of a scar than an open wound. Good advice! God bless you, Chantele!
      Melissa recently posted…How do you respond when someone refuses to forgive?My Profile

  27. For IMMENSE encouragement and hope, read the blog “from the natos” (http://thenatos.blogspot.ca). They came out the other side from the husband cheating, and their story and their marriage now brings me to tears to see the gospel at work. It’s incredible and God glorifying and bursting with hope!

  28. I haven’t been through it myself but I witnessed the beautiful rebirth of my parents’ marriage after my dad had an affair. Even though we were both adults, my mom chose to keep the details from my sister and I so I can’t give specific encouragement. All I can say is that GOD SAVED MY PARENTS’ MARRIAGE! My dad was so unwilling to make things work with my mom, despite her willingness to forgive and work through it. I was at the point that I wanted them to divorce because my mom wasn’t being treated like the gem she is. But God swooped in saved the day. In the end, the whole ordeal was almost “good” for their marriage because it shook it up and made them realize how much they truly valued one another. Now there is so much love and commitment between them!

    Nothing is impossible with God!

  29. I love this question. I do believe it’s possible and loved reading these comments. I, too, still struggle with this and like many who commented, I was the adulterer. Unfortunately, there are not half as many resources for men who were cheated on out there as there are for women. So, like Ashley, I feel my husband is somewhat stuck.

    We’ve chosen to stay, but I currently find myself feeling the same way I did before the adultery almost 8 years ago. I try to communicate with my husband that we need counseling, but feels that we need to learn to work things out for ourselves. We shouldn’t depend on someone, even though it’s only been about 3 years since I confessed and we’ve been dealing with it.

    I now feel stuck as well. I have hope, and my prayer is that God would continue to work in us, but I so wish there were more resources for men.

  30. I found out 5 days before Christmas last year that my husband of 12+ years had had an affair, which had just ended 2 weeks before I found out and the physical part just 6 months before. They’d been carrying out their affair for well over a year RIGHT UNDER my nose!! We are still together, for now. I don’t feel that he’s truly sorry for how he hurt me and keeps trying to blame ME for HIS discretion! He’s an unbeliever. I can’t say that we’ll stay together,it’s still too early to tell.

  31. Yes, you can do all things through Christ who strengthen’s you. No, you will not forget the pain and the hurt but you sure can forgive. God wants you to forgive. Not just for your husband but for yourself. Anytime thoughts about my husband’s affair comes up, I just pray the thoughts away. Through counseling and many articles and books I have read, I got the tools that I needed to let go and move on WITH my husband. He still struggles to this day about what pain he caused me, but over time comes healing. We are very much more in love with each other today than before. We actually speak each other’s love language too. One book that helped me through it was “Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass”. It really gave me an insight to what and why he was thinking and doing what he was doing. It also gave me hope that the pain would go away. Remember it take time and it takes a lot of work on both of your parts. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, whether you stay or you go, you must heal and forgive. He must own up to what he has done too. I have read many times that all a woman wants her cheating husband to do is own up to the accountability. I will be praying for all of you who have experienced what I have, I know first hand the pain it caused and wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone.

    Be blessed!

  32. I realize this isn’t quite the same as an actual physical affair, but I think in some ways porn can be just as damaging to a marriage. My husband and I have been married for only 14 months. I am so happy to say that my sweet husband has not looked at porn since August of 2010. We had only been dating for 6 month when my prince charming gave me a promise ring and then put one on his own finger as well. About 3 weeks later he drove 500 miles to see me. I was far from home and just starting my junior year of college. We had talked before his trip and knew that we both had some things we wanted to get out of the closet. I had no idea what was coming though! My, then only 19 yr old, boy friend told me as gently, but bluntly as he could that he had been “looking at stuff he shouldn’t” since he was about 16 years old. I was devastated. But I knew this was the man God wanted me to marry. He offered to get in his truck, turn around and drive the 8 hrs back home and never bother me again if that’s what I wanted. I could hear the pain in his voice as he said that. And I realized that I was not the only one in the room who was hurting. I still don’t understand how I did it, because I’m usually not a very forgiving person, but some how God’s grace filled me and I was able to look him in the eye and forgive him. I won’t say it was over then. We still had a lot of long and tearful conversations ahead of us. And even now I occasionally have the nagging thought that I need to “check up” on him. He understands that he hurt me and always answers my questions honestly. Like I say, I know it’s not the same, but if you really want reconciliation and you seek it from the Lord, He is able to help you get through this. (By the way… those promise rings are still on our fingers. We chose to where them on our right hands until we were married and to move them to the left hand as wedding bands during the ceremony. We made a promise to each other and we will stand by that promise)

  33. Yes, God can restore your marriage. I am living proof of that. In 2009 my husband admitted to cheating on me several times throughout our marriage. We were separated for awhile, but decided we wanted to stay together. The first thing you have to do is get help for you and begin to process what has happened. You probably have such an intense anger you don’t know what to do with it. I remember being on such an emotional rollercoaster at first. That’s normal and it will get better. Thankfully, I was able to find a support group to process my anger, vent, and seek counsel from other women who were further along in their healing. If you can find a group like this it is so helpful. It will take time to begin to heal and process everything, so please give yourself grace. Restoration will not happen over night, but God is faithful and he has been faithful in slowly restoring all that was lost in my broken marriage. He can do that in yours too. I would also suggest counseling. Make sure you find someone who has experience counseling couples in affairs or has recovered from an affair in their own marriage. It really is very different than other marital problems. Groups like Celebrate Recovery and group specifically for healing from infidelity are helpful, also. You will need to build a support network. Another thing my husband and I have done is participate in a marriage class at our church. When you begin healing from the infidelity and begin to forgive, you still have to confront other issues in your marriage also. Rebuilding trust is difficult, but it can be done. It takes time. It’s really up to the unfaithful spouse to be accountable. At first, it helped when my husband volunteered receipts, left his phone at home if he went somewhere briefly without me, and installed a parental monitoring software on our computer and on his phone. Things like that help, but ultimately you have to realize you will never be able to 100 percent trust each other. God is the only in our lives we should ever fully trust. He will never let us down. If you need more resources or have further questions, I would be happy to help (anyone going through this). I pray God will bring restoration in your marriage and rebuild the trust that was lost. I pray God will give you comfort and encouragement. Let Him carry you through this time. He is so faithful and good!

  34. Never been through this, but just wanted to suggest a very interesting and God glorifying series about this very issue on the blog 4littlefergusons.wordpress.com

  35. Anonymous says:

    I would say only if both spouses are willing. My first husband had an affair, and when I found out I wanted to stay with him and get counseling because I didn’t believe in divorce. However he refused counseling and refused to give up his affair. He said it was the only thing in life worth living for, and we divorced. I might have been able to get through, it’s hard to say, but with a spouse who didn’t believe he’d done anything wrong and who refused to work with a counselor or give up the other woman, I’m not sure what else there was to do. I struggled with the idea of getting divorced for months, but finally made that decision. I am happier now than I ever thought was possible after such a thing.

    I am now convinced that he was going through much more than I realized. He told me at the time that he was not a Christian and had lied about that the whole time we were together (6 years). As a result of renouncing faith in God he also rejected the idea of a “moral code” and therefore could do whatever felt good to him. He became irrational, angry, and downright scary. Now I’m not saying that I was perfect, and I’ve wondered if, had I decided not to sign the divorce papers, he would eventually have come around. Right or wrong, I am glad of where I am in life now, and thankful to God that there was life after divorce for me.

    On the other hand, my parents also suffered through infidelity and came out the other side. I would say, to anyone going through this, to be careful with whom you share your intimate details. My parents brought my brother and myself into the dispute and told us things that we never would have wanted to know, and that was a big mistake. Even though they have forgiven and moved on it’s impossible for me to see my mom or dad the way I did before. I was just a teenager when they each set us down, separately, and told us that my dad had had 3 affairs and that when they were teenagers my mom had an abortion and that had haunted their marriage ever since. That information was not necessary and it was very painful to hear. I still have to keep an eye on myself to make sure that resentment doesn’t creep in, even now, toward both parents.

    • I would agree with you: You CAN get through infidelity if both parties are willing to look at it honestly and confront it and go to God. If only one party is honest about it, then you really can’t. Great point, and I’m sorry that your husband chose the wrong road. My father did the same thing, and he missed out on so much.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Nearly a year ago my wife had an affair with a friend. It didnt last long, a matter of days, really, but it was extremely difficult. The Lord convicted him and he sent her back home, but that didnt really end the relationship. Unfortunately he ended his life shortly afterword, which only aggravated the entire situation between my wife and I. For a time I didnt think we were going to make it. She hated me and told me on more than one occasion that there was no reconciliation for us, and that if we didnt have children she would have already drawn up divorce papers. God, however, is merciful and over the past year we have been slowly healing. There are still plenty of issues with guilt, fear and trust, but by putting our faith in the Lord and making him the focal point of our marriage He is drawing us closer together. We both had to make the choice to stay in the marriage, and not just once, but on many occasions. It’s not an easy thing to recover from, but if you just keep in mind that God has forgiven us over and over for so much worse, it becomes easier to forgive. We dont deserve a drop of His grace, but because of his great love for us, he pours it out upon us daily.

    We still have a long way to go, but by keeping our eyes focused on the Lord, I know we can make it.

  37. As someone who has gone through & is still going through this, you can’t ever fully get OVER it but you can get THROUGH it. I found out on June 22, 2012 that my husband of 10 years had a one night stand while on a business trip. The worse part of it is that the night after it happened, I joined him on the trip & slept in the same bed he had cheated on me in the night before. You talk about a slap to the face, a punch to the stomach, & a knife to the heart; boy did I feel like an idiot! But, thankfully, it only took my husband 3 days after it happened to come clean about what he had done. When he first told me, I was very angry. So I walked outside on our deck and began to cry & scream. I then picked up my phone & called my dad who has been a minister over 40 years to seek advice. Once I hung the phone up with him, I completley broke down. I got on my hands & knees and began crying out to God. I told Him that I could not do this on my own. The human part of me wanted to walk away & never turn back (yes, I told God this) but I knew that wasn’t what I needed to do. So I pleaded with God for Him to work through me & give me a heart of kindness, peace, forgiveness so I would be able to work on my marriage & possibly restore it. I pleaded with God to work through me so that I would do ONLY what was in His will. Once I finished crying out to God, I stood up and this unexplainable peace come over me. There are a lot of feelings I can describe to you but that is one I can NOT put in to words. I know that without me giving God complete control over my life & this situation I would probably be going through a divorce right now. But I totally surrendered my life to God’s perfect will. I know this will sound weird but I would go through that whole ordeal again if I knew that my marriage was going to be as wonderful as it is after the affair. Me & my husband has worked through a lot & we still have a long ways to go. But without God’s help we wouldn’t be where we are today. Cling to God’s unchangeable love & promises, He will not leave you.
    Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord & are called according to His purpose”
    God Bless You!

  38. Hailey, my husband had an affair 2 years ago and with God’s help and healing we are happier now than we ever were. If you are interested, I would be happy to share our story with you or even just to talk. My contact info is posted on my blog, which is linked here. I hope you are able to find healing!
    Megan @ wwwsunshinethroughthewindows.blogspot.com
    Megan E recently posted…I pray for herMy Profile

  39. Just wanted to say thank you for all these great comments! I’ve been away for a while and so I didn’t see them all until just now. The takeaway I have from these comments is this: You can’t get OVER an affair, but you can get THROUGH it. A number of you said that, and I think it’s brilliant, and a very biblical way of looking at the situation.

  40. My husband and I have over come this issue first hand. (I’ve wrote about it in my earlier blogs.) I hurt my husband badly (when we were dating.) He has since forgiven me and we have a very strong bond.
    Crystal Green recently posted…Feeling God Working In My LifeMy Profile

  41. Marriage is about holiness, not happiness; our vows covenants, not contracts. My husband had a six year affair that started before our youngest child was born, and only confessed when the other woman wouldn’t leave her husband after he offered to pay her way out. During those six years he did despicable things: he picked fights on purpose so he’d have an excuse to leave the house; he brought her into our home as my children slept while I was away from home for surgery; he spent thousands of dollars on hotels and outings to facilitate their relationship; he got a vasectomy without my consent; he even ‘cheated’ on her with a local salesgirl. Satan has had a field day with my husband, but he’s repentant and we are WORKING THROUGH things. My husband has had an inclination to bad behavior all his life. His first marriage was to a minister’s daughter, and he cheated on her with two of her friends. Many women have called or driven-by the old house through the years. I knew all this when we were dating, but I got pregnant and we tried to make the best of things. Belleville isn’t a very big town, and I’ve been the laughing stock of many a dinner table, but it’s about holiness, not happiness remember. My husband had to commit to spiritual cleansing and accountability, and now accompanies us to church every weekend. With God, all things are possible!

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