Forgiveness And Restoration After Adultery

ron & nancy 9-4.0The following is a true testimony written by Nancy Anderson edited from the excellent book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome. Nancy tells what happened to her marriage with her husband Ron after it was discovered that she was having an affair with another man she had worked with. After a long series of circumstances including leaving her husband for a period of time, she eventually came to the realization she wanted to work to put their marriage back together again.

Despite all she had done, her husband graciously agreed to do so. When she called her parents and gave them a tearful confession of what had happened, her parents affirmed their love for both of them and expressed interest in helping them rebuild their marital relationship.

After traveling a long distance to their home this is what Nancy wrote:

We arrived at my parents’ home late in the evening. After a lot of hugs and a few tears, we went into their family room. After the usual small talk, my Dad spoke the unspoken. “What’s your plan?”

My husband, Ron, leaned forward and said, “Plan? Plan for what?”

“You two are going to have to figure out why your marriage fell apart, how to fix it, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Ron replied, “Well, I don’t know if we need to do all that. I don’t even want to talk about what she did. It’s too painful. Nancy’s back home now — we’ll just move on from here.”

Dad continued, “It doesn’t work that way. If you rebuild a house on a cracked foundation, it might be all right for a while; might even feel solid and stable. But when the storms come, the crack will split the house. And the Bible tells us that a house divided won’t stand. If you don’t repair the foundation of your marriage, it won’t survive. The memory of Nancy’s betrayal and the guilt you’ll force her to carry will be unbearable—for both of you. I don’t think you’ll be able to move on until you, Ron, make one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.”

“What decision is that?”

“Has Nancy told you she’s sorry for what she’s done?”

“Yes, she has apologized to me several times.”

“Did she ask you to forgive her?”

“No, not in those exact words.”

Asking for Forgiveness

Dad turned to me and continued, “When you tell someone you’re sorry, it’s very different from asking for their forgiveness. Your ‘sorry-ness’ is your decision. But when you ask someone to forgive you, that’s their decision. It’s difficult because it gives all the power to the other person.”

“That’s a scary thought,” I said, without meaning to say it aloud.

Then he spoke to Ron, who looked confused and apprehensive. “When you forgive someone, you make a choice to banish the offense from your mind and your heart. Jesus said that after He forgives us, our sins are as far away as the East is from the West. In other words, they are pardoned. Not because we’re not guilty, but because we are. Our pardon is undeserved — it’s a gift to us from God.”

He continued, “If you decide to forgive Nancy, you can never use her sin against her. God will give you the strength to start a new life together. If you choose not to forgive, if you want to hold on to the pain, or punish her, and keep her wound open, that will be your choice. But if you choose that, I don’t think you’ll stay married. You have biblical grounds to divorce her, but you don’t have to. It is your decision. I want you both to pray about what I’ve said, and make your decision. We will continue this conversation in the morning.”

Met Again

After a long and restless night, we met again. The three of them were sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for me. I felt like the adulterous woman wearing the Scarlet Letter on the way to her hanging. If Ron would not forgive me, the noose would tighten around my neck and the floor would seem to drop away. I was completely at his mercy.

Avoiding eye contact, I sat directly across from Ron. I asked my dad, “How do we do this? I want to ask Ron to forgive me, but what do I say?”

“If you’ve decided to ask Ron’s forgiveness, tell him what you want to be forgiven for, and then simply ask him the question. Ron will decide whether to forgive you or not. You ask; he answers. It’s the simplest thing you two will ever do — and the hardest.”

Ron had his head down so I couldn’t read his eyes. I thought, “What if I ask Ron for mercy and he denies me? What am I going to do if he starts to lecture me or list off all my sins?”

Asking

I looked over at my sweet, wounded husband and saw the wide-eyed face of a frightened twelve-year-old boy. I spoke quickly so that I wouldn’t lose the safety of the moment. “Ron, I’ve betrayed you mentally, spiritually, and physically. I’ve lied to you and deceived you. I have no defense, no excuses. I’ve sinned against God and against you. Can you — will you please forgive me?”

He leaned forward, never letting go of my eyes. The little boy was gone as my strong and confidant husband took my hands in his and said, “Nancy, we’ve both done and said terrible things to each other. Our marriage was a mess — and a lot of it was my fault. But I take a stand today to change all that. You have betrayed me, but I choose to forgive you.”

We both began to cry and our tears mixed with divine love that flowed through the room. Our hearts were knit together—as one. We began again with a new, solid marriage foundation.

Sought Advice

After we made the decision to reconcile and reform our marriage, we immediately sought advice from many different sources. We went to a Christian marriage counselor, who helped us learn to communicate more effectively. We also read several books about “starting over” and attended some marriage retreats and workshops.

One of the most important things we did was join a wonderful church and faithfully attend worship services and adult Sunday school classes. We received solid biblical teaching from a godly pastor, and we acted on his instruction.

The transformation was a slow process. We’d developed many destructive habits, and some of them took years to die. We decided to stay together and act lovingly toward each other, and eventually our feelings caught up with our actions. We learned that married love is not a feeling. It is a decision — and we decided to love each other.

Since our reconciliation in 1980, we’ve completely rebuilt our marriage. We had to destroy the old foundation—selfishness—and rebuild upon the rock—Jesus. We used a perfect blueprint—the Bible—and now our home stands firm.

Also, we also created a new landscape for our marriage, planting hedges around it for protection. What are hedges? Hedges are boundaries. In Mark 12:1 Jesus said, “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it.” First, the man planted a vineyard. Think of your marriage as a vineyard. You “planted” it the day you said, I do.

Next:

The man in the parable placed a hedge around his vineyard. Why? Several reasons: to protect it from intrusion by animals and thieves; to keep his vines inside his vineyard; and to separate his territory from his neighbor’s.

A hedge makes the statement, “Private Property, No Trespassing.” The symbolic hedges around our marriages serve the same purposes. As married couples, our goal, as co-owners of our vineyard, is to keep the good things in —and the bad things out.

I also refuse to entertain the stray thoughts anymore. Instead, I replaced them with images of the new life that Ron and I were building. I also discovered that encouraging others with our story of restoration gave a purpose to our pain. This summer, we will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary and I’m thrilled to tell you that our marriage is strong, loving, and healed.

Adapted from the book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, published by Kregel Publications. As some reviewers have said —which we agree, “This is wisdom born of tragic but genuine experience. Because Nancy Anderson nearly ruined her marriage due to infidelity, she truly knows the misery that an affair can cause. Her honesty, vulnerability, and repentance provide marital lessons guaranteed to revitalize and strengthen couples who are susceptible to the lure of an affair. She does a terrific job telling her compelling U-turn story of rebellion, repentance, and restoration.” This really is a very good book for every Christian couple to read! We highly recommend it.

Author Nancy Anderson and her husband, Ron, conduct couples’ retreats and marriage seminars to help others to predict, prevent or pardon infidelity. You can read more from Nancy at NancyCAnderson.com.

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Comments

141 responses to “Forgiveness And Restoration After Adultery

  1. (CANADA)  Hi Lynne, I just read your message and decided to write back and just encourage you to keep on standing for your marriage. I was there once when my husband had an affair and he never used to come home especially on weekends and that used to be so hard for me. This website helped me a lot and the people’s prayers.

    I just wanted to tell you to ask God for patience coz you’ll need it. It’s not an easy journey but I tell you in the end it will be worth it. God is faithful and He will work on you first and change you and then your husband. In the end you’ll have a marriage that you never ever imagined. I love the scripture from James 1:2-4 about perseverance and how it makes us grow and that’s true you’ll come out of this a much stronger and more mature woman that you were before.

    It wasn’t easy for me coz my husband worked with this woman and saw each other daily. I used to be angry and sad but I pushed on. The hardest thing for me was when I started praying for this other woman but I pushed on and asked God to give me the grace to forgive. It took me a while to completely forgive her but I did it. God was also faithful because I once told Him that I don’t like it that they work together and she ended up leaving the company PRAISE GOD.

    God will bring your husband back. He brought mine back and I can testify and say that I never thought I’d have a marriage that is so great and fulfilling. I’m glad that we went through all that pain coz God had to get our attention and place us in a situation where we seek Him and believe only in Him. So gal, it’s gonna be fine it won’t be easy, but with God nothing is impossible.

    I read the book by Gary Thomas A SACRED INFLUENCE. It’s really good book. If you can, read it. I’ll be praying for you and your husband.

    1. (UNITED STATES) Thank you for your post. My husband is living with the other woman in another state. We are still married. We have two teen boys who are suffering. He does not want to work on the marriage. I am devastated. We have been married 20 years. I don’t know what to do but leave it at Jesus feet and rest in the finished work of Jesus. I am not praying for my marriage to be restored but thanking God that He has restored it. I am not praying for victory but From victory. I cry a lot. I miss my best friend. He works with this woman and lives in her house. :(

  2. (USA)  Hi Anne: Thank you so much for the words or encouragement. God always knows what we need. Because today is a hard day. The suddeness of the deparure of my beloved always catches me off guard. We had recently reconciled and were in the midst of working on so many things. As his helpmate and one flesh it feels actually like a tearing of the heart and soul.

    Today is hard I feel his spirit trying to push through his decision while continuing to bargain with God about it. Of course I’m concerned if he’s eating properly, resting, etc. I live alone. We both have adult children that are on their own and 1 minor with her mom. So the house is quiet. It’s kinda strange because at any moment I feel he’ll put the key in the door.

    As much as the enemy would want me to believe it, I know on the other side of this it’s not all great. I try not to come down too hard on myself when feeling down God knows the truth of the matter, but praise Him because He is an ever present help in the midst of this time of uncertainty. I am truly blessed and have two Sisters in Christ who allow me to share my feelings and are really good listeners. Through this journey I have connected with them as they have walked along this same path. I keep myself connected to my church family and stay involved. Again thank you so much for reaching out and GOD BLESS!!

  3. (SOUTH AFRICA) Hi Worried, you are exactly in the same position as me. I have fallen into this trap of adultery sin with another man. And it’s very difficult because like you, I’m living in a different country from my husband, so I do get lonely sometimes. My husband and I can only manage to visit each other every 2-3 months in a year. My husband calls a lot and I love him. He is a God fearing man. If he knew about this it would crush him.

    I know what the right thing is to do but I am finding it difficult to follow through. I believe the best thing is to keep praying and make new friends of the same sex who you can spend time with. Try and keep away from her. The Bible says we should flee from sin (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2). Please keep away from her and try and break all contact with her. I am currently trying to minimize my contact with the man I am having an affair with. I want to break it off but I’m still struggling to tell him.

    I met him over the weekend and was supposed to tell him about my decision to break it of with him, but I failed. He told me he loved me and would rather share me than live without me. I am very disappointed with myself and dislike myself right now for failing to follow through with what I had planned to do.

    I’m sure sad–happy is also disappointed. I’m sorry to let you down. You encouraged me and helped come to the right decision BUT I failed. I’m actually now worried because I sometimes miss him and feel that I might be falling for him. I’m still trying to pray and ask God to give me the courage to do the right thing. Please seek God and draw close to Him.

  4. (SOUTH AFRICA) Dear Chanda…. Don’t be so hard on you… and I am not going to judge you for failing to do the right thing. I know how hard it is, I have been there myself. I tried breaking it off many, many times, where I told the guy, sorry no more… and then we would have no contact for a week and I find myself calling him up again. Then the whole thing would start over. This happened over and over. Break it up… going back… break it up… going back. So yes, I do understand how hard it is, cause I know you really want to break it off cause you know it is the right thing to do.

    I honestly don’t have much advice, other than I will continue to pray for you. Please remember, the hurt, pain, guilt etc are not going to disappear overnight. It is really a healing process that can take a lot of time, BUT is most definitely is possible.

    Stay strong in Christ Chanda! There are many that overcame this, and you are also able to do so. I know it seems impossible and very very very hard, cause the feelings you have are feelings that can’t just be ignored and pushed aside. But remember, to act on feelings is not always the right thing to do. I am sure when Christ died on the cross for us, He FELT like He didn’t want to, but He pushed aside His own feelings, to do the will of God. I will continue to pray for you. Keep me updated. Love

  5. (PHILIPPINES) Hi Chanda, thanks for the prayers. I’m very worried now because she will have her menstruation this Oct. 22. I prayed that she will have a menstration. You’re right Chanda, we both know the right from wrong but it’s hard to get over it. I tried to forget her and lessen the contacts from her. Please forgive me Lord for what I’ve done and please God, help me that she will have her menstruation.

    Chanda, I’m also happy because God answered my prayers because my wife and son will be transfered here soon by the end of the year. So with my family here in my place I will not be lonely no more. So I’m anxiously waiting for her period to arrived. Please include me in your prayers. Thanks.

  6. (USA) My husband has had multiple adulterous infractions. I hear you all speak on isolated incidences. Not to minimize any one’s misfortune but I am seeking advice on how to forgive my repeat offender husband. If it isn’t chat lines, it’s porn and occasionally women (just an overview). It has been a few months without an occurrence but I don’t trust him. I don’t treasure his effort in our marriage now. I don’t want him to touch me most of the time. I do my wifely and motherly duties but I just want to forgive him. It is the hardest thing I ever faced. He is a great father and is increasing in his walk with the Lord. He has made tremendous strides that I can see but the betrayal has diminished my love and tender affection. Loving and kissing him is a chore. He seems so satisfied in the marriage, meanwhile, I am miserable. Godly counsel needed please.

    1. My heart goes out to all of you. I too have had an unfaithful spouse. He claims that he no longer wants to be unfaithful and wants to remain married now. The first 7 years of our now 14 yrs of marriage, he had an affair with his previous girlfriend. Last summer he told me I wasn’t what he wanted and wanted a divorce, that I wasn’t pretty enough, thin enough, or didn’t make enough money at work. I am a mother of three –all his children of course.

      I have never commited adultery myself. But I do understand that I am not sinless and could fall away just the same as anyone else. I haven’t been the perfect wife but I have really tried to be his perfect wife. We separated for 4 months. After I moved back to the same state we started seeing each other some, mainly for sex, for me. I am in my sexual peek and didn’t want to sin. So I approached my husband, of course he agreed.

      I wanted to make sure that he hadn’t been with anyone else during our separation. Of course he lied and almost gave me something again. He finally set me down and told me he had been cheating on me for months before he had asked for divorce. Once again, I was alone sitting in a doctor’s office wondering what all he had given me. Thank goodness all of my results were negative. The woman he was seeing at the time, he dumped her. So he says. He could not deal with her lies and unfaithfulness.

      My husband has cheated on me over 50 times with 5 different women and these are the only ones that I know of. It is not the cheating that bothers me so much his ability to stand in my face and lie. I believe that a man or woman should be truthful about the things that that they have done. Just be a man and own your mistakes. We are currently together but I am miserable. I do so love my husband and I understand that he is broken and not perfect. But I am wanting out, a divorce. He doesn’t want to talk to me about the affairs, He just wants me to get over it and for things to just back to being the same. And for me to just be happy around him all of the time.

      If I hear “You gave me three good days in a row” again I’m gonna puke. What about me? Is he gonna give to me a little here? We have always had a one sided marriage. Me giving and him taking, but my love, respect and compassion is not returned to me from him. He doesn’t want me to move out but I want to. Then I think of my children… They have already been through so much due to his selfishness, I hate to add to it.

  7. (USA)  Thank you for you story, it gives me hope. I have a question for you. When did you restore fellowship with God again after your affair? I also am a born again Christian who committed adultery. I miss God so much. Can I restore fellowship with Him? I feel so lost now. I can’t bear it. My husband has forgiven me, thank God for that, but I miss the fellowship with God. I feel as though my life is over now. Why bother going on? God restored my relationship with my husband and myself. But I’m am afraid of the consequences, mainly that my husband will have to bear them with me. It’s not fair to him. I wish I would have realized all of this before I had the affair. It’s too late now. I need help. Am I forever lost now in God’s eyes? I feel as though I am. Please help me.

  8. (USA)  Thank you for your story. I am a wife whose husband was unfaithful. I saw the 2 in the act and I keep replaying it over and over and over in my head. I had lost faith a long time ago. After this happened I was told to pray and I did. I went to a church service the next day and everything I had asked for help with was answered. My only question here is how do you get past the pain? I have truly forgiven my husband for what he has done. But I have days like today where I just can’t deal with the pain and just want to give up and quit.

    My story is a little bit different. I invited a woman to our bed because I thought that’s what all men wanted- their wife to be with another woman. I allowed him to be with her as well that evening. We left to go to the bar afterward and they left me at the bar. I found out when I was able to get a ride home that they had sex in my bed after leaving me at the bar. He never met this woman before, didn’t have any emotional feelings towards this woman at all.

    Something terrible happened to me that night as I was very intoxicated and I am very young. I was hurt by what I had allowed to happen earlier in the evening and my husband was making out with this woman in the bar in public… instead of finding a way home I found my way to another man’s bed. I was ok with it all at first, then I cried for him to stop and he didn’t and wouldn’t. So I had a horrible thing happen to me because my husband left me at a bar to go have sex with another woman.

    There’s so many horrible, painful things that happened to me and my marriage that night. I just have a hard times dealing with it all. Can someone please tell me how to get past all of this, how to help deal with the pain from such a heart-breaking life changing event? I found GOD that night afterward and I have prayed and forgiven my husband for I believe all of the evening. I don’t remember the Bible too well, and have no idea where to start to find the right verses for forgiveness and healing. Thanks for your time in reading this… we are a young couple only 29 yrs old with 2 beautiful boys and I refuse to quit…I just need to find the strength on days like today when I just feel I can’t take it.

    1. (USA)  Hi Sarah, Your post has just reminded me the pain brought about by the sins we commit. We, therefore, should try our best to resist the temptation to conform to the world’s ways of having fun like sexual unions that undermine the value of marriage.

      You are doing just the right thing; seeking God who will bring the utmost relief in your life. A relationship with God completes everything and takes away all your anxieties. I have had times when i stayed awake all night in a lot of emotional pain, worry and fear of the unknown. This what i did/do:

      First, I say a prayer to God to take over my situation and give me the strength to continue. He will fill you with the energy to go on and be hopeful again. What the devil has done in this world is to engage and lure people into sinful acts. After a while it backfires and you feel rejected, guilty, used and have other destructive feelings. It’s like you are in chains of pain and can’t come out.

      Here is how I view life now. The most devastating that can happen in anyone’s life is death. That has been done away with. Through the blood of Jesus & repentance, our sins will be forgiven and we can hope for everlasting life. So whatever hardships we go through are nothing compared to what God has prepared for those of faith. So it’s a matter of time. The sooner you realize these facts the more joyful your life will be during the waiting period.

      The second thing you should practice is studying the Bible. It will bring you in tune with God and you will have His perspective of things. God’s word is the manual we should use in all areas of our lives. Consider the regular TV programs we watch, they become a part of us and sometimes we copy and accept what we view. So the mind is like a sponge but we have to be careful what you take in because that will determine the direction you will take. As you continue to feed yourself with the righteous material, the change in your life will come naturally.

      Here are a few verses I could think of. It will be great if you find time to read the whole passage for each one of them.

      John 14:27-28
      Romans 3:22-24
      Romans 5:1-5
      Romans 6:12-23

    2. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Hey Sarah, while reading your post I remembered reading a christian book by Philip Yancey called “What’s so amazing about grace?” it has brought so much restoration to my life, understanding God’s grace has floored me, not only the grace he has for my own sins but for the sins committed against me too. It has given me the grace to forgive and most of all to accept the forgiveness that Jesus Christ paid for on the cross for me. I commited adultry with 2 men, one of which was my husband’s best friends.

  9. (US)  Reading the articles has really tugged at my heart… I’m the one that cheated. It’s a very long and painful story of what brought me to that time in my life… Looking back now, no matter what my husband has done or not done throughout the years was never any reason to do what I did.

    About 1 year ago, I was having a female out patient surgery done and my husband didn’t stay with me through it. He dropped me off and drove 3 hours to a commercial audition. I was left at the hospital alone, crying, and called a co-worker to come pick me up after the surgery because I found out they wouldn’t release me to a cab driver. After that day, my husband was distant and my feelings about him started to change. I no longer felt like the most important thing in the world to him. I was devastated because he has always been my best friend.

    A few months later he became very withdrawn and was shutting me out. He began drinking everynight, saying some hurtful things, ignoring me when I would hug him, tell him I loved him and asking him what was wrong. At night when we would sleep he would lay on his right side as far away from me as he could. If I tried to snuggle and drape my leg over him he would push it off and say he was too hot.

    After feeling very alone and sad, I began to look for a friend on-line. I met someone who said all the right things …hook line and sinker. I met with him a couple of times… It was wrong. My husband found out and since then has had an extremely hard time dealing with this. We’ve been trying desperately to work this out. We have good days then those days are followed by several bad days. Since all of this we have begun going to church again and I have asked for forgiveness from God and my husband. I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done.

    I haven’t had any contact with this person and I never will. When I look back im not sure what in the world I was thinking. This is something I was always dead against and swore I would never be the one doing that to another. But somehow I did. Emotionally I had gotten caught up with someone else who was listening to me and was telling me all the things I’d been neglected to hear for a very long time. I don’t understand myself at all. When I think of this other person it seems like a far off distant memory almost like it never happened at all. I wish it never did.

    Since all of this has happened my husband and I have found we truly, deeply love each other. But he will never look at me the same. Some days I’m scum and he hates me and other days he loves me but it’s not the same. He’s soooo depressed and sometimes almost suicidal. But he has found God so therefore he won’t kill himself. But we have struggles every single day. Our lives are a mental and emotional roller coaster. What do we do? I’m so heartbroken that I’ve put him in the place he’s in… I will truly be sorry everyday for the rest of my life. I will always love him my husband. I just don’t know if he can ever forgive me.

  10. (USA)  I am the wife of a man that was caught cheating. My pain is so great that I can not bear it. My heart aches constantly for what has happened in my marriage. My husband cheated on me with a co-worker and I can not forgive him. I know that if I forgive, I have to forget and my heart still aches so much that I can not forget what he has done to me. My children and I are devastated at the loss of our family, what should I do? I know that God treasures me and wants more for me.

    1. (USA) Dear Kimberly, You have my deepest sympathy. I can only imagine the depth of pain you are experiencing, but even my imaginations cause me to cry for you. What’s horrible, is that he not only cheated on you and on God (because his wedding vow was made before Him), but on your children as well. This is most grievous because he hit all areas of importance in your inner being.

      You ask what you should do. That is answer is not an easy one. Your journey in this will be different than anyone else’s, although there will be some threads of similarity with others who have experienced this before. One of the things I’ve seen is that right now is NOT a good time to make permanent decisions. Your judgement can be clouded because of the intensity of your pain, so do what you can to minister to your hurt and lay aside making permanent decisions until you can think clearer and you’ve had more time to pray for and seek wisdom.

      Also, be careful of how public you make this known. You can’t take back words once you release them. Many people are not safe to share this kind of news with. Their intentions may be good or bad, but what you need right now is to seek grace and peace so you can sort things out in wisdom (not turned around by someone else’s short-sighted judgement). My Dad committed adultery against my mom many, many years ago and my mom told me to her dying day, that she wished she had not told so many people and certain people in particular. It came back to hurt her worse, rather than lessen the pain.

      Ask God for wisdom in who you should tell, who you shouldn’t, and how much. It’s better to err on the side of telling less than more. Right now, you don’t want to complicate your life anymore than what was already inflicted upon you.

      We have a lot of articles on this web site to read and recommended resources and web site links to take advantage of that could possibly help you process through all of the garbage that has been dumped upon you and your children with your husband’s infidelity. Pray, read, and try to sort through your raw emotions. If you have safe people you can confide in, that won’t push their agenda upon you, then do so. Friends can be great in holding us up when we are close to falling.

      Kimberly, right now, it’s only normal not to imagine forgiving your husband. And that’s OK. God knows that. It’s a process… sometimes a very long process. Forgiveness is not most often given instantaneous. And it certainly isn’t a condition to forgetting. You will never forget, nor should you. If you allow Him to though, God can eventually use it to help you to be more aware of things you need to watch for, and can be used to eventually help you be more compassionate towards others who are hurting, etc… etc. But right now, the important thing is to lean into God’s healing. He knows what it is like to have those He loves be unfaithful. If you let Him, He will help you to release that which you should as you should.

      Eventually, as you are able, taking the steps to forgive will release YOU… not so much your husband. He will still need to deal with God in this matter. Unforgiveness and bitterness will change YOU and hurt YOU more than it will hurt your husband. I’m sure that is why God tells us to give it away. It’s the principle of giving and we will receive. We give pain, and hate, and hurt, and bitterness, and we eventually receive grace, a better outlook on life, and peace in our hearts and freedom from nursing and rehearsing and re-inflicting the pain upon ourselves over and over again. Please read through the “Bitterness and Forgiveness” section of this web site as often as you need, as well as other sections. I pray God will use it to minister to your heart and your family.

      1. (USA)  Thank you Cindy for your reply. I really feel like you understand what I’m going through. My husband wants to work things out, and I’m not even close to thinking about that. I may not. I know that someday I will have to forgive him, but I don’t know that I can stay married to him and go on as if this never happened. Thousands of things come into my mind about his blatant lack of respect for me and our family, and how he sits next to the woman that he had an affair with every day at work.

        In our marriage, I was always wanting my husband to show me more affection, and now I find out the affection that he wouldn’t give me, he was giving to another woman. Text messages of “I miss you”, and “you’re beautiful” were things that he would write to her. This pain is so raw right now, and quite honestly I feel terribly sorry for me and my kids to have to go through this. I am also a full time student, after this quarter is over (in 2 weeks) I will begin seeing a Christian counselor. In the mean time I’m praying for direction and peace. Please keep me and my children in your prayers.

        1. (USA) Hi Kimberly, I can understand your feelings on this. The thoughts that could haunt you would be horrible. I want to caution you though, to be careful about the counselor that you see. I’ve seen some good things that have come as a result of people going to counselors, but I’ve actually seen more bad. Be very, very cautious on this. Even though you don’t think that you will want to stay in the marriage, please choose your counselor carefully so the door is not closed because of lousy counsel. A good Christian PRO-marriage counselor can help you process through your feelings and help you process through your options in a way that will help you to truly make wise decisions for you and your children. A counselor who isn’t trained right or isn’t pro-marriage, can cause more damage than help in this matter.

          I encourage you to go to our “Marriage Counseling” section and read through the articles there and you will better understand what I am talking about, concerning the type of counselor you should look for. It would be better to find a good counselor who will do so over the phone from a distance, than one who you can see in person, who isn’t a good marriage counselor.

          Right now, even though you aren’t sure you want to stay in the marriage, you still need a good marriage counselor, because the problems you are having pertain to the marriage. Some counselors are good in other areas, but they are clueless in how to help minister to marriage situations. The articles will help coach you on choosing the right type of counselor. And we have the links and resource section that will possibly guide you to a good counselor if you don’t know of one already. Even if you start with a counselor, but you realize that this counselor is not pro-marriage, it would be better to leave that one and start again with another, than to stay and get bad advice.

          Also, I highly recommend that after your classes are over, you spend a lot of time reading through the various sections we have on adultery and infidelity. There are links to additional web sites as well. Plus, the books we recommend could be SO helpful in working through your emotions and the thoughts that are haunting you. Most of these authors have been through similar situations as yours and so they can help you in ways that most anyone else would be short-sighted (because they have not experienced the depth of pain that betrayal brings).

          This will be a time to become a student in this area of marriage. It’s not one you signed up for, by any means, nor want. But sometimes we are thrust into horrible circumstances beyond our control that will demand of us more than we want to give, but we must. You have children to consider here as well as your own feelings. That in itself, is reason enough to pour yourself into reaching for healing on this — not just escape and peace. It’s only natural for us to want escape and peace when we’re tortured in the way that you are now experiencing. But this is a time when the torture can better be eased by NOT running, and doing all you can to process through this horrible situation the more difficult way. At first, it will seem more painful, but in the long-run, the damage will be MUCH less costly.

          Those who have gone before you on this (like Mona Shriver and Anne Bercht) can help explain this better than I can. Please take advantage of their resources and their outreach. Mona Shriver, in particular, who wrote the book, “Unfaithful” (which is a great book) is someone who will reach back if you contact her. She’s a doll! And she’s very real in the depth of pain that she has experienced and how she guides others as well. My prayers are with you Kimberly, for you and your children.

  11. (USA)  I am searching for strength and patience for the hurt and pain that I caused from my family for the destruction of my marriage because of my unfaithfulness. I have tried for 6 years to gain and earn the trust of my ex-wife. We have had a great relationship and after 3 months of divorce we agreed to work things out and began a new relationship. Over these years I have asked about us getting remarried but she has declined.

    Now she has informed myself and our daughter that our relationship has changed and will no longer be as a family together, but as a traditional divorced family. This of course came as a complete surprise to me and our daughter. She says that she has realized since our daughter left for college and the fact that I work out of town, that she enjoys her independence and doesn’t need nor want our relationship to continue the same path as the last 6 years.

    My daughter is very upset and has even transfered college to our hometown in order to be closer to her parents. I, as the cause for the divorce, am very concerned for my child. I do realize that the expectations of a husband or no longer legally here, but I too am emotionally upset. I had hoped that someday we would indeed be married and a happy couple again. Of course, now her family has decided to begin trying to influence my daughter about how it’s time her and her mother get on with their life without me.

    I’m very concerned for my daughter because she is developing harsh feelings for her grandmother to the point that she has asked about the possibility of living with me because of these new guidelines placed upon us. She is 19 but like a lot of parents, we have tried to shelter her from harm and she is the reason we continued our relationship for the past 6 years. Please help me with some scripture that may enlighten me with the respect of how to deal with this ever changing scenerio. I love my daughter and my ex-wife and I’m truly hurting because of the strife of their relationship at the moment.

    1. (USA)  Well Craig, maybe you should have not been living with a woman for 5 of the 6 years you were divorced, then maybe things would have been different for everyone. Maybe everyone would be in a better place if you could start telling the truth. There is not one word in what you wrote that is true and you know it.

  12. (UAE)  Please Lord, I beg for your intervention to restore my marriage. Lord please touch my husbands heart and soften it to you and me. I beg your forgiveness and his for the pain I have caused and in so doing have pushed him away. Lord, please turn his heart back to me to give me the chance to work on being the wife I should be. Please strengthen me and guide me to do your will. You are the author of marriage and I trust in you Lord, to put your arms around us to build a union in your glory. Please take the thoughts of separation away from him. God in heaven, please heed all these prayers. Please continue to pray for strength and guidance to weather this storm. I beg God’s forgiveness for my sins and failings and to mold me to His will to be the wife my husband needs and deserves. Amen.

  13. (USA)  I had an affair with an ex-boyfriend. I have been suffering in my marriage since then. I’m not justifying what I did, but I know I will NEVER do it again. I have not told my husband. I have totally cut off the other man and I have no desire to ever see him again. I know it only takes one time- but that’s all it ever was.
    I do not know what is wrong w/ me. I have everything anyone could ever want and I had to go and be selfish. I want to move out and not say a word. I am afraid of telling this to my husband; but if I just move out he will think it is him. I am disgusted with myself and honestly, I do not even think there is anything else God can do for me. I guess it really doesn’t matter because WHEN this all comes out, I will lose everything anyways……

  14. (USA)  My daughter married very young, her high school sweetheart who is in the Marine Corp. After being separated for long periods of time, she had a very brief affair. She was honest and told her father and I and her husband right away.

    Her husband has chosen not to forgive her and immediately separated from her. She is a Christian and wants to restore her marriage. He chooses not to see her and has not seen her since she told him which has been two months. He is leaving for Afghanistan next month and chose not to finalize a divorce until he gets back. My daughter is a wreck and as her mother I do not know how to help.

    I read the posts of husband’s that have forgiven their wives even when the wives go back and forth to others….this is not the case with my daughter she made a one time mistake….We are all praying for God’s will in this situation. She is attending counseling but he will not. She cannot forgive herself and is having great difficulty accepting God’s forgiveness. Her husband grew up in a family that his father cheated on his mother.

  15. (USA)  I struggle with my anger and hurt. My husband cheated on me, multiple times, multiple years, with women while on business trips and even some in our home church. Its been five months since I found out. I have forgiven him, and I have even stopped mentioning his acts and treating him with love.

    However, I continue to have an inner struggle with my anger. I prayed and God said I had the right to divorce but his Will would be to allow Him to deliver my husband from lust. It’s hard to walk this journey. I guess it’s a walk of faith, but I’m sooooo upset. And it makes it no better that I came across a message from one of his old flames that was asking for a reconnect… he didn’t encourage it, but he didn’t cut it down either. I’m just angry… and yet I still sit in leadership at my church ministering to some of these women. It’s just hard. Sincerely, Struggling to Stay in His Will