We know that God raised Jesus from the dead, but is He able to resurrect a marriage that was assassinated after the betrayal of one spouse against the other? Is it possible to bring a marriage back from the dead after adultery?
There is hardly anything that has the potential to rip apart a marriage any deeper and surer than infidelity. It’s as if the adulterer stabbed his or her marriage partner directly in the heart. How does someone recover from this type of grievous action? And if the victimized spouse recovers from this near death experience, what about the marriage? The offending spouse has caused grievous damage to the sanctity of a marital partnership and to the heart of the spouse who is betrayed.
A Marriage Back from the Dead
So, the question is: can God resurrect a dead marriage that has been ripped apart by unfaithfulness? The answer is yes. We’ve repeatedly seen that this is true. If it wasn’t, then we wouldn’t do what we do. We wouldn’t be Marriage Missionaries. You can see a little birds-eye view of a few resurrected marriages testified about in the following pages:
• SURVIVING INFIDELITY TESTIMONIES
• SAVE MY MARRIAGE TESTIMONIES
So we do know that God does help spouses resurrect their marriages from the dead. But will your spouse participate with God in this process? We, of course, don’t know, it’s difficult to tell sometimes.
But think of it this way:
“Who better to resurrect an ash heap of a marriage than the creator of marriage Himself?” (Marla Kloenckner)
And who better to resurrect a marriage, than a God who can identify with the heartache of betrayal? And yet God made reconciliation possible, through Jesus Christ, to His unfaithful bride—the church.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.“ (Matthew 19:26)
The Resurrection Journey After Adultery
If you are on the journey of working to bring your marriage to a healthy, loving place after adultery, we recommend you read a few articles we link to below.
This first article is written by marriage expert, Joe Beam. It addresses the difficult situation of dealing with a spouse who claims to love someone else. What can you do with that?
There’s no doubt that this is a painful and confusing situation. But to help you sort through some of this, please click onto the Crosswalk.com article below to read:
• WHEN YOUR SPOUSE “LOVES” SOMEONE ELSE
And then, to help you further in this journey, we urge you to prayerfully read what we have posted on this web site in the Surviving Infidelity and Emotional & Physical Affairs topics. Also ask our Wonderful Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to guide you through other topics, such as Bitterness and Forgiveness that can enlighten you.
Lastly, we have provided a link below, to an article written by psychologist Dr David Clarke. We believe it could help you further as you deal with this horrible issue. We pray it ministers to your heart and that the Lord infuses hope into your spirit.
Please click onto the article below to read:
• HEALING MARRIAGE FROM ADULTERY AND OTHER SERIOUS SINS
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Romans 15:5-6)
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Filed under: Surviving Infidelity
27 responses to “Bringing a Marriage Back from the Dead after Adultery”
(NIGERIA) Marriage is a university where no student graduates. The more years your are married, the more experience you get. If you divorce, you send yourself on probation, only to start afresh when you re-marry. If you refuse to marry,you will remain ignorant of the experiences till you die.
Many marriages are in hell. That is why the couples are suffering, some in purgatory, only few are working towards heaven. I do not agree to the concept of dead marriage even if divorced, because once marriage is "consummated", no man can rewind the hand of the clock.
Marcellinua Marcellinus A
I agree with your comment whole heartedly. My marriage has descended into hell. But my Lord Jesus Christ descended and came up from that. The only life we are promised is resurrection life. I do believe that takes into account there will be a death.
I’m trying to get over the fact that my husband committed adultery on me. I love my husband and I want our marriage to work. He says the affair has ended yet I see that he’s been calling and texting this female. What can I do to stop it? I prayed about it. He says nothing is going on and they’re just friends but that is just how this started out by just being friends. I’m hurt by this. I let my husband know how I feel about this but he says I’m just being negative. Please pray for my broken marriage. Please pray for my husband to be saved. Please pray for unity back in my marriage, also unity back in my family. My daughter is not speaking to us because of this. She will not let the grandchildren come over to visit again. Please pray for salvation for my husband and the renewing of his mind and heart and please pray that he sees that marriage is important.
The war room is a very powerful movie . Please watch . This gives instructions to what we can do with GOD . I was the one that crossed the line in my marriage. Now with GOD I see the pain I’ve created . I’m still married and I see GOD in her all over . I’ve found GOD in my life again , in finding GOD I’m learning faith , trust , and being obedient to him for proper true instructions from him to lead me to instruct my family from him and this keeps my heart , mind , spirit in line . So I keep my guard up and practicing daily on his word and truly knowing what’s right and wrong . And he tells us ! This is his word! ‘All things are possible with GOD ‘ … I will surely pray for you and your marriage. Don’t give up ! GOD knows are hearts .
(SOUTH AFRICA) I agree with you, marriage is a university but it has a lot of graduates. Nowadays we go through issues & always opt for the easy way out only to find that you get involved & again the past haunts you. What I mean is, we contemplate getting divorced so many times but once you realize that you can confront the issues that face you, you actually come out feeling better. I have been married for just 4 years but all I can say is, it’s been tough. I know He never gives me what I cannot deal with. I always encourage myself this way "His brought me this far, He will never never leave now". God promised us happiness, success, prosperity but he never said there will not be times of trials. What I have personally realized is growth happens in times of trouble.
(USA) On the spot. I was feeling just like Susie at the beginning of the article. I had fooled myself into thinking that my wife’s adultery was my fault and that I needed to forgive her and fight to win her back. Yes, there are things that I could do to help strengthen our marriage, but I did not sin. I am not to blame. And honestly, why isn’t she working to win back my trust, heart and love?
Yes, I think it is great that I have rearranged my work schedule so we can spend more time together. It is wonderful, that we are communicating more honestly about things that I can do for her. But I am the victim. I will take these words and focus on strengthening me. I often feel like if I make a mistake my marriage is over. It will only be over, if she follows the course of sin and like the Israelites in Amos, “they lies laid them astray.”
(USA) I agree 100%. Good luck finding a church that will actually embrace the Matthew 18 process described.
When my ex-wife had her affair, my pastor wasn’t subtle about blame like in Dr Clarke’s account. My pastor point blank asked me what I did to cause my ex-wife to have her affair. I was stunned. Here was a Southern Baptist minster, near retirement after 40-50 years of ministry blaming the victim for his wife’s affair. I was further told by the church leadership that they don’t undertake the process in Matthew 18, as it doesn’t work. Needless to say, we ended up divorced and I’m no longer worshiping with that body of “believers.”
Contrast this with the article about living with a wife in an understanding way, where Dr Nair says if a woman is depressed or whatever, that it’s typically her husband’s fault. In his book, Understanding the Mind of a Woman, he goes on to say if a woman is having an affair, that it must have been something her husband did wrong, or some other deficiency in the husband.
If someone is sinning, 100% of the responsibility for that sin falls solely on the shoulders of the one sinning, period. Thank you Dr Clarke for speaking the truth and thanks to the folks here at Marriage Missions for featuring this truth.
(USA) Tony, I agree with you except on one point. If a spouse is neglecting the emotional and physical needs of their spouse and abusing the spouse. Over a period of time that spouse who is neglected and abused will be easier to fall to temptation. If they starve them long enough the choices will be to cheat or to leave. Also being emotionally and physically starved can make you sick and affect your mood and state of well-being.
I understand about what you’re saying about them blaming the man if the woman has a problem.
(USA) No argument that they’ll be more tempted. However, temptation is never a valid excuse. Christ was in the desert for 40 days and nights and resisted temptation. The point of that exercise is to show us that it can be done, when done God’s way. Temptation is never a valid excuse.
(USA) Tony, What if it goes on for more than one year? What if the neglect is also topped off with abusive behaviors every single day? At what point does one give? I’m sure the perspective here is to leave before you ever “cheat”.
Rather than having no excuse to “cheat”, I believe there is NO reason to be neglectful of a spouses needs (emotional and physical). I don’t believe you are saying because a spouse wants to ignore their mate that they spend a life of “chastity”. A lot of times these neglectful spouses are cheating themselves, getting their needs met outside of the marriage.
Check out this case: https://marriagemissions.com/spiritually-single-living-with-an-unbelieving-husband/#comment-7344
In there Margaret is NEGLECTED for 12 complete years. The husband won’t even touch her. She should divorce or not?Obviously the man who is with her does not care about her. I believe in a committed relationship. There is no reason to go even more than a few days without verbal and physical affirmations.
(USA) Sadly not all those who are sought out for counsel in churches are equipped with understanding. Still …the scripture speaks …and that is what we answer for to God for rightly dividing the word of truth. I placed this here in the case of some who do not have a Bible …this is as I see an international site.
Matthew 18 (King James Version – KJV): At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
(USA) How long does Christ wait for us? One’s vows are for better or for worse. There is no part of the vow that says for worse is limited only to 12 months or some time period.
I can’t tell you or anyone to or not to divorce. I’m confident that if one claims Christ and their spouse is not having sex with another outside the marriage, that there is NO biblical grounds for divorce. Now if your spouse cheats on you, or chooses to divorce you, and will not come under church discipline, then you must let them go.
Even if you took your spouse to her church in accordance with Matthew 18 and they determined she was sinning by not affirming you as you put it, so she is treated as an unbeliever, 1 Corinthians 7 is pretty clear that the believer MUST NOT divorce the unbeliever as long as the unbeliever is pleased to remain married. Frankly, except in the case of sexual infidelity, the believer is called to remain married.
Now that doesn’t mean to suffer abuse. If the environment is unsafe, then get to a safe place. I don’t think there is any biblical prohibition against that. However, to divorce because you are not happy, which is basically what you are asking about here, is not supported in scripture.
(USA) Tony, If one claims Christ, they would be compassionate enough that their spouse’s needs would nearly always be met outside of a mismatch in communication. It wouldn’t matter if they had a sex drive or not, it would be something they would want to do to ensure they are taking good care of their marriage.
I don’t believe sexual, mental or emotional neglect would be part of any “Christian” marriage outside of a misunderstanding or poor communications. God meant for sexual emotional fullfillment to be one of the rewards of marriage. What do you think a “wedlock” is? It’s the sexual and emotional connection between a married female and male.
1 Corinthians 7 : http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%207&version=NIV; 5 Proverbs 19 http://esv.scripturetext.com/proverbs/5.htm. I believe you can agree at this point that neglect would not be part of any Christian marriage.
(UNITED STATES) What if your husband was a complete mess. He cheated, abused alcohol and yet the wife stays. But she has fallen out of love. He has turned 10 fold and is trying to win her back. What would God say to the wife?
(USA) If you are a Christian you have a taken a vow to save your marriage. Even if your spouse was unfaithful. We are unfaithful to Christ every time we sin and fall short. Especially if you see your spouse changing and striving to live pleasing to God and you. There are strong words in the Bible against divorce no matter the circumstances. The Bible says God hates divorce and that anyone who does such a thing to their spouse will not have their cries and prayers heard. Divorce is not unforgivable however it is a sin that is willing contemplated and committed. I advise you to save your marriage. God can restore everything and more!
(USA) Please give references for that because in the Old and New Testaments God says in the case of adultery, the victim may choose to divorce. Actually, in the OT we could stone them to death and my husband the cheater said that makes sense to him! How much more blessed for sticking it out but it is the victim’s choice.
(NIGERIA) Tony go back to your Bible and study it well. The pastor that asked you what you did to your wife, was right. You are the cause of the divorce, though your wife made mistakes too.
Maybe you are right. Maybe I should have made her go to work outside the home, instead of being a stay at home mom to both a child she had with another before we met as well as our own child. (Yeah, I’m horrible for helping her care for a child that wasn’t even mine!) Maybe I should have become a drunk, or beaten her instead of remaining sober and not displaying angry outbursts when I was not happy. Maybe I should have made more money so we really didn’t need to live on a budget, so she could shop to her hearts content, instead of only making a six figure salary in the 1990’s and needing to budget a bit to get by.
Maybe you are right. Maybe it was my fault that the love and care she was given was never enough. Maybe I should have been happy with no sex, no hobbies, and coming in a distant third after she cared for the children and herself.
(NIGERIA) I have been married for 4 years but I’m yet to understand marriage, especially being married in Nigeria. A lot of married men cheat. It’s like their birth right. But once a woman cheats, it’s like hell. Now, how come a husband cheats on his wife but his wife cheats too, confesses, repents but can’t be forgiven? What will she do in this situation, whereas her husband is a serial cheater? And all he does is judge her and insult her and make her feel really really worthless.
I know adultery is a very bad thing and the wife cheating does not justify the husband’s adulterous acts. But if she is really repentant, can’t he just have a forgiving spirit? He cheats too…
I am married to a man who has been cheating on me emotionally for three years now. He is so in love with her and they both say God wants them to be together. He says that being with me is wrong and making him physcially sick. He has not left yet because he can’t seem to leave our children. He says he is closer to God now than he has ever been. I’m a godly wife and I can’t understand why he loves her and believes he belongs with her or that God wants him to be. I don’t believe in divorce but he is planning on leaving and he says it’s not me and that I’m a great person. How do I figure out what to do with this?
I had a drunken one night stand and my wife found out. We were apart for two days then she asked me to come home. We were like teenagers in love at first but after about two months she asked me to leave as she wanted space. We then told our families what happened. She then changed our bedroom furniture the day after I moved out but most of my clothes are still there in the cupboards.
She was meeting a guy in this time who had split from his wife and she said they were just talking and helping each other out. I’ve found out recently that they went out for lunch and an evening meal. I then told her I would move back in and look after our children who are 9,7and 6 and she could move out and be single. She broke down and said she was stupid to go out with him and was trying to save our marriage. She keeps saying she needs space and she still loves me but I need to change and sort out my business and be more driven and look after her financially more.
We went out to movies one night and had good time. We went to a family fun park with children and she said without me saying anything that she loves me and thinks maybe we can get through this. But next day she still seems distant from her texts. I’m working away at mo and haven’t moved back in yet.today I haven’t text her or received any texts from her. I don’t know if she wants to try or not really and not sure if she is now having an affair. I want to save our marriage as I love my wife very much. I think we were doing to many things with the children and had no time for us and lost our connection.
Now the fog has cleared and I can look back at all the magic times we had together and with our children and not the daily grind I miss her so much. She works away a lot sometimes 3 days a week and I work and look after our children which is very hard. What can I do to save our marriage. It’s hard just letting her go thinking she is moving on. Thanks in advance for any help on my situation ali
I have also been to see a therapist in order to ascertain why I did this dreadful thing to my family. I’ve not drunk any alcohol in 4 weeks and want to change for the better and to save us and not get a divorce.
I have a question. My husband has a baby outside of our marriage and is now living with the other woman and the almost three year old. My husband knows I want to reconcile and he says hopefully we can but not now because the child is young and he isn’t over having a daughter. My question is will God restore our marriage or keep us apart since a child is involved?
My husband cheated on me. I’ve discovered that he has a baby with this lady, whom they have been working together at the office, so please help pray with me. I love him, want him back, and for God to heal, restore my marriage. I have a broken heart, cry almost every day. I need God to bring salvation to my husband,and God’s hand to work on his mistakes. Pray with me.
I destroyed my 25 year marriage because of porn and emotional unstable behavior. My wife couldn’t take it anymore. I broke her trust. Nothing would be better than if we can restore and reconnect. But I know God gives each of us free will. I don’t want to manipulate her or God. How do I proceed from here?
Hi, Kenneth. First, you need to know that I am not a counselor, but I do have experience in this area because I had a 30+ year addiction to porn. I am very grateful to God that my wife never left me and that she gave me grace. I’m going to assume your wife had given you many “second chances” and that she finally got to her breaking point. You are facing a long road of personal healing and relational healing.
Trust is such a fragile thing in a relationship. Once it’s broken it can take years to restore; but even if your wife were to be willing to give you one more chance to rebuild the marriage (basically start over) she can never trust you to the same degree as she did earlier in your marriage. BUT…if you were to demonstrate trustworthiness every day for the rest of your life it could rebuild some security that you won’t cheat on her again through porn. Kenneth, if you’re serious about starting this process then go back to our web site and in the “Search This Site” box type in “rebuilding trust” and you’ll see a number of articles you can draw from.
The first step in rebuilding trust is to ask your wife for forgiveness for all of the pain and grief you have caused her over the years. There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. If you simply tell her you’re sorry, then she’ll know you don’t “get it.” You have to get behind her eyes (ask God to show you how you’ve hurt her). Let me give you a word picture. What you have done over the past 25 years has caused a million dollars worth of hurt and pain for your wife. A simple apology is the equivalent to $5 to your wife. Again, go into our search box and put in, “how to ask for forgiveness” and you’ll see a number of articles.
Second, you need to get into counseling with someone who specializes in sexual addiction issues AND start going to recovery groups. Sex Addicts Anonymous is a good one (this is not a Christian group, but their principles can help in your healing process). I also highly recommend you find a Celebrate Recovery group. I can almost guarantee there will be at least one church near you that holds these weekly meetings. They do apply biblical principles. By entering into these kinds of treatment and accountability programs you’ll be demonstrating to your wife that you are serious about dealing with your addiction. One article on our web site that can help both you and your wife understand the scientific brain chemistry behind sexual addiction; it’s called “Porn Hijacks Your Brain.” This article doesn’t “excuse” your behavior, it just gives you insight to what and why this addiction is so powerful.
Then, if you want to find out what God expects of us as husbands…and what our wives need from us…start reading articles in our Topic called, “For Married Men.”
If you follow all of these suggestions there is no guarantee your wife would return, but you need to be committed to changing whether she comes back or not. But if you’re not willing to put this effort in I can guarantee she won’t return. This will almost be the equivalent of taking college courses. You must become a student of what it means to live a pure life as well as become a student of your wife.
CAUTION: DO NOT try to put a time frame on when your wife may be willing to take you back. She needs to know that you are being consistent in your processes to heal your addiction, and I’m not talking for a month or two. Remember, she lived through a very long period of your addiction. Give her time to heal, too.
I hope this helps in some small way, Kenneth.
I am a true believer of these things. Thank you.