This is a question and answer article centering on the issue of recovery from a husband’s adultery with prostitutes. May it minister to your situation!
QUESTION Concerning Prostitutes:
I’ve only been married 4 years. I just learned my husband committed adultery on at least 2 occasions with prostitutes. He says he is sorry and wants to salvage the marriage. I have conflicting emotions from moment to moment. If we as Christians are supposed to forgive others for their sins, why does God allow for divorce when a spouse is unfaithful? I find it hard to believe that a marriage can survive infidelity. I’m wondering how one ever trusts their spouse again after this type of betrayal? We are both Christians. He was saved 3 years ago, no religious upbringing. We don’t have a Church home and share no Christian friends.
We sought counsel from a Christian and that counselor told me that I had approximately 30 days from discovery to either remain, forgive and never speak of the adultery again or divorce. He says that the 30 days is biblical. I’ve never heard of this nor have I read it in the Bible. I think if I choose to stay within the marriage it should be based on my spouse’s behavior. I appreciate any information you may have. Thank you for your time.
Answer in Reply Concerning Prostitutes:
I am so very, very sorry for the pain you are experiencing. Your conflicting emotions are totally normal and to be expected.
The biggest thing you need to know is that there is a difference between forgiving someone and trusting him again. They are not the same. When we forgive, we release the other person from our desire to exact revenge on them for hurting us. We let go of their sin against us into God’s hands so that He can deal with them. But broken trust is another matter; it needs to be earned back, and that takes time-a good amount of time, consisting of one faithful, responsible, caring choice after another.
In order to understand God’s allowance for divorce, consider what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 19:8 “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” The Lord allows for divorce as a matter of love and grace for the one being hurt by a hard-hearted spouse. In the case of infidelity, when a spouse is repentant and truly wants to mend the marriage, God’s desire is that He glorifies Himself in the marriage by demonstrating His power and grace in the relationship.
There are many spouses who will attest to the fact that there is indeed trust after betrayal if the unfaithful one truly repents and commits to faithfulness. But it takes time, like I said. Probably close to a year minimum.
I disagree with the 30-day ultimatum. I see nothing in the Bible that says that. However, I do agree that if you choose to stay in the marriage it would depend on whether your husband shows remorse, demonstrates repentance, seeks accountability and is willing for his whereabouts to be checked on at all times. People who are hiding nothing have nothing to fear from accountability.
Offer of Help
We recommend you visit the Midlife Dimensions website Midlife.com. It offers help and resources for dealing with an affair (by putting “Affairs” in their search engine, or going to “Free Resources” and clicking onto “Sex Addict”). I am concerned that you two are not plugged into a church home and therefore do not have any support system. This is going to make recovery unnecessarily difficult.
I would hope that one way your husband could show you he’s serious about mending your marriage is to find a church home and get connected to other people who will help support your marriage. God never intended for us to be “Lone Ranger Christians.” His intent is for us to be knitted into the body of Christ for support and as a way to receive His various kinds of grace.
You are cheating yourself and yourselves to not be connected to an important source of life and strength. I want to strongly suggest that you make this a priority.
I hope you find this helpful.
P.S. You might also poke around the New Life website Newlife.com and educate yourself on sex addiction. If it were me, I would want to know what drove my husband to prostitutes. I would also want to know if my actions played any part in it. (For example, this is one reason the apostle Paul tells married people not to deprive each other sexually.) It sounds like you have an opportunity to each look at your own “stuff” and see what you can both do to build the marriage, as long as he’s serious about it.
© 2006 Probe Ministries
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 30 years. Sue serves as a Mentor Mom and speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers), and on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. She is also a professional calligrapher and the web mistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian world view and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3 1/2 minute daily radio program, and our extensive web site at Probe.org.
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— PLUS, on this Issue of Prostitutes —
Anne Bercht, from Beyondaffairs.com explains a bit more when you’re dealing with Prostitutes. Please read:
And lastly, here is an additional article that you may find very helpful as you read:
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Filed under: Surviving Infidelity