Restoring a Marriage after an Affair
Adultery and Marriage
Adultery can occur in marriages for a wide range of reasons including sexual temptation, boredom, jealousy, loneliness and general unhappiness. By engaging with another person outside your marriage, whether it be sexual activity, or engaging emotionally by sharing affection with another, you are putting your spouse, yourself and your children at risk of severe emotional, mental and physical anguish that can destroy your marriage and family. Engaging in adultery is not only harmful to your marriage, but it is a sin against God (Hebrews 13:4). It is self-destructive (Proverbs 6:32). And if there are children, they are at risk of great pain. But, the good news is that restoring a marriage after an affair is possible, with God’s help. In fact, not only can your marriage survive an affair, but your marriage can become even stronger than it was before. Nothing is impossible with God.
When a Spouse Cheats
If your spouse cheats on you, you may find yourself experiencing a sense of denial at first, followed by feelings of betrayal, anger, frustration, and devastation. You may also experience feelings of shock, grief, despair, helplessness, fear, anxiety, and hopelessness. Depression and stress can often lead to physical illness. You may feel that it’s your fault and blame yourself. Sometimes a spouse who has committed adultery will say that it happened because you were not meeting their needs and so he or she looked to someone else. But resorting to playing the blame game will never result in a healed marriage. However, solid, productive communication can be the pathway to restoration. If you are both willing to be open and honest about your feelings and actions, and are willing to apply key biblical principles in your marriage, healing and restoration of your marriage and family can be an achievable outcome.
Restoring the Marriage
It is possible to restore a relationship after an affair, but it requires time, willingness, a lot work. Serious consideration must be given to these factors:
- Is the spouse who committed adultery willing to completely and immediately end the adulterous relationship?
- Are you both willing to seek the help of a Christian counselor who can help you communicate, work through underlying issues and repair damaged emotions?
- What led to the affair? Is the partner who cheated willing to accept full responsibility for those actions?
- Are both partners willing to forgive each other for the wrongs that have occurred?
- What changes are both members of the marriage willing to make to repair the hurt and move forward?
It is God’s will for you to remain committed exclusively to each other for life. When sin separates you from that commitment, remember, no sin is ever bigger than God’s grace, if you will confess and ask His forgiveness by faith, ( 1 John 1:9). Meeting with a qualified Christian counselor can help guide and engage you in a dialogue that will help each of you to heal from the hurt, anger, guilt and pain, and show you the pathway to a restored marriage.
The American Association of Christian Counselors
The Marriage and Family Counselors Network
Christian Counselors of Texas
The Association of Marriage and Family Ministries