Restoring a Marriage after an Affair
Adultery and Your Marriage – Advice for the Spouse Who Had the Affair
As a caring, Christian marriage counselors, we seek to provide compassionate help to couples with whatever struggles they are dealing with, including such that are as serious as adultery. It is important to understand that 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 forbidden by God as a sin against Him and one’s spouse (Hebrews 13:4). It is self-destructive (Proverbs 6:32). And if there are children, they are at risk of a devastating future. 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 the crisis. “Nothing is impossible with God,” (Luke 1:37).
When Your Spouse Is Unfaithful
If your spouse has an affair, whether a physical affair or an emotional affair, 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. This is rarely ever the case and it is important that you not jump to such unfounded conclusions. 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 regardless what a “cheating” spouse says the reason was, it is they who made the decision to engage in the affair. may Regardless of what your spouse attribute the affair to, it is very possible that he or she will come to understand and take responsibility for what happened and why. If your spouse and you are both willing to be open and honest about your feelings and actions, and are willing to seek professional Christian marriage help then healing and restoration of your marriage 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 participate in a Christian marriage restoration program that can help you communicate, work through underlying issues and repair damaged emotions?
- Is the partner who cheated willing to accept full responsibility for those actions?
- Are both of you willing to put in the intensive effort needed 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). Participating in a Christian, marriage intensive program that specifically addresses the issues related to infidelity 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