is devastating to any marriage, regardless of the circumstances.
Unfortunately, adultery is all too common. If your spouse has committed
or is committing adultery, you need to turn your feelings toward
God and ask Him for wisdom and strength to do the right thing, and
also ask for the ability to hear His voice in the middle of your
pain and anguish.
Advice for the Betrayed Spouse
Upon reflection, if you discover that you have contributed
to the problem, repent and keep that in mind as you consider your
response to the situation. Dealing with adultery is very complex,
and it involves a lot of issues that you must address before determining.
- What is your spouse's attitude in the matter?
- Is your spouse being honest and open about it?
- Is your spouse sorrowful and repentant?
- Was it a one-time act, or something that happened over
a period of months or years?
- Did your spouse try to cover it up?
If your marriage was unhealthy to begin with, and your spouse's
act of adultery was a short-lived event that came in a time of weakness,
that's important to consider. If that's the case and your spouse
is being honest and repentant, I suggest you forgive your spouse
and reconcile. A first prerequisite to doing this would be to agree
together to get marriage counseling to help "repair" the
weak areas that may have contributed to the problem and to rebuild
If, however, your spouse is defiant about his or her act of adultery?
If it's still happening and he or she refuses to stop? If this is
not the first time it has happened? Then your response needs to
be much stronger. This is when you may consider separation or possibly
divorce. Staying in the relationship can expose you to serious disease,
as well as great emotional harm.
While the Bible says you can divorce your spouse if he or she commits
adultery, that does not mean it is God's perfect will. God can miraculously
change anyone. You should always pursue God's direction prayerfully
and with the input of wise counsel.
If you decide to move toward divorce, I also recommend you get Christian
counseling to help you through the process. With your emotions frazzled,
it can be a very difficult time in which to make sound decisions
alone. Get some objective and godly input from a trusted Christian
leader or counselor.
Advice for the Offending Spouse
If you are the person who committed adultery, the most important
step you can take is to accept the responsibility for your actions
and the gravity of what you have done. Recognize the pain and the
betrayal that you have caused your spouse. You have sinned against
God and against your spouse.