WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Recovery After Adultery
You shall not commit adultery. – Exodus 20:14
Since marriage is supposed to be life-long it is doubtful that in the normal scheme of things, anyone enters into it thinking that they will commit adultery.Indeed, most would find the idea of either partner doing so to be very unlikely.
The sad statistic, however, is that infidelity will affect nearly 25% of couples at some point during their married life.
In spite of this appalling statistic, couples affected by adultery can survive to tell the tale, and in fact, with counseling, have a very good chance of doing so.Many even come out with an even stronger relationship on the other side.
What Is Adultery?
How do we define adultery? Does kissing count, or does it have to be full blown sex with someone outside of your marriage in order to fit the definition? People sometimes raise these kinds of questions, but it most often is in order to justify doing what they already know to be wrong. A good rule of thumb is that if you feel compelled to hide what you are doing, then you are already in sin and you know it.As Christians, we are to avoid the petty rationalizations of our sin and build marriages that are characterized by loyalty to our spouse, integrity, and sacrificial love for the one who God has given us.
Reasons For Adultery
Upon discovering that your spouse has cheated on you, you are probably asking yourself how it all happened.What brought your marriage to this point? What could have prompted your spouse to sin against you in this way? Perhaps you even place the blame on yourself.The sad fact is, however, that there are many reasons that people commit adultery.
Consider the following short list of reasons:
Long-term, unresolved conflict in your marriage.
Failure to fulfill your spouse’s sexual needs.
Failure to connect with your spouse emotionally (drifting apart).
Addiction (on the part of one or both spouses) to sex or even love.
Crossing the line from appropriate friendship to romantic friendship with someonewho isnot your spouse, either online or at work.
A social context where infidelity is both frequent and accepted.
In order for your marriage to recover from adultery, both partners have to be able and willing to honestly discuss the subject. Knowing why it happened is a key part of the recovery process, and understanding the reasons behind it can help the betrayed spouse move past the infidelity. It can also give the offending spouse the opportunity to get their feelings out in the open while at the same time showing them the deeper reasons that led to their sin.
Of course, talking through these issues can cause a lot more emotional pain and strife. Christian counseling can be a third-party voice of reason, a safe place for those seeking to save their marriages in the wake of adultery.
SURVIVING ADULTERY: HOPE IN CHRIST
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32
Many couples who have survived infidelity can testify that their marriage is stronger now than ever before.How is this possible? In spite of the damage caused by adultery, it often happens that having their marriage pushed to the edge of destruction can motivate people to make genuine change.
Real recovery from infidelity will take a monumental effort from both partners, but with single-minded commitment to bring about healing, recovery is possible.With the power of Jesus Christ working in and through good Christian counseling, you can find the help you need to stay the course, moving toward the goal of restoration.
Does Christian Biblical Counseling Work?
We have witnessed numerous success stories where couples who were determined to overcome the pain and betrayal brought about by adultery have succeeded in restoring their marriages.We have also seen couples who tried to work things out on their own for a time but were unable to work through the deep pain, guilt, and other problems.
Once they underwent Christian biblical counseling, they were given the tools they needed to move forward and were finally able to make headway.Though we cannot guarantee that Christian biblical counseling in the wake of adultery will result in success in every case, we have observed that most couples are happy with the results.
HOW IT WORKS: WHAT POST-INFIDELITY COUNSELING LOOKS LIKE
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26
Our faith-based approach look to verses like the one above for hope and direction as we seek to address the whole person, going beyond what secular counseling is capable of offering.With faith in Christ and biblical principles for healthy marriages, The Right Marriage Christian Biblical Counseling has helped couples work through the most difficult of problems.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING POST-INFIDELITY MARRIAGE COUNSELING?
Every marriage is different, as is every couple, and so their needs with regard to recovering from adultery will differ.Usually, post-infidelity marriage counseling will resemble counseling for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).In fact, the betrayed spouse may even suffer from symptoms of PTSD.In order to fight the fear and distrust caused by adultery, it is crucial that both spouses be committed to truth, openness, and integrity.It takes a lot of hard work to rebuild the trust that has been destroyed by the cheating spouse, but as God works through Christian counseling, it becomes possible.
Rebuilding trust after the betrayal of adultery is no easy matter.Regardless of how hard the betrayed spouse tries, and in spite of the best efforts of the adulterous spouse, it will most likely be extremely difficult to overcome the feelings of intense fear and insecurity.Having had that trust betrayed in the most devastating way, it will most likely take years of dedication and hard work on the part of both spouses to rebuild the damaged relationship.Only if both partners are committed to the healing process can Christian counseling have any effect.
We are called to “put off” the old, sinful self, and to “put on” Christ.Only by faith in his word and his promises can the sinful soul and the wounded spirit find rest.
The process of rebuilding a loving relationship after an affair includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Accountability – Adultery is always a sin, regardless of the circumstances. The offending spouse absolutely must demonstrate real accountability and a real understanding of the damage that their sin has caused.
Vulnerability – “Once bitten, twice shy,” as the old saying goes.Once your spouse has betrayed you, it can be very difficult to be vulnerable with them again. In spite of the wariness, however, the betrayed spouse must be willing to take the risk and realize that the pain and fear they are experiencing actually can lessen over time as the offending spouse begins trying to rebuild the trust they once shared.
Ask and answer questions – The guilty spouse must be willing to answer any questions related to the adultery during counseling. The betrayed spouse will learn how to ask constructive questions rather than merely tossing around accusations and using language as a weapon.
Be real in your expectations – For the betrayed spouse, this means understanding that healing and forgiveness take time. It is common for more details to come to the surface,even after you thought you knew everything. They should keep their eyes on the goal of recovery. The guilty spouse, on the other hand, should think carefully about their expectations of marriage, some of which might have been irrational, and have led them into sin in the first place.
Forgiveness – It is profoundly hoped that through Christian counseling, both partners will be able to move past the hurt and distrust and rebuild their marriage in a way that pleases God.
In situations like this, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We understand that.Whether you can see it right now or not, the struggles you face might be just the thing that you need to build a marriage that can stand rock solid against the storms of this life that try to tear marriages apart.
We are here to hold out faith and hope for the redemption and healing of your relationship.Whatever you do, don’t give up: there is still hope. Contact us today to schedule your risk-free initial session.
To learn more about Christian biblical counseling for recovery after your marriage has been struck by infidelity, or to schedule an appointment, simply contact us online or give us a call at 813-260-9740