The subject of a cheating spouse breaks my heart. Especially because I know a dear couple in the middle of big, fat, cheating mess. I want to help them so badly (translate to “I want to slap some sense into him”) but I know this is a job that’s too big for even a busybody friend like me.
So I’m going to tell you the things I’m dying to tell each of them. And hopefully there will be opportunities for me & my man to speak truth & love into their relationship.
To the cheater:
– Stop listening to your feelings. Feelings are temporary and they change.
– The idea that you’re not in love with your wife anymore… again, you’re focusing on your feelings. Marriages aren’t passion-packed every single day. Some days you move along easily and other times you’ve got to work hard. Work hard on this marriage or you’ll end up having to work even harder on the next one.
– This other woman is not your “soul mate”. God would not send you a soul mate when you are already married.
– This other woman is not perfect. No one is perfect. Think about your focus right now…. When you think of your wife you immediately think negative thoughts. When you think of the other woman you start thinking positive thoughts. Try reversing those thoughts.
– Be a better father! You have children. The other woman has children. I’m sure you two haven’t spent much time with each other’s kids. Your relationship will change once the kids are involved, and I guarantee you it will only make things more difficult.
– You are acting like a spoiled brat. What gives you the right to have everything you want? Especially when having those things hurts the people that love you the most.
– Pray. Pray that God will take away this desire for another woman. Pray that He will give you back your desire for your wife. Pray for forgiveness. God will give you all of these things. He loves you and wants what’s best for you.
– Surround yourself with good role models. Do not hang out with single guys or other men who think cheating is ok.
To the injured spouse:
– You have value. This is not a reflection of anything you have or haven’t done.
– This other woman is not better than you. Your husband has bought into an illusion and is listening to a lie. Do not let it undermine your self-worth.
– This is one of the hardest things you will ever walk through, but you are not alone and you are stronger than you think.
– Seek Godly counsel. Knowing how hard to fight, when to hang on, when to let go… these are different in every situation & I do not have the answer. Talk to a professional you can trust to help you with the big decisions.
– Pray. A lot. God wants your marriage to survive and He can work miracles. Trust Him.
Anyone who’s been married more than once knows the pain of divorce and the struggles of starting over with someone new, especially when kids are involved. I just can’t help but imagine how much harder that would be with the added issues of guilt & resentment & anger that infidelity would spark in every person involved, including the kids.
Has our culture become so accustomed to instant gratification that we’re forgetting how to commit? What does that teach our children? Come on people, we’re better than this.
(archived from Aug. 3, 2013)