“Marriage was God’s idea and design to begin with, which means he knows better than anyone how to fix it when it’s broken.”
-Pastor Kerry Watts
Infidelity is one of the most painful forms of betrayal within the human experience. Many things can lead up to this act, such as a lack of communication; undefined boundaries between yourself and a co-worker; unguarded emotions; comparisons; unresolved conflict with your spouse; misconceptions of marriage; the rise in the pornographic industry; and a variety of other things.
Emotional infidelity is now on the rise and can affect more marriages than physical infidelity alone. This act can be more harmful to the marriage relationship than the act of physical adultery. They both can lead to lack of trust, anger, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, confusion, and much more depending on the severity of the case.
If you are feeling any of these emotions, you are not alone. By taking the correct steps with the support of the right people in your life, you can move forward.
If you have experienced marriage infidelity:
- Invite Christ in the middle of your pain to make this journey more bearable. Christ is the Prince of Peace and amongst all the pain and hurt, turning to Him will lead to an unexplainable peace during this challenging experience.
- Get involved in a small group or mentorship. This will allow you to be encouraged by others and will give you an outlet to express your pain and emotion in a healthy way.
- Try to forgive your partner. This might be the hardest thing to do, but pray that God will help you and guide you through this process. Communicate openly and honestly with your spouse and consider going to a Christ-based counselor.
- Infidelity is not your fault. It is a decision made by the other partner based on their emotions and actions. Do not let this define who you are and affect your relationship with Christ and with others. The world is flawed, and trials will come, but Christ has overcome the world!
Words to Live By:
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” Mark 10: 6-9 (NIV).
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” Hebrews 13:4 (KJV).
“The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, but rather her husband, and similarly a husband does not have authority over his own body, but rather his wife. Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control” 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (Revised Version, NABRE).
When it comes to love and relationships, infidelity has become a growing problem which damages the foundation of trust and respect between two people. Infidelity is more than a physical or sexual activity outside a committed relationship. It is also an emotional violation of sacred trust which takes an emotional toll on both parties. The victim of cheating is often heartbroken and is plagued with guilt and shame over believing they have caused their partner to cheat. Recovering from infidelity will take time. Depression and anxiety are common reactions. Infidelity may cause the breakup of the relationship. Some couples choose to stay together and try to rebuild the relationship. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you are not alone and there will be a day when life will get better. This is a good time to trust God and seek His comfort and support. It is very therapeutic to take this experience and try help others who are going through what you are. It may be hard at first to reach out to others, but do the best you can, and someday, it will get easier.
Grace Notes by Philip Yancey
“Pleasure is at once a great good and a grave danger. If we start chasing pleasure as an end in itself, along the way we may lose sight of the One who gave us such good gifts as sexual drive, taste buds, and the capacity to appreciate beauty. As Ecclesiastes tells it, a wholesale devotion to pleasure will, paradoxically, lead to a state of utter despair” (31).