When You First Discover Infidelity

by Amy Allen

(First in Amy's series on sexual addiction) 

When my husband's internet pornography addiction led to an affair, then acting out with prostitutes, I filed for divorce. But God used what seemed hopeless to bring us both into a real relationship with Jesus. He also redeemed our marriage. These are just some of the things I wish I had known or done when I first found out my husband was being unfaithful.

1. You didn’t cause your husband to act out in this way. There may be some things lacking on your part, there’s no such thing as the perfect wife, but at the end of the day – he chose to sin against God. (James 1:13-15)

2. Don’t take it personally. He didn’t do this just to hurt you or make you suffer or punish you for something you’re not doing – he’s just being selfish and seeking to please himself. Depending on how ensnared he is in the addiction, he may think he needs the pornography or the other woman or the prostitutes, but he doesn’t. He may tell you it’s your fault or take the blame upon himself. But either way, you have to get beyond your feelings and try not to wallow in self-pity – it only makes it harder to get to the root issue. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

3. You must hold him responsible for his own actions. Denial is huge – it seems like the easier way out, but relief is only temporary. Do not allow the behavior to continue, but seek to find out why it started in the first place. If necessary, separate from him physically for while, until he takes ownership of his actions. (Ephesians 4:15)

4. Affirm your love for him. Make sure he knows you love him and that you want to work through this together. Don’t threaten to leave or divorce him – that only makes him want to hide the whole truth from you. (Romans 12:9-12)

5. Don’t shame him. We all have secret sins that need to be dealt with. Thank God that He brought this into the light so you can work on it together. Let your husband confess his sins to you, take ownership of them and repent. (1 John 1:8-9)

6. Do not become bitter with unforgiveness. If your husband has asked for forgiveness, you must forgive him. This may not come immediately, but it must be dealt with quickly before bitterness, hatred or rage overtake you. Remember everything that God through Christ has forgiven you of. (Matthew 18:21-35)

7. Don’t try to retaliate or have an affair yourself to get him back. That will only make matters worse and give him a reason in his own mind to keep doing what he is doing. (Romans 12:17-21)

8. Get plugged into a women’s Bible study where you can study the truth of God’s word in-depth and apply it to your life. This is where you will gain your strength and the wisdom to move forward one step at a time. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

9. Pray for your husband. A great book to help you pray specifically for him is, “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie O’Martian. This is one of the greatest things you can do to promote healing in your marriage. (James 5:16)

10. Ask God if you have been disrespecting your husband in any way. Ask your husband as well. His greatest need is to feel respected by his wife and if he doesn’t, he may start to act in ways that make him feel respected or in control. A great book that explains the different needs of men and women is “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. (Ephesians 5:33)

Remember: you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! ~ Philippians 4:13

Father, I pray for the person reading this, whether a wife or a husband who may have been betrayed by their spouse. Lord, only You know their individual circumstances. Please help them to know where to go from here, who to ask for Biblical counsel and how to find strength in Your Word. I pray, Lord, that You will give them Your eyes to see their spouse the way You do, that You will enable them to love with Your agape love and that there can be true forgiveness as You have called them to. For the spouse who was caught with this sin I pray for true repentance; that You will bring them to the end of themselves, and they will realize that only in You can they find true forgiveness and restoration. Help them to take responsibility for their own actions and to be able to see the hurt they have caused their spouse. Help them to not make excuses for their behavior, but instead use this to show them their need to depend on You for everything. I pray all these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

 
Links in this Series by Amy Allen:
Second:  How to Find Strength When Your Husband is Weak
Third:  Your Cheating Spouse: You Can't Fix Them, Spy On Them, Or Force 
Them to Stop
Fourth:  How to Find Trust After the Affair
Fifth:  No Quick Fixes for a Crumbling Marriage
Sixth:  Finding Your True Worth When You've Been Betrayed

About Author, Amy Allen: When my husband's internet pornography addiction led to an affair, then acting out with prostitutes, I filed for divorce. But God used what seemed hopeless to bring us both into a real relationship with Jesus. He also redeemed our marriage. You can watch our testimony on The 700 Club(www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx) or visit our website athttp://www.aredeemedmarriage.com/. There truly is hope and healing for your marriage when you allow Jesus to redeem it! Tim and Amy Allen