Tag Archives: God

Ask Affaircare: Should I Stay or Go? Can God Restore This Marriage?

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes two Loyal Spouses who essentially ask the same question.  Stay or Go wrote:

My man is cheating on me. I have caught him more than once but he continues to do it. Do I stay or do I go now?

and Can God Restore This Marriage wrote:

…so my husband has had several affairs over our 18-year relationship. I found out about them all at once we started going to counseling with our pastor and his wife. during that time he began cheating again. I just found out and while my pastor believes that god can restore this marriage I wonder if we have messed this up so bad. at first I was feeling like I cannot deal with this at all so I will just pretend to not know and move on. It’s been a few days and now I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him again!

First, we have to say that when we answered “Ask Affaircare” last week, it was just a wee bit long.  This week we will endeavor to keep it shorter!

Dear Stay or Go and Can God Restore This,

We aren’t going to tell you what to do–you two are both adults and personally responsible for your choices. If you choose to stay, do so because you have made a decision to stand firm and then stand firm. If you choose to go, do so because the natural consequence of adultery is breaking the marriage covenant. Thus, if the adulterer BROKE it, they would have to be the one to REPAIR IT by coming to themselves and truly repenting. If they don’t, then divorcing is just one of the natural consequences of the choice that they made to break the marriage covenant.

In the end, the decision is yours and you will reap both the benefits and pay the costs of whatever you choose.  EVERY choice–every decision–has both a benefit and a cost, and usually people make their choices because ‘the perceived benefit’ is more valuable than ‘the perceived cost.’  Now we all know that people are sinful and that the qualities that sinful people value are not the qualities that bring glory and honor to God!  Thus, a selfish person may “value” the ego-boosting flattery of opposite sex attention over the godly commitment to the spouse of their youth.

So since we are not going to tell you what to decide, how about if we look at what the Bible tells us and help you to figure out how to make your own decision?

1.  What are you committed to?  Many people place a commitment to their own happiness ahead of their commitment to their spouse.  Many people put their commitment to ease ahead of the covenant they made before God to put the effort into loving their spouse!

So one way you can decide whether to Stay or Go…is to consider “What are YOU committed to?” Honoring your promise?  -OR- Your own happiness?

2. What did Jesus say about Divorce?  Well…let’s look! Matthew 19:8-9: Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.   I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

So straight from Jesus’ mouth, He says you CAN divorce for sexual immorality–that is to say, you are ‘allowed’–but notice that He doesn’t say you MUST.  It’s not a commandment. So if you don’t want to divorce after your spouse is unfaithful, God doesn’t require it of us, but He does allow divorce for that one exception: sexual immorality.

3. Obviously God CAN restore–He has the ability to do anything.  He is God!  He can choose to suspend the law of gravity or choose to make the sun stand still if He wills!  So the question is not “CAN God restore this marriage?” but rather “Will He? Is it His will?”  One of the best suggestions we can give you to decide what IS and IS NOT God’s will is to read the Bible.  The more you read the Bible, the more you have the opportunity to get to know God’s mind.  The more you know God mind, the easier it is to determine if something is God’s will or not!

4.  What about forgiveness?  Many times people think that “forgiveness” means “forgetting” or “approving” — and nothing could be further from the truth.  We are never, ever told to approve of known sin, nor to just forget about it as if it never happened.  What ARE we told about forgiveness then?  Well let’s look at Luke 17:3-4 “So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

But what if they don’t “come to themselves” or repent (meaning, act and think 180 differently and stop their sin)?  Do we have to forgive then? It doesn’t say we MUST–but it also doesn’t say we can’t! So we are allowed to forgive even if they don’t ask!

So we are still not going to tell you what to decide.  Instead we pray that this look at what the Bible tells us has helped you to figure out how to make your own decision.  We would also like to invite you to come back on Friday to listen to the podcast–either on the Affaircare YouTube channel, on iTunes or Stitcher, or here on the blog–because we’ll be going into even more detail on how to decide if you should stay…or you should go.

Ask Affaircare: I Don’t Know What to Do Anymore

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes from a Disloyal Spouse who just can not break it off with the Other Person.  He writes:

Hi, I just found your site tonight and I’m really struggling.  I’m the disloyal spouse and I’m still in phone contact with the OP which is my ex fiancée.   My spouse knows about my affair, which lasted years.  I’m still very much in love with my ex, although I’ve tried to not be.  I can’t let the ex go, I’ve tried and tried over 18 yrs.  I keep flip flipping back between the both of them.   I have left my spouse a couple of times for my ex.  I am now back in the marital home since March 2014 after moving out and into my ex ‘ s place for 2 months.  My heart is with my ex, and I have a hard time being intimate with my spouse, to the point of hardly ever.  I’m very depressed over what this situation has become.  Don’t know what to do anymore.  

Unhappy in life

Dear Unhappy in life,

Actually, yes, you do know what to do. The problem is that you don’t want to! You write that you are depressed over what this situation has become, and that is quite understandable – and something you can easily overcome. But I have to make a couple of things clear. At Affaircare, we approach reality from a Christian viewpoint, which means that we understand very clearly what is right and what is wrong in this type of situation. We know the solution, and, we know that the solution is both possible and also fulfilling. This means that what we expect you to do is specific and clearly laid out by God in Scripture. Moreover, your depression is self-inflicted and as such, your choices will determine whether you continue in depression or move out of it.

The first thing I’d like to point out is that you are not acting like a man (you aren’t acting like a woman either, so do not misinterpret what I’m saying.) There is an old saying: “A man is as good as his word.” In biblical terms, this is found in Deut. 23:23 “…You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth…”  You are only as dependable, credible, trustworthy, and respectable as your ability and desire to keep your promises, and this is something that God promises He will help His children fulfill.

In this instance, you have made a promise to your wife, and you have backed out on your promise. You have not kept your word. You are a liar. You are sinning. Of course, the idea of sin will only bother a Christian, but the rest of this appeals to nearly all walks of life. No wonder you are depressed – you know deep inside that you are a liar, untrustworthy, lack credibility, and respectability. If you didn’t feel depressed, there would be something really wrong with you!

Interestingly, feeling depressed because you realize all of these things is a good sign: your conscience is working and you know the correct path to take. You can overcome this. The fact that it bothers you is actually a good thing!

But there is more. You write that your “…heart is with my ex…”, that you are “…still very much in love with my ex…” although “…I’ve tried to not be…”  Again, it’s understandable why you would feel depressed, and let me say that there is a solution to this. Keep in mind that what you are talking about is NOT love! It is familiarity, lust, admiration, affection, and any number of other emotional states. You have chosen – even if not with explicit intention – to feel these things about a person from your past, rather than giving them to your wife. In this, you are cheating. You are not giving 100% of your loyalty and affection to the person you promised to give these things.

Love is none of the above. It is an action. It is how you treat others. You promised to love your wife – that is, to treat her in a way that is best for her – and yet the only person you are really loving right now is yourself: you are chasing after what you have determined is best for you. And you’ve shown how bad you are at even that simple activity –  you feel depressed because it isn’t working!

On top of this, there is a strong possibility that you enjoy the lure of forbidden activities. That is, you get a thrill out of cheating, out of the actual sin. Adam and Eve were tempted in the same way – and gave in the same as you. Its a very human characteristic. The one thing they were forbidden – that was the one thing they wanted most – because it was forbidden. That is fallen human nature at its strongest.

So you have chosen to give into temptation for the sake of fulfilling what makes you feel good. And this calls up the first point we brought up: a man is only as good as his word. No one says it is easy to do the right thing. Sometimes it is hard. But a real man will do what it takes, because it is the right thing to do, even if it is painful or difficult. What you have chosen, instead, is to worship your pleasure. You do what it takes to feel good – and, ironically, you find that it fails at every turn. What a surprise! You feel depressed!

Yes, you know what to do. You have three choices:

1) Stay the course, keep doing what you are doing, and quit complaining about feeling depressed. That’s the consequence of the choice you made, and no one is interested in your self pity.

2) Divorce your wife, and run to your lover. It’s almost a forgone conclusion that this will end up in failure, but this would at least free your wife from the anguish of being chained to a dishonest, cheating, self-centered fool who refuses to act with love toward her.

3) Drop your ex, turn to your spouse for forgiveness, do the right thing, and take the consequences, however painful they may be in the near future, knowing that as a real man, you are taking steps to build credibility, trustworthiness, and respecatbility. And, if you are a Christian, know that God has promised (and cannot fail) to pull you through and bless your choice. Your depression will end, and you will find life much more satisfying – once you have done the hard work

Faithfully,
David at Affaircare

Ask Affaircare: Should I expose after the divorce is final?

AskAffaircare

 

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


 

Our email question today comes from a divorced wife, who writes:

It has been a year since I caught my husband and his mistress (also his employee). When I went to his family, they said I was being paranoid. Now it has been 7 months since our divorce has been finalized. His mistress and her husband are divorcing as well. I want to forward the personal email correspondences between my x husband and his employee to his mother. Should I? That is the only thing that is bothering me…that none of his family helped me, they made me feel crazy and paranoid. I also want to resend it to my husband and his employee and to his workplace.

 

Dear divorced wife,

You are DEFINITELY in our prayers!  We bet this has been a very painful, trying time for you working through the discovery of the affair, dealing with in-laws that did not support you, and then finalizing a divorce.  It sounds so hard!

But let’s start by saying that the step of “Exposure” in our “Steps to End an Affair” is often a step that is misunderstood.  Very often people think that exposing the affair is just going to drive their spouse further away or that it is done in a spirit of vengeance to hurt their spouse back.  But the Bible is VERY clear about being vengeful–in both the Old and New Testament God is consistent when He tells us what He wants:

Deuteronomy 32:35 says “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”  So in the Old Testament days, God was telling Israel that if a nation did not hear His voice and follow Him, when that evil nation sent thousands against His people, that He would be their ROCK and feed them, defend them, and avenge them.  The message was that vengeance is God’s job, not ours.

Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul quotes the verse we above!  He is teaching the new Christians what Love in Action looks like, and he says  something beautiful in the verses surrounding this one:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
 if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

WOW!  What a lesson in how to treat our spouses and their families when they are being hurtful to us!

Now, after reading all this you may be thinking, ‘Well wait! Then how does your Exposure step fit into all this?  Seems like it would be contrary to what we just read.”

If you review the steps we suggest, the first step is that if you suspect, before you go off half-cocked making accusations, that you keep an open mind and investigate to find the truth.  When a person is sinning (and adultery is sin), they usually try to cover it up with lies, deflection and hiding it, so in order to find out if the gut feeling is true, you keep your mind open to either finding proof they are faithful or they are not, and you search out facts.

The second, third and fourth steps exactly mirror the steps on dealing with sin in the Church in Matthew 18:15-17:

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” [This is Step 2 Confront–alone, one-one-one, giving them the opportunity to deal with it honestly and discreetly.]

“But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” [This is Step 3 Disclose–tell one or two mentors, wise people that your spouse looks up to and may listen to, and give them the opportunity to deal with it as quietly as possible.]

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” [THIS is Step 4 Expose–and the goal of “telling it to the church” is to give them the incentive to stop an active sin and be reconciled with God and with their church family!]

It is important to note that Exposure has a very specific goal: to END AN ACTIVE AFFAIR. Yes, the Disloyal Spouse is likely to be angry, because you are not keeping their secret, and having the affair out in the open takes away some of the “fun” of their clandestine rendezvous!  But a marriage can survive anger–it can not survive active adultery!  So the goal is very clear and very focused: end an active affair. It is somewhat drastic, but often shining the light of truth on a sin that someone is trying to hide is enough motivation for them to stop!!

So to solidly answer YOUR specific question, no we do not think it would be wise or helpful at this time to send the emails to your ex-spouse’s family OR to his workplace.  That was maybe an option while you were still married in an attempt to break up the infidelity and then give you two time to save your marriage, but now, the divorce is final.  It’s been final for almost a year.  And yes, often people disappoint us and hurt us when they are not willing to stand up for the truth and do the right thing.

It sounds like his family just swept his adultery under the rug and/or accepted it, and we understand that is EXTREMELY painful to you.  But now you are no longer bound to or obligated to or part of that family.  You are free to associate with people who do love you and support you, whether they be your blood family or your Christian family.  Personally, we suggest that rather than sending out those emails, that instead you return your focus to living in a way that pleases God, and focus on people in your life who ARE loving and who have acted in a way that supports your spiritual growth.  If someone is encouraging you to seek vengeance, that is not a person who is encouraging you to mature in Christ!  So instead, let go of your ex and his mistress and his family.  Your responsibility to them has ended.  NOW your responsibility is to being the woman God intended for you to be.