I have gotten many requests for this topic, (48 since January 1!) so I am going to address this issue in detail and specifically.
How did you become aware of his sin? Did you find it on the home computer, or his work laptop? Were you suspicious about new behaviors he has developed? Did you find a note or a receipt that clued you in to the fact he was not actually where he said he would be?
However you learned of it, the news is devastating. If you thought your marriage was a good one and you learn that he has been unfaithful in any way the news shatters your life. Questions abound as you try and figure out where you have gone wrong, and how you could have prevented it or missed it. Your heart first breaks, and then steels itself for the confrontation that is sure to come. On the heels of the heartbreak is rage and anger and humiliation- and fear.
The scenarios are too numerous to address one by one, and your situations are so vastly different from one another that I could spend a lifetime addressing each issue if I chose to take that on. Instead, I will tell you that I completely understand what you are dealing with and facing. My first marriage broke up due to infidelity of all kinds, so your pain and rage and confusion are not new to me.
The question is, now what do you do? How do you deal with this? I want to help you, Christian Wife and Woman, to see this sin through the eyes of the Lord and the Gospel. Please hang in there with me through this process.
Your “dealing with it” begins with the Gospel. As angry and upset as you are this minute, please take the time to look at this sin as “sin.” How does God see his sin? First, it is a sin against a holy God.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 1 Thess 4:3
Because he has first sinned against God, the Gospel must be applied. If he is not a Christian, then he obviously needs the Gospel for his salvation first, and growth to follow. If he is not a Christian, he has acted out of the only nature he has! He has acted out of his sinful nature. There is nothing within him spiritually that would prevent him from doing these things (Eph. 2:1)
If he is a Christian, he must be reminded that because of the cross and because of Christ he can be and is forgiven by God. In this case, your husband does have available help in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He does have a new nature out which he can operate. He may be so bogged down by his sin that he believes he is truly beyond help and hope. This is where you, loving wife, must set aside your own pain, betrayal, outrage and desires and minister to your brother in Christ. You must, in these hours and coming days choose to see his sin, as “sin” and by the power available to you from the Holy Spirit minister to your husband.
You must be able to see his sin for the worship disorder it really is. Please allow me to explain;
Many husbands are caught in the downward cycle of viewing pornography. However innocent it began, it quickly becomes a major idol of the heart pushing everything else out of the way to be satisfied. Pornography, like all other sins we commit is the result of a worship disorder of the heart. Your husband is worshiping his desire for pleasure rather than worshiping God.
For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Matt. 15:19
Christ died for this. Your husband is sinful yet accepted by God because of Christ. It is all of grace. If you can begin by planting your feet solidly on that Rock, than you will survive this and you could in fact come out on the other side even stronger and with a better marriage than what you have now!
Please resist the urge to rant and rail at him. Please resist the urge to threaten and strike back because you are so deeply hurt and angry. Please take a deep, deep breath and pray that God would by His grace help you to settle down and look at this through His eyes.
This is where we start. Come back next time and we will go on through this process.