It is the holiday time of year and you have decorated the house for Christmas. You’ve bought and wrapped the gifts and placed them beneath the tree, and the Christmas music plays on the radio. You want to feel the joy and anticipation that usually accompanies this time of the year but you don’t. You have been hiding the wreckage inside that lives behind the smile you wear on your face.

The holidays bring a special kind of stress and emotional torture to women who are part of a marriage that has been devastated by sexual sin or emotional adultery. Most are just been going through the motions, because in the background they are dealing with a severely broken marital relationship. It is keenly felt at this time of the year because the expectation for happiness and joy is so high. No one wants to be the “Debbie Downer” at Christmas, so most women stuff the fear and other emotions they live with every day. Below are some of the common issues along with some biblical responses that you might find helpful.

I don’t trust him anymore
I understand how difficult it is to trust someone who has broken your heart (Psalm 34:18). You gave him the most precious part of who you are and he violated that sacred bond. It is normal to distrust his words and his actions (Psalm 55:1-23). It is acceptable to hold him accountable for his time, money, and words. He should be willing to be accountable (1 Thessalonians 5:21). If he has repented and is working with you to save the marriage, at some point you will have to give him the opportunity to reestablish trust. Start small with things that are less threatening to you. Initially, you will have to work at believing what he says. The more his word proves true, trust will slowly begin to grow. Don’t expect a miraculous change in your trust levels, what was demolished in an instant can take quite a while to rebuild.

I can’t shut my thoughts off
Many women routinely struggle with invasive thoughts regarding their husband’s infidelity. It is very easy to entertain those thoughts and allow them to carry you to despair and self-pity, anger and bitterness (2 Corinthians 10:5). You may have noticed that when you think about what has happened your emotions are quick to respond. Your thoughts are the beginning point of your feelings and actions. There may be times you have to speak truth aloud to yourself if your thoughts are really running away with you (Philippians 4:8). Keep your thoughts under control, and be consistent in submitting them to the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). I would also suggest bathing your thoughts in Scripture. When you are meditating on God’s Word it will be difficult to think of other things (Colossians 3:2-5).

I am afraid
I understand your fears. You cannot control what your husband does in the days ahead (Psalm 56″3). You cannot monitor him night and day (nor should you try). Very much of this is outside of your control, but let’s look at what you can control. You can control your thoughts (Philippians 4:6-7). You can take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). You can practice charitable judgments regarding your husband. You can choose to work toward remembering no more the sin that was committed against your marriage (Psalm 34:17:20). This will become much easier if you stop rehearsing the information you know about the infidelity over and over in your mind . You can look at your husband’s sin through the eyes of Christ (Colossians 3:12-15).

I will survive
Today you may think that this will never end. You might wonder if you will ever get through this horrible pain, if you will ever be able to relax or rejoice again. It may not be easy, but you will survive this. Of course, I cannot predict if your husband will continue to walk the road of repentance, but regardless of what he does you can heal and move forward.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

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