ADULTERY

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THE SNARE OF AN AFFAIR

Coping with the Aftermath

How do you move forward in the aftermath of an affair? You may be in a cloud of confusion now and there is hope for a brighter future.  Adultery is unfortunately far too common today. No matter what you call it – adultery, an affair, infidelity, being cheated on – the pain is real. Healing is possible.

The betrayal is unspeakable. The heartache, unbearable. Adultery breaks trust, shatters intimacy, and destroys relationships. You’re left to pick up the pieces. How do you move forward? The Women of Faith resources provide practical steps for both the faithful and unfaithful spouse in the aftermath of an affair. Learn how to confront and respond to infi delity, how to seek intervention, and when to rebuild trust. You may be in a cloud of confusion now, and God’s Word offers answers to clear the way and reveals hope for a brighter future.

Adultery is unfortunately far too common today. No matter what you call it – adultery, an affair, infidelity, being cheated on – the pain is real. Healing is possible.In marriage, spouses don’t imagine they will ever say, “My husband cheated on me” or “My wife is having an affair.”

  • Whether you’re newly married or you’ve been married for years, adultery is one of the most difficult experiences someone can have. You might be wondering…
  • How could this have happened?
  • How can I forgive my spouse?
  • How can I ever trust my spouse again?
  • What will happen to my marriage?
  • What should I do?

Adultery is sin and it is also a symptom that all is not well in a marriage. There are many reasons for adultery: 

  • Our own sinful, selfish desires: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14).
  • Lack of maturity: Fifty percent of teenage marriages come apart in the first five years; however, age is not the only criterion. Immature selfishness at any age can lead to unfaithfulness. Another sign of immaturity is a lack of willingness to accept the responsibility of a family.
  • Demanding, critical, scolding, nagging husbands or wives.
  • Lack of sexual satisfaction on the part of either mate.
  • Transferring to one’s mate hostility felt toward a mother or father.
  • Meddlesome in-laws who smother a husband and wife with criticism or well-intended advice.
  • Lack of adequate sex education. 

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you,  in order to bring praise to God.” 

Romans 15:7

What Is Adultery? 

Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her lawful spouse. 

“You shall not commit adultery.”

(Exodus 20:14) 

What Does It Mean to Adulterate? 

  • To adulterate is to corrupt or debase. 
  • To adulterate is to make impure or inferior by adding something improper. 
  • To adulterate sexually means to be involved in any sexually impure activity. 

“Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.”

(Ephesians 5:3) 

What Is Fornication? 

  • “Fornication” is generally an umbrella word for any sexual immorality, including adultery and pornographic acts. The Greek word porneia, from which we get the English word pornography, is often translated “fornication.” 
  • Fornication sometimes refers to sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons. 
  • Fornication is used as a spiritual metaphor when referring to mixing worldliness and godliness. 

“Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:13 KJV)

You should expect no easy solutions in dealing with the problem of adultery. However, God can work the miracle of the new birth for the non-Christian, and spiritual renewal for His own who have fallen away.  If you are successful in securing a commitment to Christ, you can be confident that this will bring a new perspective, making it easier to mend lives and to reach permanent solutions.

Consider some of the consequences of adultery:

Emotional:  guilt, fear, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, shattered personalities, and depression

Physical:  illegitimate births, venereal disease, abortions

Spiritual:  loss in this life and in that which is to comeIf you’re struggling with questions like these, know that there is hope. We want to equip you with helpful information so you can find hope and healing today.

Possible Outward Signs of Adultery 

  • Change in behavior 
  • Change in mood 
  • Change in spending patterns 
  • Change in schedule 
  • Less personal conversation 
  • Less discussion of future plans 
  • Less spontaneity 
  • Less sexual intimacy 
  • More unaccounted time away from home 
  • More faultfinding 
  • More emotional distance 
  • More anger at being questioned 

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

(Proverbs 10:9)

You should expect no easy solutions in dealing with the problem of adultery. However, God can work the miracle of the new birth for the non-Christian, and spiritual renewal for His own who have fallen away.  If you are successful in securing a commitment to Christ, you can be confident that this will bring a new perspective, making it easier to mend lives and to reach permanent solutions.

Consider some of the consequences of adultery:

Emotional:  guilt, fear, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, shattered personalities, and depression

Physical:  illegitimate births, venereal disease, abortions

Spiritual:  loss in this life and in that which is to comeIf you’re struggling with questions like these, know that there is hope. We want to equip you with helpful information so you can find hope and healing today.

Possible Outward Signs of Adultery 

  • Change in behavior 
  • Change in mood 
  • Change in spending patterns 
  • Change in schedule 
  • Less personal conversation 
  • Less discussion of future plans 
  • Less spontaneity 
  • Less sexual intimacy 
  • More unaccounted time away from home 
  • More faultfinding 
  • More emotional distance 
  • More anger at being questioned 

God’s Perspective from Proverbs Chapter 6 

  • Adulterers are smooth talkers. (Proverbs 6:24) 
  • Adulterers play with fire and get burned. (Proverbs 6:27) 
  • Adulterers will be punished. (Proverbs 6:29) 
  • Adulterers lack judgment. (Proverbs 6:32) 
  • Adulterers destroy themselves. (Proverbs 6:32) 
  • Adulterers will be disgraced. (Proverbs 6:33) 
  • Adulterers will experience never-ending shame. (Proverbs 6:33) 
  • Adulterers evoke anger and jealousy in their spouses. (Proverbs 6:34)
  • Adulterers often become the object of revenge. (Proverbs 6:34) 

Why Is Adultery So Deceptive? 

Adultery... 

  • Skews objectivity 
  • Gives an illusion of being loved 
  • Feels good physically 
  • Numbs emotional pain 
  • Makes both parties feel wanted 
  • Gives a false sense of significance 
  • Gives a false feeling of connecting 
  • Provides a temporary sense of security
  • Diverts attention away from family problems 
  • Can be a weapon to punish the spouse 

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”

(Proverbs 10:9)

Common Mistakes of a Faithful Mate 

  • Don’t keep trying to change your mate. (Exodus 14:14) 
  • Don’t repeatedly bring up specifics in order to convict your mate. (John 16:8) 
  • Don’t blame yourself for the adultery. (Romans 14:12) 
  • Don’t minimize or deny the seriousness of the situation. (Romans 6:13) 
  • Don’t seek to meet all your mate’s needs. (Psalm 40:4) 

 

Six Steps for the Faithful Spouse 

  • Confront your mate if you are suspicious. (Matthew 18:15) 
  • Refuse to blame yourself for your partner’s adulterous behavior. (Ezekiel 18:30–32) 
  • Express your anger in a nondestructive way. (Psalm 4:4) 
  • Pray that you will be guided by the Spirit of God as to whether you should leave an adulterous marriage. (Matthew 19:8–9)
  • Lean on the Lord to be your Savior, your Completer, your Healer. (Colossians 2:10) 
  • Choose, as an act of your will, to forgive. (Colossians 3:13)

 

Seven Redeeming Steps for the Adulterer 

  • Confess the adultery. (James 5:16) 
  • Commit yourself to your covenant partner ... completely. (Malachi 2:14–15) 
  • Cut all ties with the third party. (Proverbs 6:28) 
  • Choose where to place your thoughts when tempted. (Philippians 4:8) 
  • Consider the difference between love and lust. (Ephesians 5:25) 
  • Count the cost. (Psalm 7:16) 
  • Communicate godly sorrow. (2 Corinthians 7:10) 

 

Reasons to Stop Committing Adultery 

  • “My Bible forbids it.” 
  • “My morality is compromised.” 
  • “My mate is wounded.” 
  • “My children lose their hero.” 
  • “My peace is forfeited.” 
  • “My conscience is scarred.” 
  • “My health is jeopardized.” 
  • “My integrity is destroyed.” 
  • “My future will not be blessed.” 
  • “My God condemns it.” 

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

(Proverbs 11:3)

Key Verses to Learn

For the faithful partner: 

“Your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

(Isaiah 54:5) 

For the unfaithful partner: 

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”

(1 Corinthians 6:18) 

 

Key Passage to Read

For the faithful partner:  Romans 12:9–21 

For the unfaithful partner:  Colossians 3:1–15

 

 

“See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139:24)

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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!

Thank you for your interest and support in Women of Faith. We pray God will encourage, equip, and empower you with His life-changing truth. 

 

RELATED TOPICS

Divorce

Domestic Violence

Intimacy

Marriage

Reconciliation

Sexual Integrity

Unbelieving Mate

 

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