My husband was unfaithful to me…. I confronted him, and he asked for forgiveness, but he also implied that it was partly my fault. Almost two years have passed. He continued the relationship with the woman, but says that he is no longer with her because she went to another country…. He won’t guarantee me that he won’t do the same thing again. He says he loves her, but has feelings for me too. When he is home for a few days, he stays in the room with his phone and only comes out to eat. And he doesn’t spend any time with the children.
I don’t know what to do. Some counselors tell me not to confront him about anything, but rather pray and God will work. Others tell me to confront him with his evil deeds, because God will judge me if I don’t try to stop his behavior.
It sounds like you have sought advice from various people. Normally, we would not comment further, since you have people to help you. However, the advice that you say you have received ranges from one extreme to the other. How are you supposed to know whose advice is the best? In our case, we choose what is best by studying the Bible, as we believe that it is God’s Holy Word and that it contains principles that can guide us, even in the most difficult situations.
The counselors who have told you to do nothing except pray and trust God are following Biblical principles regarding forgiveness and communication with God, but they are overlooking Biblical teachings about faithfulness. Many well-meaning people know parts of the Bible, but they don’t consider the big picture of God’s character and His plan for His children. That is a primary reason why those who follow Jesus Christ, God’s Son, must study and meditate on the Bible, learning and understanding more each day.
What is, then, most important to God? Is it forgiveness, devotion, justice, mercy, or something else? That question is like asking if we need to sleep more than we need to eat. When we are really hungry, we need to eat, and when we are really tired, we need to sleep. We cannot compare the importance of one to the other, but we do know what we need at a given time or in a given circumstance.
One of the Ten Commandments says that adultery is a sin.1 Jesus Himself taught that when adultery has been committed by one of the spouses, there are legitimate grounds for divorce.2 However, when the offending spouse is repentant and is committed to being faithful in the future, the marriage can be saved sometimes.
In your case, besides the ongoing adultery, your husband readily admits that he will do it again. He will not make a commitment to being faithful to you in the future. Rather, he wants to have the benefits of a wife and a mistress at the same time. He has convinced himself that you should be willing to accept that arrangement.
What should you then do? Protect yourself from the sexually transmitted diseases that your husband could bring home, investigate with an attorney how you can protect yourself financially, and assess your options for future living arrangements. Should you also pray for wisdom? Yes. And should you trust God? Yes. But don’t fail to read the Bible and study the Scriptures that are full of lessons about the consequences of unfaithfulness. Make decisions based on how God directs you, and remember that He will be faithful to you through every difficult phase of your future.
We wish you the best,
1 Ex 20:14
2 Mt 5:32