I am sixty-seven years old and have been married more than forty years. I’ve made many mistakes that I’m sorry for, especially for having been unfaithful to my wife on several occasions. I’m aware of the harm that I’ve caused and of having hurt my wife, my daughters, and my son. I don’t want to lose my family, much less be lost myself. My hope is in the mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ.
There must be some reason why you are currently afraid of losing your family, and the only possible cause that you give us is your past unfaithfulness to your wife. Therefore, we suppose that you’ve been unfaithful again very recently and that you’re not sure yet if your wife will forgive you or decide to stay with you.
You say that you’re hope is in the mercy of your Lord Jesus Christ, but you seem to be unsure as to whether He will have mercy on you yet again, especially because this is not the only time that you’ve been unfaithful, since you admit that you’ve been unfaithful several times. The word “several” implies that it was more than a couple of times, so you are confessing that you have a history of unfaithfulness.
Any spouse who has been betrayed “several” times certainly has cause to mistrust the unfaithful partner. We can’t even imagine how devastated your wife must feel after giving you so many chances to start over. What would make her think that you won’t betray her again?
Jesus taught that sexual immorality gives a spouse an acceptable reason for divorce.(1) Therefore, we believe that your wife has that valid reason to separate from you and even divorce you. However, that does not mean that we would advise her to do that, but rather to ask God to help her decide what to do now.
Your case is especially troubling because you talk about Jesus Christ as if you know Him, and you have hope that He will keep showing you His mercy. However, despite calling Him your Lord, you keep committing the same sin time after time.
You have been the type of person whom others call a hypocrite. You say the right words, but your actions don’t back them up. You claim to have a relationship with Christ, but you have committed the same sin repeatedly. Furthermore, you have undoubtedly lied regularly to keep your sins a secret.
A person who loves Jesus and has a personal relationship with Him is not expected to be perfect or sinless. However, over time, the true follower of Christ sins less and less as he strives to follow the Ten Commandments. As he regularly talks to God through prayer and listens to God through reading the Bible, a true follower of Christ grows in self-control and obedience to what it says. And as he attends church and spends time with others of the same faith, a true follower of Christ is still tempted, but feels less attraction to the sin and more attraction to doing things God’s way.
As soon as you are truly ready to change, God will forgive you if you ask Him to. But don’t expect Him to take away the natural consequences of your actions.
We wish you well,
1 Mt 19:9