Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Still Struggling to Rebuild Trust in an Unfaithful Spouse

Dear Aunt Dara,

About this time last year, I discovered my wife had been having an affair with another man for two years.  My wife has always claimed to be a Christian woman and has always been active in the church, same as myself.  She seemed sincerely repentant for her actions, and because we have young children we decided to try to work it out.  I still struggle to trust her, and while I don't believe she has had any further incidents of unfaithfulness, I recently discovered that there were some things she lied to me about regarding the affair.  Most disturbing was that she had this man in our house while I was at work and the kids were "hopefully" sleeping.  I let her know that I found out she’d lied about his being in the house, and she just got angry that I was bringing up the past.  She said she had already repented and that I just need to leave the past in the past.  

I have several questions I need help with.  First, should I even have brought this new revelation up, or are any new facts from the past meaningless?  Second question is, since I know who this guy is, would it be right for me to talk to him?  Part of me just wants him to know that I know what he did.  Lastly, I often question my wife's faith.  Can she really be a Christian woman and do what she did?  I know it's been over a year, but I am struggling to believe she can stay faithful based on the intensity of her affair and what she was willing to do at that time, even though I do believe she has been faithful since then.  I know that some if these issues are better suited for therapy, but I just want a Christian perspective on my thoughts from someone who doesn't know either person and is unbiased.

Struggling Husband

Dear Struggling Husband,

First of all, I want to validate your feelings.  Considering what you have told me, it is perfectly understandable that you are struggling to trust your wife again.  You were lied to and cheated on by the one closest to you that you trusted.  Next, I want to commend you for forgiving your wife and working on keeping your marriage together.  I believe that God is pleased with your decision to do so. 

To answer your questions, adultery and lying are two separate things, so I think that it was reasonable for you to address the lies, and she should be repentant of that sin also.  However, what good would be accomplished by talking to the other man?  If it is just to let him know that you know what he did, that will just make the situation worse.  Even if your motives were pure, confronting your wife’s ex-lover is not a good idea and could be very risky.  In this matter, I agree with your wife—let the past stay in the past.  Concentrate on rebuilding your relationship with your wife and put the thoughts about the other man out of your mind.  You and your wife may need to have marital counseling with your pastor or a Christian counselor to get past this.  And don’t try to determine if your wife is really a Christian woman.  We are all just weak human beings who mess up all the time and do things that we deeply regret later.  Read Psalm 103:8-14 and think about the things that its writer David did.

I pray the best for you and your family.  God bless,
Aunt Dara