REBUILDING A MARRIAGE AFTER INFIDELITY
Infidelity can have a devastating impact upon a marriage. When there are children in the home, it has the potential to shatter the whole family and leave lifelong scars. So painful are its effects that many men and women who have been betrayed by a spouse never find it in their hearts to forgive or to make the slightest effort to save the relationship. But for those who are willing to work toward reconciliation, the good news is that miracles can happen. God listens to those who call out to Him for help, and He will establish your steps and set your feet upon the rock if you and your spouse make up your minds to move forward in dependence upon His grace.
If you find yourself in this position, take hold of hope and try to make the most of the opportunities God brings your way. You can begin by getting into counseling — you and your spouse. The first item of business is to work through the issues in your marriage that made it vulnerable to infidelity in the first place. A trained counselor can help examine your relationship and determine which areas need to be shored up. If you don’t perform this part of the process with great care, unresolved problems will only resurface later. Once you’ve dealt with these marital issues, it’s critical that your children join you in counseling. They too have emotional baggage to unpack, and it’s valuable for this to be done with a qualified Christian family therapist.
Bear in mind that it often takes a long time to rebuild trust after an affair has occurred. That’s going to be true for your kids as well as your spouse. So be patient. As the process moves forward, you can show your good faith by joining an accountability group at a local church. It’s impossible to overestimate the value of a group of Christian brothers or sisters with whom you can be open about your failings and temptations and who will be willing to hold you accountable to your renewed commitment to your family.
As a footnote, we’d like to recommend a great book that will be tremendously helpful to you and your spouse during this time of restoring your relationship — Torn Asunder: Recovering From Extra-marital Affairs, by Rev. Dave Carder and Duncan Jaenicke. This resource is available through Focus on the Family’s Online Store.