So Your Spouse Is Having an Affair…A Practical Christian Guide

Marriage Counselor Vincent describes appropriate steps to take against a cheating spouse.

Updated 9/13/2023

This is the ultimate guide to work through an affair in a Christian way.

So if you want to:

  • remain strong during this difficult time
  • build back your marriage with a willing spouse
  • separate and protect yourself from an unwilling spouse
  • understand God’s way of restoring relationships

Then you will love this new guide.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

How to Get Peace – Draw Closer to God

How Not to Make Things Worse – Slow Down

Empower Yourself – Get Proof

Chapter 4

Pick Your Warriors

Get Out of That Funk – How to Make Anger Work for You

Build Fortifications – Protect Self

Chapter 7

Use the A.S.O.B. Method: Atmosphere, Straightforward, Organized, & Boundaries

Take Action Against the Sin

Don’t Just Patch Things Up – Build a New Foundation


How to Get Peace – Draw Closer To God

An affair is a terrible ordeal to endure. But our peace is not determined by our circumstances. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Our peace is dependent upon our relationship with God. The closer that we are to God the more peaceful we are. (1 Peter 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)

Fortunately, there are some simple ways to draw closer to god. And I’ll cover them in this chapter.


We must talk with God. Philippians 4:6-7 states, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We are to give our grievances, our emotional turmoil, our anguish – to God. From the mouth of Christ, he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) 

I recommend praying out loud to him and writing prayers to him as well. When you write a prayer, it forces you to organize your thoughts.

At Mt. Horeb, God chose to speak to Elijah in a whisper. God did not speak to him through the wind, earthquake, or fire that proceeded the whisper (1 Kings 19:11-14). 

Many times, God speaks to us when it is quiet. So we need to be quiet and still in order to hear God. Getting away to a quiet, solitary place allows us the best opportunity to hear and listen to God.

Studying God’s Word

God also speaks to us through his Word – the Bible. “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way” (2 Timothy 3:16 MSG).

Every popular country music song and rock-n-roll song will encourage you to “listen to your heart” and to act rashly. The rock band Heart actually has a song called “Listen to Your Heart. Carrie Underwood’s song Before He Cheats encourages you to smash the car of your cheating lover.

While these secular songs encourage us to wildly react to our emotions, the Bible says something different. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV). 

The bible says to question your heart and seek God. “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…” (Jeremiah 17:10 NIV). 

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

Studying the Bible and reading Christian books will help you to discern not only what steps to take, but the timing of those steps. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “ There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (NIV). Timing is gravely important. 

Worshiping God

When a tragic event like discovering that our spouse is having an affair happens, our natural tendency is to be angry. We are mad at our spouse, ourselves, and God. 

Worshiping God

One of the last things that comes to our mind is worshipping and praising God. However, that is exactly what the Bible exhorts us to do. 

James, the half brother of Jesus, says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance (James 1:1-2 NIV).

Paul states, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV). In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, he says, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) 

Note that Paul says to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. We are not praising him for the bad things in our lives. Evil is in the world. 

Many bad things happen that are not in God’s will, usually the result of human will which is sinful. We are to praise God in the midst of these unpleasant circumstances.

We are to worship God out of faith, not out of circumstances.


How Not to Make Things Worse – Slow Down

In crisis situations, our tendency is to react. We get triggered and go into the fight/flight response. 

In the fight/flight response, we make decisions without taking enough time to think things through. We make reactions based upon a faulty heart (Jeremiah 17:10). 

In this chapter, I will discuss three specific areas where you will need to slow down.

Don’t Make Rash Decisions

When we are in the fight/flight mode, our executive functioning is hampered. We have racing thoughts. We are hyper-vigilant. Our senses are on high alert. 

Our pre-frontal cortex, the area that processes higher thoughts, is put into crisis mode. We are not allowed to think deeper thoughts or to fully analyze situations from every perspective.

In a crisis, we have a tendency to act without much thought. Slowing down allows us to get out of this adrenaline response, collect our thoughts, and make wise decisions.

After learning of your spouse’s infidelity, take a break and don’t make any decisions because more than likely if you do make a decision, it will be rash and ill-conceived. 

You don’t need to be making legal decisions, decisions about where you live, parenting decisions, financial decisions, etc. You need to “sit on it” while you calm down.

Don’t Confront Too Soon

If you have damning evidence that your spouse is having an affair, then you will want to proceed slowly. It would be best not to confront them too soon. 

The Bible says, “Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20 NIV)

Red Flag

Note if you have seen some red flags in the relationship like: 

  1. your spouse being secretive with their phone or computer
  2. unexplained absences – where it’s difficult to know where they have been for a time period
  3. your spouse has a close friend of the opposite sex
  4. being separated over night
  5. excessive consumption of alcohol
  6. a marriage that has lost its spark

Then you will want to gently approach them about it. Do not approach them in an accusatory way, but address it to gain understanding. It may be nothing. 

The Bible says, “Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw” (Proverbs 25:8 MSG). 

However, if it is something, most of the time, a cheating spouse will not tell the truth when confronted. Our human nature is to feel guilt and shame when we do something wrong. So we hide our sin by lying or not telling the complete truth.

By confronting too soon, you may loose opportunities to gather more information or learn more of the truth. They will be more on their guard. You will be less likely to catch them with the adulterer or communicating with them.

Don’t Tell Too Many People

“Sitting on this information” may be very difficult for some people. But the Bible says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23 NIV). 

Telling a Secret

If you confide in your parents about your spouse’s infidelity, then you risk ruining their relationship with your spouse. Suppose later on that you work through the affair and become a stronger couple because of the hard work that you did. Nevertheless, your spouse’s relationship with your parents will be tarnished if you confide in them.

On the other hand, if you confide in your parents, your spouse may confide in them as well about negative, embarrassing things that you have done in the marriage. Or your spouse may retaliate and confide in their parents which would bring in more confusion, complexity, and conflict.

If you talk to other family members like your adult children, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, the same complexities and divisions may happen. 

Of course, talking to your children (18 years old and below) about it when they are a child is a form of emotional abuse called emotional incest. It puts an undue emotional burden upon them.

You need a person who has your best interests in mind and someone who is trustworthy and can keep a secret. We discuss this type of person in Chapter 4

The Bible says, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19 NIV).


Empower Yourself – Get Proof

If you are sure that your spouse is having an affair, then you must have proof.

Without evidence, truth gets distorted. Even Jesus gave proof to Thomas (John 20:27).

Let’s discuss some ways to get proof. But before we begin…


If you have had previous relationships where trust has been violated, then you may have difficulty trusting a loyal spouse. Your radar may be broken.

If this is the case, then you may need to speak with a counselor before you begin to gather evidence. A counselor can help you to determine if your suspicions are valid or not.

Snoop Around

The only way to get truthful information from a dishonest spouse is to snoop around. When legitimate red flags have been raised, like secrecy with their phone, a strong friendship with the opposite sex, unexplained absences, etc., then snooping around is appropriate.

Healthy marriages are completely transparent. 

When spouses don’t see each others’ internet history, then there is a greater chance of looking at a pornography site or chatting with someone of the opposite sex on Facebook. 

The Bible says, “Don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them…Everything exposed to the light is revealed by the light” (Ephesians 5:11,13).

Detective snooping

Your spouse shouldn’t mind you checking their emails, texts, internet history and cell phone records. This type of snooping is relatively low key and does not require a lot of effort.

If there is nothing found that is suspicious and your spouse’s explanations are reasonable, then you have built more trust in the relationship. You have removed that red flag.

If there is something suspicious, then you should proceed on to the next stage of gathering information – monitoring.


Monitoring the activities of a spouse will be the definitive proof if they are having an affair. With so many electronics, it is a lot easier to keep up with people these days. 

You may track their phone with an app like Life 360 or you may put a GPS device in their vehicle. You may record their phone conversations on their cell phone. 

You may use an internet monitoring program like Net Nanny that parents use for their children. You may look at home security devices to track and video when they come home and what they are bring in and out of the house.

If you are having no luck using the technology above to monitor and you are still seeing legitimate red flags, then you may have to go to more extreme measures. You may need to follow them and video what you see. Or you may have to resort to hiring a private investigator. 

*While it is legal to snoop on your spouse in most states, check the laws in your state to be sure that what you plan to do is legal. For example, you do not want to snoop on a military computer that has restricted access.

Physical Proof and Make Copies

Make sure that you are getting physical proof like audio recordings, video recordings, photos, written bank or phone statements, text threads, etc. You will need something definitive to “hold your spouse’s feet to the fire.”

Getting proof

Hearsay from other people can be beneficial in understanding what is going on. Testimony from the adulterer’s spouse about what they know will help you to solidify your suspicions, but it will not necessarily sway your spouse into fully confessing and working on restoring the marriage. Even the confession from the adulterer does not necessarily cause a change of heart.

Words can be twisted. Testimonies or confessions can be dismissed or discredited. Many times, you need hard proof to convince a stubborn, wayward spouse to do the right thing.

What About My Spouse’s Response?

An innocent spouse should be indifferent or welcome snooping. They should see it as a way of building trust. 

They may be annoyed by some of the tactics, but ultimately they should feel unthreatened.  However, if there is a brokenness for them in this area of trust, then they may be triggered and react harshly or negatively.

A guilty spouse will usually react harshly and angry. Their anger is in reaction to a perceived “violation of their privacy.” 

They will use their anger to try to get you to stop the evidence gathering. You must push through it to get to the truth. 

You need to have resolve and strength to finish the work of saving your marriage. We will talk about how to get this in Chapter 5.


Pick Your Warriors

As you prepare to confront your spouse and tackle the messiness of an affair, you will need others to support you. I recommend 2-3 people if possible. 

It is important to make sure that you have the right support. The Bible says, “The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful” (Proverbs 12:5 NIV).

I’ll talk about five character traits that your support will need to have in this chapter.

Godly Christian – Prayer Warrior

You are in spiritual warfare. Satan wants to create division between you and your spouse just like he did in the beginning with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-19). God said to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers” (Genesis 3:15 NIV).

The Bible also says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

Prayer Warrior

You need persons who are strong Christians who will pray with you and for you. You need them to pray for your decisions about gathering evidence, the interactions with your spouse, the children, and the timing of it all. 

You need them to pray for you as you make difficult decisions or actions. 

This prayer warrior will help to encourage you when you are weak, correct you when you go astray, and inform you when you are ignorant. “He who walks with the wise grows wise…” (Proverbs 13:20 NIV)

Non-Family Member

I do not recommend a family member to be the person that you seek for emotional support while you work through some marital infidelity. You want to share as minimally as possible with your parents, your siblings, and your children. 

When a family member is your confidante, it may be convenient to talk with them about your spouse, but it can come back to haunt you. 

By involving family, you run the risk of tainting your spouse’s relationship with them. You cannot control whether your family will be able to work through this issue with your spouse in an appropriate way. You may cause awkward holidays and family vacations that could have been avoided.

If you do have to involve your family, I recommend telling them as little as possible. 

Let’s say that you have moved out of the house and need to stay with your parents. You could say, “We are having trouble in our marriage, but we are working on it.” They do not need more information than that.

Confidential – A Keeper of Secrets

While you are working through this issue, you will need emotional support that is trustworthy and confidential. You need people who will keep to themselves and not tell others.

If a person cannot keep a secret, then they are not the person to confide with. 

The Bible says, “A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly” (Proverbs 12:23 NIV). You don’t want to be giving sensitive information to a fool. 


Adultery is condemned in the Bible. Exodus 20:14 (NIV) says, “You shall not commit adultery.” In Matthew chapter 5 and chapter 19, Jesus says that divorce is permitted when there has been marital unfaithfulness or adultery. 

However, “”I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel” (Malachi 2:16 NIV). Although Jesus says that adultery is the permissible excuse for divorce, he would much rather you work upon your marriage if possible. 

God wants marriage restored to a healthy Christian model of marriage. You need a healthy Christian who supports and advocates for a healthy Christian marriage. 

The Bible says that a husband is to love his wife as he loves himself and that a wife is to respect their husband (Ephesians 5:33). Husbands are to be gentle with their wives,  not harsh (Colossians 3:19). Wives are to have “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). 

Married couples as well as all Christians should have “unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8 ESV).

You need a supportive person who encourages this type of marriage. For example, you do not need a woman who has just been divorced and hates all men. Or a woman who encourages you to stay with an abusive husband (in Chapter 6, we will discuss abusive relationships). 

Or you don’t need a man who is a womanizer that objectifies women. You need stable Christian who values marriage.


You will need a strong, stable Christian who will be assertive with you. 

When I say assertive, I mean someone who will be gentle with you, but will tell you the truth. They will not put you down or berate, but they will give you an honest assessment of the situation. 

The Bible says that we are to be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15 NIV).; “no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth…” (Ephesians 4:25 MSG).

You do not need a “yes man” – someone who just goes along with everything that you say. You need someone who gives you the right words at the right time. 

The Bible says, “to give an appropriate answer is a joy; how good is a word at the right time!” (Proverbs 15:23 CEB). If the advice is good, then you will need to listen to them as well. “He who listens to a live-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31 NIV).


Get Out of That Funk – How to Make Anger Work for You

When you are hit with the marital calamity of an affair, anger is a natural first response. Anger is a healthy emotion. 

Anger lets you know when your rights have been infringed upon. Anger alerts you to boundaries being crossed.

Anger is a good emotion. In the Bible, David says, “Be angry, and do not sin…” (Psalm 4:4 ESV). Apostle Paul says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin…” (Ephesians 4:26 NASB). 

Both King David and Apostle Paul encourage you to share your emotions in the proper way. That’s what we are going to talk about in this chapter.

Don’t Ignore Anger

When we deny that it exists, we hold that anger inside. We turn it toward ourselves. 

We blame ourselves. We take undue responsibility for the sin of others.

Of course, we all sin. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ESV). 

You are responsible for your part of the relationship – not your spouse’s part. But just because you sinned, it does not justify your spouse committing adultery.

Let’s say that you have been critical of your spouse in some area. That does not justify your spouse having an affair. Yes, you need to work on your critical attitude through counseling or self-examining yourself through a Bible study. 

The proper response from your spouse would be addressing the issue through healthy conversations between the two of you first. If this doesn’t work, then your spouse should have sought outside help from a pastor or counselor – not by being passive-aggressive and partaking in infidelity.

The Bible says to “hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NIV). You need to be angry at the sin and angry at your spouse for sinning. 

God hates sin and you should as well. You should have righteous anger at the adultery. It is an infraction toward God, you, and your children.

If you ignore your anger and turn it against yourself, then you will become depressed. Anger is a healthy emotion that lets you know when you have been wronged or a boundary has been crossed. 

Pain lets you know when something is wrong in your body while anger lets you know when something is wrong in your relationships. Instead of letting the anger hurt yourself, you need to allow the anger to give you power and strength to persevere through the ordeal. We will discuss how to do this later in the chapter.

Don’t Get Even

You are mad. You want them to feel the pain that you feel. You are tempted to cheat on them. You want them to understand how it feels to be unloved and disrespected.

However, the Bible says, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’” (Romans 12:19 MSG). 

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone” (Romans 12:17 NIV).

In a Christian marriage, the promises or vows that you made on your wedding day were not only to your betrothed, but also to God. Marriage is a covenant between two people and God. You made a commitment to God. 

Committing adultery because your spouse has cheated in the marriage is not a reason. In the eyes of God, you have sinned against him. 

In the eyes of your children, you have not been faithful to mommy or daddy. In the eyes of your family and friends, you are not trustworthy. In the eyes of non-believers, you are just a hypocrite and your witness has no substance.

Even though you think that you can do something behind their back to get even with them like spending money lavishly or gossiping. You cannot do it without it harming you as well. 

There are too many eyes watching you.  The Bible says, “Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good” (Proverbs 17:13 NIV).

Don’t Be Aggressive

You will be tempted to “bite the head off of your spouse” or “rip them a new one”. But this will not be beneficial. 

The Bible says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11 NIV). And Proverbs 18:7 (ESV) says, “A fool’s mouth is his ruin and his lips are a snare to his soul.”

Although your blood may be boiling with anger, you will be wise not to explode on your spouse. Blowing up on your spouse may give you some temporary relief, but it will not help your spouse to repent or draw closer to you. 

They may say that they are sorry and promise not to do it again, but resentment will continue to build up in their heart. I say “continue to build” because many times affairs are the result of anger building up in a spouse. (Another big cause of affairs are sexual addictions which is not necessarily rooted in resentment toward their spouse.)

If you have a history of criticizing, complaining, or yelling at them, then they may rationalize in their mind. “You are verbally and emotionally abusive. What am I to do? You are not approachable. We can’t talk about anything. I have someone here who will listen…” They take the path of least resistance to find comfort and love.

Being passive-aggressive or aggressive with your spouse will push them away. It will push them away immediately at times. It will push them away over time because of the cumulative effect – the harsh words or actions add up.

In the Bible, David says, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil” (Psalm 37:8 NIV). Paul says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31 NIV). 

Note that many times the Biblical English translation will say “anger” but does not distinguish between healthy and unhealthy anger. Our language is limited in this regard. 

Given the context in the verses above, the anger that David and Paul are referring to is the unhealthy aggressive anger. There is a healthy way to express your anger without sinning which we will talk about next. 

Energizing Anger

While you are going through the process of dealing with your spouse’s infidelity, you need to be angry in a good way. You need anger to empower you.

You are to be angry at sin and hate sin. God hates sin. The Bible says, “O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10 ESV). “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil…” (Proverbs 8:13 ESV).

At times, you will feel discouraged. This is when you need to access your anger to bring you out of that lull and rejuvenate your spirit. 

Your anger at the sin should inspire your soul to fight the evil one and restore your marriage. Your attitude should be “oh no we are not going to pout, say ‘oh pitiful me’, or stand by idly – we are going to fix and heal this relationship.” 

Displaying your anger in a controlled fashion will be one of the most loving acts you can do to your spouse. They need to see your anger at this unrighteous act. 

Your truthful, controlled anger should cause pain for your spouse. You want your spouse to have Godly sorrow. 

In 2 Corinthians 7:8-9, Paul describes how his anger expressed in a  letter to the church caused them to repent. He said, “For though I caused you sorrow by my letter…I now rejoice…that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance.”


Do not let up on your anger too soon like one of my clients did. Her husband had been drinking too much and had started an emotional affair. 

She got angry and left the house. She told him that she was not coming back until he began to work on their marriage - by ending the affair and stop drinking. 

Her leaving worked. He came to counseling with her and he began to work on things. This went on for about 2 months and their relationship began to get healthier. 

But then she made the mistake of relenting her anger too soon and moving back home with him. When she moved back home, he immediately stopped working on himself and stopped counseling. 

He only did enough to get her back home. His “repentance” was not God-induced. He just did the minimal amount to get her back.

So the point of this story is to keep your anger up well past the time when you stopped feeling angry. Do not use your “internal anger gauge” as your measuring tool to decide when you should stop being angry or stop shunning your spouse. 

You need to instead note where your spouse is in their recovery process. Talk to your counselor or emotional support person before you let down your guard.

For those times when you should be angry still and you just don’t feel like it, you need to act like you are still angry. In AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), the saying is “Fake it til you make it.” You need to keep your guard up during those times.

In his book “I Don’t Want a Divorce”, Christian counselor Dr. David Clarke encourages his clients to make a Top Ten of why you should be angry with your spouse. This list would be written on a note card or on your phone and easily accessible for those times when your anger may be subsiding. 

Now that you are leaning on God, have appropriate emotional support, and are accessing your anger, you will need to do one more thing before confronting your spouse. This may apply more to some than others and it just depends on your situation. 

In the next chapter, we will discuss protecting yourself.


Build Fortifications – Protect Yourself

For some of you, confronting your spouse about the affair will not be safe. You will need the help of others to confront them. 

If your marriage involves verbal or physical abuse, then you will need a Christian counselor. You will need to understand the level of abuse or unhealthiness and devise an appropriate confrontation method. A counselor will be able to help you to discern that. 

In this chapter, we will discuss levels of severity that you will need to consider with your counselor.

Physical Abuse and/or Violence

Physical abuse includes battering, beating, punching, kicking, burning or harming you in a physical way. 

Violence includes any of the physical abuse and also includes throwing objects, damaging property and other manifestations of extreme anger that results in a harmful physical action.

For example, if your husband slaps, hits, and kicks, then that would be violent and physical abuse. If your husband slams the door, punches the wall, and corners you, then that would be violent though not technically physical abuse because he didn’t touch you. However, it would be just as destructive emotionally and mentally. 

If you are in a marriage that involves physical abuse or violence, then. You should not confront them – especially not alone. Trying to communicate with them when they are in a rage will be futile. 

You may be speaking perfectly with the correct body language, but they will not be able to hear any of it. If they cannot control their emotions during confrontation, then no beneficial communication can occur.

You need to find safety for yourself and your children. You must separate. The Bible says, “Do not even associate with a man given to angry outbursts; or go [along] with a hot-tempered man” (Proverbs 22:24 AMP). 

You will need to put up strong boundaries with a violent spouse. The Bible says, “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again (Proverbs 19:19 NIV).

You may need to stay with a family member or friend. You may need to go to a battered women’s shelter or a hotel. You will need to see a counselor and go to a domestic violence support group. 

Many of the domestic violence support groups are sponsored by police departments. You may wish to call your local law enforcement office to ask about these groups. 

Confrontation of your physically violent spouse should only be made with an authority figure(s) present (I.e. mediators, lawyers, policemen, judges, etc.). It will not be safe for you to meet with them to discuss heated, important matters. 

It may not be safe for you to discuss even benign, unimportant matters. A good counselor will be able to help you to determine your course of action and the appropriateness of your interactions.

Verbal Abuse

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – this nursery rhyme is a lie. 

It says that words are not powerful and that they cannot damage. The Bible says opposite. The Bible says that words are extremely important and powerful. 

Jesus is described as The Word manifested in John 1:1-2 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” 

Verbal abuse by a spouse may be in varying degrees – from yelling, name-calling, and cursing to subtle put-downs and criticisms. All of these are unhealthy and should not be tolerated. 

Healthy boundaries need to be applied. The first boundary to be applied would be addressing the verbal abuse – talking to the offender about it in a relaxed, calm, and controlled manner. 

For example, you would be seated with them with no distractions and you would be say something positive first like, “I appreciate that you are concerned about my relationship with my mother. You have been very helpful in…” 

Then you state how their words has affected you. You would say, “I am angry and hurt when you call me stupid for how I handled a situation…Next time that you say something like this, I will address it with you and we will talk about positive ways that you can express your opinion to me.” 

End the conversation by saying something positive like, “I appreciate you listening to me. I just want our relationship to be healthier and I know that you want for it to be as well.”  You appeal to the best in your spouse. Don’t appeal to their worse instincts, fears, or prejudices.

If they are belligerent when you try to talk to them about their abusive language, then you will want to address them with some else present like a counselor or pastor.

If your spouse continues to be verbally abusive after you have confronted them in a relaxed and calm way, then you will need to enact more boundaries. Some further boundaries may be sleeping in a separate room, writing to them about it, addressing it in counseling, and possibly separation. 

Yelling back at them or being verbally abusive to them is not a constructive way of handling the situation. You will be sabotaging yourself – perpetuating the unhealthy communication and causing more pain and hurt for you and your spouse.

Emotional Abuse

Physical abuse and verbal abuse always contain emotional abuse. When you are hit or kicked, your body is not only bruised, but you are also damaged emotionally. Angry outbursts, verbal attacks, and constant berating damage your sense of self.

In a study of dogs that were mistreated and beat physically, abused dogs and healthy dogs were put in individual cages. Outside of the cages were water and food. They were left in the cages for a while and then the cages were opened. The healthy dogs walked out of the cages and went to the bathroom, drunk the water, and ate the food. The abused dogs stayed in the cages. They did not help themselves. They had what is called learned helplessness – a result of emotional abuse.

Words used in a negative way can warp our thoughts. We may be influenced to make unhealthy decisions or to stay in unhealthy situations. 

For example, a spouse may constantly say, “you are not trustworthy”. They may monitor your location, who you text, who you talk with, what websites that you go to, etc. Even the slightest inconsistency by their judgment they condemn you as being disloyal. 

You are repeatedly accused when you have not done anything improper or dishonest. Over time, you begin to even question if you truly are untrustworthy. 

Meantime, you are not given privy to who they are talking with or their location during the day or access to their devices. They are most likely projecting onto you – they are being dishonest so they assume you are as well.

A good counselor can help you to untangle emotional abuse that has happened in your marriage.

Biblical Warning

Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse are not only spiritually damaging to an adult spouse, but even more so damaging to an innocent, trusting child. 

In the beginning of Matthew chapter 18, Jesus used a child to teach a spiritual principle to his disciples. Jesus says in verse 3, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

Jesus is trying to teach the disciples humility. Children are humble and look to adults for guidance, protection, strength, love… Children look to their parents to meet their needs. As Christians, we are to look to God to meet our spiritual and emotional needs in humility.

In situations where there is abuse, my mind always goes to Jesus’s warning in verses 5 and 6 of that chapter. Jesus says, “…whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me: but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Jesus is not only talking about those who are new christians, but also actual children as he is using to illustrate his point. When children are submitted to these types of abuses, how can they not be caused to stumble? How can the ones doing the abusing and the ones not protecting the children from it not be culpable? 

I am somber when hearing these words. They are from the mouth of Jesus, not Paul or some other disciple. What Christian wants to refute Jesus’s words?


Use the A.S.O.B. Method: Atmosphere, Straightforward, Organized, & Boundaries

After you have drawn closer to God (Chapter 1), slowed down (Chapter 2), gotten proof (Chapter 3), have some Godly prayer warriors (Chapter 4), got your anger working for you (Chapter 5), and have appropriate protection (Chapter 6), then you are ready to confront your spouse. 

You may have “confronted” your spouse already when you found some red flags – meaning that you got angry, questioned them, and maybe even yelled. That is not the confrontation that I am talking about. 

As I had mentioned before in chapter 3, that kind of confrontation may hinder you from getting proof or the truth about what is really going on. You may feel better in the moment but it will not help you in the long run to restore your marriage.

In this chapter, we will discuss how to confront in a healthy way – what I call the A.S.O.B. Method: Atmosphere, Straightforward, Organized, & Boundaries.


The first part is creating the best atmosphere that you possibly can have. 

Your main goal of confronting them is that you want them to hear and listen to what you have to say.  If they are distracted, uncomfortable, or pre-occupied, then they may be in the room with you but they may not actually hear and understand you. 


The purpose of creating a good atmosphere is make the environment as conducive as possible to clear communication. 

So begin with thinking about your senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. With sight, you want to check to see if there are any visible distractions like the television being turned on or a cellphone. Turn off the TV. Close the blinds if there is a lot of action outside in view. Try to use a location with minimal visible cues.

With hearing, you will want to being somewhere that is private so that others cannot hear the conversation. You will want the radio or other media turned off. Minimize all auditory distractions. 

With touch, you will want to be somewhere where both of you are comfortable like seated on a couch. Both of you need to be seated – standing can be misinterpreted as aggressive or easily lead to aggression. The temperature needs to be comfortable. 

You don’t want a fan or something blowing on them if it makes them cold or dry. You don’t want them to be irritable because of the environment before you even begin to speak. 

With smell and taste, you want to eat beforehand if it is near lunch or suppertime. You don’t want distractions of smell or taste to divert their attention away from the conversation and to their appetite. 

Make sure that you have allowed plenty of time to talk. Do not plan the talk during a transition like before they are going to work, right before church, just getting home from a trip, etc. 

Do not have the conversation in a room or place where there are bad memories. You do not want to have your confrontation in the kitchen if that is where you have had a lot of bad arguments. Choose a neutral or positive location.

If the atmosphere is good or as good as it can be, then move to the next phase.


During this confrontation, you will be tempted to “talk all over the place” with a lot of emotion. You will need to restrain yourself from doing this. 

Less rambling talk and more direct talk will be the most effective.

“Talking all over the place” will benefit you later in the counseling process. But it will not be beneficial for you while you confront them. Your spouse may understand that they are caught and you are mad, but they will not hear much more of what you have to say. 

You want to have your words carefully chosen to have the maximum impact. You do not want any confusion over what you are trying to communicate.

I recommend that you write down what you are going to say. You may read it to them and then hand the written message or letter to them. Or you may talk about what you have written down after you have given a copy to them. 

By having it written down, you will be more direct and cohesive. They will automatically know that you have thought long and hard about this and that you are serious and determined – not that you are flying off the handle and this will pass over some time later.


As I tell all of my clients, one of the benefits of journaling is that it forces you to organize your thoughts. Writing a letter will help you to process all of your thoughts and get them organized. Below are some of the areas that you will need to include in your confrontation letter: 

  1. Signal of Respect
  2. Evidence/Accusation
  3. Your Feelings
  4. Boundaries/Expectations
  5. Closing Signal of Respect

1.) Signal of Respect.

While staying calm and relaxed, you will want to say something positive or something that aligns with your spouse. Your goal is to keep them from putting their emotional walls up. 

If you begin by attacking them, then all they are thinking about is how to defend themselves.  

You may say something like, “Three years ago when we went to the beach, I had a great time with you and I feel like we really enjoyed each other. We walked on the beach and held hands. We had some wonderful intimate times together. I felt your love and I hope that you felt love from me as well…”

2.) Evidence/Accusation.

You present the evidence of their infidelity. You need to have your evidence printed out to hand to them. 

Some types of printed evidence would be phone logs, internet logs, texting threads of their conversations, emails, letters, photos of them together, sexting photos, photos of hotel record, photos of their car at the hotel, etc. If you have a video or sound recording, then give them a copy. 

Of course, you need to make copies of all of your evidence and keep it safe and secure. If you have enough damning evidence (them texting about their sexual encounter, explicit photos, etc.), then you need not to explain too much because the evidence will speak for itself.

3.) Your Feelings.

Putting words to your feelings and expressing them to your spouse is powerful and healing for you. If you just yell and blow up at them, you will be expressing anger which is a top layer emotion, but you will not be able to share the deeper emotions which are fueling the anger. 

Marriage counselors Tom and Bev Rodgers like to use the GIFT exercise to access these deeper emotions. GIFT is the acronym for Guilt, Inferiority, Fear, and Trauma/pain. Many times, these feelings are underneath the feeling of anger.

Identifying and sharing your feelings is one of the first steps of the healing process.  Many people struggle with communicating their feelings. 

It will be important for you to identify as many feelings that you have and to share them with your spouse in a calm and assertive way. Below are some lists of feelings that may apply:

  • Angry – annoyed, controlled, frustrated, furious, grouchy, irritated, provoked, hateful, cold, icy, bitter, cynical
  • Anxious – uneasy, nauseated, nervous, restless, worried, preoccupied, scared, tense, fearful, terrified, insecure, indecisive
  • Overwhelmed – apprehensive, boxed in, burdened, distressed, guarded, panicky, paralyzed, edgy
  • Traumatized – shocked, disturbed, injured, damaged, unloved
  • Low Energy – beaten down, exhausted, tired, weak, listless, depressed, detached, withdrawn, indifferent, apathetic
  • Alone – avoidant, lonely, abandoned, deserted, isolated, cut off, detached, disconnected, unwanted
  • Sad – unhappy, crushed, dejected, desperate, hopeless, grieved, heavy
  • Betrayed – manipulated, deceived, fooled, duped, tricked, mislead, skeptical
  • Confused – baffled, perplexed, mystified, bewildered, misunderstood, disoriented
  • Guilty – ashamed, mortified, embarrassed, humiliated, exposed, stupid
  • Disappointed – let down, disheartened, disillusioned, distrustful
  • Invisible – forgotten, overlooked, unimportant, disregarded, lost
  • Despised – ridiculed, dumb, belittled, mocked, scorned, shamed, hated, detested

Use some of these feelings (maybe 5-7) to describe how you feel to your spouse. Find ones that best articulate how you feel. Give a short explanation of each. 

They need to hear these feelings and you need to understand them. By stating and explaining these feelings, you are releasing them and allowing others to share in them. It helps you to make sense of the feelings. 

Again, make sure that you are sharing these feelings in a calm way – this will allow more of a chance that your spouse will hear you.

4.) Boundaries/Expectations.

In this area, you will lay out what you want which will include living arrangements, who to share information with, requirements for reconciliation, plan of divorce or likely divorce scenario, finances, etc. In the next chapter (Chapter 8), we will discuss this in detail.

5.) Closing Signal of Respect.

You will want to end on as cordial basis as possible. It is usually not wise to “burn bridges” unless your spouse is extremely abusive as we discussed in Chapter 6

If you have children with your spouse, then you will always be linked to them and have to deal with them in some way.  

An example of something that you could say is, “The Bible says that we are to forgive one another and I will eventually do that with you because it is healthy. I am determined to be healthy and grow in faith through this painful process.” 

“I hope that you choose to make the healthy decisions as well. We may or may not be married together after this process. A lot of that will depend upon your response and the work you put toward the marriage. Although I am angry at you, I do wish you the best.”


Take Action Against the Sin

If action is not taken against the sin, then the sin will persist.

Taking proper action against the sin is understanding the pattern and setting appropriate boundaries. 

Below are some typical boundaries that need to be addressed during your confrontation: 

1.) The adulterous relationship must be severed.

This should be a “no-brainer”, but I mention it because sometimes this is a real struggle. 

The adulterous spouse must end the relationship and all contact with the other adulterer. They may do this face-to-face, by phone, or email with or without their spouse present. 

Ideally, you would be present when your spouse relayed to them that it was over. If you are not present, then you may want to contact them yourself as well to confirm/reiterate that the relationship has ended. 

If the other person is married, then their spouse should be aware of the adulterous relationship as well. 

2.) Contact with the other adulterer must end.

Their phone must be deleted and blocked from their phone. Your spouse must limit going to the same locations that that person frequents. 

If your spouse works with that person, then they must get a new job or move to another department if it is a large business. 

3.) Social media accounts should be deleted or combined.

Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Snapchat, and your spouse’s other internet accounts should be readily available to you. 

Together you both should decide either to get rid of the accounts or combine to have an account together.

4.) Separate living or sleeping arrangements may need to be made.

This is not always necessary, but many times it is. 

You may need time to process all of what has happened. This is also a good visible way to communicate to your spouse the brokenness or distance in the relationship.

The separation differs for each couple – from sleeping in different beds, sleeping in different rooms, one in the guest apartment downstairs, one sleeping in the camper out back, or even in separate housing locations. 

Usually as the couple works on their relationship, then their sleeping arrangements become closer together.

5.) Your requirements for reconciliation must be presented.

This would include marriage counseling, your spouse writing a letter of confession and apology, your response letter, possibly attending a support group, date nights, maybe marriage retreat, and the ability for you as a couple to have a calm, civil conversation about areas of conflict. 

In the next chapter (Chapter 9), we will discuss this in more detail.

6.) If your spouse is unwilling to repent/reconcile and divorce is imminent, then you will need to present your requirements for separation.

You will want to consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and the particular laws for your state. 

When you meet with the lawyer, you will want to present to them the evidence of your spouse’s infidelity so that you can understand how much power or weight it may have in a court decision. 

This is the nitty-gritty part where you talk about kids and money. You will need to speak with an attorney who specialized in family law.

Even if your spouse says “yes” to reconciliation, it would be wise to speak with a lawyer and have this information as well. Naturally from what has happened, you may question their sincerity or effort level. 

By having this information from a lawyer, you will safeguard yourself against under or over-stepping your legal rights.


Don’t Just Patch Things Up – Build a New Foundation

Many couples make the same mistake.  Here’s a typical pattern of how they handle the affair.

The offended spouse confronts the adulterous spouse and confronts the other adulterer. All contact with the other person is ended. 

The couple does counseling with a pastor or therapist for a few weeks. They talk about the affair and their relationship. 

They learn some things about themselves and their relationship. Their sex life returns to normal. 

They stop counseling or working on themselves but later return to their same patterns. They stop short on dealing with the deeper issues that fueled the affair.

Marriage counseling is a must for a couple that has had an affair. Something is going wrong in the relationship and it needs to be corrected. 

In this chapter, we will talk about areas that need to be worked upon and goals that need to be met:

1. Work through the affair.

To work through the affair, the adulterous spouse must make a full confession. They would answer questions like when and how it started, how often, where the meetings were, what was talked about, what happened, etc… 

The more information the better except in the area of the physical act of sex. When the offended spouse does not have information, they usually fill it in with the worse case scenario which makes things seem even more deplorable.

In the area of the physical act of sex, information like “we had intercourse, kissed, sexted, or oral sex” should be used to describe the act but no further details. Further details in this area could cause more harm than good. 

I have my clients to write and read a confessional letter to their spouse. 

Next, the offended spouse writes a letter of response. The letter of response is intended to help the offended spouse to get out all of their feelings and thoughts in an organized manner. 

Sometimes the letters continue for 2 or 3 rounds where the offended spouse asks questions and the adulterous spouse answers them – note that they are not defending their actions, but rather clarifying what happened and validating how the offended spouse feels.

After the letter writing phase, the offended spouse may continue to get triggered and need to ask questions and need to process what they are feeling and going through. This is normal. It is an opportunity for the couple to heal and bond more. 

The adulterous spouses’s role is to provide emotional support with reflective listening. This is an on-going process which heightens at anniversaries (the time of year that they learned of the affair, when the affair begin, etc.). 

These “triggers and questioning sessions” do lessen the more the couple is able to process the information and feelings together.

2. Establish healthy communication to handle conflict. 

Couple chatting

Many couples are not able to talk about difficult matters with it not getting “out of hand” or one person shutting down. That is why a counselor is needed to help many couples “work through the affair.” 

In my counseling, I not only teach what healthy communication is but I have my couples practice it in session. After we practice these assertive, healthy conversations, we discuss how the conversations were and how they could be better.  

I give hand-outs and draw a lot on the whiteboard. For some couples, we spend 1-2 months working on this area while others take much longer. I always refer couples back to these skills whether I have met with them for a few sessions or a few years.

3. Understand your harmful, unhealthy pattern as a couple and step out of that pattern.

Many times as we talk about healthy communication, I help a couple to understand their destructive behaviors. 

When a person learns or begins to accept that “I am a ragaholic” or that they are extremely passive-aggressive, then they start to comprehend how damaging their pattern is and their part in it. 

I use many different ways to help couples understand this, like defining assertiveness, using imago theory, or describing attachment theory and how it relates to their marriage. 

I like Milan and Kay Yerkovich’s book and workbook How We Love. I feel like they do a great job at articulating this pattern. They have many attachment theory models that couples can relate to.

4. Address addictions.

Addictions are difficult to overcome. We are in denial of them and do not want to address them. 

I do not like labels or necessarily rigid guidelines in this area. I would recommend erring on the side of treating a problem as addiction versus ignoring a problem because you don’t think it fits the criteria of an addiction. 

So in the area of sex, if person has had multiple affairs whether physical or emotional or they have looked at pornography regularly (once a week), then I would treat it as a sexual addiction. Of course, anything more severe than this like sexting, escorts, swinger activity, exhibitionism, etc. should be treated as an addiction as well.

In the realm of substance abuse, I give my couples the CAGE questionnaire which is hidden in my assessments. The CAGE questionnaire (acronym for Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-opener) is four questions that help identify alcohol misuse. It is extremely reliable and accurate – a powerful way to address alcoholism. 

Here are the four questions: Have I felt like I should Cut down on my drinking? Have I been Annoyed by other people criticizing my drinking? Have I felt Guilty about my drinking? Have I taken a drink in the morning to steady my nerves and get rid of a hang-over?

Many times, the body of Christ is needed to overcome those addictions. The body of Christ comes in the form of support groups. 

I recommend that my clients attend Celebrate Recovery which is a support group for people struggling with hurt, hang-ups, and habits. This is a nation-wide program supported by various churches which is free to the participants.

5. Dive deeper in understanding what fuels these harmful patterns. 

Counselor Jim Cress likes to use the FIT method to make sense of our past. The F stands for Facts of our story or what happened in our past, usually. We need to be honest about what happened to us and view it from an adult perspective. 

The I stands for Impact. We need to understand the impact that the past experiences has had on us. For example, your parents may have argued about their finances every Sunday evening and that has caused you to worry about your finances. 

The T stands for Track. We need to comprehend how this past has caused us to behave in unhealthy ways. To keep with the example, you may become irritable every Sunday evening because you are worrying about your finances. As a result, you are emotionally distant from your family at a time that they need your engagement.

I like to use the Love Is a Choice workbook to dive deeper and make sense of these unhealthy patterns. It approaches these patterns from a codependency model and has many exercises and tools to help uncover these hidden systems at work in our subconscious. 

6. Release your anger of these past hurts.

After you have drudged up these painful aspects of your history, you need to be able to express your emotions that are tied to them. 

I like to use the GIFT method (as explained in Chapter 7) to help discover those deeper feelings beyond just anger. 

Sometimes, this anger is shared in individual counseling, in group therapy, written in a letter, or even shared with those who have done the harm to you. It is healthy to express these emotions in a healthy way. 

Talking with your counselor will help you to best decide how to share these emotions. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, but do not sin in your anger.”

7. Exercise forgiveness.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6 to “…forgive those who trespass against us…” 

Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins

To fully restore our hearts and our relationships, we must forgive our spouse and others from our past. Holding in anger builds walls in our heart. 

The bitterness traps us. We are not able to fully relate to others. We have bitter root judgments that distant us from others.

We must forgive to be restored to wholeness. We are to forgive as Christ forgave us.

Note that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that we take the cheating spouse back. And it definitely does not mean that we don’t have appropriate boundaries.

I encourage my clients to read As We Forgive Those: How to Forgive Others, Ourselves and God by Charles F. Finck. Finck’s short book outlines why, when, who, and how to exercise forgiveness. He gives relatable stories and teaches practical applications.

Forgiving is a heart matter. It is not just about not getting revenge. It is about mentally, emotionally, and spiritually releasing that anger and bitterness. It is about giving control of justice over to a sovereign God.


So that’s my practical Christian guide to an affair.

Now I want to turn it over to you: what did you think about this guide? Or maybe there’s something I missed. 

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

72 responses to “So Your Spouse Is Having an Affair…A Practical Christian Guide”

  1. Sara Avatar

    What about wanting to get a divorce even when your spouse says he’s repented but you obviously don’t believe him since he’s said that before and cheated again?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Well, it sounds like you’re having a difficult time deciding. If he continually has affairs or compulsive relationships, then he may have a sexual addiction. True repentance for a sexual addict at that level is a long, arduous journey. Sexual addictions expert Patrick Carnes says about 3-5 years of individual counseling and support group. You may want to listen to the interview I had with Nate Danser from Pure Life Ministries.

    2. Julia Avatar

      I am a wife, and I cheated on my husband. I regret it so much! I told my husband about that, we are trying to work on it. It us so hard. Do you have any advice to make this process easier

      1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
        Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

        Yes, the process is difficult, but it is good if done correctly. Having a good Christian counselor guide you through the process will helpful and give you some guardrails.

      2. Melody Dawn Zimmerman Avatar
        Melody Dawn Zimmerman

        My particular situation is complicated. My husband is havinig an affair with his best friends wife. My husband also is a devout christian. I have confronted him about his infedility, to which I do not have solid proof, such as eye witness. I know that it is happening and it has been happening for four years. He will not admit to it, at all. He has prayed over me, prayed with me and prayed about our situation. He has swore on everything holy and on Gods word. In my opinion used every lie in the book to continue in this affair. He can never tell me the truth because it would hurt so many people. No one would believe in a million years that he could do such a thing because of his characture and integrity. She is not the person people think she is either. She persued my husbund purposefully and blatently. I am living fully with doubt and untrust.. We have been married and together for a total of 29 years. I love this man. I can not stand the lies and betrayel. without proof I feel that I can not leave, however, I don’t know how I can stand by and continue to live with the sitution. They are very good at hiding their affair and it is happening very early in the mornings. She is coming to him, because I have him on such a time crunch and for other reasons as well. Please help. My gut and intuition know it is true.

        1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
          Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

          It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation – your intuition is telling you that there is an affair but you do not have any blatant proof. Since you are heavily monitored by him and her, it sounds like you need help getting more substantial evidence – like putting up hidden cameras or hiring a private investigator. I recommend you seeing a Christian counselor who can help you sort through all of this.

  2. Rob Avatar

    In my particular situation, my wife has cheated, said she’s stopped the affair, but continues to talk to the guy as ‘friends’. I have confronted both of them. As far as I know she hasn’t repented and still doesn’t want me. It has further complicated things that we have had to move into her moms house because of finances/covid, and now (in CA at least) there are no churches that I know of that are open. My only support system has been my parents (which live in OH). Her mom gets on me at times to try to rebuild my relationship with her, but I have made it clear that I cannot trust her until she has stopped talking to the guy. I try to spend time with her and she talks to the guy via text messages even during that time. Not sure what to do. It’s been a mess.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you are in a difficult position. You have confronted her and him, but she has only half-heartedly made a boundary with him. The boundaries are even more complicated with COVID and living with her mother. It seems to be even more complicated since you have no support in CA.

    2. Vicky Smith Avatar

      My husband had a yr and a half affair and we are still together but he refuses to have anything sexual to do with me… why? It has been 3 yrs since the affair ended.

      1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
        Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

        Dr. David Ludwig says sex is the glue for a marriage. It bonds the marriage together. Lack of sex is a strong indicator of something amiss in the relationship. (I am not speaking of the exceptions – when there are physical or mental limitations like a stroke or dementia in one of the spouses.) So definitely, the relationship has not been fully restored into a healthy, vibrant marriage. Of course, your mind may wonder if the affair truly ended or has another started or has pornography replaced it – any of these may or may not be true, but definitely the marriage has not been reconciled into a trusting, loving relationship. I encourage you both to continue to work on your marriage – go to marriage retreats, go to marriage counseling, read books about it together, etc.

  3. Nik J Avatar
    Nik J

    My husband has had affairs(physical and emotional) and has a pornography problem our entire marriage (7years) and cannot give me straight answers or tell me why he wants to stop and he keeps changing his stories. He has said he’s sorry and won’t do it again but how do I believe this?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like there may be a sexual addiction. No matter how sincere an apology is from someone with a sexual addiction; it will not go away without a lot of hard work. When they say that they will not do it again, they are not only lying to their spouse and others but to themselves as well. They will need help outside of themselves to overcome this problem. This help should come in the form of counseling, attending support group (like Celebrate Recovery), and accountability partners. For more severe cases, more help may be needed. Our mental health crisis resource page list additional resources.

    2. True BT Avatar
      True BT

      Same issue here, I know I can’t trust it. It’s been 7 for us and the excuse and actions get more and more disrespectful like you get caught red handed and you yell at your with and drive away with the strange woman you just picked up on the street, that is last straw behavior.

      1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
        Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

        Sex addiction expert Patrick Carnes has categorized 10 types of sexual behavior. He would describe the being with “strange women you just picked up on the street” as Anonymous Sex. Anonymous Sex is high-risk sex with unknown persons. Arousal involves no seduction or cost and is immediate.

  4. Bruce Fritchey Avatar
    Bruce Fritchey

    As you said, “Healing is in the details.” You further back this up by saying, “When the spouse doesn’t know these details, then they will fill it in with the worse case scenario. By being fully honest, the offending spouse is laying the foundation to rebuild trust later on.” However, in the midst of all that, you say something that seems inane to me; as if it were an oxymoron or possibly a paradox. You state, “But you do NOT need to know the details of their physical touching or sexual acts, the other person’s body, or how they reacted.” How do you reconcile these as different “details”? I will reiterate you verbatim, “When the spouse doesn’t know these details, then they will fill it in with the worse case scenario. By being fully honest, the offending spouse is laying the foundation to rebuild trust later on.” Please explain.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Yes, I agree that it does sound quite ambiguous and contradictory. Each couple and situation is different. I generally address this with each couple more specifically in session, giving handouts with examples. But generally, the details that need to be shared are about when, how often, where, who and what happened including whether it was a text, phone call, hug, kiss, sexting, oral sex, or intercourse, but not the details of the physical touching or sexual acts, the other person’s body, or how they reacted.

  5. Andrew Gilliam Sr. Avatar
    Andrew Gilliam Sr.

    I abandoned my faithful wife of 39 years and grown children for a co worker. Now she is pregnant. I really blew it with my family. Any advice would be helpful. I still adore my family and the coworker was just a fling. I have cheated on my wife many times, but this time I told her I did not remember her or the kids. How do I fix my errors with my family?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Thank you for sharing! My first recommendation is that you see a Christian counselor – someone who is a member of the AACC (American Association of Christian Counseling). There are many things that you will need to navigate delicately. You had mentioned numerous affairs which may indicate that you may have a sexual addiction. Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a support group for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. I recommend CR to most of my clients while I am seeing them. CR will be essential for your recovery and restoration.

  6. M Flackson Avatar
    M Flackson

    I’m really struggling with this. My husband of 37 years had an affair. When confronted, he neither denied or affirmed. I chose to forgive him and we have remained married now for 49 yrs. About the same time he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia. I stayed with him and eventually became his caregiver 24/7 for 12 years until he had to go into a nursing home recently since I was no longer able to care for him.
    A few months ago, a widowed childhood friend contacted me. We hit it off and have been seeing each other long distance. Since finding the Lord at 25 (I’m now 71) I have lived my life according to Biblical precepts. I had 12 long years of taking care of my husband, giving up so much during that time. Now I want this new relationship to prosper for our remaining years. My husband doesn’t know me when I visit him in the nursing home but has a strong constitution and may live quite awhile . I know for certain I’m a born-again Christian but struggle with what I’m doing. Prayer for wisdom and guidance is a constant but things continue to get better. I’m wondering if the Lord is ordaining this new relationship but I don’t know how that could be – based on His Words on adultery. Any helpful words on this?
    Because my husband broke our marriage covenant, am I free to pursue or do I have to wait for him to pass. Divorce is not an option at this point.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Thank you for sharing! It sounds like speaking with a therapist would be helpful for you to navigate this difficult time. I recommend that you see a Christian counselor – someone who is a member of the AACC (American Association of Christian Counseling).

  7. Rachel Pruiett Avatar
    Rachel Pruiett

    I got married almost 2 years ago and 8 months into our marriage I found dating apps he had downloaded well AFTER our wedding and he was talking to multiple women. I forgave him and decided to just trust him (we’re young (19-20)) figured he’s just young and dumb lol. However three months after that I found dating apps on his phone AGAIN and he was talking to local women. This time it hit me so hard. I really thought I was going to leave him but I decided I wanted to at least try my hardest to trust him again and we went to marriage was great but only lasted like 8 months until I’ve caught him twice masturbating in secret while watching porn and we hadn’t had an sort of physical affection around the time I caught him masturbating. I’ve decided to leave him.. I have been faithful.. I have prayed and asked God so many times to let me know my husbands true intentions, because he would always apologize and then try by going to church and reading the Bible but it was short lived every time.. I can’t keep holding on waiting for him to grow up. He pretended to be someone totally different before we got married but man it still hurts because I’ve been patient and understanding and I just know he’s not going to change. I just still cant help but feel like it’s my fault we aren’t working out.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      In chapter 19 of David Clarke’s book I Don’t Want A Divorce, he addresses the “popular advice” of where the spouse is told that it is their fault. He tells the sinning spouse it is 100% his fault. It is 100 percent the addicted spouse’s problem. The spouse cannot make the other addicted to sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, work etc. It is their decision and decisions.

  8. Priyasha Avatar

    My husband denying he is cheating . But I have evidence. But still he wants to have sex with me . But I feel very uncomfortable, so I refused it. What can I do in this , I feel very sorry for him. He said he loves me. But Denys he is cheating. . As a child of god is it fine to give him space to have sex as he is my husband, even if I feel confused

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you both would benefit from marriage counseling or individual for yourself if he refuses. Many clients use the evidence as leverage to get their spouse to go to counseling. I recommend you seeing someone who is a member of the AACC. Of course, shop around to find someone that you feel confident in. It may cost more, but it will be worth it.

  9. Neela Gampal Avatar
    Neela Gampal

    I am struggling with what to do with my marriage, my husband told me 10 days ago that he needed some space because he lost his identity, so he stayed at a worldly friend’s house, now he came back and is a different person, he told me that he won’t hide his feelings anymore (he was afraid to express his feelings\opinions because he didn’t want to hurt me before) so he expressed all of his feelings, he decided to stop following God, he flew to CA (we live in TX) to meet a female friend and told me he had the best sex ever and now tells me that he will like me to meet another man just to understand what did he went through. He is totally a different person, all he told me I totally disagree, now I’m feeling hopeless, I would like to meet someone who went with a similar situation because I am alone in this and right now I cannot afford for a counseling.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you have really been going through a lot and need support. You mentioned that you cannot afford counseling. I am not sure about Texas, but many counties have government-sponsored mental health counseling (usually groups) that are free or low cost. I also recommend Celebrate Recovery (CR) with is a Christian-based support group. It was started by Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in California. Many churches host CR groups around the nation.

  10. Michael D. Bonsall Sr. Avatar
    Michael D. Bonsall Sr.

    Thoughts on a man who is married to a woman who experimented with bisexual sex prior to marriage but over the course of a 17 year marriage has engaged in numerous adulterous affairs with women and another man? The husband is Christian although he strayed away from God for a period of time but has found his way back with a passion. The wife was willing to abandon the marriage and the children to move forward in a lesbian affair a number of years ago and is again involved in a gay relationship. Advising in this situation is particularly difficult as it is my oldest son who is struggling with this situation.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like your son needs to speak with a Christian counselor (a member of the AACC) to figure out how to navigate through this difficult situation. A lot is going on with his wife, probably due to previous traumas and/or abuse. He will need to learn how to be assertive (not aggressive) and set boundaries that are appropriate to help/protect himself, her, and the children.

  11. Tanaka sadza Avatar
    Tanaka sadza

    I found out my wife cheated on me November of last year and had stopped taking to this person about a month ago. I confronted her about it and she seemed to be regretful about doing this act. I was trying to work on the relationship but the emotional trauma of knowing what another man did to my wife became too great,but i was still willing to work on the relationship. I then asked for some time apart from her so i can clear my mind because i felt i needed the time to absorb and accept the situation, and be able to work on the relationship much better. She did not take it as space but assumed i was leaving her. I took a week and a half to my self and i used the time to try and figure my self out ,and i was certain that i was still in love with her in that short time and i wanted everything to work out. I came back to her and i talked to her and told her that it will take time for me to heal but am willing to work things out . 5 days go by. while sitting on my bed i decided to use her phone and to my surprise i found a different man in her phone. She met and talk to this man during my time away and they have been having sex, so far 5 times ,four of which where unprotected. The last time they did it was a day after i came back. I confronted her and she said she really thought she lost me forever so she became so emotional and vulnerable that when this man was talking to her and was giving her sweet words it helped her as a distraction from her pain and this led her to sleep with him. And having unprotected sex was a bad idea she didn’t think through. I just walked out and i haven’t said a word to her. She tried talking to my friend but he was as disappointed as i was. Its been a month now and i haven’t seen nor spoken to her. i dont know what to do . I am afraid that being with her is a mistake and in future i might find her with another man, and I dont think i will be able to handle it the way i did. I have been with her for 5 years . What advice can you give me . Because right now even moving on is difficult because i might just find someone even worse. She has been an amazing person and if i didnt go through her phone and find out about the first man and again the second man i would have been really happy. Its still seems to be unreal that she could do this

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      So what I am hearing is that your wife had an affair last November and had another affair recently when you were taking some time away. Just because you were gone for a week or two doesn’t mean that you were still not married. There is a lot of information that we do not know. But it sounds like she has a sexual addiction which is probably rooted in a lot of past trauma. Both you and your wife need to see individual counselors. I recommend you seeing someone who is a member of the AACC.

  12. Cathy Karaoglan Avatar
    Cathy Karaoglan

    What if your husband keeps telling you he stopped but then every few months you find evidence he never stopped. Is God helping me know the truth and should I leave the marriage because he keeps cheating and promises he stop but doesn’t? I been trying to give him grace and pray for our marriage and I want to trust him but the pain is getting unbearable every time I find new proof of betrayal and my husband gets upset I am sad and struggling with all this. It’s like he confess then i.suppose to say OK and act like nothing and I don’t know how to do this. I not sure I suppose to stay in this marriage?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like your husband is just telling you what you want to hear and what he thinks he needs to say. I am sure at the time your husband may be sincere but with addiction that will not be enough. He needs boundaries and accountability partners. You are not to be his accountability partner. He needs to find accountability partners at a support group like Celebrate Recovery. You need to speak to a counselor and come up with appropriate boundaries.

  13. Esther C. Hull Avatar
    Esther C. Hull

    My husband had an affair and I want to tell the woman’s husband. I don’t think it is fair that I am the only one hurting. I feel it is important that he knows what his wife has been doing. Is it biblical to tell the husband about his wife’s affair? I am torn because they have children. I plan to stay with my husband.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Ephesians 5:25 says, “…you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to (your) neighbor..” Both your husband and his wife has sinned against God, against you, and against her husband. By keeping a “secret” from him would be “bearing false witness.” Secrets in a marriage are always harmful and never good. He will eventually know and sooner is better than later.

  14. Eve M Avatar
    Eve M

    My husband has been having several affairs and one night stands which I always or most of the time comes to know.He is defensive whenever I ask him and we have separated before but now we are together again and he is still cheating.
    When we separated I moved on because I had no intention of going back to him and unfortunately I got into a relationship with a married man,I did cut the relationship when we got back and I even accepted Christ as my saviour.
    My husband always abuse me emotionally and even calls me a whore.He doesn’t or rarely supports me in the house and I work hard to provide food and other basic things for the children n family.
    I have no more Grace and I feel like calling it quit.will I be sinning if I leave this marriage?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      When Jesus is preaching the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:32, he says that divorce is permitted when there is marital unfaithfulness. Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse (i.e. calling names, put-downs, yelling, etc) are very damaging to you and your children. They are not part of the God-designed marriage. You need to talk with a counselor to discuss the extent of the emotional abuse in order to decide upon your boundaries – which separation may be part of it. His multiple affairs sounds like a form of sexual addiction which is very damaging to you but also the children.

      When I hear of situations like this that children are in, I think of Matthew 18:5-6 and am very somber. There are many interpretations of these verses, but I feel like it applies in this situation. Your husband is causing these little ones to sin by his emotional abuse. By putting the children in this atmosphere, I feel you are liable as well. The children need protection.

  15. Taylor Avatar

    I just found out that my fiancé cheated on me by sending inappropriate pictures to a 17 year old family friend over a month ago. He used to be her youth pastor, and our wedding is 2 weeks away. Her mom called me to tell me, and he hid it from me for over a month. He let me know that he has been living in fear and anxiety for over a month. He is completely distraught. He said he wanted to tell me. But it doesn’t seem like he was going to before the wedding. He was letting me go into this marriage blind. He has been lying to my face for over a month. Now I am 2 weeks out from our wedding date and need to make a quick decision. I have reached out for counseling. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Obviously, your fiancee has boundaries issues among other things which you need to explore further before making commitments to him. Hopefully, your counselor has helped you to begin to work on these issues and hopefully he is seeking help as well.

  16. Tessa Avatar

    My husband has been cheating on me for 13 months since our son was born. His excuse was his mental health problem which he has a maintenance medication for. However I don’t know if I want to continue the marriage since the happiest time of our lives is now smeared with his infidelity- I don’t know how I can trust him again. It does not look like he will change his ways and I’m now hoping for an amicable divorce. Was actually a bit glad to see Matthew 5:32 mentioned above.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      If your husband is not going to counseling and a support group like Celebrate Recovery, then he is not working on himself. Medication management is not enough. In Malachi 2:16, God says “I hate divorce and him who covers his garment with wrong” (God hates violence and infidelity), and Jesus does mention in Matthew 5:32 that divorce is permitted if their is marital unfaithfulness. Divorce at times is the best way to protect yourself and your children from an unhealthy relationship.

  17. Jennifer Avatar

    I have proof my husband is having an affair. Data on the phone bill. I’ve walked in on him texting. It’s a separate watch phone. He took and failed a lie detector. He says it’s not him. I still keep standing and praying. It’s like he’s a wall built on lies. He tells me he never has made plans to leave me but I’m the one. In reality I am trying to protect myself bc I don’t know what he’s doing. I’m so confused that he can twist my mind. We have had 23 years of marriage and this just started 4 months ago. At a loss

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Some spouses are difficult to confront when you don’t have explicit proof of their affair like the text or email threads or pictures of them together in a compromising position. They hold to their innocence no matter what. I encourage you to seek individual counseling if you are not already in it.

  18. Dan Simpkins Avatar
    Dan Simpkins

    My wife has moved out after staring a relationship with another man. We have a 4 year old son together. She says she doesn’t love me and doesn’t want to get involved in my emotions/feelings over this. She says she’s in love with this man (and has had sex numerous times with him). She’s completely unrepentant over this. She was even kicked off the worship team after our worship leader was alerted to her infidelity. She’s yet to file for divorce but has stated numerous times she intends to divorce me. What do I do? I’ve been praying every day and am completely destroyed over this.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like she has really had a crisis of faith and turned away from God and her family. As you try to make sense of what is going on, I encourage you to seek Christian counseling from someone who is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). They are located throughout the United States.

  19. Deborah Haynes Avatar
    Deborah Haynes

    My husband had an affair. He said he had ended it but hadn’t. He lied to me for 2yrs while I struggled and tried so hard to forgive & reconcile. He berated me about forgiveness. I’m not able to trust him at all after discovering this. He says the affair is really over and because I’m not able to trust him, I’m at fault now, destroying our family.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like he doesn’t want to take any responsibility for his actions and that he needs some accountability from other Christian men. I believe that both of you would benefit from marriage counseling and attending a support group like Celebrate Recovery or Affair Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is free. Affair Recovery has online groups that you pay to attend.

  20. Jason Bemak Avatar
    Jason Bemak

    My wife was caught talking to another man back in November. i confronted her about it and we even went to counseling from our pastor. A few weeks ago I find a letter she wrote and left saying she was leaving because of the many times we argued and she was emotionally drained. I think this is partially true but I also think she is living with this new man. She was blaming me when we met our pastor for counseling. Our pastor said she has hardened her heart towards God and trying to find happiness in another man or even apart from God and me but she won’t find it. She left her cell phone and bank card and wedding ring. She said she would contact me via email but has not since she left January 14th. I do not understand why she would cut me off from all communication. I know she is on a dangerous path to destruction if she doesn’t repent. I have emailed her many times and I am sure she has read them but probably doesn’t know what to say or she is trying to sort through her emotions. Many of our Christian friends even emailed her but she is not responding probably because she feels guilty. Any thoughts?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like she is having some type of existential crisis where she is turning away from not only you, but her friends and God. All of this is out of your control. I encourage you to seeking individual counseling, draw closer to God, and slow down on your pursuit of her. It sounds like she has been in church, and so she knows what is right. The more that you reach out to her and tell her what to do, the more that you come across as controlling to her. You must allow God to work on her heart.

  21. Leah J Avatar
    Leah J

    My boyfriend of 5 years went to a party with his guy friends and he got drunk and made out with another girl. I found out because someone at the party told me and i confronted him, he admitted and told me everything and explained how sorry he was and how when he realized what happened he got up and left the party. I was so upset and angry at him we separated for a week or so and didn’t talk at all we came back together and talked it through and decided to try and make it work. It has been 6 months since this has happened and we both still haven’t moved on from it, my boyfriend cries about it and apologizes almost everyday and you can tell he has a lot of regret. But i can’t move on i still cry about it and feel betrayal. I say i forgive him but i don’t know if i really do? We have talked about breaking up so he can fix himself and become the best version of himself and so i can work on my mental health and moving on. I need God’s help on what we should do. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like your boyfriend really regrets what happened. Working through forgiveness and reconciliation is a process. Many get stuck at the anger stage and guilt stage and don’t work through the deeper emotions. I have my couples to write letters that push down deeper. I help them to practice reflective listening with each other instead of getting stuck in the defensive/anger mode. I recommend that you go to couple counseling – it can be worked through if both are willing.

  22. Abigail Avatar

    Hi please this time round I am the cheating and I just don’t feel the love for my husband anymore everything he does irritates me but my mum in law loves me that much that I don’t know how to deal with it , the other guy also wants to have me for himself now and we both love ourselves what do I do. My husband had done nothing wrong aside that if i don’t like something about and i say he gets angry but he’s a good man but i just don’t feel the connection. The first time I felt the connection was before but right after the marriage I realized he wasn’t the one cus I don’t love him like he does with me. Please help me sort this out

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you’re not certain of what you want. A trained Christian therapist will be able to guide you in the decision making process. I recommend you seek counseling from someone who is member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

  23. LMF Avatar

    My husband and I have been married almost 18 years. We have 2 children-15 and 10. After we got married, I found out he was still in contact with his ex but i didn’t think much about it and the issue resolved-she moved away and stopped contact. Several years ago I seen messages where he was sexting 2 different women. I confronted him and he apologized and still talks at times about how scared he was of losing me. Now, I have found where he is sexting with an old college friend. I truly believe he is a sex addict (the sexting history, pornography and he is never satisfied with how or what we are doing). I am still gathering evidence even though I have screenshots. He claimed last time that it would never be more than texting and that it was “Innocent”. This time he talked about meeting up with the girl and I want to see if he follows through with a meet up. I am torn about what to do next-stay to keep from traumatizing my children with a divorce or divorce him.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you have some difficult decisions to make. A licensed Christian counselor will be able to help you sort through your thoughts. I recommend that you find one that is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

      Additionally, here are few thoughts to consider. 1.) When a parent is sexually acting out, it negatively affects the children as well. It may not be as overt as verbal abuse like yelling at them, but it can be damaging. An unhealthy marriage can be as damaging as a divorce. 2.) Sexual addicts can recover and become healthy, but it requires a lot of effort and time – counseling, support groups, etc. Marriages involving sexual addictions can be restored.

  24. J Avatar

    My husband cheated and I reached a breaking point. I was one foot out the door until we went to counseling via the church. We found out that he’s a sex addict.

    We have done everything you have stated. However earlier this month he relapse. He swears nothing happened and he chicken out at the last minute. But he told me this before and it was just a big lie.

    Now I’m worried that he might get someone pregnant. What should I do if he does get another woman pregnant? Do I walk away or stay and fight and deal with the other woman + child for 18+ years ???

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      So you initially gave him mercy and attended counseling with him at your church. You learned that he has a sexual addiction. And so he is supposed to be working on himself, but he relapsed a few weeks ago. He has sabotaged your marriage counseling. Now you are concerned that he’s not taking the counseling/his addiction seriously and that he may get another woman pregnant. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:32), Jesus allows or condones divorce when there is sexual immorality. So you are trying to decide at what lengths are you willing to go or how much mercy you are willing to give him. I encourage you to speak with your counselor to weigh all the pros and cons of your decision.

  25. J Avatar

    My husband and I have been married for 8 years now but a little over 3 years ago when our second child was born something changed in our relationship. I went through postpartum depression at this time and it was also during Covid so difficult times all around. During my pregnancy I had discovered some texts he had made to 2 different women expressing interest in them and I ofcourse was furious and confronted him. He promised it was nothing that it was just innocent and so on. I chose to forgive him. A few months after our child was born, I overhear a phone call during the night and know that he’s talking with another woman and how he’s looking forward to finally meet her. I talked with him the next day, a lot of issues were addressed and we decided to take a break, after 2 days he says that he doesn’t want to take a break that he knows he wants to be with me. The next year I get offered a job abroad we decide to move. Since we’ve been here I have caught him once again on the phone talking to women inappropriately. I confronted him and he repented and said it was a mistake it was just a stupid fling. Just yesterday I found texts on the computer between him and someone from March where he says he’s found someone to date and they’ve seen each other three times already. What’s worse or I don’t know worse but really made my blood boil was that he has been texting our nanny saying how much he miss her during our holiday and calling her babe and saying love you. I feel so betrayed and so stupid! At the same time at a loss because our children are so young and he’s on a visa coz we’re married. I can’t kick him out coz I don’t want my children to not have contact with their dad but I feel like I can’t possibly trust him after this. I don’t have any proof only what I briefly saw on the computer. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      It sounds like you are in a difficult position being abroad with two young children and that you are somewhat isolated. This is a time where you need a lot of support – help raising two young children, individual counseling, marriage counseling, support groups, and church.

      With all his affairs or attempted affairs, I would assume that he has some form of sexual addiction. He would need extensive counseling. You will need individual counseling. You both would need a lot of marital counseling together. Hopefully, you will be able to find a good Christian counselor in your area.

  26. Patti l Lewis Avatar
    Patti l Lewis

    My husband refuses to give up his affair partner and I haven’t yet contacted her. Should I? He is 446 and our son just graduated and two of his closest friends have not had time for him lately. All he is left with is me. We are disconnected from years of our sons hobbies and our own failure to stay connected. I love him so much and desire the connection we once had. He has moved out to his mom’s who is loving that her baby boy is back with her and she is not encouraging him to be faithful, give up the sin, and come home. Instead she is saying things like whatever makes you happy. On top of that the partner is a psychologist and so the words my husband speaks do not even sound like his own. He is manipulative and treats me as though I don’t exist. I am not an angry person so the part that resonates with me is that I need to get angry at the sin.

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      In Dr. David Clarke’s book “I Don’t Want a Divorce”, he talks in depth about getting angry at the sin in the 18th chapter entitled, Get Angry and Stay Angry. I recommend you reading that chapter – he gives more ideas of how to stay angry and biblical background to support it. Note that this book was written by David Clarke (who’s done marriage counseling for over 30 years at the time of writing the book) and his father William Clarke who was a marriage counselor for years as well.

  27. Irene Avatar

    Can you recommend resources that help with deciding whether to stay in the marriage and seek reconciliation (even if that means temporary separation) or just plan for a divorce?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Well, the book “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend discusses appropriate boundary setting which applies to marriage. David Clarke’s book “I Don’t Want a Divorce” gives practical, direct marriage advice. We (my wife and I) have 8 podcast episodes entitled “How To Support Your Spouse…”. In these episodes, we discuss how to handle problems that your spouse may be having that affect your marriage. These are a few that come to mind.

      I believe that talking with a good Christian counselor is the best way to make this decision. Even though you may read something, it may be difficult to see how it applies to you. A counselor can point out things that you are blind to.

  28. Debra Avatar

    My husband affair ended with baby born how am I suppose to salvage this marriage when a baby has been conceived

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Yes, it is always more difficult when a child is the result of an affair or when children are involved.

      A trained Christian therapist will be able to guide you in the decision making process. I recommend you seek counseling from someone who is member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

  29. Abby Avatar

    I am currently separated after our third bout with marital infidelity. I have been reading and studying for years. I have seen multiple individual and marriage counselors. I do believe this might be the best resource to sum up what I’ve learned over my very long journey and I hope others find it sooner than I did. Thanks for putting it out here!

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Your welcome!

  30. Fallon Avatar

    I noticed 2000 messages on our phone bill and confronted my husband. He claimed it was a man he worked with. I’ve been noticing problems and asking to work on it. I followed my intuition and called to hear a woman’s voice. I saw the timelines and when he was mad with me after an argument he would text up to 150xs in a few hours before he acknowledged my existence. She and he texted at all hours…since he is a cop and on swing shift. After confronting with the truth again, he admitted it was a woman from another police department, but “there was nothing there”. It was all about a possible job….that he couldn’t tell me anything about. He refuses to admit any emotional attachment or need. I feel like there was something there or he would not have hid it and put this above his family or me. Should we do marriage counseling or individual counseling? Where is a good resource for Christian counseling since we have recently moved and have no home church?

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      Well, just from the number of texts there seems to be an emotional affair in the least. If he is willing to go to marriage counseling, it would be beneficial with the appropriate counselor. I recommend you seek counseling from someone who is member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Many counselors say that they do marriage counseling, but they really only see a handful and do reflective listening with the couple. You need an assertive counselor who has a plan and will confront your spouse in a gentle way. Make sure that you read about their specialty – if they don’t tell a lot of details about their marriage counseling, then they probably don’t do a lot of it.

      Many times, my marriage clients attend individual counseling as well. At times, I recommend it – usually with another counselor outside of my office. Sometimes, they need to process what is going on in marriage counseling or have specific traumas. It is powerful when they get the same messages from two different counselors.

      1. Nwaogwugwu ihechi Avatar
        Nwaogwugwu ihechi

        Thanks for the message, I really need counsel on this , I have been separated from my husband for almost 4 years due to the fact that he constantly cheats on me and abuse me emotionally and the last abuse that made me to separate from him was a physical abuse, but all this while we do have sex when he comes to visit and he said he is stuck with the lady he is having affair with , he knows I can’t leave him no matter what he does but I’m confused if not having sex with him is me not being submissive to him and God’s word I only separate from him cause I couldn’t stand seeing him cheating to my face like I don’t matter which he still does even after separation . We have kids together

        1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
          Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

          It sounds like you are in an abusive relationship. I believe that you would benefit by listening to some of Dr. David Clarke’s podcast Enough Is Enough. He’s a lot of good Biblical advice on dealing with abusive spouses.

  31. Jennifer Flores Avatar
    Jennifer Flores

    Hello, my husband cheated on me with my cousin. My mom’s sisters daughter her and I grew up very close together. When I found out almost 2 years ago I felt so betrayed and hurt and in such shock. My husband and I are still together working things out but he still does things that make me doubt him. I’ve caught him on my cousins page multiple times since I found out, he went to her job and by her home, and I’ve caught him with other women he also admitted he cheated with a total of 5 different women and I thought when he told me that things were gonna change for the better but I still have caught him on my cousins page and other women’s naked photos on his phone and he dents it all and it honestly makes me crazy, I pray and ask god for help and it feels like it’s never gonna end. I feel alone and unhappy. I question my own judgment and I feel numb to everything now. I don’t know what to do I’m trying and when I found out I made mistakes out of hurt and anger for what they did. I didn’t cheat but I did speak to another man and I confessed to my husband because I felt guilty and I only did it out of anger. I just feel my marriage is ruined and my life. Idk where to go from here

    1. Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor Avatar
      Vincent Ketchie | Marriage Counselor

      With the amount of infidelity that your husband has admitted to, I feel quite certain that your husband has a sexual addiction. This kind of addiction requires a lot of difficult therapy and group support for him to overcome it. As the spouse of a sexual addict, you need individual counseling to figure out your appropriate boundaries and expectations. I would encourage you to find a therapist who is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. They should mention it in their biography if they are a member. You would also benefit from a support group like Celebrate Recovery.

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