The process of saving a marriage after an affair can be tedious and requires concentrated effort by both partners. When infidelity threatens to dismantle a marriage, husbands and wives must work doubly hard to restore trust, rebuild communication, and rekindle romance. After being unfaithful, a guilty spouse may find it difficult to win a mate's confidence again. The offended husband or wife will surely have feelings of betrayal, rejection, and resentment; because adultery violates the sanctity of holy wedlock and is a criminal trespass of a loved one's emotions. After the initial shock of discovering that a mate has committed adultery, questions may loom large that haunt a betrayed spouse. Often a husband or wife wonders what they may have done to cause a spouse to have wandering eyes or decide to take a lover. Or the wounds may go so deep that they are simply not able to express the hurt, confusion, or mental anguish at the thought of an indiscretion.
While many couples feel there is no hope for saving a marriage after an affair, there are solutions to mending broken hearts. The process begins with genuine repentance, then forgiveness of the guilty party, followed by renewing vows of fidelity, and lastly with both partners making a diligent effort to put away the past and begin a renewed monogamous relationship. Husbands or wives who are guilty of committing adultery must first repent from the desire to lust after someone other than the husband or wife. Men and women, especially Christians, who allow strong desire to drive them to fornicate are not only guilty of disobeying the commandment of God, but also of defiling the body. Therefore genuine, heartfelt repentance will restore a guilty spouse back to fellowship with their heavenly Father.
The Bible condemns the sin of adultery and harlotry: "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:15-20)..
Saving a marriage after an affair requires honesty and discretion. Once repentance has been made to the Lord, a wayward husband or wife should confess the transgression and sincerely ask their mate for forgiveness. Being as open and honest as possible without further injuring an innocent spouse is far better than continuing to keep secrets or an illicit liaison. But sharing hurtful truths requires wisdom and timing. Husbands and wives in the process of saving a marriage after an affair should be sensitive when confessing to a loved one. Before approaching a wounded spouse, partners should consider how they would feel if the proverbial shoe was on the other foot. A guilty partner who places themselves in the position of their husband or wife is more apt to deal gently while confessing wrongdoing.
The role of an innocent spouse in saving a marriage after an affair is to listen and find the resolve to forgive, particularly if the guilty party is truly remorseful. While the anguish of marital betrayal is hard to bear, rescuing the marriage from the threat of divorce requires reaching deep within the soul and spirit. The value couples place on the relationship will determine how much they are willing to forgive. Spouses should view the long term benefits of matrimony instead of focusing on short term disappointments. No relationship is perfect; and no individual remains the same. As men and women age chronologically and mature emotionally, there should be a stronger desire to live above reproach. A single indiscretion, no matter how traumatic or hurtful, should not deter couples who are interested in saving a marriage after an affair. The innocent spouse's ability to release a mate from guilt and forgive is crucial if reconciliation is to begin.
Renewing vows of fidelity is also a vital part of saving a marriage after an affair. Spouses who have been involved in extramarital affairs should make every effort to cut all communication with an illicit lover. Adulterers should discard telephone numbers, refrain from emailing or texting, and put as much distance between them and a lover as possible. A refusal to open the door to any communication with a former mistress or suitor will demonstrate to the victimized spouse the seriousness of intentions to give up the affair. By continually building up walls between the adulterer and the lover, and tearing down walls of miscommunication or distrust between husbands and wives, the marital relationship can begin to mend.
Saving a marriage after an affair may seem impossible; but by staying focused on the goal of restoring the relationship, couples can succeed. Reconciliation not only demands that guilty spouses forsake all others and innocent husbands and wives to forgive, but also that both couples work hard to salvage the love and emotional bond that was once part of the relationship. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. When a third party becomes involved, the relationship is bound to suffer; but love covers a multitude of sins. Focusing on the future and forgetting the past is the best way to repair broken hearts.
Sin In MarriageWhile some may view sin in marriage as a way of life, the Bible defines it as a most heinous crime. The world's carnal view regarding marital sin or infidelity is totally different than the Christian perspective. In the secular world, from the time boys reach puberty they are taught to "sow wild oats" and have as many sexual experiences as possible in order to affirm manhood. No wonder young men who finally settle down and get married feel at liberty to keep one or two mistresses on the side. Indeed, in some cultures, sin in marriage and promiscuity among males is even encouraged, but equally experienced females are frowned upon. Because of a distorted world view, for many men, remaining faithful to one wife is a difficult if not impossible task. "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
As Christians, God holds husbands and wives to a higher standard. But in order to understand the gravity of sin in marriage, couples should first understand God's purpose for matrimony. Holy wedlock, a sacred institution ordained by the Creator, is the joining of man and woman in a lifelong monogamous bond for the purpose of producing a godly seed. When a man and woman are joined together and the union consummated through sexual intercourse, a one-flesh bond is formed that should only be broken by death. The act of adultery violates the sanctity of holy wedlock and tears asunder the one-flesh union which has been consecrated by God before a "cloud" of witnesses at the altar. A spouse who violates the wedding vow by committing adultery, or sin in marriage, is apparently ignorant of the plan of God and completely unaware of the spiritual implications of such an act.
"Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously" (Malachi 2:14-16).
A man who deals treacherously with the wife of his youth is first of all guilty of revoking a solemn vow and breaking the marriage covenant. Infidelity annuls the sacred promised uttered at the altar, shatters dreams and causes hope to fall. After infidelity, the wife who placed confidence in a husband's promise to love and cherish is left destitute, forlorn, and uncovered by her mate's transgression. As the spiritual head of household, the husband plays a vital role in instructing the wife and children in the ways of God. The man is given to the woman as a "covering," to protect, shield, and sustain. But sin in marriage violently rips that covering from the wife's body; and she is left naked, destitute, and exposed to the harsh elements of the world. The treacherous tearing of the one-flesh union created by marital consummation is painful, shameful, and denigrating as the wife is relegated to a lesser place of shame and singlehood.
While the Bible addresses males in Malachi 2:14-16, adultery is not a gender specific sin in marriage. Some women are just as promiscuous as men; and the act of infidelity perpetuated against a husband can be equally devastating. Biblically speaking, the "strange woman," or adulterous female exists to try and deceive, entice, and tempt a man to do evil. She uses God-given physical attributes to draw mens hearts away from the Father and their wives. A strange woman may also be married; but by the lust of the flesh driven to pursue extramarital affair.
"My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!" (Proverbs 5:1-13).
At the core of sin in marriage is selfishness. A husband or wife who violates the sanctity of holy wedlock by entering into an intimate union with someone other than the spouse does so with little regard for how the sin will affect their mate. A carnal desire to become sexually gratified is what drives men or women to sin in marriage. As Satan plants the seed of adultery in the heart, the mind, spirit and soul, the body will eventually yield to the devilish suggestion to partake of strange flesh; but the aftermath of adultery causes much damage. The only remedy for adultery is for men and women to cultivate a genuine love, first for God and then each other; so that no outside influence no matter how tempting can steal them away from a lifelong mate and a loving Creator.