Affairs in our society are running amuck! From Arnold and Maria to Senator Weiner, the age-old problem just takes on new names and faces.
I have a lot of experience with affairs. Let me restate that. As a counselor, I have lots of experience with affairs. And a common dynamic is for the betrayed partner to fear confronting his/her cheating partner, or at the very least, setting boundaries with the offending spouse. Usually, there are children involved or financial concerns that keep the betrayed spouse a slave to the offender.
Another dangerous dynamic often develops, the betrayed loses him or herself
along the way in the marriage long before the affair occurs. So, by the point of an affair, it becomes very difficult for “the betrayed”
to stand up for what is right in the relationship.
And if confrontation does take place, the cheating spouse typically lies about his or her involvement, even in the face of physical proof. So, not only is the cheater betraying his spouse, but he isn’t even willing to be truthful with her when she confronts him. Talk about adding insult to injury!
An important bottom line to all of this is –
As long as one partner runs from honestly taking responsibility while the other partner carries more than his or her share in the marriage, then destruction and damage are imminent.
Sure, there can be huge ramifications and consequences with facing this betrayal head-on. But the real damage will come if you don’t take a stand!
So, the first order of business is to determine what the consequences will be for continued unfaithfulness. Consequences can be anything from; no longer having sex with your unfaithful spouse, to asking the spouse to move out of the bedroom, to other types of separation—always in view of saving the marriage! Seek the help of a Christian marriage counselor to walk with you through what types of consequences you should impose.
Also, consider what types of positive behaviors you will require. For example, one requirement could be to go to a counselor together, or go to church together, or go to a small group Bible study together, or all of the above!
If you’ve been cheated on, you’ll probably have to be the first to raise the standard of respect in your relationship. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not worth it! Christ wants honor and faithfulness for you. After all, you are His precious child that He paid the ultimate price to redeem! And the good news is—
Christ will never leave you!
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