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No one enters a marriage thinking, “Well, I wonder how long this will last?” At least, I don’t think so. (If that’s you, and you haven’t married yet, STOP! You are not ready.) Every day, though, many people find themselves facing the reality of an unfaithful spouse.
This quote may describe some of what those people feel.
“I still cannot believe it. I’ve heard of other people whose spouses were unfaithful, but I never thought it would strike home. I did not anticipate that my spouse would hurt me in such a painful way, a pain that penetrates into my inner being. I do not know if I am angry, devastated, guilty of failure, foolish or a victim. Perhaps the combination of feelings I am experiencing cannot be described by mere words.”
This revelation may be the most challenging time to put the Constructive Marriage Mindsets like optimism, permanence, and decision to work. Instead of being positive, you’d instead decide to kick your spouse to the curb and blame yourself for ever believing in your marriage in the first place.
You may feel that you can never recover.
Good news! You can recover. And your marriage can recover because God is the healer.
Caveat: I do believe that adultery can be a reason for divorce, especially if it has occurred multiple times. But, I also think that God can and does restore when he is invited to be the problem solver.
How to move forward after your spouse cheated
There are many ideas out there that will help you take specific steps to save your marriage. in the beginning, though, you may not feel ready for that. Disaster has struck your marriage, and at the moment of impact, you may be incapable of putting together a plan of rational thoughts and effective prayers.
Don’t listen to what all the onlookers will be telling you now. Take some time to get alone with Jesus, talk to him, and look into His Word. He’s all the support you need. Lay it all out for Him. He won’t be shocked. So, here are some topics to pray about that will help you get your bearings for what is coming next.
Topics to pray about
Jesus, I pray that I…
- will be able to trust my spouse again.
- would remember who I am in God and that the actions of my spouse do not change that fact.
- understand it will be difficult, that God would help me to heal over time.
- can begin the forgiveness process.
- would be able to forgive as Christ forgave me.
- will feel God’s comfort and strength to flood over me.
- will not sin, even in my anger.
For your spouse
Whether your spouse is repentant at this time or not, they need your prayers now too.
Jesus, I pray that my unrepentant spouse will
- feel conviction over their sin.
- end the other relationship if it is still going on.
- confess their sin to God and you, so that you can begin to heal the relationship.
- be saved. (Pray for their salvation, whether you believed them to be saved or not before this happened.)
Jesus, I pray that my repentant spouse will
- understand that you are going to take time to recover from this betrayal.
- be able to put their sin entirely behind them.
- forgive themselves for their actions.
- renew their relationship with God and let Him transform them.
For your future
Make your goal reconciliation. Remember to be as optimistic about the permanence of your marriage, and treat your spouse accordingly because you believe it.
Jesus, I pray that we
- will rebuild our marriage together.
- create a deeper, more satisfying marriage in the future.
- would be drawn to friends and counselors that will support you with love.
Truths to remember
God is a God of grace and healing who has restored countless marriages. He can do it for you too. If we received what we deserved from God, it would be the end of us. If God is willing to forgive all of our sins, you can forgive your spouse for theirs. It will not be easy, but relying on God will give you the strength to give it your best.
If your spouse decides to remain in the marriage and work things out, this is a great book that may help you in your journey to trusting them again.
If you’d like to learn more about the Seven Constructive Marriage Mindsets, sign up to receive the free download.