To The Wife Whose Husband Has Been Unfaithful
The following are actual quotes from women who have bravely shared their stories in a community of single moms I am blessed to lead. Women who, like me, never imagined when they got married, built a life, and had children with a man, that it would all come crashing down due to infidelity.
“I told him don’t come home if there is someone else more important than your children and me. I haven’t heard or seen much of him since.The only time he comes around is to ask me for money. It has been the hardest year of my life…”
“My husband cheated on me for eight years of our 14 year marriage, and I found out this March. I was devastated and totally caught off guard.”
“I didn’t choose this. I married a godly man, and I was a good (far from perfect) wife, but he chose to cheat and leave and I still fought for reconciliation for two years. I did what God told me to do. And yet the consequences still fall on my shoulders, including possible lifelong singleness. I wish I could be healed of all of this already…”
You never think you’ll be the one who gets cheated on, until it happens to you. And after infidelity has entered your marriage, his choice can become what you think you are–the woman who was overlooked, unwanted, naive, and second-class.
Many times, a marriage doesn’t survive unfaithfulness due to refusal to take responsibility, refusal to end the affair, or due to lack of Godly repentance and behaviors do not change but only continue. It’s a gaping wound that requires significant, intentional, and sustained wound care. Sadly, the choices of a husband’s (or wife’s) ongoing unfaithfulness can long outlast the marriage.
However, there is also much hope Christ offers us when we have been faced with the reality of infidelity. Whether you’ve had to face your spouses unfaithfulness one time, or more, Jesus offers you comfort and hope right in the middle of your pain.
If I could sit down with you, whose husband has been unfaithful, and tell you anything, I think it would be this:
Hide. From the disapproving glances coming from those who have opinions that hurt. Hide from the advice of family members who don’t know what’s gone on behind closed doors in your home. Hide from the shame and condemnation and blanket advice from well-meaning people who have never endured what you’re facing.
And Seek. Seek the life-giving Truth in God’s word to help you see through the right lens. Seek refuge in the arms of Jesus- and know that He is and will always be the Faithful One. He is the safest place to run. Seek community with family who loves you and will listen without judgement. Seek the professional help of a Christian counselor who can offer a bit of clarity amidst the fog of smoke around you. Seek the comfort of a trusted friend’s warm shoulder. Seek the wisdom of a godly woman who has walked this road before you.
Dear friend, you are not alone in your suffering. And you are not defined by what’s been done to you. No matter what is to come in the days ahead, one thing is promised without a doubt–your restoration. God truly works all things for our good (Romans 8:28), even when it seems impossible–my life is a living testimony of this.
Wife Step: If your husband has been unfaithful to you, ask Jesus to show you how you can walk out this pain in a way that glorifies Him. What do you need to hide from, and where do you need to seek? Pray for wisdom and discernment and the grace to forgive, while also taking the best steps forward into the future He is preparing for you.
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.