Question:

I am a young wife who has committed adultery and I am unsure where to go from here. I have told my husband and we are trying to work through all of this, but I still feel like my husband and I are not meant to be together. I have just finished The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and I have tried some of the items that the book suggest, but I still feel like, for some crazy reason, I am meant to be with the man I slept with. I still find myself calling and just talking to this man to find comfort. I have fallen away from my church and know that it is one of the keys to getting my marriage to be what I always dreamed it of being. My husband and I come from divorced families and we have a young daughter and I know that I don't want her to go through what both of us did as children. I recently started going to see a therapist and my husband is to attend my next appointment so we can do more couples or marriage therapy. I know that this other man is not right for me nor will he ever be right for me and I know that I am very blessed to even have my husband in my life. I guess I just don't know how to pick up the pieces and get my marriage back to where it needs to be.

Answer:

Your problem is one that many women cause themselves. You are so use to listening to your emotions that you are making critical decisions based on them instead of on facts and moral rightness. Your feelings can be manipulated, but facts and morality remain the same regardless of our current emotional state. So the first thing you need to do is quit feeling sorry for yourself and start doing what is right.

You claim that you don't want to follow your parents' examples. You claim to know that divorce is bad for your children, and yet at the same time you tell me that you are undermining your marriage. Since Jesus told us, "You will know them by their fruits," your fruits -- your actions -- say you want to destroy your marriage. So the second thing you must do is match what you are doing with what you know to be right.

You made a covenant with your husband before God. This is more than just a statement of intent. This is a declaration that God witnessed and is holding both you and your husband to fulfill. "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. ... When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed - better not to vow than to vow and not pay" (Ecclesiastes 5:2, 4-5). That covenant must be kept for your soul's sake.

"And this is the second thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. "For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously"" (Malachi 2:13-16).

Though this was addressed to husbands, the same stands true when applied to wives. Therefore, whether you feel like it or not at the moment, dump the trash. You already know that the other man is no good -- he was willing to destroy a marriage just to have some "fun." You've already concluded that he would make a lousy husband. So why are you still talking to him? There is only one right thing to do in this case -- that man is history. Remove every reference and contact with him out of your life with so much zeal that it was if you started yesterday.

From your own statements you acted more than foolishly. You state that you have a good man as a husband, yet you went looking for companionship elsewhere. It doesn't matter if there are ten thousand men better than your husband. The fact is that you chose this one man as your life's companion. Having done that, you cannot look elsewhere. Your husband and your family are now your life's greatest project and what people are going to remember you by. Half-hearted attempts at a few things are not the way to succeed in any project. Books, like The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands help with getting the most out of the relationship that you chose to build. Those books aren't the Bible. There are mistakes in them, but they at least give you a starting point.

You made a mess. There are bits and pieces of broken hearts all around you. Rather than standing there crying that you don't know where to begin, the fact is that it doesn't matter much where you start -- what matters is that you start. You've made some progress. Your husband loves you enough to be willing to try and repair the destruction you've wrought. So work on one issue at a time. Do what is right, whether you feel like it or not, because what is right will work best in the long run. Instead of worrying about the scope of the mess or if can ever be fixed, focus on what will strengthen the marriage a little bit more today.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34).

Thank you so much for responding to me so quickly. Even though your words were very blunt that is what I needed to hear. Sometimes I feel like I let my friends and family fed into what I am feeling and start to think that maybe I would be better off without my husband. But like I stated before I know that is not true and maybe it would be best if I also worked on getting a new group of friends as well as not trouble my family with the problems I created myself. Again thank you so much for getting back to me.