Question:

I've been studying from this web site for years. Thank you for your sound scriptural lessons. They truly inspire me to continue to strive to be a faithful member of the church.

I have a concern regarding my marriage and you would give an unbiased but sound response. My husband and I are a young couple.

I recently learned from my husband that before we married he had intercourse with a woman while we were broken up. Mind you I asked him before we married if he was involved with women during our time apart. He told me he wasn't. I had no knowledge of this until after we married. I told him that if I had known this happened I would have reconsidered marrying him because of the lack of trust. I'm not saying this because I think I'm perfect but because I was always loyal and open to him. Finding this out makes me feel he can't be faithful in our marriage. I now fear if he ever gets tired of me he'll seek pleasure from another woman. These thoughts have really started to occur more often over the past month. I want to be a great wife and mother but the feelings of betrayal and a lack of trust consumes me sometimes. Am I wrong for feeling this way? How can I start the process of moving forward and get over these feelings? I want my thoughts to be pure and positive instead of how they are now.


Answer:

Your husband had sinned prior to marrying you and it is a shame that he lied about it. The motivation is understandable. He knew you would back out and he badly wanted to marry you. He wasn't confident that he would be able to keep your love if you knew, so he wrongly chose to lie.

The sin he committed against you was not his fornication, that was against himself. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). His sin against you was his lie and that you must forgive him. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15).

You are wrong in assuming that he can't be faithful in your marriage. People do change and improve; if it were not so, none of us would make it to heaven. He had moments of weakness, like all of us. I assume he has turned from his sins and now it is time for you to turn away from yours. "Love ... does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered" (I Corinthians 13:4,5).

One problem people don't realize is the pressure our expectations have on others. If you expect your husband to commit adultery, then when temptation comes, he might give in because "she thinks I'm doing it anyway." Instead, when people expect more out of you, there is motivation to rise to greater heights. Take a look at Gideon. He was trying to thresh wheat by hiding his efforts. He considered himself to be a nobody. "So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house"" (Judges 6:15). But God called him a mighty man of valor and told him that he would deliver Israel. Despite Gideon's own doubts about himself, he rose to do as the Lord expected and became a mighty man of valor.

You have that same power of persuasion. It isn't perfect, but it is amazing what it will do for people. People will reach beyond what they think they can do simply because someone else expects them to be great and they don't want to disappoint them. So expect your husband to be faithful to you, to be head over heels in love with you, to be honest and caring and he'll have all the motivation he needs to be that type of man in your life. "Love ... does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (I Corinthians 13:4,6-7).

By the way, this works for children as well. My parents never said, "if you go to college" or "if you become a Christian." Things like that were always spoken of as a given. When choices were needed, it was explained in terms of how "we as Christians" behave. And we all reached to meet those expectations.

Scripture is right. You are right. My husband does love me and he treats me great. I understand: I must forgive him and leave that act in the past. Thank you.