Question:

I could use help. My husband confessed he had a one night stand while in another country. He told me six months later after he has been back, so it's been a month now since I've known and it's been horrible. I'm trying but then I have these moments when I want questions to be answered. I know details don't help but not saying much or what I feel I need to know doesn't help either. It was unprotected sex as well. I know the guilt had been eating on him which is why he told me. But this really hurts! Like really hurts to my soul. I know I can't move on without forgiving but how long does this process takes?

I'm still waiting for him to ask her if she may have become pregnant as I told him sperm can live a few days inside a woman body and I felt it's smart to know as I've heard situations where a baby pops up out of nowhere. I wanted to be sure she's not as I almost certainly wouldn't be able to get over a baby. I'm struggling greatly with the cheated and unprotected sex.

He said he and friends got a hotel one weekend but he can't answer how he and the girl ended up getting back to the room alone. Alcohol isn't an excuse but I'm sure it made it easier. He stated he told her he felt bad afterward and that she wanted to have sex again, but he stated to her that they never should've done it the first time. He even said she knew even he was married. But I'm really struggling.

I know the Lord doesn't like divorce and that some men of the church will argue that one shouldn't divorce from one act of adultery, but is that a personal opinion? Like if someone really couldn't get over it, should you just live miserably internal? I was doing good for a couple of weeks but then I get to feeling how I did when he first told me. There's no words to describe the hurt and it was only a one night stand. I couldn't imagine it being an emotional affair. Whew.

Please help!


Answer:

"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 6:13-14).

It sounds to me that your husband repented of his sin. He didn't need to tell you what had happened. It was guilt and the feeling that he ought to be punished that drove him to admit his sin to you. And the fact is that the past cannot be undone.

When Jesus gave an exception to allow remarriage after a divorce, it was for fornication. The implication in the wording is that it is a problem of ongoing fornication. Too many people treat sexual sins by a spouse as a "get out of jail free" card. What is sadly overlooked is that forgiveness is not an option, it is not merely words uttered and then ignored, forgiveness of other people's sins against us is an absolute must when they turn from their sins. "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17:4).

If you leave your husband it is because you cannot forgive him. He messed up big time. But he returned from his sin. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10). You've sinned against God too, we all have. When someone is unable to forgive another's sin that God declares forgiven, they are stating that their feelings are more important to them that God.

I know the wound is deep and that it hurts, but what is required is true forgiveness. You need to let the debt go. The details of what happened doesn't matter other than I hope he has made changes in his life so that there won't be a repeat. If it was unprotected sex, then you and he should get checked for STDs and then deal with those problems, if there are any. If he got the woman pregnant, then likely he would have heard by now. Getting in contact with the adulterous woman is not a wise idea. Instead assume there is no child and if a child does show up years later, you can cross that bridge at that time. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:36).

How long does it take? That is really up to you. How long do you want to continue to be miserable over what cannot be changed? How long do you want to risk your soul's salvation over your husband's sin?