Question:

Hello,

I committed adultery a few months ago, but I just told my husband because I didn't want to bring the new year in with lies and deceit. My question is what can I do or say to make things work? I know I was wrong, but I want my marriage. I know it happened during a time when I stopped praying and reading the Word. I lost my focus on God. Other than God's help, do I just leave him alone and give him space? Please help me.


Answer:

There is a mistaken notion that honesty requires saying everything that is on your mind. Yet we all practice discretion. We think of things that we realize would be impolite to mention. It is a part of having control over our tongues. "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" (James 3:5). Not saying everything is not lying or being deceitful. It is simply not talking.

As a matter of fact, prudence (thinking ahead) is shown by not saying everything you know. "A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness" (Proverbs 12:23). This doesn't mean you withhold knowledge that another person needs or that you let someone come to harm because you do not offer warning. But it is saying the idea of "I think, therefore I speak" is wrong.

You damaged your marriage twice, first in seeking out comfort and sex with someone who was not your husband, and then a second time when you forced your husband to know about your sin. I know you were burdened with the guilt of what you had done. I sure that in part you felt you needed to be punished for your sin. But what you actually did was force your husband to carry your load.

If he had asked you about your faithfulness or about what happened back then, I would urge you to answer truthfully. But if a spouse doesn't not bring the matter up, then your focus should have been on changing yourself so that this sin would never be repeated.

Destroying your husband's trust in you is not the way to improve your marriage. If you had truly changed, repenting of your sins, then the past is to be buried. "He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends" (Proverbs 17:9). We usually think about this verse in terms of a third party, but it is also true personally. Often it is best that the person you love doesn't know how close you came to ruining everything.

The only thing you have left is to demonstrate your full repentance. "For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:11). It is what you should have been doing anyway. Whether your husband will do the proper thing and forgive you for what you've done to his life and his marriage is something I cannot predict. What I can urge you is to make yourself and your marriage something that he will see is worth holding onto. But realize that you cannot save a marriage by destroying it.

Thank you for your response. We are working on our marriage and I am grateful that he was willing to stay together and work on our marriage. But I wanted to let you know that I told him because he did ask me several months ago if there was anything going on between me and the other person. I told him "No." That stayed on my mind for months because the relationship we had was very truthful and open where there wasn't anything we couldn't say to each other. We were always honest with each other.

So I want to know was I still wrong for telling him even if he asked months ago.

This changes things completely because you lied to him earlier. Lying is always wrong (Revelation 21:8) and you attempted to use this lie to cover up your sins. In repenting of your adultery it would be required that you correct the lie that you made earlier.

I just want to thank you for your time, and thank you for the truth. I also told my husband about you because we both were looking for someone who does not know us for guidance. God bless you for the work your doing through Him.

I received your information from my sister because you also helped her. She kept telling me that you are true to God's Will, backing everything you say with the Word of god.

God bless you.