Question:

Good morningmy brother,

I'm a believer and married. I havea problem thatdoes not allow me tosleep. The past three years my husband cheated on me with a woman I forgavehim because Ilove myhusband. He isa goodhusband apart from his mistake. Ibelieve it happened because he was studying in anothercountry andused to came to visitus a few times each month.

But that woman, who was sleeping withmyhusband, tormented my house until shephone my aunt and told hereverything thathad happened between them. This was a disgrace. My problem is that my aunt and myhusband hadargued badly. I am a woman who really has patience, but this time I did not have it.I wentto my aunt's house and talked about everything bad that happened, not thinking that he is myhusband orkeep his image. It went on to the point that Ishowedmy auntone of the messages that he wrote to mesaying that my aunt is stupid.

After a month I went home and cried a lot because I had actually ruined the image of my husband. All my family members know everything. They were phoning myhusband and saying bad things to him.

Thanks to God, I decided toreunite with my husband, but the bad image still there. Whatshould I do to get my husbadand my family to comunicate again? He said he will go and askthem to forgive him. Then what? I cry every day because my family and myhusband were goood friends. Now Ilearned how to live with my family, but I want them to respect him. I'm just praying that God gives megrace to seat and eat with them the way we used to do together.

I will be waiting for your response.


Answer:

It seems like you have been through a rough time, and affairs are never an easy issue to deal with. I commend you for keeping your marriage and doing your best to work it out.

Even though you told your family about the situation, I imagine your aunt eventually would tell everyone. Your husband destroyed his reputation himself. Being in an affair for three years showed that he had no remorse or repentance for a long time. Now he is paying the consequences of that decision. I hope he stopped committing adultery because he wanted to and not because he got caught. You did not tell me all of the story in that area.

One thing we need to notice is the lady called your aunt. Hence, the result of his sin has caused discord among your family members. He is seeing the result of his harvest of sin "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (Galatians 6:7-8).

You say your husband was a good man, but yet for three years he decided you and your family were not enough to stay loyal to. I know what you are trying to say, but in truth he sacrificed an important thing in his life, his family, for sex and not just once but for a period of three years. Worse, he sacrificed his relationship with God. Hence, we are judge by our actions. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Do not put your husband on a pedestal but realize he needs to prove himself. You should forgive him, as you have done. But he has to show he is going to be faithful to you. For example, your husband should have no contact with the woman, though it seems she will pursue what she wants, no matter what, which is why she called your aunt.

He needs to bite his tongue when he talks to anyone in your family and take the criticism they give him for a while. They might not be doing the right thing but any retort is not going to further the relationship for years. "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:17-18). He needs to learn to keep quiet. This is one way he can make peace with your family. "When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Proverbs 16:7). Holding ones tongue can make him look wise, or at least that he is listening, and is humble.

Your family wants a response to feed their emotions and to show they need to hate him. He needs to show kindness, humility and do good to them, so they can’t help but like him again. "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive" (Proverbs 17:28). Sometimes he will be the punching bag, but he needs to admit to your family that he did sin and is going to work toward building their trust again, even if it takes years.He must be positive for you. Yes, he did sin and it turned his world upside down. He put you in the middle of it, though you were innocent in the matter, and he needs to be a man and not talk evil of your family. To do so would bring you down and you have enough of a burden.

You did do wrong by going to your family and talking evil of your husband. It was not wrong to talk about the issue with someone, but it seems by what you said you were not looking for a solution because you were mad and was looking for revenge. "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD" (Leviticus 19:18). "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; knot returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing" (II Peter 3:8-9). You went out to hurt him as he hurt you.

Now is the time to move on to working your marriage out, as you are doing. I do not know where your husband is, but I see you are now at the stage of, "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends" (Proverbs 17:9). You have forgiven your husband sins, no longer holding it against him. Covering them is letting the past go. In due time, if you both are willing to work toward a spiritual harvest and do it humbly, it will result in the saving of your marriage and hopefully your other family members. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:9-10). I hope your next harvest in life is abundant in forgiveness and humility and produces trust and healing to your family.

“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (I Peter 3:10-12).