I told my wife I had inappropriate conversations with a woman, but I didn't mention I had sex with her. My wife thinks I'm lying. Must I tell her everything?


I’ve confessed to my wife of having inappropriate conversations with a woman in church five years ago.  Now what I haven’t told her is that I had a sexual relationship with her.  She has asked if I kissed or had sex with her and I chose not to answer her. I’ve asked for forgiveness and she has stated that she has forgiven me, but continues to call me a liar because she feels that I’ve given her half-truths.   I did say that I have committed adultery with the conversations, and my wife states that in order for her (wife) to get “unstuck, and to gain trust for me” “I must come clean with everything”.  This is the only way she can “start the process of forgiveness”. She keeps stating to me that she will go speak with the woman, so before she does this I better tell her the truth.  I feel totally remorseful of my actions!  Should I tell her what she asked in detail?


If you had committed adultery years ago and your spouse was unaware of it, and you had truly turned from your sin, I will usually advise the former adulterer to leave the past sin buried because confession to God of sin is required (I John 1:9) and bringing up sins that are past would only cause damage.

However, this is not so in your case. You told your wife a lie because you presented half truths as if they were full truths. She knows this, and so you've undermined any trust that could be possible in your relationship. Adultery is wrong, but lying is no less sinful. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

Because you tried to get her to trust in lies, you need to tell her the truth. She doesn't need to know full details, but you do need to tell her that you did commit adultery, whether you repented of that sin, and you should tell her why you foolishly thought you needed lie to cover up the fact that you did sin.

I don't know if your marriage will survive or not. Much will be up to your wife.

I greatly appreciate your response, and I will adhere to your godly advice. Although I fear the consequences, I want the truth to set me free.