I have been married for almost 25 years and found out several weeks ago that my husband has had an affair. I knew something was wrong, but was too blind to know what for the past two years and sought Christian counsel to help me. One person asked me if I thought he could be having an affair, but I said, "No, the thing I most admire about my husband is his honesty and integrity. If he had an affair he would not be able to lie but would have to tell me straight away." I found out about the affair because we were at a party, and I felt so lonely because there was a woman there who he kept goggling at. This was not unusual and did not usually upset me so much, but this time I knew that he wished that I was not there and he was with her. This event caused me to worry and be supicious. This sucpision grew when a week later he was going out with a group of old college friends. He had said he hated the last event and would not go again. I did not handle this well, and he left in a mood.
A week later I checked his messages and noted that he was chatting to someone from the college event, complaining about me and his home life and asked her out for a date. Then I noticed a recent conversation with a woman whom I was told about a year ago. I had asked him about her and was told that it was nothing, just a work friend. I took him at face value. The conversation with her was very upsetting because it contained intimate details about our sex life, which I had enjoyed, condemming me completely.
I prayed about what I should do, and read that I should confront him about this (from Matthew). I did. He admitted to having an affair and went off to find the pastor when I mentioned divorce courts.
I have agreed to keep this private although our pastor has told the leadership team and I have shared with three friends. We are receiving marriage counselling as I want to follow God's will in this. I understand that my husband was unhappy with our sex life (I was working long hours, and I was exhausted and did not consider my husband's needs.) What I find so hard are the lies, the fact that he kept it a secret, and also remained in contact with her after he finished it after a year's affair, talked with at least two other women on-line about intimate details of our life together and openly flirted with them. Then after finishing the affair he said he knew it was wrong, but began persuing another woman.
During the year of his affair, our sex life was a lot healthier because I had given up my demanding job due to family commitments, so, in my opinion, this was just an excuse.
I am seeking God's will in all of this but cannot see a clear way through. How do I know if he has repented and will not do this again? For example, I think he would still do this as he continued chatting to the woman he had had an affair with after we began counselling, although he does not now. He met up with her accidently in a supermarket and chatted - he was seen. He gave up Facebook as agreed by him with a 'command' from our pastor and last night went back on (reactivated his account) probably because I felt angry yesterday and wanted answers he could not give me. In each counselling session he brings up how much I have hurt him. I believe he blames me for the affair and seems to want to discredit me as much as possible to the pastor and his wife.
Please help. I love our Lord so much and want to banish this hardness of my heart that has crept in. I want to honor Him. I know that He has forgiven me so much and has forgiven my husband, but I am scared as I cannot face going through this again as I feel so broken.
I don't know there is much that I can do for you. Your husband committed adultery. The fact that he has a roving eye and continues to flirt with other women are not good signs. Since you can't go by what he says, you have to decide based on what he does. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16-20).
The fact is that he has not changed his behavior, nor has he accepted responsibility for his sins. Sin is chosen and he chose to commit adultery. You should be not be surprised that he seeks to pin the blame for what he's done on you and perhaps on others -- anywhere but on himself. As you noted, this has nothing to do with a bad sex life. His complaints are merely attempts at distracting everyone from his real issues.
God can forgive your husband, but it is conditional on your husband deciding he has had enough of a sinful life. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). It doesn't sound as if your husband has reached the point of letting go of his sins yet.
Thank you for considering your reply carefully, prayerfully and using the Word of God, which is our truest guide. I appreciate the time taken - thank you.
I know what you say is true and hope that he truly repents before going down this line again. We have separated while taking marriage counseling as I know that this is what God has asked of me, in order to truly give him an opportunity to repent or further hurt me. I hope and pray that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit and make the right choice.
Thank you once again.