This week’s blog continues with the healing piece of infractions within our marriage.
What can you do as a couple if you have walked the way of an affair?
You must walk in honest confession and humility. Humility keeps you from becoming defensive and blaming another.
Accountability is a huge ingredient because marriage infractions always take place in an environment of deception. Those in an affair have been lying about where they have been and who they have been with.
Get outside counsel and direction. Do not try to do it all yourself. Both parties, the offender and the offended, need godly wisdom and counsel. There are a ton of emotions to deal with.
You must work toward forgiveness. There is no greater step of healing than reaching the point of forgiveness.
Trust is slowly rebuilt through the above ingredients. Where there has been an affair, one proves he or she cannot be trusted. The good news is that trust can be earned back. If one walks out the above, trust can and will be rebuilt to the point that your marriage goes beyond where it once was.
Reattach yourself to your mate. Most likely you have moved away from one another in some areas of your relationship. Come together again in dating, in fun, in finances, in sex, in communication, in mutual submission, in serving one another, in forgiveness and in godly counsel.
You simply must move forward. Moving forward means being totally honest in all areas of life. Honesty cuts off an affair because an affair was built on lies.
As husband and wife, we are one another’s healer.
Who do men want cheering for them? Men love women, especially their wives, cheering for them. Women’s cheering section includes love and emotional connection with words of meaning from thier husbands. What has been the missing ingredient in your marriage? What was broken that opened the door for an affair? How were you “affairing” before the actual affair, i.e., work, ministry, hobbies, etc.
Be your spouse’s cheerleader and healer, not their critic. Each of us receives enough criticism throughout our lives without our spouse piling it on. If you have a legitimate complaint, share it with them. For example, “I know you didn’t mean it the way I took it, I love you, but when you said __________it really felt to me like _________. I know I could be wrong, but could we _________.”
Do this through Ephesians 4: 15 – “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Truth must be given but grace its means. Truth without grace is just mean. Truth without grace will eventually destroy love. Start with praise (grace), a compliment and then move to the needed growth areas. For example, “I love you; we’re a team. I know you’re busy, but I do need to talk to you about the time you spend with our children.” Grace must precede truth. Grace is like anesthesia given in order to bear the truth.
An affair is not necessarily the end; it can be a wake-up call to needed healing and restoration.