TITLE: What To Do When You Discover That Your Spouse is Unfaithful to You?
By Angelo Subida
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If you find out that your husband or wife is cheating on you, how do you react?
Adultery, infidelity, or unfaithfulness is a severe offense because it involves betrayal by somebody you love. Your spouse happens to be the most important person in your life. Because of that, it makes the betrayal deeply painful.
In an article written by Dr. Frank Pittman in Newsweek magazine (9/30/96), the author explained that "it's not whom your spouse lied with, but it is whom he/she lied to." Right, I agree with him. It's not really about the person whom your husband or wife has an affair with, but about whom your spouse betrayed. Also, the person who committed infidelity represents the other side of the issue or problem. Both are therefore responsible.
An example is Paul and Martha. No one was surprised that they had finally decided to separate. When they got married, they did commit themselves to each other in front of God and people. However, as only a few months went by, they forgot their marriage vows, got busy with other things, and eventually abused each other verbally.
Trust was severely shaken when the husband suspected and tried to prove that his wife is having an affair with somebody at work. In the course of counseling, it was found out that the husband also had a part that led to his wife's infidelity. The problem though was that the husband refused to accept responsibility for his part.
This subject of marital infidelity is of interest to more than one couple. After all, in the kind of world we live in, it's so easy to be unfaithful to one's spouse. According to some statistics, roughly 50% of married couples experience adultery in their relationships. Media also contributes to this problem by how it depicts sex on TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, and other outlets.
So, in answer to the question of "what to do," let me offer some general insights and suggestions.
First of all, consider the matter of degree of the offense. One night stands or indiscretions may be the easiest to recover from. If your spouse cheated by having sex with a close friend, relative, or a minor, the degree of unfaithfulness is much more serious and requires a lot of work. If your mate is a habitual womanizer and refuses to admit and stop, chances of saving the marriage are nil. It's probably better to permanently end such kind of relationship.
Secondly, understand that it is not the act or acts of unfaithfulness that ruins a marriage, but the underlying causes that led to unfaithfulness. Adultery or infidelity is merely a symptom. The undelying causes that lead to spouse infidelity may include emotional immaturity, lack of communication or time between husband and wife, personality disorder, spiritual neglect, unmet needs, among others.
And last but not the least, both husband and wife need to be committed to rebuild their trust for one another. In severe situations, marital counseling or even therapy is a best option for both spouses to facilitate the process. Your unfaithful spouse must rebuild your trust by proving through actions that he or she has learned the lesson.
If you are wondering whether you should forgive your unfaithful husband or wife, the answer is yes. Forgive in order to be free. Christ forgave the woman who committed adultery. But along the forgiveness was Christ's stipulation, "go and sin no more." Encourage and support your spouse so that the mistake will never be repeated. If you do and your spouse lives up to his or her responsibilties, the marriage could grow even deeper than before.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.