Photo by Purnomo Capunk on Unsplash
Photo by Purnomo Capunk on Unsplash

Confronting Adultery

Question

My husband had an affair with a friend of mine. My husband and I have reconciled. But why do I feel the need to confront this woman? I want to talk to her about her foul decision making and how she betrayed me and took my kindness for weakness. My husband agrees with me. Is this right? What’s the correct way to handle it?

Answer

To a great degree the “correct” way to handle it depends on your motive, what you hope to accomplish, and what you sense the Holy Spirit saying to you about it. Your first step is to ask yourself what is your purpose in confronting her? Is it to “speak the truth and love” with a desire to promote healing or is it to exact a pound of emotional flesh out of her for the way she deeply wounded you? Is it for you to feel better or to function in a way that will bring honor and glory to Christ?

If part of your motive is revenge or payback don’t get too down on yourself. That is a very normal emotional reaction. The danger lies in your choosing to stay there and allow those feelings to determine your choices.

Before you consider any confrontation it’s critical for you to check your heart.

As you’ve thought about a confrontation and even rehearsed many different scenarios in your mind, what has been the state of your heart?

Before talking to her, it’s essential that you have followed the clear teaching of scripture and forgiven her. Norm Wright once told us that you know you’ve forgiven someone when you can pray for them and desire God’s best for them. It doesn’t mean you have to like them and want to be around them. It does mean that you’ve let go of the offense, are able to focus on what God wants to do in your life, and have received the grace to want God’s best for her life.

How can you get there? Read Matthew 5-7 once a day for the next 30 days. Get a copy of Dave Stoops little book, Forgiving the Unforgivable, and look up the scripture references and through pray, daily ask God what He would have you to do. At the end of the 30 days, you’ll have a more complete answer to your question.

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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