Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Continuing Affair

Question

My husband is having an affair with a co-worker. At first, he was going to leave and now he told me he wants to stay and that he loves me and the children. What should I do?

Answer

From the way you worded your question, it sounds like your husband is still having the affair. If that’s the case, there are only two viable options. He can either choose to stop having the affair and deal with the situation in a Biblically-consistent way or he can leave. No negotiation. No discussion. No other options. In our more than 30 years of experience we can tell you that there is no such thing as working on a relationship while continuing an emotional or physical affair. It just doesn’t work.

If he loves the Lord, if he loves you, and if he loves the children then the choice for him is simple. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession and repentance are the first of several steps. For the next steps he needs to contact your pastor or an experienced Christian counselor who knows the Word and is experienced in helping people recover from an affair.

The healing and restoration process will take time.

For both of you! The challenge for you will be to understand what forgiveness looks like and then the steps you will need to take to experience healing. Trust that can be broken in an instant often takes years to heal. You’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and it’s not over yet. We would encourage both of you to read Dave Carder’s exceptional book, Torn Asunder.

We’ve worked with hundreds of couples whose marriage has been scarred by an affair. The bad news is that it hurts. The good news is that God is still in the business of saving souls and healing broken hearts. You and your husband can still experience a Godly marriage. With patience and prayer you can discover that rebuilding a marriage is an opportunity to go deeper—to find out what hasn’t worked and do things differently.

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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