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Women Living Well Blog: Restoration of Marriage After Adultery

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, May 10, 2010

Restoration of Marriage After Adultery

Back in February, I posted a video blog titled "Divorce Is Not An Option". In the video, I mentioned the exception clause in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus said: "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

In response to this video, Karin (the wife of a man who committed adultery) wrote to me and said:

Hello. I do agree with your video blog and what God says about divorce. I also want to say that in my marriage, I had the "out" as my husband did have an affair (even had pastors tell me I could get out of the marriage)and has been verbally abusive and manipulative, but I was led to pray for restoration, and more importantly, to pray for his salvation and his walk with Christ.

(How can you expect a man, or anyone, to treat you the way they should when they aren't walking with Christ. Even if they are "saved" if they aren't experiencing that relationship with Jesus, it is very easy for the enemy to come in and for them to believe the enemy's lies).

I want to encourage others, that God can get you through and can restore your marriage! So many times we look to our husbands to give us the fulfillment that only God can give us. That is only setting us up for disappointment and puts way too much pressure on our husbands. There is a great online marriage ministry - that provided encouragement to me on praying for the return of a prodigal spouse and for restoration of marriages!

I really had to take the speck out of my own eye and look at my own sin (had to tame the tongue and God revealed my idolatry of wanting that "great Christian marriage"). Looking at my own sin and dealing with that made it much easier to forgive my husband's sin. And remember the parable of the lost sheep, there will be more rejoicing in heaven when the one lost sheep returns.

Women, even if your husband has committed adultery, it does not mean the end of your marriage. Anything is possible with God, and he is BIG enough to heal you, to protect you and to restore your marriage and give you the marriage intended for you. A restored marriage by God after adultery can be a testimony and used for His Glory! Your husband will fail you, he is not 100% trustworthy. No one is, except God! I will continue to remain faithful and obedient to my marriage covenant, which is to God first and will continue to pray for restoration in our marriage.

By the way, my husband is now home and God is working in his heart. It has been a long process, but if we look at our lives as being the hands and feet of Jesus and furthering His Kingdom, and not so much of our own, relying on God to get us through this, He will! He has been my husband for this season of my life and it has been awesome!!!!!

- Karen


I am touched by Karin's amazing testimony of forgiveness! I am aware of other marriages where God has done this same transforming work. I am certainly not counseling women to accept back an unrepentant husband who has committed adultery, but I do want to encourage women who have the opportunity for restoration to rely on God and to seek Godly counsel.

Though this was a painful road to travel, I sense that God has brought Karin to a place of joy and so I felt compelled to share her story. If it encourages only one reader today, then it was worth posting.

Walk with the King!



Blogger Sonya Schroeder said...

Thanks for sharing Courtney! This is a great testimonial of showing God's forgiveness. He forgave us no matter what we have done to him I do believe we can do the same. I believe we all should seek God in trouble times in our marriage and not just take the "easy road" out. Being hurt and betrayed is a hard road without God but with God it can be over come. I love hearing stories like this, divorce is so high today and doing all one can to get through something like this will be glorifying to God and worth it in the end if both parties are willing to seek God first.

Have a blessed day!
Serving with Joy,

May 10, 2010 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous jen at SoulFULL Cafe said...

Yes, Karen's story is definitely worth sharing! Divorce is devastating with far reaching consequences. Most of us have been scarred by it. Yet forgiveness is the work of God and CAN lead to restoration. Adultery is a serious and complex issue and only the power of God can heal and restore what has been damaged through a MUTUALLY repentant and submissive couple. It takes time and loads and loads of grace and prayer, but in time, it is the most incredible testimony to live through this pain and see the healing power of God.

May 10, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Stam House said...

wow that is a amazing story, Thank you for sharing this with us!

May 10, 2010 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Queen Los said...

I couldn't agree more with Karin and I am glad you are sharing Karins story. We need to realize how awesome forgiveness is and how healing God is!

Has he not forgiven us all so many times we cannot count?

Thanks for being willing to put such a difficult subject on your blog!

May 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Karin for your unwavering faith in our BIG God! In 18 years of marriage, my Christian husband has always been faithful to me, but there was verbal, physical and emotional abuse throughout.(a relic of his childhood that would keep rearing it's ugly head) There were days when I prayed "God that's it, I've had enough, if you want me to keep going, I need your strength" and He was faithful to give it to me. Then in the last 3 years, God woke my husband up, and gave him such a hunger for Him, he gobbled the Bible and good teaching like he was starving, and after some good counsel, we were very happy together.
Last year, my husband contracted leukaemia, but trusted God each painful step of the way, until he was called home - well and truly miraculously transformed by God's power, despite the cancer.
Never give up praying for miracles in your marriage, but keep your own eyes on Him. It is so easy to complain, and as you said, forget about the logs in our own eyes.
Blessing to all

May 10, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger GlowinGirl said...

One of my closest friends was the adulteress. She had an affair several years ago, but God has restored their marriage! It was not an easy road for either of them, but what a testimony and blessing that they were both able to hang on to God and each other! The support of good, godly friends and a Christian counselor makes all the difference.

May 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Laura said...

God bless your commitment Karen! What a touching testimony of our Father's loving/forgiving nature. Thank you too for sharing, Courtney. My husband and I are coming up on our 3rd anniversary this June. It has been an uphill climb at times. But, with God's grace and our commitment to keeping Him first in our marriage, we are doing so much better. Our first 2 years were definitely a bit rocky--we were learning to adjust to one another, all while learning to treat one another lovingly, and with respect. Not until I looked at my own walk (the speck in my eye that Karen spoke of) did I start to witness real change, and growth, in my husband. I was putting entirely too much pressure on him to be my happiness. When I began living as his wife according to the life-changing word of God, everything turned around. And guess what? I was so full of God's joy (the calm delight that comes from walking daily with him) I didn't even notice the idiosyncrasies of my husband that used to bother me so much too! I know all marriage problems aren't as simple as "I had to fix myself first." Some marriages the other partner is already doing that--this was just my experience with marriage. Anyway, thanks again for posting, Courtney. I very much enjoyed reading Karen's testimony. God bless you all!

Love, Laura

May 10, 2010 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Traci Michele said...

Beautiful testimony of HOPE! Restoration always should be the first goal!

Thanks Court!

May 10, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

A very moving post. Thank you for sharing. My husband is saved, but he is floundering a lot. It seems the closer my relationship is drawing to God the more it makes him doubt. It has been a struggle, but you are right to know that God can do everything, even heal a broken marriage.

May 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger momstheword said...

Thank you for posting this. What a testimony it is to God's healing power of love and forgiveness and grace.

I imagine most, if not all of us, know someone who has been through the hurt of a divorce. To add adultry on top of the hurt of betrayal is devastating.

I can't imagine a person trying to walk through that journey without the comfort of the Lord! Thanks for linking up today.

May 10, 2010 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

This is a great testimony that I'm so glad you added to Marriage Mondays today. What a wonderful example of how God blessed loved that was long suffering and persevering.

May 10, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger S. Belle said...

What a great testimony. I support couples who try to restore their marriage with God's help. I'm glad that you added that the spouse must be repentant.

On my blog I talked about should women seek divorce when their husband continuously cheats on them. If a husband perpetually cheats and is unrepentant, then I think a woman has no choice really but to seek a divorce.

But, if a husband is repentant and truly tries to right his wrong, then the wife should also try to forgive and help restore their marriage.

What a timely post this is, and I'm so glad that you posted it.

May 10, 2010 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Reflecting the Sparks said...

Is there anyway I can get in touch with Karin as I am living where she has been? Thank you!

May 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Thanks so much for all the feedback guys - I wasn't sure how this message would be received. I do have a couple emails in my inbox from some who are peaved at today's blog post. And I understand their feelings completely and don't fault them in the least - because God DOES say that divorce IS an option in this case.

Reflecting the sparks - I apologize that I don't have any contact info for Karin - she posted this comment on the link "Divorce Is Not An Option". And I was so touched by it I wanted to repost it! Sorry :-(


May 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney,
I was that adultress almost 6 years ago. My husband and I only had one child at the time and i had developed post natal depression. Another person had entered our lives and with it his reputation for leading women.Married and unmarried astray. I refused to listen to my wise friends who urged me to stay with my husband and I instead ran back to my mum who lived in another state.With my 6 month old daughter in tow.

Unknown to me, but all my faithful christian friends and family had been praying for me. And 9 months after i left and a myriad of court appearances in my effort to obtain custody of our daughter and then, a divorce. God intervened and i was restored to my huband. now, almost 6 years on, we now have 5 children and are blissfully married. I couldnt ask for a better husband. We rarely fight anymore. Instead we laught with one another and love to discuss teological issues or work out issues with the kids. But nonetheless it is still painful for both of us when the past is brought up. If it wasnt for those faithful prayers of my fellow believers, I wouldn't be where i am today. Thankyou for your post, It gives the hopeless, hope.

May 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 3 months ago my marriage was heading for divorce. My husband eventually told me that he wanted to "move on with his life." I knew things were not great in our marriage, but it came as such a shock. Before we got married, we both sat down with each other and talked about how divorce would never be an option and we would work through issues-no matter what. So needless to say-I was shocked. He became very angry and hostile when I would have to talk to him (so I tried to avoid talking to him). Although things were very rough and he moved out, I continually prayed for him. He was acting completely out of character. I prayed and prayed and prayed and had my close friends and family praying for him and for our marriage. During this time, I picked up the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian. It basically states that as wives we are to pray for the Lord to fix US and not our husbands. Sure, it is important to pray for all aspects of our husbands life: emotionally, physically, mentally, etc; but we must also pray for the Lord to change and work in our hearts! It is so easy to pray "Lord, change him" when we should be praying "Lord, change ME." :) I prayed over and over again that the Lord would work in both of us to restore our marriage.
A few months ago, out of the blue, he admitted to having an emotional affair with his supervisor at work. I was devastated, but so thankful to have honesty and a reason for his behavior. God is healing both of us and forgiveness is such a BEAUTIFUL thing. He later told me that he was trying to make me miserable so that I would want to walk away from the marriage as well. I stood strong through all of it (as difficult as it was) because I knew God has great plans for us. Prayer works! Only God could have changed both our hearts and restore our marriage. Have faith that God will work things out for HIS good. The song "That's What Faith Can Do" by Kutless was such a huge encouragement during this difficult time.

May 12, 2010 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Look at these anonymous stories!!! They floor me!! This is truly God at his best.

Your testimonies of love "For Better or For Worse" shine like lights in a dark and unbelieving world!

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your stories - I am SO touched!


May 12, 2010 at 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been a timely post for me. I am currently recovering from finding out about my husband's unfaithfulness. I will blog about this, but will be extremely vague. Writing helps. I look at my own life and the times I've been unfaithful to my God and see in my husband myself, in reference to my Christian walk. Because of this, and though still extremely painful, forgiveness wasn't an issue. My husband also is not saved, which was additional motivation. I wanted, and needed, to show him the forgiveness and love that Christ has shown me. My husband has been repentant, and I believe that he has no intention of this happening again... but... you never know. All I can do is pray. We're ALL just as vulnerable, if we don't keep our hearts guarded.

May 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's only adultery if it was commited with, or by a married woman.

June 2, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say that these words have been an encouragement to me. i am believing God to bring salvation,healing,and restoration. my husband has moved out into his own apartment and has been unfaithful with more than 1woman. i know that even though i have just cause i am standing and believing for the miraculous from God. many tell me to give up and move on but i trust God will fully restore our marriage. thank you for all the encouraging words from so many im glad im not the only 1 that feels as i do. so often it seems as though im the only 1 and gets hard. please pray for my marriage and family

October 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Thank you anonymous for your recent comment. I had not thought about this post in a while and bringing me back here to read reminded me that I MUST be praying for all your marriages that have suffered this blow and also be praying for those who are about to be tempted in this way - that God would protect them.

Praying for you tonight dear anonymous reader. (((hugs))))
Much Love,

October 12, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

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