Is marriage over after an affair? I can tell you that it doesn't have to be. Here's how to save it!
Expect that spouse to react with anger. However, making sin have strong negative consequences is the right thing to do.
The church should practice discipline, though in our day and age that hasn’t nearly the effect it had in Bible times. It’s just so easy now to walk down the street and go to another church. However, if done in love and compassion, it still may have the needed effect.
Convince the straying spouse to take one last action before ending the marriage. Sometimes the abandoned spouse does this by offering a concession such as “I’ll give on this point in the divorce if you do this.” Sometimes a friend, church leader, or even the person’s child may convince him or her that for conscience sake s/he should do one more thing to see if there is any hope.
In my weekend turnaround workshop for marriages in crisis, we have many couples who come because someone convinced the abandoning spouse to attend for conscience sake or to get some concession. Over nearly a decade we’ve witnessed one seemingly hopeless marriage after another turn around during that weekend.
Whether you use our services, your own counselors, or someone else, the message is the same. We MUST NOT give up on marriages because we think that either spouse is beyond rescuing. Don’t give up on the power of God and what He can do to change someone's heart if only we do our part.
In the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up."
Joe Beam is an internationally respected marriage and relationship expert. He founded Beam Research Center, an organization that provides marriage help to hurting couples through a powerful workshop called Marriage Helper 911. For more information, click here.
“I’ve never loved anyone the way I love her. I never knew I could feel like this. So deep. Fulfilling. Amazing. I can tell her anything; my dreams, my fears, my strengths, my flaws.” John spoke slowly but fervently as he explained his relationship with Sheila . It was not his idea to visit with me; he had come because another friend asked him ... Read more
Since 1994, I have worked with thousands of marriages affected by infidelity. Sometimes the straying spouse is emotionally enmeshed with her paramour and intends never to return. Other times, the unfaithful mate feels remorse and asks for forgiveness and reconciliation. When that occurs, the hurting partner often struggles with deciding whether to divorce or ... Read more
"Everybody in my family tells me to divorce her. My mom will be furious if I don't. She called Shelly some pretty bad names. Called the guy she was involved with worse names. She insists that I file immediately."
"Why haven't you?" I asked.
"I don't know. I'm hurt. Deeply. But we had fourteen years together. My ... Read more