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 – http://www.rejoiceministries.org/org/ 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!

Comments

  1. Sonya Schroeder says

    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,
    Sonya

  2. jen at SoulFULL Cafe says

    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.

  3. Queen Los says

    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!

  4. Anonymous says

    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
    Jenny

  5. GlowinGirl says

    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.

  6. Laura says

    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

  7. Missie says

    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.
    Thanks!

  8. momstheword says

    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.

  9. Julie@comehaveapeace says

    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.

  10. S. Belle says

    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.

  11. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    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 :-(

    Courtney

  12. Anonymous says

    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.
    Sincerely,
    Megan

  13. Anonymous says

    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.

    • Melinda says

      I know this is an old blog but all these testimonies really spoke to me today. I believe God led me to this website for a reason. My husband left 2 months ago after nearly 7 years of marriage, and is now living with the woman he was having an affair with. At this point he is unrepentant but I have been praying that his heart will soften and he will allow God to work in his life. A few weeks before he left we started attending church and both renewed our commitment to Christ; I truly believed it was helping us (at the time I didn’t know he was unfaithful), but somehow he still gave in to those demons of temptation and began an affair with a woman he worked with. Reading this makes me realize even more that I need to pray for myself as well. I know God has worked miracles in my life lately, simply by helping me through this time. Reading these testimonies gives me hope. Thank you! :)

  14. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    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!

    Courtney

  15. Anonymous says

    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.

  16. Anonymous says

    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

  17. Courtney (Women Living Well) says

    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,
    Courtney

  18. Melinda says

    I know this is an old blog but all these testimonies really spoke to me today. I believe God led me to this website for a reason. My husband left 2 months ago after nearly 7 years of marriage, and is now living with the woman he was having an affair with. At this point he is unrepentant but I have been praying that his heart will soften and he will allow God to work in his life. A few weeks before he left we started attending church and both renewed our commitment to Christ; I truly believed it was helping us (at the time I didn’t know he was unfaithful), but somehow he still gave in to those demons of temptation and began an affair with a woman he worked with. Reading this makes me realize even more that I need to pray for myself as well. I know God has worked miracles in my life lately, simply by helping me through this time. Reading these testimonies gives me hope. Thank you! :)

  19. Sheela says

    Only God can heal the broken hearted and i trust Him with all my heart that He will also restore our marriage and bring back my husband home with his family. To God be the glory forever and ever……Amen!!!!

  20. amber says

    Thank you so much for sharing this as I was browsing online to find something to help me to live my husband again. I came across this sight. I have prayed and I hear God telling me to stay and restore him but its hard because of all the anger and hurt but I know God is faithful and he has his hands on it and will do his will not mine. God bless and this touched my heart that I’m not a fool for not giving up.

  21. allie says

    An old blogg, but same story. I am in the middle of all this right now. Less than 6 weeks ago my husband told me he was having an affair with a woman in work. They both profess to be Christians and she believes God has brought him into her life and they have even made plans for their future together. I, on the advice of my Pastor and other christian counsel, applied for a divorce which was served on him on Valentines day. Even so I have been consistantly praying for my husband who yesterday admitted that he had made a mistake and wants to repent and for our marriage to work but still has some feelings for this woman. He is seeing her at the weekend when he is at work to end the relationship and we will take ours from that point on. I know God can heal broken relationships, but as I said at the beginning, this is early days, very raw and scary so please remember us in your prayers. I will keep you posted on developments :$

    • Allie says

      Well its 9 weeks ago today since he admitted to the affair, which is still continuing. He did want to repent but found the alure of Jezebel and sin too much for him. I have secured a new home for my son and I and we are moving on with our lives. The pain in my heart has eased considerably, through prayer mostly but also through beginning to see the situation for what it really is – the start of a new journey with God, one in which I am and will continue to draw closer to Him and Him to me. I still believe that God can heal broken relationships but I cannot fathom why my husband is walking willingly into eternal death and sin. We currently have a strange relationship talking only when we need to. He wants to remain friends but I can’t do that just now. He goes to see her then will phone us for his ‘family fix’ so Ive stopped taking calls. Luckily our son is a teenager so his dad calles him directly on his mobile/cell. He also ‘fits daddy time’ around the time he spends with his adulterous lover who, thankfully, lives nowhere near his work or my my new. My husband was and still is finding it difficult to have any kind of personal relationship with God and wants to know why he has to choose between being happy and doing the right thing (I know, seriously!!) He does sometimes listen to me when I try to tell him the truths of the Bible, and he promised to read a chapter of probverbs every day but sadly, like the promise to forsake all others, he was unable to stick to it. I will however continue to pray for him, that he finds his way back to God, but I have now realised it is not my battle to fight – Ive handed it over to God. I dont know what the future holds for us, I dont feel right now that I want him back, I feel I deserve better (he cheated a number of times during our marriage and courtship). I have accepted the situation, it was a lot easier when he moved out and I didnt have to see him everyday, and my daily prayer continues to be that no matter what, I remain within the will of God.

  22. allie says

    Ok., so here we are, 10 weeks into after the affair became known to me and I am moving into my new home with my teenage son. It has been an emotional week and my husband has been hanging around. On Monday he had made plans with us which he broke as he spent Sunday night with Jezebel. We had a heated discussion during which he, with tears in his eyes, asked if he broke it off with her can we still be friends (bear in mind he couldn’t break it off to save our marriage). He said he had realised how he had messed things up and he seemed genuinely contrite, so I thought I’ll give it a go. As I said previously he spent a fair amount of time at the house and we even planned to go out as a family for Easter Sunday (one of the things he said he missed the most were the times we ate out (we used to eat out a lot). He even came for a walk along the coast with our son and I. During this walked I asked him would he be staying in P************ that night (this is where Jezebel lives) he said no, yet when I phoned him later that is where he was. I was angry as I felt he had taken my gesture of kindness for the mark of a fool and had once again lied to me and told him so. However, later I thought perhaps I had been too rash, so this morning I drove round to the place he has been staying to discover that he had indeed spent the night at Jezebels and had lied to me. He later phoned and gave off to me, saying he never said the things said and that he had his own life to live (and denying he spent the night with her). I know he has his own life to live, but my grievance comes from his constant lying, not the fact that he is still with Jezebel, as he said I know he is with her now, but why then does he continue to lie? I have reminded him that we cannot be friends while he is with her and the call got messy, so it has been left that we can no longer go for an amicable divorce, in my opinion because of his incessant lying, but he thinks its because I’m being a bitch. The call ended because he hung up on me.

    So how do I feel about the events of the week? Well as I said it has been very emotional, the end of 26 years together is tough, especially when it wasn’t my choice to end it. I thought that perhaps we could have actually been friends, that he was willing to work on it and give her up (I know naïve of me). I am really hurt at the moment but also angry. Angry more with myself for letting me be played. He has more than proved what kind of man he is – a liar, cheat and a deceiver – yet I continued to give him more and more chances. My friends said I have been strong up until now and I need to continue to be so for myself and for my son and the only way this can be done is by cutting my husband out of my life, but in order to do that I know I’m going to need the strength and support of all my friends.

    • says

      Allie
      I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I cannot imagine. You did not play the fool by giving him chances – you simply gave him grace and an open door to make the right decisions – that says so much about your character. Beautiful! He has made the wrong choice and he will suffer the consequences. I am praying this morning that you will sense the presence of God with you and that you will have peace and comfort in the midst of this storm. I am so sorry :(
      ((hugs))
      Courtney

      • Lisa says

        No he will not suffer any consequences, he will continue like all men to lie and deceive and while you and your kids are left with ashes he can and will move o with his new boo without a care in the world how do I know because I have lived it and although I a rising from the ashes. I no longer am of the Christian faith after being married to a man that professed God yet slept with over fifteen women left mebroke penniless and stuck our adult son with some of his debts, cut off his kids for a year only to come back to beg them to accept his new woman oh and his mom who is a pastor. Is elated that he is in this new relationship. I feel gas lighted and want to know where is God in the midst of this foolishness, I divorced him had so many bills work a dead end job because I was a stupid stay at home mother, and far from a perfect wife but it seemed like when I begged him to stay and was willing to change all that was wrong with ME he stated and I quote ..I don’t want a Godly wife I want a woman that does not have any standards…..yes ….a d everyone is rejoicing. In his sin….I hope he ends up in the same boat he put me and my kids in but he’s a man and they never have consequences

    • Mona says

      Dear Allie,
      I just read your messages & was very touched by them. I want to let you know that I have prayed for you & will continue to do so. Dear sister I have been through the suffering that you are going through now & must tell you how you should protect your heart & mind from further attacks because please remember that this is a spiritual battle & responding by earthly & fleshly tools will not solve anything but even make things worse. Dear sister make a stand with God in the prayer closet. Put God’s armour on Eph ch.6 so you can be able to stand this battle. Don’t spy on him you will only hurt yourself & make your broken heart more broken. Just put him & your marriage at the feet of Jesus. Tell him to fight this for you. Let go in the sense that you fully trust The Lord & become content. Because I tell you sister if you will hold on to Him & only Him you will reach the point where “His grace is sufficient for you” will become a reality in the sense that you feel it deeply. Beloved sister God loves you so much & He will never never let you down when you stand with Him & honour your marriage covenant; your own covenant with Him. He will reward you & honour you & He will give peace that surpasses your understanding. Praying for you! Love

  23. William says

    Courtney, I am a man who committed adultery in my marriage 3 years ago. 6 weeks ago, I was on 21 days of prayer and fasting and my wife asked me if I had ever committed adultery during our 4 years of marriage. God was dealing with me and it took courage to tell her the truth. When I told the truth, I know it hurt my wife but I had to speak the truth. My question is how can I show my wife I really love and care for her even though she doesn’t want the marriage anymore? I’m searching for answers, what counsel would you give me?

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