Jennifer – Husband has an affair

Dear Kate,

I just found out that my husband is having an affair. What do I need to do?

Thanks for the advice,
Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

I am sorry to hear about your husband’s affair. While I cannot tell you what to do, I can help you go through the process of handling the situation. I assume you are a Christian. My recommendation is to follow this 10-step program:

  1. Go on your knees and ask God for help. You need it!
  2. Evaluate how you feel: Angry? Hurt? Anxious? Relieved? Don’t act on your feelings. Your husband sinned. Make sure that you don’t.
  3. Protect your children. Keep them busy, so they do not focus on you or your spouse. They must not know about the affair.
  4. Stay away from people unless they are neutral Christians and stop you when you start talking badly about your husband. Keep your mouth in check! Bad mouthing makes matters worse. Friends and family members complicate the issue unnecessary. Remember, bad mouthing is a sin, all sins are equal and lead to death.
  5. Your husband has wronged you. You need to forgive him. However, this action does not mean that you have to accept what he did. Keep in mind that you are the beneficiary of your forgiving. You protect your heart from becoming cold and from dying. You also need to forgive your trespassers to benefit from God’s forgiveness.
  6. Do not take the blame onto yourself. No matter what happened and what you did, your spouse gave in to temptation. It was his decision. Everybody gets tempted. Everybody can say no. He will have to bear the consequences of his actions. However, watch out that you do not sin yourself! This situation is a temptation for you.
  7. Do not make a decision right now about the future. Nevertheless calmly consider both options, staying together and leaving.
  8. Your feelings will change every day as you go through the decision process. Do not act on them but evaluate what they mean. Do you have thoughts such as “How could he do this to me?”, “I cannot live alone!”, “This is the final straw!” Check if these feelings are rather about yourself than about your husband or the situation. These insights will help you restart your life, alone, as a couple or as a family.
  9. You are not the only one who makes a decision. Whether the outcome is the one you want or not, life does not end here. If you go through this process without sinning yourself, you will be okay. You can even grow from it.
  10. Don’t forget to stay close to God, to ask Him for help and insights and thank Him that He protects and leads you.

I am praying that the Holy Spirit guides you in your path and decision and that you have the strength to withstand all temptations.

Warm regards,
Kate

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