Couple struggling after an affair

Rebuilding After An Affair

The deepest form of human betrayal is sexual infidelity. So deep that many couples never recover. While Jesus did identity infidelity as one of the few grounds for divorce (Matthew 19:9), He also provides a way for the relationship to be healed and made new.

You can heal. You can trust again. You can love again. You can have a healthier, happier relationship with a new level of honesty and trust that you both will cherish for a lifetime.

Leslie vernick

Christian counseling and accountability are necessary

Upon exposure of the affair, it is paramount that you immediately seek the guidance and accountability of a trusted Christian counselor. This is important because without outside accountability most couples will not do the work necessary to heal the damage even if they choose to stay married.

Adultery is always evidence of a deeper more sinister problem.  Before a marriage can be rebuilt, the root heart problems must be identified, owned, and dealt with. A marriage cannot be rebuilt without addressing the inner issues going on in the heart that led a husband or wife to choose to betray and lie to his or her partner.

leslie vernick

Important areas that must be part of the journey

Here is an abbreviated list of ten areas that must be explored by couples experiencing the pain of infidelity so that these and other questions can be explored and true healing can take place.


Does the spouse who committed adultery take ownership and repent for his or her choice without blaming?  There may be a myriad of other issues that contributed to the infidelity, but those issues are secondary to first taking full responsibility and repenting for one’s choice to be unfaithful.


Is there a willingness on the part of the adulterer to do the work of self-examination to understand better why he/she made that choice so that the triggers and excuses are addressed?  The one who stepped our must be willing to look at the deep heart issues that allowed him/her to make this choice – pride, entitlement, selfishness, anger, poor impulse control, sexual addiction, family history issues, and so on.

Genuine sorrow

Is there a genuine sorrow for the pain he/she has caused the spouse?  Often times we see the “guilty ” spouse in pain but it’s more for the pain they’re in than the pain they’ve caused.  There must be genuine acknowledgment and awareness of the pain they’ve caused their spouse.

Listen to the heartache

Is the adulterous spouse willing to sit with his/her spouse and really listen to his/her hurt and heartache over this situation? It’s important this be compassionate listening, not merely being a “punching bag” for the wounded spouse to beat up on.

Willing to forgive

Is the injured spouse willing to forgive even if right now he/she doesn’t know how to do that? While Biblical forgiveness is a non-negotiable command throughout scripture, reconciliation and restoring of the relationship with the one who hurt you is a process that requires time and discernment.

Consider your contribution

Is the injured spouse willing to take a hard look at ways he/she may have contributed to neglect in the marriage or other unresolved problems that created emotional distancing to develop? Both parties must look back over the time they’ve been together in order to see where they may have contributed – knowingly or not – to the decline that led up to this point in time.

Open and honest about sadness, hurt, and anger

Is the injured spouse willing to be honest with her feelings of sadness, hurt, anger and do the hard work to work through them and move past them? So often there is pressure to sweep one’s negative emotions under the rug, and quickly forgive and move on without doing the hard work of actually feeling them and letting them go. This is often pushed by the adulterous spouse to “put it behind them.”

Acknowledge positive changes

Is the injured spouse willing to acknowledge the positive changes his/her spouse is making toward rebuilding trust and healing the marriage? Although this is important, you must be cautious to not allow the positive focus to shift to the perpetrator and away from the one who has been deeply hurt.

Patient with the process

Is the couple able to accept that the healing process will take time, it will be a challenging path, and comes with no clear roadmap? Submitting to Jesus Christ and learning of His ways is truly the only way to effectively move from brokenness to wholeness in marriage.

Empathy and compassion through the struggle

Is the spouse who committed adultery willing to be patient with the process as his/her spouse struggles to let it go, gets triggered with memories and reminders, or can’t immediately feel trust or warm feelings for his/her spouse?  In the process of God building something new, He needs each partner to die to the old and patiently embrace the new as it emerges.

A marriage that has suffered infidelity can come through it stronger and healthier than it was before the affair. It takes unwavering commitment, hard work, and submission to God and His word throughout the process. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts. Your marriage must go through the valley to get to the other side.

Let us walk with you

Our counselors are highly trained and extensively experienced in working with couples who find themselves at crossroads in their relationship. We offer only Christ-centered, Bible-based remedies for the struggles of marriage and relationships. Please click here to learn much more about how Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky can help improve your marriage. We offer convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as via Zoom or FaceTime. Contact us today.

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