My Wife’s Affair Shattered our Marriage

Written by Ron and Nancy C. Anderson

HowWeSurvivedanAffair_290x220My wife repeated the sentence I could not understand,  “I’m moving out”.

I searched her eyes for the familiar fire. Seeing none, I thought,  “Who is this woman?” My wife of two years had become an instant stranger.

“What are you saying? Why do you want to leave?”, I asked.

“I’m unhappy and lonely and miserable actually.” There, it was out. “You make me miserable. Maybe with a little distance between us we’ll get closer”.

I touched her arm, but she pulled away as I said, “It doesn’t make any sense. How can distance make us closer?”

”I don’t know, but I do know that I can’t stay here.  I need some time to sort things out, a little space. I’m not even sure I even love you or that I ever did”.

I stood frozen, as I begged,  “Please don’t go now. Can’t you wait until tomorrow?”

She silently picked up her suitcase, flung her purse over her shoulder, and with a dramatic toss of her hair, walked out our front door.

A hidden affair

I knew that I hadn’t been the best husband, and that I got angry at her too often. I knew that my need to be right often made her wrong.

I knew that, lately, she had been distant. But I didn’t know that my wife was having an affair.

During the month Nancy was gone, I was a mess. Each time I called her, I would start to cry and ask her what I could do to get her to come home, but she answered my questions with one-word sentences. Then she would abruptly say,  “I gotta go”, and hang up.

I asked friends to “spy” on her, and they told me that she seemed fine … happy. They told me to move on with my life and try to accept the fact that she was gone. When Nancy told me she was filing divorce papers, I believed that our marriage was over.

Then, one night, after a miraculous change of heart, (read Nancy’s book Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome for the full story) she came home and said, “I’ve been lying to you for months, but I’m going to tell the truth now. Ask me anything.”

“Is there another man? Are you having an affair?”

She looked away and whispered, “Yes, with a man at work.  But it ends today. I’m going to quit my job tomorrow and I will never see him again. I hope that you will take me back and we can stay married.”

Rebuilding our marriage

The decision to forgive came quickly, but the rebuilding of our marriage took a long time.  I would feel good one day and hopeless the next. Then she would get frustrated and confused. There might be a week where we would be caring and loving, and then we’d slip into old patterns and have to remind ourselves to get back on track.

When we got back together, it was a good day if we were just polite to each other. If we could say “please” and “thank you” and not fight or yell,. That was as much as we could have hoped for.

The first thing we did was get godly advice from a wise Christian couple.  Then we spent several months seeing a Christian marriage counselor. We got involved in our church’s couples group, and started reading marriage materials. We knew we had to find out, “Okay, what does a husband do? What is my role? What does that look like?” She had to find out, “What is a Godly wife supposed to do?” We learned Biblical principles and found practical ways to apply them.

Another important ingredient to healing was that we offered each other mercy while we were trying to change.

When we slipped up, we tried not to get too bent out of shape over it because we both knew we were trying. It was like we were two parallel pendulums swinging back and forth, just missing each other. But through self-control and studying God’s Word, and putting those principles into our marriage, eventually we became like two pendulums, swinging in sync–together. But it took time, self-control, and a strong commitment.

Many of the habits we had established were very difficult to break. Before, we would be waiting for the other person to make a mistake so we could point it out. But when we began this new cycle. I was trying to please her and she was trying to please me.

A new personal mission

Probably the one thing that helped me the most was the verse in 1 Peter 3:7 where it instructs me to dwell with my wife in understanding.  For years and years, every comedian on television says, “Oh, I can’t understand my wife”.  It’s the proverbial joke in our culture. But if the Bible tells us to dwell with our wives in understanding, it must be possible.

I did not ask for details of Nancy’s affair.  I didn’t want obsess about what she did and where she did it. When the thoughts of her with him came to taunt me, I didn’t allow them to stay. Instead, I chose to think about the future we were building.  I took the advice I read in the Bible in Philippians 4:8 which reminded me to think about things that were pure, admirable, lovely and good.

I made it my personal mission to try to understand my wife.

I learned that my wife is more sensitive than my buddy.  I can tease and make wise cracks at my friend’s expense, and he’s just going to respond with a playful insult. But when I make fun of my wife, it breaks her down emotionally and spiritually. It hurts her and she pulls away from me.

I learned that if my wife says, “You’re’ tailgating and it’s scaring me”, I should stop tailgating.  If I love her, why would I want to frighten her? The more I understood about my wife, and respected those God-given differences, the less we argued.  We used to have brush fire arguments  – they are the little spats that turn into World War III in 90 seconds. As we worked to extinguish the brushfires, the intimacy grew, and our love grew.

Soon, Nancy realized how much my forgiveness meant to her. She thanked me many times for being willing to take her back.  She treated me with new respect and I began to appreciate her.

25 years later

I never regretted my choice to forgive Nancy. It’s been over 25 years since Nancy’s affair but we’ve never stopped learning from it.

Her affair was a symptom of a terminally ill marriage. I’m not excusing her behavior, but I was not an attentive, loving, encouraging husband.  She repeatedly told me how sad, lonely, and discouraged she felt and I selfishly tried to talk her out of her needs. I didn’t compliment her enough and I was not the spiritual leader of our home.  Our marriage was a mess and a lot of that was my fault.

We choose to take the value system God has for marriage and though our emotions may change, God’s standard doesn’t change and He is there to help us.

Our theory is: always be fine-tuning your relationship. Never let your guard down for a moment. Never take each other for granted and be careful not to get caught up in emotions because our emotions can deceive us.

We are amazed at how far we’ve come – we laugh a lot now and really enjoy each other. Our 22-year-old son often sees us holding hands and sees that we are living examples of mercy and restoration.

We had a broken home – but with the Lord’s help and a lot of work, it’s fully restored–stronger than before. My wife’s affair shattered our marriage but God redeemed what was lost and restored our marriage!

For more information about Ron and Nancy’s story, go to their marriage blog at or read Nancy’s book, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome:How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around your Marriage.


147 Responses to “My Wife’s Affair Shattered our Marriage”

  • Tom Tom says:

    DE–Your story is so startling it sounds like the basis for a novel! I really sympathize with you. You’ve been through a lot.

    It sounds as if you have done pretty much what the Lord would expect you to have done. You’ve made several overtures of forgiveness and reconciliation. At this point, I believe you would be foolish to simply take your wife’s word for anything regarding your relationship. She has not shown herself to be faithful to the words she has spoken. It seems obvious she has some deep-rooted problems that have never been thoroughly addressed. I would say that unless she agrees to get professional help (and actually does so), separation is the right alternative. Ultimately, and as you probably know, God sees marriage infidelity as the one acceptable reason for divorce. But only you can make that decision. If you concertedly seek the Lord’s leading and believe in your heart that you’ve exhausted every possibility of reconciliation, then divorce would be the logical option.

    It’s obvious that you love your wife very much. Please make sure that you love the Lord even more, for it is only by his grace, strength, and encouragement, that you will be able to come through all of this mess–yes, even stronger than before. If you lean into him, somehow and some way he will get the glory and you will be further positively disciplined as he uses this to make you into the image of Christ. Here’s a web sight article that may offer you some comfort and guidance from the Book of James–

    While I can wish I had a better or more complete answer for you DE, I know that God does. Let me pay for you:

    “Father God, as our Great Creator of the institution and covenant of marriage, I know it breaks your heart even as DE’s heart is broken that this marriage has not proven to be one built on Christ-like love and trust. And while at this moment the future looks so dark in DE’s sight, you Lord are the Lord of Light, the one who can encourage and brighten DE’s outlook moving forward. I ask you to give him your divine wisdom as he seeks what you would have him do next. Because you are the Beginning and the End and know all things, I know you have perfect direction and are willing to share that with DE as he comes humbly to you. Father, I ask you to do whatever it takes to bring DE’s wife to full understanding of her sin, and that you will direct her steps in such a way as that she will seek help in overcoming the strongholds of adultery and unfaithfulness in her life. She needs to be brought full-faced with her sin and her need to repent. I thank you as the God of all Mercy that you will continue to walk with DE through all of this. Use him to bring glory to yourself. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

  • Joe D. says:

    For DE…
    Run, do not look back! Thank God that you do not have children because it would be 10x worse.
    Start your life New, continue to follow the Word, Jesus will understand!
    Good luck!

  • DE says:

    O.K. I have read all of the comments and the original story above about Ron and Nancy sounds similar to my current situation with a few exceptions. I have only been married for 1 year and 2 months. About 3-4 months into our marriage my wife expressed her dissatisfaction of our relationship and how her needs were not being met. I was not the spiritual leader that she needed me to be and thinks that we got married for the wrong reasons. She said she didn’t love me anymore and that I was not “man enough” for her amongst other horrible hurtful words. I was shocked that I was being that horrible of a husband in her eyes in such a short time being married. I wanted to fix that….

    Let me give you some back story…She brought me closer to my relationship with God than it had been all of my life. I was raised Catholic but I never confirmed,I thought there was more for God to offer me than what the Catholic church was teaching. So when I met my wife she made it clear that she needed a Godly man in her life, which was not really me at the time. I really didn’t even understand what that meant, but I did want to be with her so I did start to read the word and go to service and learn more about God’s unconditional love and how it can impact and change so many lives. I started to realize that this was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She would be an amazing mother one day, she is great with kids and was the Sunday School teacher.

    We talked about marriage and what it would look like, we even started to go to pre marriage classes even though we werent even engaged just to make sure we were doing this the right way. We never lived together proir to marriage because that is what she wanted. I wanted to make her happy because she was all I ever wanted. After 4 years of dating I finally popped the question and we planned to get married. We continued through pre marriage counseling with our Pastor and even restricted ourselves from being physical since it was the “right thing to do”. We were married by our pastor that counseled us in our pre marriage sessions, it was a beautiful day.

    She said that things started to breakdown immediately after our honeymoon but if she faked it until we made it all would be good in the end. Several months went by and things started to get worse and worse. She was working late hours and sometimes not coming home at all, claiming she was staying with her girlfriends from work. I was in agony and I didn’t know how to communicate to her any more than I already was that how she was acting was affecting me greatly in a negative way. She told me she wanted a divorce and that we were married for the wrong reasons and she didn’t love me any more.

    I told her divorce was not an option for me and I wanted to work on things before we made any major decisions. We started to go to a christian marriage therapist for a few months and then she told me she wanted to seperate before one of us hurt another even more so. She even said that she was getting to a breaking point and she didn’t know what she wanted other than the life she had created for herself outside of our home. She was being selfish and she knew it and didn’t know how to stop the feeling because she was finally doing something for herself in life and had never experienced this feeling before…

    I did not agree to the seperation at first, but out of fear of losing her and pushing her further away I finally agreed to a trial seperation where we would have scheduled date nights and we would not be pursuing any one else. We mutually agreed on these terms and we signed a non legal document indicating that we would hold to these terms with the idea we were working towards a solution.

    When we officially seperated things really got bad for me, I was stuck in a very dark place and I did not know how to pull myself away from these dark feelings. My concious was telling me to give up but my heart was telling me to fight! Fight for love and for what we worked so hard for in order to be happily married. We would see eachother on these date nights but she wasn’t really there emotionally and I could tell she was not happy with me or us. I really tried to give her the space she said she needed in order to figure herself out so we could succeed in the future, what I did not know is what was really happening behind the scenes.

    She finally came to me about a month and a half after our seperation and dropped the bomb on me. “I was unfaithful to you” I was speachless, in denial, enraged, heart broken, and felt betrayed. I am a very loyal person and I always have been, so when my wife told me this I didn’t know how to respond. She told me that it only happened once and that it would never happen again and that she was sorry for what she did. It was with a guy she worked with and that we even hung out with in the past, I even shook this guys hand at one point in the past and I can’t get that out of my head. She told me she would quite her job and that she was ready to fix things. How could this have happened, did I let it happen? All sorts of questions and doubts came into my head. I was in a daze. I told her that I needed time to process what she told me and that I didn’t want to talk to her or to see her for a few days.

    I took a lot of time to process my thouhgts. What would any man in my shoes do so early into marriage? Should I just cut all ties and move forward, what would moving forward look like? Can I trust her again, will this all happen over again 5, 10, 30 years down the road? I decided to write her a letter to tell her how I felt and what I wanted in order to move forward. I really wasn’t asking for much, I just wanted to see her every day fall asleep with her at night and to work on us. In short I said that I was willing to learn to forgive her and that we should move forward to fix things because my love for her was greater than anything I ever felt before.

    She took a few days to process what I wrote to her and when we met next she told me that the letter I wrote to her was the most beautiful thing she has ever read and that I was literally asking for an inch and she could not give it……What!? You were the one to come to me and tell me your sorry and are ready to work on fixing things and after you put me through this emotional roller coaster for the last 6 months you changed your mind again!? She told me she wanted a divorce about 5 days before our one year wedding anniversary…

    I couldn’t believe it, how could someone come and say I am ready to fix things and do whatever it takes and then waffle on what they said two weeks later. I was devastated once again, so I left town with a buddy and went on a long road trip to clear my head and gain perspective. After I got back she wanted to meet me yet again, so I did. She said she was confused and didn’t know what she wanted but before any major paperwork was filed maybe we should meet with our pastor to talk about things. I reluctantly agreed. Two days go by with no communication from her, so in my head I am thinking she has not changed at all and why am I wasting my time to have a discussion with our pastor when she couldn’t even call me to say hello or looking forward to seeing you…not a word. I was upset I called her and canceled, I told her she was remaining in her selfish ways and that she could go get whatever answers she needed from our pastor and that we should move towards an end of us.

    A few weeks went by again and then she said she wanted to talk about things. She came over to my place, since we are still separated at this point, and told me that she was ready to work on things but that I needed to know the whole truth so I could decide what I wanted. I thought…there is more? How much worse can things be? She told me it was a full blown affair and that it had been going on since before we were separated, let me remind you we signed a document (non legal) indicating we wouldn’t pursue anyone else, and that she had feelings for him. She realized that she hurt me and that it might be too late to fix things. She just wanted me to know the whole truth so I could decide if I wanted to move forward. She said that she was looking for other work and separating herself from hanging out with him and the people she worked with in order to try and change her ways………Which I can’t even believe in the first place since my trust for her has been shattered. I told her I didn’t want to see her or talk to her.

    A week or two went by and she asked me to not file paperwork for a divorce and to really consider fixing things. I told her I would wait on filing paperwork but I had a lot to process and I am not sure if I even want this anymore since she lied to my face stone cold for so long so early into our marriage.
    Let’s get down to brass tax, she had the affair for roughly eight to nine months of our first year of marriage! Do I want to be with someone as selfish as her? Does she really feel remorse or is it guilt? She told me repeatedly that she did not love me and that our marriage was a mistake and for the wrong reasons.
    I told her that I didn’t want to talk to her for a while until I could really think about it.

    Now I am more lost than I ever was. I have not talked to her for about a month or so and I have been really depressed and heartbroken. She recently contacted me and said that she wants to talk soon and figure things out since there has been a lot of silence. So I am meeting her once again, doing this over and over is slowly killing me inside. If she says she really wants to work things out should I believe her when she has lied to me repeatedly for so long? Am I the weak one for saying goodbye and moving forward since I can’t trust her? Since this happened so early in our marriage is this a sign of what it could be like again once we face another issue?

    I cannot find forgiveness in my heart for her when it feels shattered inside. I know that it will take time to heal and for me to feel normal again. I just don’t want to ever feel the pain like this ever again nor could I endure this again with anyone.

    Some of you have been through this and have level headed insight. But this happened so early into our marriage (4 months in) I think this is a sign from God that we were not meant to be and that even though we were happy for the 4 years we were together before marriage, once we were married everything changed. It was for the better at first then it all went downhill. I am thankful that we do not have any children or a home to worry about, but is this still worth saving when in the back of my mind all I can think about is them together and me waiting and wondering why my wife doesn’t love me anymore, enough so to pursue another person.

    I know that I need to find the answers on my own, I think I am ready to finally let go of her and move forward with my life without her. I just can’t help this feeling of heartache since I am finally coming to realize what this marriage is and its failures. I just cannot continue to feel this pain inside anymore and I cannot believe that we have a chance when I feel the opposite. My heart still has love for her, my mind is telling me I am better off without her.
    Sorry for the long story but I had to get a lot out……..Thanks for reading.

  • tezi says:

    am so sad my life apst

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    I find that so very many of you have been led by the Holy Spirit that it has been a real blessing for me to read the last 15 comments. Bible quotes have been right on; God is at work!
    I really like what Jamie said (Aug. 29): “If you are trusting your wife to get her life turned around, I agree you could be waiting forever. If you think you will be able to convince your wife to leave her cheating ways you probably are in for disappointment. But if your trust is in Jesus to remake your wife’s heart and set her life on a radically different trajectory, then you have a solid case for waiting for change and you can never give up on what He is able to do.” Also, there was someone who said (and I can`t find it now) that the infidelity was a symptom of their relationship, and it was up to him and to do his part in being more giving, loving and understanding toward his wife.
    May we daily live in the knowledge that what we give will come back to us, and therefore strive to have our life exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (which is) love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Gal 5:22-23 NKJV.

  • vierocka says:

    Joe D. You had the right to divorce your wife after second cheating. But if my husband would cheat again I would give him another chance as Jesus giving us another chances as Peter got another chance after denying Jesus. Of course there would be consequences of his sin like I would move out and test him if he realy repented or not and that another cheating would not be tolerated but seeing my mother forgiving my father more cheating and seeing my father repenting from his sins now teached me a big lesson.

  • Joe D. says:

    I agree with many of you in the sense that we should forgive our spouse for cheating, because that is what Jesus would want us to do, and as faithful Christians that is what we are called to do. Well, I’m here to tell i did do that 2.5 years ago, i felt it was what God was calling me to do. And needless to say, within 2 years of that time she cheated again. Thats when i said its over! Listen, i know my kids are hurt by this, it breaks my heart every day. But when the day comes and they ask me why i dint forgive Mom, I’ll be able to honestly say to them that I did….I did everything that God asked me to do, but it just didn’t work.
    You can not continue life as you know it, with someone who you will never trust!

  • vierocka says:

    Thomas. If your wife is showing repentence from her actions and if you have children I would give her another chance. Your children will bear hurt from divorce all their life and it can affect them badly. My husband cheated as well on me but I gave him another chance because I know God is changing him and I don’t have a heart to hurt my children who love him.

  • Chris Chris says:

    thomas…so sorry to hear of your situation. while its true that the bible does give the right to divorce under cases of adultery, at the same time, grace, forgiveness and mercy are the greatest qualities God offers us and expects us to offer others as well, including our wives. you mention children, they are the ones most affected by divorce. its imperative to take them into consideration. ending a girlfriend relationship is one thing but ending your life with your wife should really be prayed through and Gods mind gotten before finalizing a divorce. could help you along those lines. wouldnt ephes 4.32 apply here too?…be kind one to another and forgiving one another even as God for christs sake has forgiven you? i pray jesus would guide you in this decisión and that you would prefer Gods will always even above your own in jesus name amen!

  • Thomas says:

    The bottom line is she cheated. You can forgive her, but taking her back says something about your own self worth. I would never take a woman back who cheated, because if you do, you’re telling her there are no consequences to her actions, and what example does that set for children. When I was younger I was engaged and the girl ended up kissing another guy at a party, I promptly ended the relationship. I may have forgiven her, but I could never love her again. Men need to show some more spine, I’m sure there is a woman out there who won’t cheat. The bible says a woman should submit to her man, not that her man should submit to her rampant infidelity.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Thomas, we are all human and we all make mistakes, but if God, Who is Divine, chooses to forgive, who are we to say that it should not be? In the story, Nancy came back and asked forgiveness of her husband Ron. He chose to forgive her and accept her back, which any Christian should do. To not do so, would show that our commitment to God is not what it should be. God has forgiven us, and expects us to forgive others in the same way. In that way, God can work in the situation to bring “beauty out of ashes.”

    May we all, who are in a similar situation as Ron and Nancy were, respond in exactly the same manner as they did.

  • Precious Hicklin says:

    I am glad you guys are still together…marriage vows say for better or for worse. …so forgiving is always a good thing…and as for Mr. Thomas comment….it would not be right for Ron to constantly throw Nancy wrong doings in her face…when Jesus forgives us he throws it in the sea of forgetfulness and never bring it up to us again…and that is exactly what Jesus would want us to do….sure we will think of the wrong that was committed towards us because we are human but we have control not to bring it up to the person once we forgive them unless we are saying how sorry we are for those actions….Jesus was and is the only good person that ever walked the earth….we will need to ask for Gods forgiveness everyday of our lives because we will sin everyday of our lives even if its just a wrong thought it is still a sin…so therefore no matter how many commandments we think we can keep we still would need to repent daily for sinful thought….even the thought of judging someone else is a sin….Be blessed many more years Ron and Nancy in your marriage.

  • Thomas says:

    I read this story, and I’ve always been a good christian (well, I’m catholic, so my views may differ) But when you got married, you made a promise to GOD. So did she, she promised to remain faithful. She failed to uphold her promise to GOD, for whatever reason she decided it was better to spit in is face. As a Catholic I would have immediately asked my bishop for an annulment, every oath I ever took in God’s name is something I take seriously, I’d rather die than break those. Her lack of commitment is a lack of faith. If your right hand is to sin are you not to remove it? To be with someone who whole heartedly rejected the divine for her own pleasure…. yeah that sounds like the devil dude. If you wanna stay together for the kids then atleast remind her of what she did EVERYDAY make her bear that burden, remind her of her betrayal to the family and GOD, Jesus forgives, well guess what bro, you aint Jesus, you’re human If she is willing to sell you and GOD short once she will do it again, it’s just a matter of time.

  • I just believe that if all married people can live according to 1 Corinthians 13, Love definition, We can conquer All things and overcome any challengesin life and in our relationships with our spouses. Thank you for such a frank, open and deep story you shared.

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Sylvia, I’m sorry to learn that your marriage needs joy and restoration but you know God certainly wants to heal your marriage. If your husband’s emotions got messed-up, it may take some time for trust to be rebuilt but “with God nothing will be impossible.” That’s the promise of Luke 1:37 and it is just as true now as it was when originally given us.

    So we pray, “Abba Father, You created the institution of marriage and desire that husband and wife be one flesh and that together they glorify Your image. We come to your Throne of Grace boldly seeking Your help to restore Sylvia’s marriage in great joy and tenderness. Lord, reveal to her husband how he is to love her unconditionally just as Christ loves His Church-Bride. Strengthen and encourage Sylvia and her husband during their time of healing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

  • Sylvia Rambwa says:

    oh, I’m touched . I can relate to your story quite well. Thank-You, I’m hoping in God for complete restoration and joy in my marriage too. I messed-up his emotions in many ways and pray God to heal us.

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Samuel, I truly feel for you in this very difficult and painful marital situation. Two of my family have gone through a similar separation and it has been hard on and hurt everyone involved and it has lasted a long time.

    You said a problem hit your marriage; have you resolved that problem? And then asked your wife for forgiveness? Those are big steps to take.

    Then communicate your love to her in a way she understands. Figure out what actions and words will communicate your love to her. Then Just Do It!! Don’t give up, keep doing it. Not for her, not even for yourself, but for Christ. Offer all your love to Jesus, and when your wife crosses your path, let His love flow through you to her.

    This may well be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But God has a good plan for you and your life (Jeremiah 29:11), He loves you and your wife (Jeremiah 31:3), and He is for your marriage (Malachi 2:16). You may be tempted to give up…on your marriage, on your wife, on yourself…but God will never give up. So give your marriage to Him, let Him fight the battle for you, and focus on staying faithful and obedient.

  • samuel says:

    iam a christian, i marred for almost 3 years ,broblem hit our marriage and my wife seperated from me and began to have an affairs with another woman, Ihave been praying to GOD FOR her return and a change of heart to God but the more she hardenes hear under the influence of her her girl friend who is a lesbean.over 6 years still praying and waiting.please what can i do now as a christ?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Joe, I am sorry that this has turned into such a nightmare for you. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have your trust destroyed repeatedly by your wife’s infidelity. I admire your desire to protect your kids from the pain of a broken family, and also your commitment to forgive like Jesus did.

    Can I just ask you a question: what leads you to think that Jesus is unable to change your wife’s heart? As I look at the record of the lives He has changed in the Bible and throughout history, I don’t know that I could ever say, “That person will never change.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying what you should do about your marriage–I can see how your wife’s choices put you in a position of ending your marriage. But before you write her off as unchangeable consider who it is who does the changing. I think of people in the Bible like Nebuchadnezzar who declared of God “He does according to will among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand.” (Daniel 4:35) or Paul who went from killing Christians to being killed himself for preaching the Good News of Jesus. There is the demon possessed man who was able to break chains with his bare hands whom Jesus freed and sent to be a preacher to the people of Decapolis (Mark 5). There are examples outside of the Bible as well. There is John Newton who was a captain of slave trading ship who, being touched by the transforming hand of Jesus, became a priest, abolitionist and wrote beautiful hymns like Amazing Grace ( If you go to you will see hundreds of people who have been undeniably changed by Jesus. One story in particular you may be interested in is Jeff and Cheryl Scrugg who found new love after her affair tore their marriage apart Another particularly dramatic story of change is Brian Welch, former lead guitarist of Korn

    If you are trusting your wife to get her life turned around, I agree you could be waiting forever. If you think you will be able to convince your wife to leave her cheating ways you probably are in for disappointment. But if your trust is in Jesus to remake your wife’s heart and set her life on a radically different trajectory, then you have a solid case for waiting for change and you can never give up on what He is able to do.

    How does that impact your choices right now? I would never presume to say, but I know that Jesus will direct you and you can have confidence that His direction will always be right. Instead of living life trying to figure out how to change your wife I recommend that you live every moment asking Jesus, “What is Your plan for me in this moment?” What are the ways that you hear Jesus speak to you, Joe?

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, I pray for Joe right now and I know he is feeling overwhelmed by the disappointment of his wife’s infidelities. Speak to him, Jesus. Help him to know Your voice and Your presence. Help him to recognize Your voice speaking to him and give him the courage to follow where you lead no matter what the cost. Give him wisdom to know how best to help his daughters through this painful process, and guard them from getting bitter and angry. Transform his wife and set her free from the selfish choices she keeps making. Amen.

    Joe, I am very interested to hear from you how your interaction with Jesus has gone in your life. How do you hear His voice? How has He led you?

  • Joe D. says:

    Guys, I’m glad some of you are having success. I have always had Jesus in my life, I strive to be like him…all the time.
    But I can honestly say, there is no changing my soon to be ex-wife. Time & time again I prayed, I forgave, and began to forget about her affairs. But the heart can only handle so much. She is truly the devils work. It’s a real shame, and it’s reality. The last thing I wanted in life was to be divorced with children involved. My prayes now are strictly for them, that they will survive this, and become the young women that I always hoped they would be.
    Once they cheat, there is a good chance it will happen again, sorry to have to say that. I pray that you all may find true happiness!

  • Don says:

    I have now backed off and my wife is going away to house sit for 4 days and came in the bathroom today to explain to me that she understood why I have been so upset with her and this so called job she has taken and then went on to say there is no other man and she just needs space from me because of the way I have been acting. I told her go get some rest and relaxation and she said you will be calling me everyday and my response was not one phone call! To all you men going through what I am just back off quit the questions and give her space and whatever God wills will happen. I know I am the last person to give advice but it has worked for me. As far as marriage being a joke I no longer believe that is true I think it is what you put in to it is what you get out of it!

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Vince, marriage was the first institution established by God in the book of Genesis, chapter 2. It is a holy covenant that symbolizes the relationship between Christ and His Bride, or the Body of Christ, His Church. After Jesus’ Ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent to lead us as sons of God into a more Christ-like life; the way God “speaks” to us today is through the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Truth for He only speaks what He hears from God (John 16:13) and would thus never “speak” to a person in a way that contradicts God’s Scriptures.

    From all of this, you can easily see that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) because marriage represents the sacred relationship between Christ and His Church. Christians are called to live in the power of the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God. Divorce is to be avoided if at all possible (yes, rare, rare exceptions but yours is not one of them). Honoring and upholding the marriage vows brings honor and glory to God.

    I prayerfully hope you can gently and lovingly explain all this to your wife, because under no circumstances would God through the Spirit of Truth tell a married woman that she should be having an affair with a man other than her husband. Furthermore, if she wants to honor and glorify God, she will do everything in her power to restore your marriage to an honorable one.

  • Chris Chris says:

    vince…i am terribly sorry to hear of your situation. having experienced something similar, i can identify with what you are feeling entirely. one key that helped me get through my experience was to ask jesus to allow me to see my wife through his eyes and not my own. to let me feel what he felt and not let my feelings control me. knowing that first and foremost as ps 51.4 says, sin is an afront to God first since he has created us all to be faithful to him first and then to our spouses. our primary goal in life, even with our mates, is to want Gods best for them. in this case, like mine, i would suggest you concéntrate on your wife getting right with God. when she does, she will automatically want to be right with you her husband. if you have seen God work in your life before, you can be assured he will work in your life again. perhaps not always the way we would expect, but in all cases, romans 8.28 applies, where it says God Works all things out for our good, even those things that dont look or feel good. you might log onto for helpful tips as well to deal with your situation. a good question to always ask ourselves as husbands is…is there anything i can do to help build a bridge to my estranged wife or change in my marriage to make it more appealing to her. have you prayed that prayer? if i can i would like to pray for you vince now asking…father in jesus name come and confort and console vince in his tribulations. you are there now with him, show him the path to take and the steps he could take to help his wife be recnciled to him. meantime make him and us all, people of prayer and the Word as described in acts chapter 6. giving ourselves wholly to do your will so that your will can be done in our lives on this earth and for our spouses too in jesus name amen. blessings to you today vince and please do stay in touch here on the blog site!

  • Vince H says:

    My wife says that God sent her this other man that she is having her affair with. And she says God will help her decide what’s best for her. Can you believe that?

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Don, that is wonderful news! One of God’s greatest’s blessings is a successful marriage based on a mutual commitment to Him and to one another. As you both grow closer to God, His love will spill over into your marriage and enrich it in many dimensions! Make Him the source of your life and strength . . . praying “Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

  • Don says:

    Yes I have accepted Jesus as my lord and savior. I have talked to my wife and she has told me there is no one else and it is just a financial thing. I have looked in to her eyes and told her that if she is unhappy and wants to leave I would help her settle and help her with anything she needs. Her reply was you would do that for me I said of course I would I love you and care about you! I am just hurt that she is so angry with me because I took so many pain pills for my back and ignored her. I said I was sorry and hoped she could find it in her heart to forgive me! I have been exercising everyday and have lost 32 pounds.I will never go back to being what I was and become the loving husband she wants.

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  • Elkay Elkay says:

    My wife has been acting strange lately and leaving home all the time telling me she has gotten caught up in a financial thing. She keeps on telling me to trust her but I think she is just buying time until this house or condo she has bought has gone through. Life sucks my first wife cheated on me and my 2nd wife treated me like shit but died of cancer and I stayed with her until she died. Now my 3rd wife who I have always been faithful to and sold my house to buy a home for her almost 20 years ago is playing me for a fool I fear! Time will tell as I think she is going to leave me taking 2 of our 4 dogs with her. I will lose my home but that is what I get for being faithful and loving! I ALSO AGREE MARRIAGE IS A JOKE! I AM BECOMING AN ANGRY MAN WITH NO EMPATHY!

    Don, your marriage experiences are unfortunate and sad . . . your feelings are understandable but becoming angry is no solution. And marriage is not a joke – it is a sacred institution that God Himself created so that man and woman could bind together, become one in His eyes and best reflect His image. You can read all about this in Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:24. That’s why He hates divorce.

    In his book “God Loves You, He Always Has – He Always Will”, from which the following is quoted, David Jeremiah notes “One of the most revealing commentaries on the sad state of love in modern cultures is the growing omission of the phrase ‘till death do us part’ in traditional marriage ceremonies. Couples are hedging their bets, removing ‘forever’ from their shared vocabulary. Of course, keeping that phrase in a ceremony doesn’t make a marriage bulletproof. We’re staring down at alarming divorce statistics, no matter what words we use. But there’s something very sad about the ancient and holy institution of marriage becoming as casual, nonbinding and fleeting as the rice thrown at the couple.”

    For Christians, Job #1 is to grow in Christ-likeness and that means that when we love someone, we love them unconditionally, permanently, loyally. God did not bail on Adam and Eve when they violated His one restriction in Eden; He did not stop loving Moses even though he committed murder; He did not stop loving David even though he committed adultery and murder; and Jesus did not stop loving Peter after Peter denied Him three times.

    Love is an unrelenting, unconditional commitment to another person and it looks like the famous 13th chapter in 1 Corinthians. One day you will stand before God and explain why you lived as you did and the best you can hope for now is that you remain loyally loving to your current wife. If she walks out, that’s on her, but for your own sake, hang in there and do everything you can to make yours a God-honoring marriage. That’s what pleases God.

  • Chris Chris Landwerlen says:

    don….its true that today especially marriages are failing at record numbers. the problem in many cases is that God is being left out of the marriage either by one or both of the marriage partners. without having jesus as lord of our lives and marriages, troubles will loom. i encourage you to receive jesus as your personal lord and savior if you havent. if you have, you can learn from these expereinces how important it is to be seeking jesus too on whom you marry. no marriage is pefect, but with jesus at the helm, the problems do not carry the same weight as they would without him. if you dont know jesus as your lord and savior and would like more information on how to know him in that way, log onto blessings!

  • Don says:

    My wife has been acting strange lately and leaving home all the time telling me she has gotten caught up in a financial thing. She keeps on telling me to trust her but I think she is just buying time until this house or condo she has bought has gone through. Life sucks my first wife cheated on me and my 2nd wife treated me like shit but died of cancer and I stayed with her until she died. Now my 3rd wife who I have always been faithful to and sold my house to buy a home for her almost 20 years ago is playing me for a fool I fear! Time will tell as I think she is going to leave me taking 2 of our 4 dogs with her. I will lose my home but that is what I get for being faithful and loving! I ALSO AGREE MARRIAGE IS A JOKE! I AM BECOMING AN ANGRY MAN WITH NO EMPATHY!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Joe, I can’t argue with what you have experienced and I know that it may seem like that is everyone’s story. But it is not always that way. There is hope for marriages that have gone through the most painful breakdowns. Here’s the story of one couple whose experience was different I pray that more people find this kind of healing in their marriages.

  • Chris Chris Landwerlen says:

    baobob….we should always let jesus be the one to direct our steps and guide us in our marriages. its best to not make a rule but deal with each situation as it presents itself and have all of the details because without them, we might misjudge the situation. blessings!

  • Joe D. says:

    Jamie, “once a cheat always a cheat”, that statement rings true and I would tell the other husbands whose wives chested on them to Run while you can, there are a lot of other normal, honest, caring women out there.
    Joe D.

  • baobob says:

    I am so tired of hearing women cheat and its the men’s fault. Its your fault if the marriage gets to the point where she feels like she wants to cheat. Its her responsiblity too forcefully work on that or leave. once she (or he)crosses the line, its their fault. For me, I could deal if she had a one night stand and realized her mistake, but a long term affair. That is treating the man like a commodity- she’s testing the products and decided to keep the one she had. That is not trust, that is not love. To stay with her and work on it, the whole relationship would have to start OVER from that point on ward, and frankly I would choose a new relationship and let her consider what she had done to this one.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    I don’t think she did….from the article that was the point, that her affair was a symptom of a marriage in trouble and once they dealt with the issues, they were able to go on to have a great marriage that has stood the test of time.As he says at the end of the article, ‘We had a broken home – but with the Lord’s help and a lot of work, it’s fully restored–stronger than before. My wife’s affair shattered our marriage but God redeemed what was lost and restored our marriage!’
    You can check out their blog as listed above at

  • Vince H says:

    Did she ever cheat again?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Kevin, I would recommend that you guys get marriage and family counsellor to help guide you through this process of healing. Having an objective third party mediate your conversations can be very useful to get past patterns and habits of communication that stop you from understanding one another better. Have you talked to her about seeing a counsellor?

  • Kevin says:

    My wife was caught by me having an emotional affair with an old high school friend. Come to find out this wasn’t the one I should have been worried about. She had already been having a somewhat physical affair(kissing/fondling) with a guy that she works with sometimes. When I found out about this one she had admitted to me that she had a crush on the guy, but I found out that it had been more than that. She states that she just wanted to feel loved and wanted by somone, but I don’t understand that. I tell her how beautiful she is on a daily basis, and send her little emails throughout the day. Come to find out she told the guy that we were having issues at home that I wasn’t aware of, so he said that the same thing was going on in his marriage which ended up being a lie because I called and told his wife of the affair. I have agreed to work things out with the wife because I do love her, and we have 2 kids. She still doesn’t like talking about how I feel because of it though and tries to shutdown the conversation instantly.

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Mary, thank you for your encouraging words for Jay and James! It sounds like you are a wise woman who has learned from her mistakes but was also willing to fight to make her marriage work and that’s really key.

    Communication is so key….as Jamie asked you earlier Jay, ‘in all of her remorse and counseling what has she said are the reasons that she pursues other men?’ There are obviously some deep needs that she is seeking to meet. Have you thought of trying the Love Dare? This excellent book helps couples start again to look at their marriage and practice unconditional love.

  • Mary says:

    James, maybe she has given the truth. Think about it. If she were to come clean in your mind, would you believe her. If she told you ever detail of a scene. It would hurt you more, and would you even believe her then? Listen to what you are saying. There may have been more, but will that cause more hard feelings? Your gut feeling may be right. . . but will more details help if there are more details.

  • Mary says:

    Jay, Our marriage has survived and flourished after my affair. You see, I had no marriage before the affair, or because I had very good moral character would not have ran to the first affirmation that I was anything above a mouse. He treated me good for a very short season, and I needed that to survive.
    With that said, I am now happily married. The affair happened at the 25 year mark, and we have been married almost 34 years now. Your wife either has an addiction to the high an affair gives her, has a self-hate, or your marriage is terminally ill and her affairs are your sign. It may be a combination of several factors, or she may just be a not a one man woman. My take on it is to find her love language, and it can be found through what she does nice for you and do it over and over… then find another nice thing to do. I know you are empty now, but this is easier than starting all over. Fifty years from now you can say I gave it my very best shot.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Jay, I can understand your reluctance to reconcile when the pattern has been so consistent. In all of her remorse and counselling what has she said are the reasons that she pursues other men?

  • Shelley Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    I lift up all who are going through a struggle in marriage in which there is an affair, that they will come to grips in this together as one under God’s Holy Matrimony. In Jesus Mighty name amen

  • confused jay says:

    i can relate to Corey above and to Joey i definitely agree with you. in my case she’s had multiple emotional affairs(her confession), in our 10 years of marriage, everytime she’s caught, she promises to be of good character but goes back to her old ways. the last but one affair was with an old ex and it lasted almost a year without me knowing. i stayed then because of our 3 little kids. seven months after this she’s gone had a physical affair with another man,sexting and all that. i know i have to quit now, but i am still confused. as usual she’s putting on a show of remorse, and is prepared to go for counselling again. i feel so confused, but i come from a long line of broken homes and i swore that i would end that cycle. we are separated right now and i really do not want to reconcile.

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Joe and Corey, I am sorry to hear that you have both had your trust destroyed by your wives. Trust is something that needs to be earned and once it is broken, it is very hard to restore it and must be earned again. In the author’s story, they were able to restore that trust and rebuild it over the next 25 years but it will have taken lots of work and a commitment on both sides to work through the issues that initially got them there.

    As the author says, ‘Our theory is: always be fine-tuning your relationship. Never let your guard down for a moment. Never take each other for granted and be careful not to get caught up in emotions because our emotions can deceive us.

    We are amazed at how far we’ve come – we laugh a lot now and really enjoy each other. Our 22-year-old son often sees us holding hands and sees that we are living examples of mercy and restoration. We had a broken home – but with the Lord’s help and a lot of work, it’s fully restored–stronger than before. My wife’s affair shattered our marriage but God redeemed what was lost and restored our marriage!’

    Only God can destroy those broken pieces. If either or both of you would like to interact on a more personal level with one of our online mentors, just fill out the form on this page, and someone will email you back.

  • Joe says:

    Once a Chester, always a cheater….
    I was on here 2 yrs ago struggling with my wife’s affair, did counseling, therapy, was working on forgivenes….them found out 3 weeks ago she was back to her old ways, so for all of you guys going thru this…I feel your pain, get a good lawyer because not going to lose everything because of her indiscretions….it is a terrible situation, true work of the devil!!!

  • corey says:

    i struggle with this as well. my wife had an affair two year ago. i had just got done putting her through nursing school and one night she basically told me she never loved me to begin with and that she had finally found someone who made her happy. i was told i was a horrible husband, father and too fat for anyone to love (keep in mind i was 170 pounds at the time). i beg her to stay i went to counseling with her and worked really hard to change…even lost over 40 pounds. but she continued to have the affair even after we started to “work on” the relationship. she finally did end the affair but not until she had damaged me beyond repair. we did more counseling, met with pastors, but i never was able to heal. she never apologized for it and is now taking the position that only god can forgive so it isn’t up to me. she tells me that i should look at her affair as the exception that proves the rule for her faithfulness. it is no two years later and things aren’t any better. she still wants to hang out with i told her i wanted a divorce and now she is telling me this is my fault. that i am not following god’s plan for us. i personally dont believe this is god’s plan for me. i dont think he wants me to be miserable forever. of course now that i am looking for a divorce she is going after me financially and raking me over the coals. i am going to lose my house and have to pay for her affair for the rest of my life. seems unfair but i guess that is what i get for trusting another person. marriage is a joke…i my wife is getting the last laugh.

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