After an affair, the betrayed wife will often take on too much of the blame because the husband has possibly said, “if you paid more attention to me, I wouldn’t have to look elsewhere.” While this order of events may be true (she ignores and he seeks) it was his choice to cheat. It may have been his choice to act in such a way that she had to ignore him. Also, if it was her behavior, he could have chosen to discuss the issue or seek marital counseling. She didn’t “make” him do anything.
Regardless of how the affair occurred, there is a post-affair emotional path the wife may take. She may slip into this pattern after resolving to reconcile with her husband. Having been devastated by his actions, she will understandably have her guard up. She will say things like, “I’ll never let him do this to me again. I don’t want him to make a fool of me.” This is a precarious position as she has already let her guard down so much that were he to cheat again, she wouldn’t know until it is too late.
When we marry, we give our hearts to another person in the hopes that he/she will care for it, and when they commit a heinous act such as adultery, it all but kills us. By recommitting, the wife submits her heart once again to her husband. This automatically opens the wife back up for hurt, but such is the risk she takes for her self and her children. Divorce isn’t always the best answer.
In post-adulterous situations we see the powerful forgiving love of Christ. The husband, wanting to reconcile, returns to his wife smelling of hogs, and she, like the father in Luke 15 welcomes him back for another chance. Why not? They have built so much and have so much yet to live for.
To the wives I say, be wary. He has cheated once and it can happen again, but if you see sincerity in his actions, allow time to heal you and your relationship.
For the husbands I would like to reference William F. Harley’s love bank principal. When you do good for your wife, you make a deposit. When you do bad by your wife, you make a withdrawal. Well, an affair burns the bank to the ground and now you have to rebuild it. Also, realize what you almost lost. You loved her once, love her again.
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