An Unfaithful Spouse’s Perspective


Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link from a blogger, Leanne, who shared her story about confessing infidelity to her husband. Her post is entitled “Karma?” (click on title to read her full post).

The gist of the story is Leanne cheated on her husband a couple years prior and lied about it initially when her husband asked her if another party was involved. This post is about her confession and his response to that confession.

She decides she needs to tell him the truth, now two years after the fact, and accept the consequences including divorce if he so chooses as she surmises, correctly, is her just due. When she confesses, he accepts partial blame–more on that later–and they stay together. Leanne then goes on to pen an ode to grace.

Here are a few of my thoughts on this piece:

The Good-

-She did not start her confession from a place of entitlement. This is huge. Leanne explicitly writes about how an angry response from her husband, Andrew, and a request for a divorce from him are justified responses as she saw it. She did not enter the confession stage–trusting what she writes–believing she deserved to keep the marriage after what she did to violate it and her husband.

The Bad-

-She allows him to take partial blame for her sin. She reports in post what her husband said. Andrew responds:

“You know, I wasn’t there for you the way you needed me back then. You found someone who could support you emotionally. I get that. And if you would have confessed this back when we were in counseling two years ago, I wasn’t mature enough to handle it. You probably weren’t mature enough to deal with it either. Neither of us were. This whole thing would have been different. It’s okay. I forgive you” (source link here).

I have several concerns with this response and the lack of correction given by Leanne.

1) This sort of response suggests she was justified in her cheating on him because he wasn’t emotionally supportive back then. It is “The Shared Responsibility Lie” on display. His lack of emotional support is implied as the impetus behind her cheating as opposed to her poor character alone. Cheating was never her only option. She could have insisted on marriage counseling if she felt that emotional support was a problem. I hope she made it clear to him that she was 100% responsible for her poor choices to cheat and lie to him.

2) This sort of response sets up Andrew for a marriage based on performance. Without the emotionally supportive causal link broken, Andrew is on the hook for the rest of this marriage to make sure he does not fail at making Leanne feel supported emotionally. Mess up and get cheated on–apparently–is the “justified” consequence. Yikes! This is unhealthy and unbiblical. We are 100% responsible for our own actions and keeping our own promises.

3) Andrew cites immaturity as making it acceptable for her to lie to him for two years! This is not wise either. Whether or not we are mature is beside the point. Christians are supposed to walk in the light. Just because someone is immature and may respond–therefore–immaturely does not make it acceptable behavior to lie to them. I wish Leanne had caught that in her post and made that part clear as well.

I am all for forgiveness and grace. Personally, I do think Andrew has more to work with in Leanne than many of us ever did with our cheating (ex) spouses. At least, she was willing to concede anger and divorce as acceptable responses to her infidelity and lying.

Also, I can relate with Andrew. “Simple David” downplayed his wife’s emotional affair(s). He even was willing to overlook a full-blown adulterous affair if she would end it and stay. I might have even said something similar in the effort to keep my first marriage together if I had had such an opportunity.

…But that was Simple David.

Not “Wise David.”

  • WD recognizes sin comes solely from the sinner’s heart and not from surrounding circumstances including marriage circumstances.
  • WD recognizes blame-sharing is anathema to future relationship success as the only person who can prevent future moral failures–i.e the cheater–is passing the buck to someone or something else.
  • WD recognizes that emotional affairs are serious business and need to be treated as such.

That said, Leanne’s post is just a small snapshot of their conversation. So, I imagine much more was said. I hope the shared-blame pieces were corrected for Andrew and Leanne’s sake.

God does give us grace.

I, too, am grateful for God’s mercy in not giving me what I deserve.

But God does call for us to confess–accepting full responsibility for our sin–and repent first (see I John 1:9).

9 thoughts on “An Unfaithful Spouse’s Perspective”

  1. I agree! His comment of “it’s okay” should have been followed up with “no it’s not!” But for some reason adultery is so down played… I think even in Christian movies (War Room)… that most innocent parties know that they are expected to just forgive, forget, and move on… without a word of objection or any hurt feelings.

  2. Leanne never says in he blog whether or not she confessed to the spouse of the other man, if there is one. It seems to me that if she is confessing to her husband, then she should also confess to the other person that she sinned against. So many times I see Christians believing that all they need to do is pray a prayer of forgiveness and think nothing about confessing to the other person they have sinned against. Did not Christ say “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” My opinion is that not only must we confess truthfully to God, but also to the person we have sinned against. Otherwise I do not believe we receive God’s grace. The way I see it, for two years Leanne was not forgiven of her sin and did not receive God’s grace because she had not confessed to her husband.

  3. She made herself very vulnerable to him & in this blog. He probably said the first thing that came into his just-awake brain (It’s okay).

    1. Erin,

      I agree that it was probably his first response after coming awake. My greater concern is over her failure to correct what he said in allowing him to take partial blame for her choices. She had two years to prepare for this confession. As I wrote–to be fair–she may have done this later as she hints that the conversation continued. That said, it needs to be done at some point for true forgiveness and godly healing to take place, IMO.


  4. Adam (using Julie’s handle),

    I have not approved subsequent comments of yours on my blog due to the lack of civility I have noted in them (not to mention the lack of substance, IMO). Since I created this blog, my opinion in this matter is the only one that counts. Ongoing judgmental, antagonistic attacks of me will not be tolerated here. Trolling is banned.


    PS I have subsequently deleted all your comments–and the related comments–due to your persistent antagonistic behavior.

  5. Wow, there are a lot of comments here judging a stranger without even knowing everything that went on. It’s so easy to judge someone without knowing them and the entirety of the situation. It says in Miccah 7:18b “He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.” I’m so glad that he delights in mercy because humans sure don’t.

    How disappointing–another blogger taking a small piece of someone’s story and making broad judgments…just like the mainstream media. You’re not any different than those you criticize or a non-christian writer/blogger.

    Feel free to not post my comment or delete it if you consider it “antagonistic.”

    I will not be returning to your blog.

    1. I don’t think your comment is too “antagonistic.” More like arrogant and hypocritical.

      You wrote,

      “How disappointing–another blogger taking a small piece of someone’s story and making broad judgments…just like the mainstream media. You’re not any different than those you criticize or a non-christian writer/blogger.”

      Thus, YOU make “broad judgments” about me.

      Then you give me “permission” to moderate the comments on my own blog. So big of you! And arrogant.


      PS This blog isn’t for everyone. And it certainly isn’t for those who think cheating is no big deal. But it is for MANY people who are looking for a pastor to take infidelity seriously as 10,000’s visit here across the globe literally.

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