Lord, are you not from everlasting?
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
-Habakkuk 1:12a, 13, NIV
“I never intended to hurt you.”
The same cheater probably never intended for the faithful spouse to discover their treacherous, deceitful betrayal either. This sort of statement is given to a faithful spouse to manage the cheater’s image.
She isn’t a monster. See?! She didn’t intend to hurt you.
Intentions are beside the point at this juncture. The cheater knew very well that committing adultery would harm the faithful partner.
That is what happens when solemn vows are broken. The person who relied on that vow for safety–both emotionally and physically–is harmed. They are hurt.
It may be true that the cheater did not “intend” to hurt the faithful partner. But the cheater sure did not take action to prevent harming them either.
Once again, it matters not whether or not the cheater intended to cause harm or hurt the faithful partner. They did.
Their “pure” intentions do not absolve them from the responsibility of being the actor causing the harm.
In other words, I could care less about a cheater’s intentions. “I did not intend to hurt you” does not erase the damage done. The real question is what the cheater will do to make it better.
Will they repent?
Will they seek to provide restitution?
Or–as is more likely–are they spouting this drivel to make themselves feel better while doing their best to avoid facing the consequences of their treacherous sins?