Dear Faithful Spouses, It’s NOT About You!


Dear faithful spouses,

It’s not about you.

The adultery does not reveal your flaws or failures. Not at all. It does not even tell a story about the status of your marriage prior to this treacherous sin. It’s not about you, faithful spouse.

But it does speak volumes about the adulterous spouse’s heart.

I have tackled this issue elsewhere on my blog; however, I feel compelled to write again about this common lie and pitfall for faithful spouses. The lie states that faithful spouses share in the responsibility for the adultery (as well as the subsequent marital destruction). They do not.

In my experience, this lie is rampant in the Christian community.

And it is both unjust and hurtful.

The truth is we do not control our spouse’s choices to either be faithful or to cheat. Those actions of the body (and heart) are completely on them and will be judged as such by Jesus (2 Cor 5:10).

Remember, Jesus teaches us that adultery flows from the heart of the sinner (see my post here):

“‘But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person….'” – Jesus in Matthew 19:18-20a, NSRV.

To suggest we have control over this flow (i.e. we can prevent adultery) is to suggest we have control over the hearts of our spouses.

We do not.

That is the realm of God, not humans.

Our actions reveal our hearts is what I hear in Jesus’ words. So, that means sin reveals the heart of the sinner and not the heart of the sinned against.

Faithful spouses, the adulteries committed against you says a lot about the heart of your adulterous spouse and nothing about your own heart. You do not own even the smallest portion of this sin as Jesus does not teach such sin as coming out from the heart of the marriage.

Rather, it comes out of the heart of the adulterous spouse alone.

So, I will say it again.

It’s not about you.

My chaplaincy training taught me the lesson about how what people say to me reveals somethings. And those things may be entirely revealing of the speaker’s heart, not mine. I see this applying here.

Adultery reveals the heart of the adulterous.

It says nothing about the heart of the faithful ones.

Never forget that.

It’s not about you.



9 thoughts on “Dear Faithful Spouses, It’s NOT About You!”

  1. Pastor David, my soon to be ex husband said recently, “it was just one incident”. Are you kidding me, it was over a years worth of incidents, probably thousands! These unfaithful spouses just don’t get it!

    1. Irene- that’s Cheater 101 of stupid replies they give. “But it was only one time!” like that’s somehow supposed to mean it wasn’t that bad. As Dr. Phil says, where there’s one rat there’s a nest. That “one” incident involved a lot of intentional acts on the cheating spouse’s end. Lots of lies, told intentionally, to keep it hidden. As CL talks about in her post today called “Trickle Truth” they only cop to what they think you already know. Even faced when piles of evidence they still deny it.

  2. Thanks for this post. I remember someone asking two years ago how this could have happened to me – she remarked “You’re a good person, a devout person, a practicing Catholic” – almost like crap – if she has made room for God in her life… how could this be? It was still relatively new; I really didn’t have any words of consolation to offer. Your observation that we cannot control the hearts of others along with the quote from Mathew is the perfect response to that question. And people do ask – and it’s okay.

    1. mommythree,

      I think many ask out of fear. Job’s friends responded this way seeing Job in his great suffering. We want to think we have control over things we do not have control over like whether or not our spouse will cheat. We don’t. It is a very humbling and scary realization. As a good pastor I know, Bob Sorge, pointed out: Job suffered BECAUSE he was a righteous man! Just because someone is going through a divorce does not mean they did anything deserving of it.

  3. Right now I am truly alone of human comfort and surround in persecution and denial of the adulter’s deedS.
    Christian friends, family..SHEPHERDS at best have met this in silence but at worst have such a contempt that it’s truly a hard walk. A walk that prior to my knowledge of adultery being the spirit I was walking with took me into addiction for several years almost to the point of a well planned suicide.
    He HAS raised me out of that darkness, HE HAS GIVEN ME TRUTH that I would not have found had it not been for His grace and mercy to ensure I knew.
    I am so grateful to the Lord for all that He has done even in this pain for I know this evil is NOT of God but your words are a salve to help heal these deep (right now festering) wounds.

    1. Glad that you were given the truth, Marybett, even though it is a difficult truth. And I am happy to hear the words you find here are healing for you as well. Thanks for your kind words!


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