Don’t Buy The Hype

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. – Ephesians 5:11, ESV

1475901_10153679512565441_8808781_n (1)Part of the mission at Divorce Minister is to follow this Biblical command. I aim to expose deeds of darkness, especially as it comes to adultery and any associated spiritual abuse. This is important work as light brings clarity and potential for healing.

Ignorance allows wickedness to breed in the darkness of human minds and hearts. The simple need instructions (see Proverbs), the wicked need rebuking, and the wounded need healing. The light of the knowledge of God’s perspective on our deeds is much needed in these dark times full of adulterous deeds.

What I am about to write is probably not news to a faithful spouse as he or she has likely lived it. It may be news to other Christians who have never experienced such things from the other side.

After adultery has taken place and been exposed, the faithful spouse is often hit with a reworked narrative of the marriage. This is why I am highly suspicious of studies asking cheaters about the state of their marriage prior to cheating. Cheaters have a vested interest in painting a dismal picture of the relationship.

Back to the dynamic of a retroactive marriage history: This dynamic of justifying or excusing the adulterous relationship(s) is noted by the renown secular infidelity researcher, Dr. Shiley P. Glass, Ph.D. in her book on infidelity entitled, Not “Just Friends,”

If they feel justified to have an affair because they fell in love with another person, then they claim that they never really love their spouse. After their indulgence, when they are no longer simply talking to themselves (but actually justifying their behavior to others), they tend to cast blame. They create an explanation in which their own victimization absolves their transgressions: ‘My wife was frigid’; “My husband didn’t talk to me”; “I was crazy from the all the stress at my job.” Some people offer excuses, such as “I was drunk” or “I was seduced.” ….Those who offer excuses are not blithely saying that they didn’t do anything wrong; they are explaining to minimize their wrongdoing by giving a reason for their actions. “Justifiers” act self-righteous in efforts to validate the appropriateness of their behaviors; “excusers” are more willing to accept blame for their actions (251).

Do you notice the two tactics utilized by an adulterous spouse to avoid taking full responsibility for committing adultery?

1) Blame-shift to the faithful spouse.

2) Minimize what they did.

God holds the sinner 100% responsible for his or her sin (e.g. 2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Peter 1:16-17). A wise counselor will see through these two tactics and call out the adulterous spouse for his or her own spiritual good.

This is why I write so many articles adamantly against any blame-shifting upon the faithful spouse. To accept this move, one is joining with the forces of darkness causing damage to the faithful spouse and further entrenching lies in the heart of the adulterous spouse. No one is helped. Many are harmed.

In addition, this is why I write with such strong language about the trauma of adultery. It is needed as an antidote to Satan’s successful minimizing campaign concerning adultery. I do not write to condemn the sinner. What I write is a matter of condemning the sin and exposing the dark deeds to the light. I am of the camp that telling the sinner what he or she did was “not so bad” does not help them spiritually. It certainly does not help the faithful spouse who has been devastated by the adulterous spouse’s selfish sin.

Retroactive marriage history is painful for the faithful spouse, and I speak from experience. It feels very invalidating and adds the damaging, shaming messages in the whole torrid affair for a faithful spouse. If someone wants to be a healing and godly voice in such times, I would encourage them not to succumb to the siren calls of either the “justifier” or the “excuser” as Dr. Glass labels them. Watch out for the twin schemes of blame-shifting and minimizing. No spiritual good comes of either.

8 thoughts on “Don’t Buy The Hype”

  1. The blame shifting and minimizing is not just the tactic they use to excuse their adultery. I have found that x uses it in every aspect of his life: work, parenting, casual relationships, educational settings, etc. It’s also part of the Narcissist’s tool box.
    He might even admit to a mistake, minimize it, laugh at himself (without any sincerity behind it), and claim that he will make different choices in the future. He does this while charming the pants off of people in order to get out of consequences. And it works. 🙁 It’s rather disgusting to watch. It is a typical abuser’s cycle of behavior.
    They are never sorry for what they do. They are sorry for getting caught.

    1. Sadly, this can be an MO for more than just adultery as you point out, Home School Mama. As people of the light, it is important to note and point out the darkness. It helps keep us sane, and it gives the person walking in the darkness a choice–either continue or choose the light. Sadly, darkness is alluring.

  2. I sure understand about the blameshifting. That’s the first thing my spouse did after I finally got the truth. She also minimized her actions with the “just friends” excuse. The thing that really outraged me was that our marriage counselors (both Christians,who took training to be be volunteer marriage counselors at our church) actually enabled her lies and blameshifting by implying that I had a part in her adultery,and I was advised and encouraged to “put it in the past” and to “forgive and let go”. Since she was obviously lying,how could I be expected to forgive her when I did not know at the time what all she had done? And expect me to take some responsibility for her sin? Ain’t gonna happen. I just don’t understand how 2 supposedly Christian marriage counselors could sit there and listen to her disrespect her husband in this manner,and then enable her sin.

    1. Sounds like these counselors were cut from the same cloth as some of mine, fishfast41. Not all are like this, thankfully. However, I have heard and experienced far too many who act in this way while providing false security that they are counseling as “Christians.” It is partly for this reason I write this pastoral blog.

      It angers me to hear that was how you were treated. Not very Christian in my opinion. Glad to hear you know the truth and did not buy the lies that were being sold!

      You are absolutely right. The truth has to come forth for healing to take place–spiritually and otherwise. Stick to your guns and do not accept anything less. This is not only for your good but also for hers.

  3. Retroactive marriage history – awesome term
    Been there, done that…”oh the marriage was so bad. I was so unhappy”. My ex faked the funk so well that really close friends and family till this day do not understand, they thought we were a great couple.
    He is still caught up in the affair fog/haze. He is living in an affair fantasy land.

  4. Agree 100%. I am also frustrated with how counselors and recovery groups have minimized porn addiction by renaming it a “slip,” so that it’s more palatable to the offender. What some call a “slip,” God calls adultery. It is hardly a slip to the spouse who’s bleeding out and who’s heart has been ravaged. And then as the poor spouse is reeling from the trauma, everyone points at their imperfect behavior, while the adulterer gets off Scott free!

    I am also seeing a lack of church discipline executed for this sin and we have had way too much empathy in coddling it. I’ve been in church for 53 years and I’ve never once seen or even heard of anyone brought before the congregation to be rebuked in the presence of all, and yet know of many adulterous situations with church leaders in Dallas Texas. If people’s hands were getting cut off for stealing, there’d be a lot less stealing! This passage says to do this in the presence of ALL as a WARNING to others to stand in wholesome awe and fear of the Lord. 1 Timothy 5:19 -21 tells us : I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the chosen angels that you guard and keep these rules, without personal prejudice or favor, doing nothing from partiality”. I SOLEMNLY charge you??? To do this and not depart from it??? In the presence of GOD and of CHRIST JESUS and of CHOSEN ANGELS??? Because it will WARN others??? And yet I’ve never seen this done. EVER. Interesting to think what it would be like if there was a healthy fear of the Lord, and we actually followed such important instructions as these to give a wake up call to the body to save them.

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