Et tu, Brute?

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” – Luke 22:47-48, NIV

wpid-2014-08-17-11.39.32.jpg.jpegDiscovering adultery is a punch-drunk experience. It is soul rape. And it leaves one incredibly disoriented wondering what is true and real. Who can one trust anymore if one cannot trust the person who pledged lifelong fidelity to you?

And if discovering adultery is not disorienting enough, soon one faces the challenge of sorting through friends and family for people who are true friends or only offer Judas-like betrayal.

Et tu, Brute?

You, too, Brutus? As the metaphorical knife goes into the back.

Surprises are likely in the early stages. I know I had my fair share. From trusting a (former) friend from seminary who turned on me refusing (even in knowing of my ex’s adultery) to call her to repentance and support the marriage to an undergraduate (former) friend who refused to retract an especially hurtful statement blame-shifting upon me for the dissolution of a marriage that he later knew was ravaged by my ex’s infidelity. These betrayals were part of the trauma experienced through my ex’s adultery and the divorce.

Adultery discovery is an lesson in choosing friends wisely.

Responses separate the wheat from the chaff.

A James from a Judas.

Sadly, I do not have anything to offer you in knowing who to trust. Time together before discovering adultery does not always prove who is worthy of trust as I learned. We all have baggage and often times it is hidden. I am convinced much of the poor responses I received from others came in the form of unprocessed baggage on their part. It still did not make it less hurtful realizing this. But it did make it less personal.

Going forward, I encourage you to allow responses to tell you who is trustworthy. Start slowly and then open up more if the proper empathy is demonstrated.

Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake.

It’s an art, not a science.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. – Proverbs 17:17, NIV

May you find such friends and spiritual brothers/sisters in your time of need.


6 thoughts on “Et tu, Brute?”

  1. Fortunately, almost all of my friends and our mutual friends have seen the light and do not support my adulterous husband in any way. They can be civil to him but that is all he is getting. On the other hand, they have been very supportive to me in many different ways. Praise God for that!

    However, there are a couple people in my life who are on the fence with all of this. They feel they are taking the high road to remain friends with him. I feel that they can’t be friends with me and him because that is telling him that what he did to his wife and kids is OK. Any ideas on what to say to these “friends”? I think I remember seeing a verse on your site about all people supporting the sanctity of marriage. Is that how we approach these fence sitters?

    1. @BHB
      My personal experience was that “fence sitters” were not “supporters of the marriage” in that many knew of affair previously and chose to keep the ex’s secret. It was a huge deal for me because ex’s affair started when I was pregnant. For me, I no longer continued a relationship with those types of “friends”. It became a character issue for me. If they are claiming neutrality in infidelity, what else will they eventually allow. Plus, actions proved they were not really a “true friend” to anyone involved, including to me.

      I kept it pretty simple to those who blatantly told me they were neutral. I told them neutral does not work for me and that I could not continue a relationship with them anymore. My loyalty and trust was already destroyed by a selfish husband, I was not going to allow “friends” who could not decide their moral standing to cause me further harm in the future due to their neutrality.

      So glad you have friends and family that are supportive to you. It is vastly important.

      1. Moxie,
        I completely respect your simple boundaries on this and completely agree. But the two friends I’m talking about definitely didn’t know about the affair and very much support the marriage. They are still hopeful that my husband will repent and that they can help with this. I do think they are caring and sincere, but I don’t think they truly understand the “soul rape” that I have gone through. Do we try to get them to see this or just move on?

    2. I wrote on this topic a while ago. Here’s the link:

      Generally, I am Moxie’s camp on the matter. A friend demonstrates he or she is a friend by more than just words. Someone who is indifferent to adultery is neither a friend of the faithful spouse OR the adulterous spouse as Scripture teaches.

      That said, I would cut someone slack if they did not know about the adultery. But with knowledge comes responsibility. Ultimately, you have to decide how much you can take. Personally, I think it unwise to stay friends and thereby open your heart to someone who is neutral about soul rape–aka adultery. The neutrality tells me that they really do not care in reality. Or are clueless. In either case, it tells me that they are dangerous to trust with my precious heart.

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