David, thank you so much for your words. I had been programed for twenty years to believe that my stbxh was a Christian, honorable, wise, trustworthy and safe man. Then he left me out of the blue and a month later I found out he was having an affair and that he had been cheating with hook ups for years. The crazy part is that up until today he keeps saying the marriage failed for lack of communication and that the affair was the consequence of a marriage gone bad and my lack of this and that.
I know in my mind he is lying and self-deceiving (is there anything more sad that a person who really thinks God is ok with him while sinning openly?).
But still once in a while I get this doubt in my heart again, what did I lack of?, how could I lose his love? Has God really forgiven him even when he is still in adultery (I mean we are separated working on the messy divorce but he is with that woman)? Can he be genuinely repentant before God when he has never asked for my forgiveness or acknowledge full responsibility? If he remarries will he still be a continuous adulterer since he divorcing his wife without cause? Would like to hear your ideas on all these.
Anyway. It is soothing to my soul to read again your words… adultery came from his heart. Period.
Big hugs and blessings to you and your wife.
An adulterer or adulteress has justified their sin in their hearts prior to committing it. This is necessary, I believe, in order to go through with the act. The act is the overflow of the heart twisted by Satan’s lies (see the post with your original comment laying this out by clicking here). What you are hearing from your stbxh tells you a lot about what he told himself to justify the unjustifiable.
Don’t allow those “lie-birds” nesting grounds in your head.
If you continue to find yourself struggling with his lies about the ending of your marriage, then I suggest memorizing the following verses:
“‘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.
Use this truth to combat any lies suggesting you caused him to commit adultery ending the marriage. That came out of his heart, and his heart alone, not yours. You do not have to agree with the lies or his twisted narrative.
God never treats adultery as resulting from a deficit or lack in the faithful partner. I just do not see it in Scripture. When God teaches on adultery, He focuses His teaching on the adulterer/adulteress with stiff warnings to others to avoid such sin.
I say this to encourage you to remember your stbxh chose this sin and is fully accountable for his choice(s). It is not a commentary on you or the marriage but rather a commentary on his lack of character and open rebellion against God. Adultery is what flowed out of his heart. Not yours.
As to his state of forgiveness before God, I will start by saying ultimately this is an issue between him and God. And I do not know for sure. What I do know is what Scripture teaches concerning ongoing sin and that individual’s relationship (or lack thereof) with God. It does not look good spiritually for someone still remaining with his or her adultery partner. For example,
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. – Hebrews 10:26-27, NIV
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil,because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. -I John 3:6-10, NIV
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – I Corinthians 6:9-10, NIV
Ultimately, I do not know how anyone can have a right relationship with God without exerting the effort to address what he or she destroyed through his/her own sin. I see confessing and acknowledging that sin against a brother or sister as a low threshold for a start in that direction. By not doing this, your stbxh is minimally not living in love with you, his sister in the Lord. I John 3 is pretty clear what that means.
As to the question of remarriage and adultery continuously following, I am not sure. Certainly, remarrying is sinful for your stbxh. Jesus is clear your stbxh would be committing adultery by remarrying under these circumstances (e.g. Mt 19:9). Is it on-going sin? It’s likely. However, all sin is forgivable, but we must stop sinning and turn from it as the passages above make very clear.
I suspect you are asking me these questions because either your stbxh or his supporters have told you he is forgiven of his adulteries and are trying to spiritually manipulate you into taking blame for his sin.
Do not buy the lies. Stand on the truth.
He is 100% responsible for committing adultery. It comes from the overflow of his own heart. Plus, the facts are that your stbxh is still committing adultery even after being confronted (see Hebrews 10:26-27 above for what that means).
Also, I would point out that you noted this OW is merely another in a line of others. You wrote, “…he had been cheating with hook ups for years.” His actions are not matching his profession of faith. Followers of Christ turn from their sin, especially when confronted by another Christian, and certainly do not compound their sin by spiritually abusing the victims of their sin through religious-language blame-shifting as your stbxh is doing. This indicates hate, NOT love, towards a sister in the Lord. Such is incompatible for someone who knows Jesus.
My final encouragement to you, Gaby, is to remember Jesus sees all of this and has not forsaken you. He loves you very much and gets especially angry with those who would use His name to abuse the vulnerable. God is not confused on these matters. Please worry less about your stbxh’s soul or state of forgiveness and focus on the truth. You can choose not to believe the lies. You did not cause him to commit adultery. And you certainly did not cause him to continue in his adulterous sin. That’s on him, and he will answer to Christ for each act (2 Cor 5:9).
If you want to work on your communication skills or other things, find a good and trustworthy counselor to help you. However, do not confuse marital problems with causation. They do not cause adultery nor divorce. Choices to divorce or choices to commit adultery cause these things. That said, I think we can all grow in our communication skills. It is a lifetime journey after all.
Blessings and hugs from all of us!