Has God really forgiven him even when he is still in adultery?

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.




Dear Gaby,

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.

So, don’t!

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!



9 thoughts on “Has God really forgiven him even when he is still in adultery?”

  1. Thanks so much David, I feel honored that you would take the time to care for my heart.
    All your words help me stand up taller and the Word of God brings light to my confusion. I guess my struggle comes from the collision of stbxh taking about God and forgiveness with so much confidence. And a God who would forgive this betrayal and soul rape as you call it, without true repentance, doesn’t feel safe.
    So my struggle is in part with safety. You see? I thought I was completely loved and safe in my marriage, and I wasn’t. So now I need to know that God is safe. I do in my mind. But I find myself trying to find assurance for my heart. I need God to be safe and congruent and without surprises, and this man saying that God knew his sins beforehand and Jesus died for his sins past, present and future and that he is forgiven…without ever showing any signs of remorse, is very confusing.
    But your post helps a lot. Thanks again!!!

  2. This post really helps me understand my stbxh. When you are married you are meshed together as one. When the deceiving partner blatantly defiles the marriage through his/her own choices, the spouse betrayed must understand that this choice was unilateral. The betrayed spouse will be accountable for his/her actions following this event as well as the deceiving partner. It helps to know that each of us are individuals accountable for own actions. If we claim to know God and He lives in us, then our actions will follow. God knows everything. Another person has the ability to lie to themselves and others, but has No ability to lie to God the Father.

  3. DM – so my ex left me for the OW. He divorced me, then ex and OW split up. Ex is now with a different woman. They don’t seem to be living together, from what my kids say, but are certainly having “slumber parties”. Is this, too, an adulterous relationship?

    1. Hi Resa, it doesn’t sound like it would count as adultery by definition seeing as he and the OW split up and you and he are also divorced. Scripturally speaking it could be argued that all his future relationships would be adultery as the divorce would not have been biblical on his end, which means any future relationship would still be seen as adultery (Mt 19:9). Some denominations would block someone from the pastorate if they marry someone that’s divorced because of that scripture. For example, with DM’s previous denomination, he had to go through a trial to prove his divorce was biblical. If I had also been divorced, I would have also had to go through the same trial to prove he’s not committing adultery by marrying me, even if they had ruled that his divorce was biblical. He would have to prove it’s not adultery on two accounts, mine and his. If I refused to go through the trial, or if they found my divorce as being unbiblical, marrying me would block him from the pastorate b/c my divorce would then carry over onto him. Some denominations would block him period without considering biblical divorce. Just being divorced, or marrying someone who’s been divorced, even if you haven’t personally been divorced, would be considered adultery and prohibited.

      1. Thanks, Mrs. DM. Thats what I was thinking, too, but I wanted yours and/or DM’s thoughts since you are some of the very few people I’ve come across who don’t act like adultery has a “statute of limitations” – like it ceases to have any affect after a certain amount of time and becomes a total non-issue, even for the one who is living in deception.

        1. Resa,

          I agree with what Mrs. DM wrote. (In fact, I gave her the Biblical reference she cites in it.) While my ex is in sin if she sleeps with other men (even after our divorce, in my opinion), I do not seek out this information as it is not helpful to my soul. She is God’s concern now. I hope for your healing you get to a place where he can no longer hurt you as you feel at peace in God taking care of him. This is a process and some days I am better at believing this than others, myself.


          1. Thanks so much. I thought I was doing pretty well, until he decided he wanted to become much more involved with the remaining minor this Fall. Now I’m having to revisit and redo some of my ways of dealing with him.

          2. Welcome. It is tough when a minor is involved. Glad God spared me in that. My hat is off to you and others who find yourselves in this tough place. The forced contact is a difficult thing to negotiate with peace especially with someone who continues to believe the lie that he/she did nothing wrong.

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