And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
-Genesis 3:11-12, NIV
Just because a cheater goes to couple’s therapy or a couple’s session with a pastor, it does not mean the cheater is ready to repent and reconcile.
Attending such sessions makes it look like they are making an effort to work on the marriage like a “good” Christian. However, attending such sessions may simply be a matter of image management for such cheaters. It makes them look good to attend. We met with the pastor for six sessions, but it just didn’t work out.
An indicator that this is what a cheater is doing is when the cheater focuses upon what the faithful did to “make them” cheat. This includes both physical and emotional cheating. We are responsible for our own actions and sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). And…
Remember: Cheating isn’t a symptom of a problem. It is a sin.
In my opinion as a pastor and infidelity survivor, I think it is an utter waste of everyone’s time to continue these sessions if the cheater is using them to blame the faithful spouse for the cheating.
1) Continuing such sessions serve to perpetuate the lie that the faithful spouse is partially or totally to blame for the adulterous spouse’s cheating.
2) Continuing such sessions stokes false hope for marriage restoration in the faithful spouse when this is not in the cards as long as the cheater is refusing to repent as indicated by the cheater blaming others instead of taking responsibility for their own sinful behavior.
For these two reasons alone, I recommend being upfront if such things happen with the couple–or being upfront with the faithful spouse, at least. Even a tough truth is kinder than false assurances that further lies.